Peer’s economic report is welcomed by county

Jacquie Shaw of the NMRN

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A CALL by Tory peer Michael Heseltine to give chambers of commerce statutory powers has been welcomed in Hampshire.

In an independent report commissioned by Downing Street, he says chambers could benefit from enhanced legal status to support their role co-ordinating business support and engagement.

In his report, No Stone Unturned, he also said Local Enterprise Partnerships are key to stimulating growth but should have far more support from government and more strategic clout.

Maureen Frost, Hampshire Chamber’s deputy chief executive, said: ‘The report recognises the very valuable role chambers play in representing and supporting business, including our input to dialogue with government and our involvement with the LEPs.

‘In Hampshire we are already actively in partnership with other trade associations through the Hampshire Business Alliance which is now being recognised locally as a key strategic body.

‘If the government accepts Lord Heseltine’s recommendation it will help to cement the work we will be doing going forward.’