“So what about Colchester , what's the vision, what's the plan , based on my most recent experiences with the LEP and community budget programme with Essex County Council , I would encourage the borough council increase its engagement with business.
Tonight is a good start. Engagement just as in our relationships in our personal life, means a long term commitment, Colchester businesses are successful, they are talented Individuals who will willingly volunteer their energy and time to support you in local Government, so invite them in, they are hungry for an opportunity to influence public services and decisions in a positive way to support growth, feed them and they will stay at the table, starve them and they will find another table to feed at...
It’s like the LEP, a partnership of council and business interests across the whole town. The retail town Centre needs an infrastructure across the town to allow foot fall in and out, the business parks and out of town retail parks need the town Centre to be attractive and successful in order to attract talented staff to work here and live here, to play and educate their children in Colchester, it’s a whole Town Management that's needed with a Colchester Town Vision not just town Centre management. Be inspirational, differentiate your town plan and its management, and aim high, don't maintain the status quo.... But create a real partnership with Business.
One final thought for Colchester, After the Romans gave Colchester an Identity and Boudicca tried and failed to redefine it, I think Colchester never regained its true potential or position as the capital centre of trading in the South East. We are currently 27th or 28th in the UK ranking table, and some are pleased we have not slipped down the table and maintained our position, I believe it is not representative of where we could and should be as a town.
With the renewed confidence and optimism that exists in the Economy now, an opportunity exists for Colchester to regain that prominent position, my appeal to all of you, is don’t miss this opportunity, work together, public and private partnerships, aim high, challenge convention , be inspirational in your plans and don’t accept the status quo”.
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