The East of England’s Potential Response to ‘The Great Recovery’
The East of England All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) met virtually on the 7th May 2020 to discuss the East of England’s potential contribution to ‘the great recovery’ from Covid-19.
Cllr Linda Haysey, Chair of the East of England Infrastructure and Growth Panel, attended as a guest speaker on behalf of the East of England Local Government Association.
Cllr Haysey informed the APPG of the great work that local authorities had achieved so far during this crisis such as distributing food parcels, keeping up the delivery of PPE where it is available and most importantly keeping up local government services such as refuse collection that residents pay Council Tax for and expect to see.
The discussion centred around the contribution businesses, small and large, will be able to make to the national recovery. The Group also covered the specific intervention and support that will be needed from national Government. A letter to Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury was sent from the APPG as a result of the meetings discussion.
Cllr Haysey stated that the LGA have found a number of SMEs are incredibly entrepreneurial but may not have the depth of resilience to get through something like this and will therefore need help to develop a new skill set.
In the APPGs letter to Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, the point from Cllr Haysey is reiterated that ‘many businesses in the region are extremely entrepreneurial and innovative but do not always have, or are able to recruit, those with the right skills. Delivering with FE the skilled workforce needed post Coronavirus is a critical task.’
Additionally, Cllr Haysey said this period has been a learning curve on how Councils connect and communicate with people, and it has highlighted how important digital infrastructure is. She stated that in the East of England the digital infrastructure needs to be a basic utility and one that needs significant improvement. This notion is also restated in the letter that ‘The Coronavirus emergency has highlighted the extreme importance and indeed high dependency of business on digital infrastructure in the East of England and this should be a priority for the Government moving forward.’
The letter to Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP highlighted a total of 12 “consensus” points that were made at the APPG meeting. To read the letter please follow this link https://eastofenglandappg.org.uk/appg-hosts-parliamentary-reception-engine-nations-prosperity/
As the meeting drew to a close Cllr Linda Haysey, said “we will get through this, though things will be different we will all work together; collaboration and mutual respect are key to recovery.”
The meeting minutes can be found here.