Business community to discuss devolution

Chamber chief executive Brian Dunsby said he wanted to gauge views.

Chamber chief executive Brian Dunsby said he wanted to gauge views.

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The potential benefits of devolution for Yorkshire businesses will be discussed at the next meeting of Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

The Big Devolution Debate will hear from politicians and business leaders from around Harrogate and North Yorkshire, giving their views on the prospects for sharing power with the region and aiming to encourage the business community to either support or oppose the plans.

Invited speakers include North Yorkshire County Council leader Coun Carl Les, Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan, Harrogate Borough Council leader Coun Richard Cooper and the leader of the opposition, Coun Pat Marsh. The audience will be able to ask questions and debate the merits of changing the current structures of government.

Chamber chief executive Brian Dunsby said: “The issue of devolution is increasingly being discussed here in Yorkshire, and many local businesses around Harrogate are taking a keen interest.

“Whether it is an elected mayor for Yorkshire, more unitary authorities, or simply more power for existing councils, there seem to be many options on the table. We want to share the facts with local businesses and then gauge their views on which options would be best for them, so we can continue to fight for the best deal for people working in the Harrogate District.”

The Big Devolution Debate takes place at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate on Monday, September 14. Informal networking opens at 5.30pm, before the meeting begins at 6.15pm.

Also on the agenda are the proposed changes to fire service cover in Harrogate, with representatives from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and the Fire Brigades Union both presenting their views.

The meeting is open to any business people who wish to attend. It is free for Chamber members and first-time visitors, but there is a £15 charge for non-members who have visited before.

To book, email info@harrogatechamber.org. More information can be found on the Chamber website at www.harrogatechamber.org/meetingsept2015.htm.