Tories' blueprint for kick-starting East Devon economy

  Posted: 02.07.20 at 15:08 by Philip Evans

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Conservative councillors have released a major strategic set of proposals to rebuild jobs and the local economy in East Devon and are calling on EDDC to set up a new economic risilience committee.

With the immediate threat of coronavirus receding and the full impact of it on the local economy and people becomes apparent, they are calling on all members of East Devon District Council to embrace and adopt the strategies in the report.

In a press release issued today, the key strands of the proposals are restart, revitalise and regrow.

Restart businesses with maximum speed and safety, giving special attention to high priority employment sectors including:

• Agriculture, Fishing and Food & Drink
• High technology & Advanced Engineering
• Professional Services
• Construction, marine, aviation recovery
• Leisure, Hospitality and Tourism

Revitalise as priorities post-Brexit:

• Education, apprenticeships and retraining for young in workforce and 50+
• Improve Road, Rail and High Speed Internet infrastructure
• A particular focus on high wage jobs within the High Technology sector -
1) Provide Human Resources advice on restarting, restructuring retraining and appropriate social and workplace distancing;
2) Priority for manufacturing and high technology business premises;
3) Provide business advice for restructuring, growth and investment
4) Provide business and financial packaging advice for start-ups and small businesses.

Regrow:

Priority Sectors and Principles -

* Sustain bedrock business sectors, save what we can;
* Grow high technology productivity in all sectors;
* Back growth and export;
* Retrain or re-skill as needed for getting people back into employment;
* Back innovation which will help us accelerate our economy into the future;
* Regenerate business rate and car park income for our local authorities.

Outlining the Conservative Group’s commitment to jobs and businesses, in response to the pandemic, Councillor Andrew Moulding, Leader of the Group, said: “Supporting the East Devon economy by protecting jobs and restarting businesses after lockdown must be the number one priority for East Devon District Council.

“We are already lobbying our East Devon MPs to support these strategies and call on council members, staff, partners, business and the public to work on our recovery plan and change proposals for economic recovery, and a better future for all of us."

Now out of power after 45 years running East Devon, the Tories are calling on on EDDC to form a new Economic Resilience Committee to focus on integrating key issues, bringing together economic development, planning, infrastructure, housing, transport, environment, our public estate, public health, licensing, fees and taxation and business support in delivering positive outcomes.

Councillor Moulding added: “It is vital that appropriate resources are focussed on ensuring immediate and long-lasting jobs recovery and economic growth is re-established in East Devon as soon as possible and doing nothing is simply not an option.

“There will be no government money coming down the line to local authorities unless there are firm strategies in place to ensure tax payer’s money is used to best effect.

“Delivery working groups should include local representatives of business organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses Confederation of British Industry, The Institute of Directors, and The National Farmers Union, Taste of the West and Chambers of Trade and commerce.

"Democratic representation at EDDC using Overview and Scrutiny committees would also play a role in considering the council’s approach to recovery, as plans develop and are implemented”.

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