Friday, 17 June 2011

New Business Champion appointed by Council

Businesses in the borough will receive even more support, now the Council’s new Business and Retail Champion has taken up her post.
Susan Shaw, previously a specialist in business growth and development, joined the Council’s economic development team on Monday. Her appointment fulfils a commitment made by the Cabinet in October to recruit a champion to be an advocate for all businesses in the borough.
Susan will be heavily involved in the Council’s inward investment programme, following its successful launch last year. An important part of her work will be identifying potential development opportunities and building links between businesses and land or premises owners. She also works towards building a pro-business approach across the Council’s activities.
Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Community, Business and Culture, said:
“Bringing Susan on board will strengthen our already robust links with business in this borough. It is the private sector that will drive growth as we lift ourselves out of the recession, and it is the Council’s duty to make that as easy for businesses as possible. That’s why the Cabinet recognised the importance of recruiting someone with the right skills to do this.
“Susan will take responsibility for a number of projects, including the Town Centres Opportunities Fund and co-ordinating the borough wide business and retail alliance we have already set up. She will be the voice for business and make sure that our All in One plans for town and village centres include their views and business perspectives on our plans for revitalising town and village centres as a result of the information we have gained from the All in One programme.”
Susan Shaw said: “My task will be to make sure business, industry and the Council understand each other and that we work closer together for the benefit of everyone in the borough.
“Richmond upon Thames has a very lively business scene and the borough has coped relatively well with the recession – there is more that can be done to help our firms and shops return to full strength after the downturn, but we are starting from a good standing point.”
Susan will be a conduit for business and investors seeking to set up or relocate to the borough to create new jobs, as well as helping to build the right balance of businesses in town and village centres.
She will co-ordinate the Council’s Town Centres Opportunities Fund and work with groups representing businesses to build capacity in retail areas, as well as seeing if there are any areas that would benefit from a business or traders’ association.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

GLA Member Tony Arbour calls on Mayor to include Whitton in London wide regeneration fund

 On 18th May 2011, Cllr Tony Arbour AM, South West London’s Assembly Member, called on the Mayor to include Whitton in the outer London regeneration fund.

[Transcript of Mayor's Question Time -

Tony Arbour (AM): What progress has been made in setting up the fund?  Which outer London regeneration schemes are being considered for funding?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  The outer London fund is going to be up and running fairly shortly.  I do not want to give the game away now by saying which particular schemes may attract funding, but clearly there are some wonderful things being done, urban realm schemes, all sorts of ways of improving outer London town centres and high streets and they will all be looked at very  closely.  You will have the first round of projects being announced this summer.

Tony Arbour (AM):  “It is very important to my constituency that we have some idea of how these things are going to be distributed because they are clearly going to be a catalyst for regeneration and we want to be making our plans now.  You will be interested to know in the light of your discussion on the history of Middlesex that my constituency contains the county town of Middlesex, Brentford, which is in sore need of this money, as also is Kingston-upon-Thames, which of course is the old county town of Surrey and indeed the capital town of Wessex where seven kings were crowned. 
Indeed, I recall you paying homage at the Coronation Stone there, which is more than your predecessor ever did.  Both of those places would very much like a piece of the action, as indeed would Twickenham and Whitton in the other part of my constituency.  I know it is one of these ghastly things that happen where constituency members like to say that their part of London is more deserving than in other parts but in this case, given our illustrious history, I think you will agree that we really are in need of this money.”

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  “I am sure that the people of Brentford, Twickenham, Kingston and all the other places you mentioned will be deeply grateful for your intercession on this matter and I am sure you will be helping to steer some outer London fund money in their direction”

Outer London Regeneration Fund

The Outer London Regeneration Fund is a £50m fund announced by the Mayor to boost regeneration in outer London. London Mayor Boris Johnson fought, and was successful, in retaining some of the funds lost when the London Development Agency was abolished and is directing them towards regeneration projects in outer London boroughs.