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11th October 2023

BCC Reacts To Leader Of The Opposition’s Speech

Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:  

“Labour is right to say that reforming the planning system, speeding up energy grid connections and delivering the infrastructure this country needs to grow are key issues facing business.

“The commitment to invest and grow the UK’s world leading green industries is also welcomed as this sector is vital to the future of our economy.

“Building 1.5 million high-quality homes, creating new towns in the places people want to live, and reclaiming appropriate land to do this will unlock growth across the UK.

“But it is essential that there is good quality land reserved for business too, and that councils are proactively planning for employment. All too often, firms are squeezed out of towns and cities.  Flourishing economies need the right balance of land for jobs and homes.

“Planning has been a totemic issue for a long time and businesses will rightly want to see exactly how Keir Starmer plans to overcome resistance and inertia – and finally put this issue to bed.

“Employers are crying out for more people with technical skills and will be keen to hear more about the proposals for new technical colleges.  Working alongside business led Local Skills Improvement Plans, these must help ensure people are training for in-demand skills and giving employers access to a skilled workforce.

“Ultimately, businesses invest more when there is a credible long-term plan, so it was good to hear Keir Starmer thinking beyond the here and now, and committing to providing the clarity and certainty that firms crave.”

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