Guest post: time to deliver

Cornwall Chamber CEO Kim Conchie gives his assessment of the tasks facing Britain's new PM.


Over the last few months, it has often been difficult to keep up with unravelling political events. From a business perspective, the chaos of the situation has been both unnerving and damaging.

The new Prime Minster has to restore other nations’ faith in the stability of Britain and rebuild its tarnished reputation.

I very much hope Rishi is the man for the job; he’s been a successful business person so he should have a good understanding of what businesses need.

He has placed economic stability and confidence at the heart of this Government’s agenda, so he’s off on the right foot.

The speed with which he created and implemented the Furlough scheme, Bounce Back loans and CBILs is encouraging and shows a good understanding of the speed at which the private sector needs support when things go wrong – as they have done now.

I personally believe he is a kind person, and that plays to the sort of business agenda of the 21st century that I want to be uppermost. He certainly doesn’t need the money, so we know he’s coming at it from an honourable position at least.

In his speech yesterday (Oct 26), he mentioned levelling up and building an economy where businesses invest, innovate, and create jobs. All good buzz words – let’s hope he delivers.

We need some immediate action to secure trade deals with post-Brexit partners and get the country’s reputation as the world’s leading and longest-standing trading nation, back on an upward trajectory.

We also need a proper growth plan that plays to our strengths and brings the country’s productivity levels up closer to that of our competitors around the world. He has just cancelled fracking in England which is a positive step and gives a clear message – there aren’t many in Cornwall who want growth driven by fracking and fossil fuels

We need a total revamp of the education system so that school leavers have good teamwork, analysis, problem solving, urgency, and communications skills. Those skills will be the foundations on which employers can then build – train individuals who have the ability to learn, in the technical skills needed for the specific role.

It’s been a rocky few months, but I think we just need to sit tight now and hope for some immediate action with effective results. All we can do is focus on what we know and what is in our control; energy prices are stable until the spring for example – forget about it now, tick it off your list and concentrate on what’s important.

Make sure everyone you speak to knows you aren’t letting political events affect your production or the quality of your products. Exporters in particular should be upping communication with their overseas clients, reassuring them that Britain’s mess has no bearing on their ability to fulfil orders and supply quality, British products.