New mayors must champion sustainable and inclusive recovery, says CBI
26 Feb 2021 10:26 AM
Incoming mayors across England must show vision and ambition to turbocharge their regions’ Covid recovery and lay the foundations for sustainable, long-term prosperity, according to the CBI.
The nation’s leading business group yesterday launched seven Revival Plans, blueprints for the future which urges the winner of May 6’s mayoral ballots to champion their areas unique strengths.
Creating a welcoming business environment is a priority. This includes overcoming skills shortages and pockets of low productivity, while attracting inward investment and driving improvement in physical infrastructure and digital connectivity to address inequalities in education and income.
Such measures can be transformational as the nation looks to recover from the economic scarring of the pandemic, and act as an international leader in the race to net zero.
Revival plans have been published ahead of mayoral elections in West Yorkshire, Tees Valley, West of England, Liverpool City Region, West Midlands, Cambridge and Peterborough, and Greater Manchester.
Addressing the launch of the Greater Manchester Revival plan, CBI North West Director Damian Waters yesterday said:
“To address the short-term challenges of Covid-19, and turn Greater Manchester into a healthier, more productive, and thriving place, the newly-elected metro mayor must develop and champion a strong economic vision.
“It should consider how to turbo-charge recovery planning, focusing on key projects and outcomes. This economic vision must enable businesses to succeed, and recognise that a strong economy which delivers shared growth and good jobs can raise living standards and wages for all.
“To be a success, this requires a renewed partnership, which builds on the collaboration we have seen throughout the pandemic. The metro mayor should work collaboratively with businesses, neighboring authorities, unions and the third sector, as well as all parts of government to revive the economy and thrive in the future.
“Business is ready to step up and support in this endeavor, working closely with the metro mayor to develop this economic vision, and to embed it.”
The CBI’s manifestoes identify three key principles and a series of recommendations which outline how businesses and the newly-elected mayors can work in tandem to drive recovery.
1) Champion regional dynamism and global competitiveness to raise living standards.
- Establish a strong economic vision, forged on a pro-business bedrock, which will enable businesses of all sizes to thrive.
- Promote regions on a global stage to attract inward investment from public and private sectors to expand export business opportunities.
- Kickstart R&D spending to drive an agenda of innovation, supported by increased collaboration between business, academia and government.
2) Transform digital and physical infrastructure on the race to net zero.
- Support carbon reduction ambitions by showcasing the positives of a greener and more sustainable future to the business community.
- Lead an environmental agenda which future proofs the region by placing net zero at the heart of a long-term economic vision.
- Drive meaningful improvement and green investment in jobs, housing, transport and digitisation across the region.
3) Stimulate job creation and secure an inclusive future workforce.
- Adopt a strategic vision to align skills training with current and future needs of business.
- Champion diversity and inclusion to boost social mobility and ensure opportunity for younger generations and minority groups.
- Deliver projects that result in the creation of good jobs at pace, enabling business to attract and retain good talent.
Together, the CBI believes these actions can address inequalities and equip England’s regions with the infrastructure, talent and investment needed to thrive through post-pandemic recovery and beyond.