An event attended by more than 100 representatives from the East Riding business community at the Treasure House, in Beverley, has been hailed a success.
Hosted by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the event outlined the authority’s financial position, explained procurement law and future changes and also highlighted how the council supports the local economy through investment, spending £311 million per annum with business.
The event included presentations from the leader of the council, Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, Nigel Leighton, director of environment and neighbourhood services, and Alan Menzies, director of planning and economic regeneration.
As well as setting out the national picture, in terms of funding reductions and the pressures these place on the council’s budgets, the council also went through its procurement procedures and the legislation and frameworks in which it operates, future changes to procurement law and also how the council spends with various businesses through the delivery of services and investment in capital projects.
Presentations also focused on how the authority is meeting savings’ targets, through planned under spends, business transformation programmes, and a sustainable plan for going forward, maintaining services identified as priorities by residents, investing to save, such as projects that bring a number of service under one roof, and managing workforce reductions.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The main goal of the event was to address any concerns that the business community may have and also to promote the great opportunities that are available for joint working with the council.
“The majority of the council’s spend, 66 per cent, is with organisations and businesses within Yorkshire, a great achievement in comparison to other local authorities where average local spend is just 30 per cent.
“Against a backdrop of regular doom and gloom reports about the state of the economy, both businesses and residents could be forgiven for thinking the situation is one of despair.
“The council continues to take a robust approach in supporting the local economy and for every £1 spent locally £2.50 is generated for local business.
“Successful funding bids to the Government and Europe, as well as a comprehensive £123 million capital investment programme are helping to safeguard jobs and generate growth.
“The event served as a useful forum to dispel myths, exchange views and provide practical advice and guidance that will benefit local businesses, as well as providing an excellent networking opportunity.”
Lynne Hope from Lynne Hope Communications, said: “It was really refreshing to hear such a transparent overview of how the council is managing itself during these challenging economic times.
“There is a real ‘can do’ attitude and it gives you confidence for the East Riding in the future and the businesses in and around the area.”
Goole-based entrepreneur, Peter Aarosin, who has recently taken over as chairman of the Hull and East Yorkshire Bondholders, was also in attendance at the event and said: “The evening went very well and I think it was useful for the business representatives present. It is always a pleasure to interact with a progressive council.”
Local businessman, Malcolm Scott, highlighted the need for businesses and the council to work together.
He said: “The event was really useful, with simply projected presentations about the opportunities and constraints on the local authority.
“The key thing for businesses to ensure continued engagement with the council so that every opportunity for trade can be taken and as much of the procurement cake is eaten here in Yorkshire.”
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