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Commissions a big boost for Essex economy

20 July 2016

The Essex economy has received a big boost with the launch of two commissions set up to drive forward the Essex economy, a leading councillor has said.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Cabinet Member with responsibility for economic growth at Essex County Council, was speaking after the launch of the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission, headed by former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine. Cllr Bentley pledged to support the commission in its aim to boost productivity and jobs along the 40-mile stretch from Canary Wharf to Southend and Thanet.

Cllr Bentley said: “Following meetings with Lord Heseltine over the last week we have been very clear that we fully support the development of what is one of the UK’s most important economic areas.

“We believe that one of the keys to this will be the planned Lower Thames Crossing,  the benefits of which are clear, and we hope this is something that the commission will look bring forward as soon as possible.”

Following the launch, Lord Heseltine also met Andrew Sentence CBE, the leading economist chairing the Greater Essex Independent Commission, looking at the wider Essex economy.

Cllr Bentley added: “The recently launched independent commission made up of economists, academics and business leaders has a much wider remit and will be looking at all aspects of the Essex economy, which we know is diverse, and then assess the barriers and opportunities.

“Over the coming months and years the commissions will be working closely together, their work will support each other, and this is a really unique opportunity for us to get real insight into our economy that will help us guide policy and look at where funding needs to be made in the future.”