ECONOMY AND REGENERATION
ECONOMY task force chairman Asif Hamid said he hoped the council would listen to their proposals and he hoped “it has not been a wasted process for the business community”.
The economy task force was asked what should be the priorities in Wirral for the economy and regeneration and what should the council do less of, or even stop doing all together ... or do differently.
It was also asked to consider how local people, including voluntary and community groups, businesses and other public bodies can help the council to deliver services.
The task force focused on Wirral’s low levels of spending on economic development. In 2008/09 Wirral spent £9.89 per head of population on economic development compared to £33.94 for comparable authorities.
The group of local businessmen and women also focused on unemployment and pressed the council to make this a key factor in decisions on investment and developments, and said the authority should stop funding projects which do not deliver “tangible outputs” in jobs and employment.
Mr Hamid, whose Birkenhead-based business the Contact Company has expanded rapidly over the last four years, said the borough had a “real need” for quality business premises and this remained an issue.
The council’s interim director of corporate services, Kevin Adderley told the group: “We can’t get developers to build unless there are end-users, and end-users will not come unless we have the premises.”
Mr Hamid said this required a “larger strategy” and the task force called for the council to take advantage of current changes in regional development under the new Government.
The task force recommendations were largely backed by businesses which responded to the consultation document.
Ending the meeting Mr Hamid said he now hoped the council would listen to what local businesses had told it and their suggestions would be “taken to the next level and results achieved”.