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Suffolk Chamber meets Rachel Reeves in “positive face-to-face meeting”

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce brought together businesses from most of the main growth sectors in the county who used it as an opportunity to explain their current trading conditions and highlight some of their key lobbying asks.

Questions focussed on infrastructure (including the release of funds for the Ely and Haughley rail junctions), how to accelerate the rollout of 5G in Suffolk’s rural areas and the need for a sub-region solution to Orwell Bridge closures), skills (especially concerns about the March 2025 funding cliff-edge for the successful Chamber-run Local Skills Improvement Plan) and concerns about both business rates and the administration of R&D Tax Relief on SMEs.

Ms Reeves reiterated that growing the economy is the number one priority for the Labour Party, and that she was looking for a partnership approach with business, to unlock the country’s growth potential.

Paul Simon, Suffolk Chamber’s head of public affairs, said: “This was a positive face-to-face meeting and a golden opportunity to explain how and why Suffolk can make even more of a sustained contribution to national prosperity if only we are given the tools to do the job.

“The businesses present were mightily impressive in advocating for better infrastructure, an improved local skills pipeline and a smarter and fairer corporate taxation system. But above all, with Suffolk businesses increasingly holding back on longer-term capital and employment investment plans, we seek a clearer framework for achieving the right relationship between government and commerce.”

Jack Abbott, the Labour Party’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, also attended the private meeting. He added: “I was delighted to welcome Rachel Reeves, shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, to Ipswich.

“I wanted to showcase the depth and breadth of talent we have here, so Rachel and I met with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and a range of businesses to discuss some of the key issues on our county’s agenda.

“I know Rachel left Ipswich with a strong sense of the things we need in Ipswich and Suffolk to grow, whether that is investment into our infrastructure, or the changes we require to revive the town centre, such as the reform of business rates.”

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Suffolk Chamber

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