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Black Country Chamber Awards: Getting the Industrial Heart of the UK to Beat Faster

AwardsThe Black Country Chamber of Commerce holds its Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday 20 November at Wolverhampton Racecourse to celebrate the best of Black Country businesses.

This year the guest speaker is Colin Lambert, the former Leader of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council. Colin took Rochdale LEA from being named as fourth worst LEA in the country to the most improved authority in England.

“The selection of our guest speaker is topical,” said Ninder Johal, President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce. “On Friday, Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said that ‘a mayor with influence over Birmingham and the Black Country could be elected under major plans by Labour to devolve power to regions.’ Labour has pledged to distribute £30 billion to combined authorities alongside powers including keeping growth in business rate revenues and greater freedom over building housing, skills and infrastructure.

“This week, George Osborne has announced changes in the way that the Greater Manchester councils are being funded offering them greater control over skills, transport and housing provided they have an elected mayor. It is clear that all the main parties see combined authorities as the key to devolved powers and local control.

“Colin will be able to share his experiences of remodelling public services and a combined authority approach in Greater Manchester and the importance of the contribution of business to those outcomes. Businesses in the Black Country will want to learn from Colin’s experience – many of our local businesses have been advocating for a combined authority for many years and now might be just the right time to push for it.

“I am sure that Colin will give us his perceptions of the Black Country/Greater Birmingham and the opportunities and issues we can expect to encounter. We know that our leaders across the four authorities are already working together and I am sure Colin’s insights will enable the business community to more effectively engage with this process.

“I urge businesses to attend our Awards Dinner: not only will it provide an opportunity to celebrate the ‘best of the Black Country,’ it will give us all a first-hand opportunity to contribute to the future debate on devolved powers to the area. Having our hands on the tiller can only lead to a resurgence of the Industrial Heart of the UK.”

To book your place at the Awards Dinner, please call the Chamber on 0845 002 1234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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