LAST week I was absolutely delighted to attend, along with 250 business leaders in Wirral, the launch of the newly- revamped Wirral Chamber of Commerce.
The new chamber is the result of a merger between Wirral Business Partnership and the Wirral Chamber, and I was there to speak as the new Honorary President, and also as the Minister for Employment.
It was a timely start for the Wirral Chamber, launching on the same day that Grant Thornton delivered its business optimism report, especially as it found business confidence was at an all-time high after six years of being in the doldrums. The latest employment figures also had UK employment at a record high.
The chamber will act as a key provider of business support aiming to help local businesses grow. It will be chaired by Asif Hamid, founder of the Contact Company, with the excellent Paula Basnett as chief executive.
Despite this positive news for Wirral businesses, I was saddened to see Labour-controlled Merseytravel increase Mersey Tunnel tolls by 10p per crossing for cars, with bigger increases for other vehicles.
These increases are being forced through simply for Merseytravel to squander more money on other unnecessary pet projects.
Let's not forget the £70million they squandered on their failed tram scheme, or the millions it cost to provide them with their plush and half empty new building at Mann Island.
These constant increases are unjustifiable and unaffordable – particularly at a time when many people are struggling to make ends meet.
It is time Merseytravel listened to the people of Wirral and stopped using motorists as a cash cow to pay for their vanity projects.
Follow me on Twitter: @EstherMcVeyMP
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