On Friday 9th December, the Devon Chamber of Commerce hosted an event for their Members to meet and network with the city’s three Members of Parliament.
The first event of its kind, a number of business local leaders met with Gary Streeter MP, Johnny Mercer MP and Oliver Colvile MP for drinks and a chance to raise questions about the current political landscape and the impact on their businesses.
George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Devon Chamber of Commerce, welcomed everyone to the event and along with Chair of the Chamber and CEO of Plymouth Citybus, Richard Stevens, shared thoughts on the general business outlook in the city and the South West.
Following this, each of the three Members of Parliament gave an update on issues of importance to the city and the work they are doing in Westminster to represent Plymouth, before taking questions and facilitating a general discussion between attendees.
Speaking after the event, Richard Stevens, Chair of the Devon Chamber of Commerce, said:
‘As a Chamber we were delighted to host the first, of what will be a continuing arrangement, MP engagement event on Friday 9th December. This gathering allowed our members to engage with all Plymouth MPs - Johnny Mercer, Gary Streeter and Oliver Colvile and celebrate what has been an eventful yet successful 2016. The opportunity also provided the business community to communicate their business needs and concerns moving forward into 2017.’
Gary Streeter, Member of Parliament for South West Devon said:
‘In the 25 years since I was elected as MP in Plymouth, I can only recall local politicians meeting with business leaders at an event like this on a handful of occasions. To have an informal gathering and opportunity for questions and answers provides an excellent chance to directly share what we’re doing for Plymouth in Westminster and hear what is concerning the local business community. I’m pleased the Chamber of Commerce are keen to host more events like this.’
Johnny Mercer, Member of Parliament for Plymouth Moor View said:
‘I was pleased to initiate this event and to see such a good turnout especially on a Friday night so close to Christmas. It was great to see new and familiar faces and to take a variety of questions on issues important to businesses across Plymouth. It is always helpful to hear from those on the business coal face, one of the key benefits of events like these. I look forward to many more in the future.’
Oliver Colvile, Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:
‘The Devon Chamber of commerce is a vital organisation that speaks up for Devon’s business – especially in Plymouth. These kind of events are vital in building a dynamic business representation that keeps me aware of the all the issues which affect Plymouth Sutton & Devonport.’