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Suffolk Chamber General Election hustings: where business holds politics to account

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has announced its programme of online engagements for the General Election aimed at bringing local businesses and Parliamentary candidates together to discuss the key issues impacting on future sustainable business growth in the county.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has arranged for three online hustings in constituencies in the centre, east and west of Suffolk:

18th June: West Suffolk

19th June: Waveney Valley

24th June: Lowestoft

25th June: Ipswich

All four will be evening events and open exclusively to Suffolk Chamber members.

Reserve your place at one of the hustings now

Suffolk Chamber, the University of Suffolk, Suffolk New College and Ipswich Central had originally hoped to host a physical hustings for the Ipswich candidates, but that has been postponed due to candidate availability. However, talks are underway to stage an online version instead.

John Dugmore, Suffolk Chamber’s chief executive, explained: “in an ideal world, we would like to have hosted one event in each of the eight constituencies in the county, but the compacted campaign period, combined with the busy diaries of candidates, was always likely to make that a challenge.
“However, these three online hustings offer the perfect opportunity for all interested Suffolk Chamber members, regardless of their location, to quiz the candidates as to their party’s policies for business.

“We have declared that this particular General Election is a pivotal one for a pivotal county and it is essential that the voice of business is directly heard by these and other candidates.”

Paul Simon, head of public affairs at Suffolk Chamber, added: “Our campaigning and advocacy work on behalf of the county’s business is well known and ongoing. These hustings offer an additional forum for business to hold politics to account.”

Based on evidence of real business experiences collected through investigations over the last four years and more by the Chamber’s respected policy groups, Suffolk Chamber’s 15-point programme for the General Election includes key asks such as:

  • Priority sign-off by The Treasury for Ely/Haughley rail junction improvements
  • Upgrade of all A14 pinch points in Suffolk (including the Orwell Bridge and J55 Copdock Interchange) in 2025-30
  • Replacement of business rates by a sales or turnover tax
  • R&D Tax Credits Scheme to be retained and bureaucracy reduced
  • Equal per capita national funding across all key departments for Suffolk (eg Adult Education, SEND, Police etc.)
  • Employers to remain at the centre of skills pipeline planning after the end of the Norfolk & Suffolk LSIP
  • Top-slicing of Integrated Care System budgets directly to business representative organisations to promote positive workplace health outcomes

Suffolk Chamber is surveying all Parliamentary candidates to find out the extent to which they are in agreement with this 15-point programme. The research results will be shared with its members initially and then the whole of the county’s business community to help them make informed electoral decisions.

General Election

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is committed to advocating for the needs and interests of the Suffolk business community. This page will aim to provide you with an overview of the actions from the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and the expectations we have of potential representatives.

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Suffolk Chamber

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