Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe spoke to the Chamber’s Leadership Group in November 2016.
The Windhill & Wrose representative had previously had several meetings and conversations with Chamber Chief Executive Sandy Needham, but this was the first time members had the opportunity to put questions direct to the Leader. Cllr Hinchcliffe, who has held the top post since last May, replacing David Green, spelled out her priorities for the District, the importance of providing quality education and reducing skills shortages, and the need to create more jobs. Inevitably, Brexit, devolution and delays to the Core Strategy all came up in questions.
The Labour Group leader stressed that she was keen to forge a good relationship with the Chamber and sees the business community as one of the key drivers in delivering more prosperity within the District, as well as a major contributor to the Northern Powerhouse agenda. She reiterated the often ignored or forgotten view that Bradford’s economy and population is bigger than that of most other Northern cities and that failure to provide adequate support to ensure its continued success would hold back the pace of growth in the North. For her, Bradford’s priority is driving up education standards, something that many business people and others would agree with.
There are plans for the Leader to address a normal members’ networking event later this year, when you will have the chance to put your own questions about Bradford’s future. Watch this space.