Importance of Essex highlighted as all three national political leaders visit county
9 May 2012
The importance of Essex on the national economic and political stage has been highlighted once again with visits from the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.
That was the message from the Leader of Essex County Council, Cllr Peter Martin, following the high profile visits of David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband on Tuesday (8 May). Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg visited Basildon and Chelmsford while Mr Miliband visited Harlow.
The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister visited the county to highlight their commitment to boosting the economy and creating jobs – echoing a key commitment and vision of Essex County Council.
The Council’s vision, covering the next five years is to ensure that Essex means business and is a vibrant place where every individual and community has the opportunity to grow and reach their potential and play a part in the county’s success
In February, Cllr Martin announced a £20m Rolling Investment Fund over the next five years to help unlock economic growth. Private businesses as well as district councils across Essex can invest in the fund to help support projects in their areas.
The Council also received £11.8million Growing Places Funding through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership to help push forward developments that may have stalled as a result of the financial climate, to enable the creation of new jobs and homes.
The Enterprise Zone at Enterprise West Essex @ Harlow will also help create a 126-acre site to support the growth of hi-tech and medical technology companies.
Since 2009 the Council has helped secure 1,735 placements through its apprenticeship scheme already and expects to secure a further 710 this year.
The Council has also been developing its links with China – which has recently seen China’s biggest publishing company, Phoenix Publishing & Media Group, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Essex County Council to set up its UK Headquarters in Essex.
The UK company will deal with printing, copyright trading and publishing businesses and plans to create up to eight new jobs in the county, with more expected as the company grows.
Cllr Martin, said; “We have often said that Essex is setting a trail that others then follow. I am delighted that that the importance of this great county on both a political and economic stage has been recognised today with the visit of the leaders of all three main political parties.
“As a Council we are committed to working closely with the South East LEP and our partners right across the world of business to ensure Essex is a place where companies feel they can take root and grow. This will not just help our local economy but the national economy as well.”
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We are always looking at innovative and groundbreaking ways to help create jobs and further enhance our economy.
“Our links with China are really flourishing with the deal struck with the Phoenix Group the latest good news it has delivered to Essex. We will not rest on our laurels but today’s visit by the three leaders shows the importance this county has in the national picture.”