PULLING together will help protect Cheshire in 2009, says the regional minister.
Beverley Hughes has a positive message for families and businesses in the region.
The Minister for the North West said “everything possible” is being done by the Government to help families and businesses, protect jobs and homes, support companies and stimulate the economy.
She says that, by pulling together nationally and locally, the worst effects of the downturn can be avoided or mitigated.
The minister believes the measures set out in the Pre-Budget Report and by legislation in the Queen’s Speech “offers real help now and in the future” so that the region “can emerge stronger” from the downturn.
She said: “It's my job to do everything in my power to assist our region, be a voice for the region in Whitehall and make sure that central government knows what the public, the business community and third sector organisations in the North West need to get by.
“The economic downturn is having an impact on the lives of many people in Cheshire and we must all pull together to make sure that our people and our region are best placed to deal with its consequences and emerge stronger in the long term.
“I’ve set up the commission to bring together public sector agencies, the third sector and regional business representatives to consider how regional partners can work together most effectively to respond to current economic changes and identify opportunities going forward.
“The most recent meeting was extremely constructive and we agreed some key actions. I hope to be able to make further announcements about these measures early in the New Year.”
One of the big challenges Cheshire faces in 2009 is the setting up of two new unitary authorities – West Cheshire and Chester and East Cheshire.
The two shadow authorities are working closely together to co-ordinate and promote economic development policy and actions at regional and sub- regional level.
An action plan for the county envisages it consolidating its position as a top-five performing sub-region “where everyone can access opportunity in work and will enjoy a high quality of life”.
‘Growth Point’ status has been granted to Vale Royal and Chester and Ellesmere Port which will deliver a substantial number of new homes to help first-time buyers on to the property ladder and grow the economy by creating new jobs and encouraging business development.