“We need thriving businesses to create wealth and jobs.” Liberal Democrat policy
What is the challenge?
Wiltshire is part of an increasingly tough, competitive and complex global economy. We already have some world-leading businesses in areas such as manufacturing, IT, agri-technology, creative industries and tourism.
But to promote jobs, we need to help more companies to prosper in Wiltshire. The UK government failure to invest enough in education, skills and innovation has stifled jobs growth. Leading the UK out of the EU, the world’s largest tariff-free single market has reduced income and opportunities.
We have to step in to help repair the damage and support our local businesses.
What will we do?
We will work to attract businesses to Wiltshire and help them grow. We will prioritise training and innovation, helping companies partner and learn from each other. We will demonstrate that green business in a low-carbon economy can create profitable returns.
A Lib Dem council will also lead the county’s economic recovery from COVID-19. We will work with communities, partners and statutory bodies to re-build our economy and protect from further waves of COVID-19.
In Wiltshire, a Liberal Democrat Council will:
- Support local business – help businesses establish and grow in the county and use local suppliers as a council;
- Encourage skills creation – prioritise vocational training and apprenticeships in all sectors of the Wiltshire economy;
- Foster innovation – support the creation of new types of business, including mutuals, social enterprises and community interest companies;
- Promote sustainability – prioritise long-term social, environmental and economic goals over short-term gains;
- Support a green future – encourage the development of green businesses, and businesses that contribute to zero-carbon-emission targets;
- Support an enterprise culture – through providing better infrastructure to support businesses; running programmes to help local people become entrepreneurs; and exploring ways to help local firms understand and use enabling technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things;
- Support local creative industries, including advertising, marketing, architecture, crafts, performing arts, design, film, TV, video, radio, photography and computer publishing;
- Grow a sustainable tourism sector, supporting Visit Britain and its regional partners, using our own libraries and other community hubs to expand and enrich our attractiveness to visitors;
- Create a business forum to work with employers on how local government can help enterprise and job creation, prioritising sustainable and higher skilled employment;
- Work with Chambers of Commerce and others to promote Wiltshire as an attractive location for new and innovative businesses;
- Set out our commitment and support in a Charter for Business to articulate the council’s focus on enterprise and growth and what we expect in return;
- Create a plan to support our market towns, city and rural communities to benefit from what the county offers in terms of a skilled workforce, attractive locations, great transport links and excellent network connectivity;
- Identify the main opportunities for growth and include them in our economic strategy.