CEO Update – December 2017

Andrew Dakers, CEO, West London Business provides an update on our work through the Autumn of 2017. 

As we come towards the end of an active Autumn there is much to share. Last week, we unveiled the shortlist for the West London Business Awards 2018; to be held at Wembley Stadium on 1 February hosted by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson. Congratulations to all those shortlisted and I hope many of you (not just finalists!) will join us for what always proves to be one of most enjoyable nights of the year celebrating business excellence in West London.

Education and skills
Through the Autumn our engagement in public policy has continued at a pace.  WLB responded to the Heathrow Skills Taskforce survey and provided input to the development of the ‘West London Skills, Employment and Productivity Strategy 2018-23’.   These responses drew on the draft findings of our West London Education & Skills commission, published in March.   

Transport and infrastructure
We have supported WLA‘s push for the West London Orbital overground extension from Hounslow to Old Oak to Cricklewood in our response to the Mayor’s draft Transport Strategy for London.  We were delighted to see this proposal acknowledged in the draft London Plan published this week.  We also responded to TfL’s West London consultations on the Cycle Superhighway 9 from Kensington Olympia to Brentford town centre, the proposed Great West Road cycle lane improvements and new stations around Old Oak.   Your business can help one of our partners make better use of road space right now by backing Brunel University London’s crowdfunding campaign for a new Santander cycle scheme at their Uxbridge campus.

Export growth 
As we continue our work with Hounslow Chamber to develop the West London Export Club we have entering into MOU’s with Manchester Chamber of Commerce Jamaica (MCOC) and the IOD India.   A critical next step in the project will be the development of a network of associate advisors in 2018 – listen out for more news! 

Food banks
As we approach Christmas our recent work with London Borough of Brent’s Scrutiny team, looking at what more can be done to support Food Banks, remains front of mind.   Far too many West London families will be struggling for food this Christmas.  The report has been presented to Brent Council’s ‘Resources & Public Realm Scrutiny’ committee and next goes to the Council’s Cabinet for review.   You will see in the task group report‘s recommendations 17-19 where WLB has committed to more partnership working in 2018 to help address some of the infrastructure and supply gaps. 

Finally – whether you work in the public, private or non-profit sector – can I encourage you to respond to our Members’ & Supporters’ survey.   Your feedback is critical as the WLB board continues to refine our business plan.  E-mail once you have completed the survey and you will be entered in a prize draw for a bottle of bubbly!