Chamber's Annual Dinner Serves up Carr, Cash and Corn Flakes
Over 650 business leaders attended Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner, which took place last night at The Point at Emirates Old Trafford.
Guest speakers on the night included the Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP, who reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to “stick to the path we are on” while focusing spending on high value infrastructure projects.
He set out how the Government will be taking a “zero based approach” to capital spending at the next spending round and how for key areas of capital expenditure – like infrastructure – “we intend to make commitments right through to the end of the decade.” He also said that “less money doesn’t have to mean worse services. If we make sure that our money is spent efficiently and fairly, then we can make sure we achieve the best possible value for the public.”
On Europe he argued “how important EU membership is for British business”, saying that while the EU “isn’t perfect” and “needs reform”, “Britain has never been in a better position to lead these changes.”
The Chamber’s President, Phil Cusack, who is also Regional Director of AECOM, talked about the need for the Chamber to build on its traditional strengths by broadening its appeal and relevance to an ever-widening number of diverse sectors and business groups. Phil also touched on the role Chambers of Commerce can play in bringing the UK out of the economic downturn, but said that they needed to collaborate with national and local government agencies to make economic change happen.
Finally, Phil called on government to re-appraise the postponement of business rates valuations. He said: “Business rates are a massive burden for many small businesses in the current economic climate and the government intended to revalue this year, but have now postponed for two years. Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce will be working closely with British Chambers of Commerce to encourage government to re-examine the position urgently.”
Jonathan Myers, MD of Kellogg’s UK, also addressed guests at the Annual Dinner, and spoke about the long and proud tradition of philanthropy and social responsibility associated with Manchester businesses. Kellogg’s, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary at its site on Trafford Park, has set up more than one thousand breakfast clubs in schools over the last decade and pledged to donate 15 million free portions of cereal and snacks over the next three years.
Jonathan said: “We are all proud businesses with an interest in the success of the city and the region, and as business leaders, we should all ask ourselves what we can do, whether in time or money, to continue the great Manchester tradition of helping others, so we can all help to assure the future of this great city, our home.”
Commenting on the evening, Clive Memmott, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, who opened the evening and hosted the event, said: “Once again, we have been delighted to welcome a wonderful cross section of the business community across Greater Manchester and leaders from the private, public and third sectors to our Annual Dinner. Not only does this event provide a platform for businesses to hear directly from senior politicians and business leaders, but we also bring them to together because the future success of Greater Manchester will be defined by how effectively we work together. We do this well already but we must be absolutely determined to do this better and more efficiently.”
Comedian Jimmy Carr, dubbed Channel 4’s Face of Comedy, provided the after-dinner entertainment on the night.
Further information about Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and all forthcoming events can be found at www.gmchamber.co.uk