Putting "Brentwood First"


At the forthcoming Policy, Performance and Resources Board on Tuesday 18 January 2011, Brentwood’s Conservative Councillors will be launching a new initiative to promote the Town Centre, called “Brentwood First”.

With the new coalition government promoting The Big Society, more power is being handed back to local people and businesses, with the recently published Localism Bill setting this into action.  The Brentwood First group will initially comprise members of nine major companies situated in Brentwood including the Chairman of Ford of Britain, the Chief Executive of BNY Mellon Bank and the Head of Property and Development Planning at Marks and Spencer.

Chairman of the Business and Economic Development Panel, Cllr Phil Baker, is delighted with the new Group. ‘Over the past months I have held meetings with all the key businesses based in Brentwood and am delighted that they have agreed to give to the people of Brentwood the benefit of their business acumen,’ he said.

‘We have not asked these businesses for money but instead for that very rare commodity – their FREE business advice.  These very senior businessmen will help us to tap into external funding sources, have pledged to support local businesses and to help to develop employment skills,’ Cllr Baker added.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Mrs Louise McKinlay said, ‘We have been doing a lot of work with local businesses to promote and help Brentwood’s economy.  We now have an opportunity to take this forward and help deliver more for Brentwood.  This is about businesses coming together with the Council and working as one.’

‘The Brentwood Renaissance Group will be responsible for delivering new initiatives to market Brentwood both to prospective new businesses and to the public alike, she added. ‘The group will also be looking at some of the community events such as Lighting Up Brentwood and will play a bigger part in delivering them.’

The Brentwood First group will work with the Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses to mutual benefit, especially to seek how the group’s structure can best meet the needs of local businesses.

The first meeting will be in March, kindly hosted and led by Nick Abbott of BT and will hear a ‘setting the scene’ speech from The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP.  The members will meet three or four times a year but in addition will keep in contact electronically.

‘Once more we are showing that Brentwood Council is being innovative in support of local businesses.  Unlike the Lib Dems who spend all of their efforts putting Brentwood down, we are putting Brentwood First,’ said Cllr Mrs Louise McKinlay.