A powerful lobby group of MPs could be formed to speak up for Birmingham - two days after The Post demanded the action.
Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry is planning to set up a forum to ensure the city?s voice is heard in Whitehall. The move follows a Post Comment on Thursday, calling for MPs to speak with one voice in representing the best interests of Birmingham and the region. Yesterday the Chamber said it planned to promote a quarterly forum of business organisations and MPs - either in the city or in the new Birmingham W1 office in London.
It highlighted a shopping list of priorities including: n An acceptable plan for New Street Station by April 2006 n Increased investment in West Midlands roads and a fresh approach to financing it n A two-year moratorium on the burden of red tape n A hold on business taxation n Delivery of a business-led vocational agenda.
Jerry Blackett, policy director at the Chamber, said: ?We want our MPs to speak with one voice on the well-documented business issues facing the city. It is time that the city?s MPs came together as a group to lobby for solutions to those problems which affect business and therefore the local economy.?
The Chamber will approach other business support organ-isations as well as those responsible for marketing the city, to arrange an initial meeting with MPs.
Birmingham Forward, the professional services lobby group, yesterday issued a separate call for MPs to cooperate and put the city ahead of party politics.
Meanwhile, business lead-ers across the region and UK gave their reactions to Labour?s third term in power.
Louise Beard, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said avoiding excessive business taxation should top a list of priorities which also includes cutting red tape, addressing business crime, nurturing enterprise and investing in transport.
Sir Digby Jones, director of the Confederation of British Industry, said: ?We have reached a crossroads for Britain?s reputation as a preferred location for multinational companies. If the business tax burden in this country is not kept under control and reduced over the medium term, some of those companies will find a more welcoming environment in which to create wealth and jobs.?
Dr Kevin Hawkins, British Retail Consortium director general, said the Government had pledged to lighten the burden of regulation on retailers, adding ?we now expect it to deliver?.
Meanwhile, the Forum of Private Business called on the Government to do more to support small firms.
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