Chamber President's Message - November 2017
With the clocks going back one hour and the winter nights closing in, there is much to look forward to as we approach December and what is hopefully a very busy time for our local retail and hospitality businesses. However, from a personal perspective, I always look forward to one particular event at this time of year which is the Chamber of Commerce annual business breakfast with the Chief Executive and the leader of St Albans and District Council.
I have personally hosted the last two annual breakfasts and attended the previous five and on each occasion have welcomed what is always an open forum at which no subject is off limits and frank and transparent answers are provided, albeit that the answers given have not always proved wholly popular with those in attendance.
This year sees a double change in personnel with Amanda Foley recently appointed to the role of Chief Executive of the Council taking over from James Blake and Councillor Alec Campbell as Leader of the Council having taken on the role from Julian Daly. Indeed, I would like to take this opportunity to thank both James and Julian for their participation in previous events and their combined determination to listen to and take on board the views of local business leaders. Equally we look forward to engaging with Alec and Amanda over the forthcoming years to ensure that we continue to work in partnership to proactively drive forward planned growth in our local economy.
Around 100 of our local business leaders will be in attendance in order to receive a short presentation from Alec and Amanda followed by a question and answer session with an opportunity to speak on a one to one basis with council representatives thereafter on key issues impacting on local businesses.
In a world where the political landscape has become so complex and highly charged with key world issues at one extreme played out across traditional and social media platforms and at the other extreme conducted behind closed doors under a veil of secrecy, it is a matter for celebration that local residence, community groups and businesses can engage with our locally elected Councillors and the officials of the Council in such an open and transparent way. It is something which we should truly value and certainly never take for granted. Indeed, one look at www.stalbans.gov.uk provides a wealth of information in respect of who is responsible for delivering what with several ways of making contact. I know from previous sessions we have held with the Council that whilst some issues raised fall outside of their jurisdiction, they are always happy to receive constructive feedback and will seek to act on it or point people in the right direction where possible.
I know our members are very much looking forward to our upcoming event and if you wish to attend then do please feel free to go to our events booking page. You do not need to be a member of the chamber to book although we would love you to join.