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Mayor begins search for new Business Advisory Panel

The Mayor of Greater Manchester is asking the city-region’s business people to put themselves forward and apply to join his Business Advisory Panel. 

Andy Burnham has appealed to people from businesses big and small from across Greater Manchester to apply to become part of a new panel which will look to help spark new thinking to tackle the issues faced by business in Greater Manchester.   

The Business Advisory Panel will be an independent, informal and voluntary body with members joining on a personal basis, rather than as representatives of their own companies or organisations.  The panel will seek to represent the full breadth of opinion, from businesses big and small, businesspeople young and old, men and women.  The panel will also have business representatives from across Greater Manchester and all communities.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said: “Greater Manchester is open for business.  We’re a thriving investment hub, a digital and creative powerhouse and a manufacturing innovator.  But many of our businesses still face challenges as they try to grow and succeed here.  Only by working together with business people, can we tackle these issues.

“I’m appealing to all business people in Greater Manchester, from sole traders to Corporation CEO’s, to join me.  I want my Business Advisory Panel to reflect the breadth and diversity of businesses and business people we have here.  Together, I believe we can make Greater Manchester the best place to live, work and invest.”

The Mayor wants the Business Advisory Panel to advise him on actions they feel Greater Manchester should be taking around key issues affecting business.  The Panel will also provide another opportunity for dialogue between the Mayor and local businesses, enhancing the partnerships Greater Manchester has pioneered with the private sector. 

Membership will change over time to ensure that as many business voices as possible can be heard.   Members will be asked to join for an initial period of 12 months, but following this the membership will begin to revolve on a six monthly basis.  Founding members of the Business Advisory panel will be announced before the end of the year.

The Mayor is looking for business people who can not only draw on their own personal experience in the private sector, but also look beyond it to consider what actions and polices can make Greater Manchester as a whole the best place to live, work and invest. Their advice will complement the views of Greater Manchester’s business representative organisations, with whom the Mayor also meets regularly.

The Business Advisory Panel will also complement Greater Manchester’s well established Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).  Both groups will work together help drive Greater Manchester’s ambitions.   Greater Manchester’s LEP is the formal body established by the Government to give businesses, Universities and others a decision-making role in the city region’s economic strategy and investment. 

To support the Mayor and the LEP, the Business Advisory Panel will be free to look across all Greater Manchester policy areas, initiate new ideas and provide a challenge function.  The Panel will become a sounding board for the Mayor on emerging issues faced by businesses and help to shape his thinking on policies across a range of areas that affect business.  One of its first tasks will be to advise on how initiatives like the Greater Manchester Employer Charter can get the widest possible take-up amongst the business community.

Sir Richard Leese, Deputy Mayor for Business and Economy and LEP member, Cllr Kieran Quinn, the GMCA portfolio Lead for Finance and Investment and Lou Cordwell, LEP SME Champion, will sit on the Business Advisory Panel to provide coordination across both bodies. 

Article Published: 14/12/2018 09:33 AM