The new Green leader of Brighton and Hove City Council today (Tuesday 5 July) called for a summit with the city’s business leaders.
Councillor Bill Randall, who became leader in May, wants to develop a new and low-carbon economic strategy for the city
The main aims of this strategy will be to create jobs by attracting new businesses as well as retaining and growing those already in the city.
Councillor Randall is keen for a strategy to help forge economic recovery and help the city to make the transition to a thriving low-carbon economy.
He believes that this would attract investment and enable businesses to compete in the burgeoning climate change sector.
Councillor Randall hopes to broker a city-wide consensus to support the council’s priorities.
These include making Brighton and Hove the greenest city in Britain through sustainable economic development.
His call follows the State of the City report which found that Brighton and Hove had a strong economy.
The local economy is buoyed by a healthy entrepreneurial spirit and a high number of businesses per person.
More than 85 per cent of Brighton and Hove’s 13,400 small businesses employ ten people or fewer.
The report revealed that significant numbers of private sector jobs are being created and there is also a thriving local and organic food sector.
The economy is also boosted by eight million visitors each year.
A report for the HSBC bank recently described Brighton and Hove as the “capital of the UK’s rebellious alternative economy”.
It also said that Brighton and Hove was one of the seven “super cities” that will lead the country out of the recession.
The success of the city’s creative industries and digital sector has contributed to the city taking this title.
And the role of the two universities has meant a constant supply of well-educated residents.
Councillor Randall said: “We are working on a programme of initiatives to improve the local economy and we want to work with the city’s business leaders to strengthen our city economic strategy.
“Not only is the existing economic strategy out of date but new threats and opportunities have presented themselves.
“This summit will take into account the global recession and the massive public spending cuts we face as we look forward to the economic recovery and to safeguard our long-term success.
“We want to galvanise the city to showcase what we have to offer, working towards development certainty and creating investment confidence.
“We aim to promote the theme of a green and low-carbon city as part of the drive to make the city the UK’s greenest.”
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