It does seem that the New Year has rushed toward us, but given the size and speed of events in 2016, it’s perhaps not surprising that it’s flown by.
National and international developments proved to be seismic, and their full impact on remains to be seen.
Whatever their effects are, they will not change the requirement for us to maintain pressure on those in power to deliver the things we need most. I’ve raised them before – improvements to the A10 and A47 and a half hourly rail service between Lynn and King’s Cross are essential. Our broadband connection remains a vital issue.
Any new year is particularly important to our young people as they progress through education towards the world of work. Bridging the gap between business and education will remain as high on our agenda this coming year as it did in 2016.
And perhaps there’s another gap we need to bridge. The view, of some people, that the business community should leave the decision-making related to running West Norfolk purely to elected members is, I think, misguided. West Norfolk’s future prosperity relies on its commerce. Would it not therefore make sense for leaders of that commerce to be recognized as influential in policy making and involved more?
West Norfolk will not grow and thrive unless all parties recognize the contribution each community brings. Our region is a great place to live, work – and play. 2017 should be a time when we all pull together to celebrate that, and deliver our potential.
Certainly our Chamber MPs event in February will be an opportunity to work with our local Norfolk MPs and remind them of the views of the business community. So, I’m calling on all business leaders to be upstanding, bridge the gaps and build a brighter and better future for West Norfolk.
I wish you all a prosperous 2017.