Members news from around the county
Policy Update

Welcome to the second of a regular series of policy updates. A reminder that any members are welcome to get in touch with any issues, ideas or concerns that fall broadly into my policy remit. You can email me at or call on 07929 522951.

My aim to is to ensure that in the policy arena the Chambers is offering the best possible service to members, by which I mean:

  • understanding and representing your views on all issues which affect you and your business (where you wish to share them; there is no compulsion to get involved in this). This would include ‘national’ issues such as tax, VAT, business rates, legislation generally on which we work closely with the British Chambers of Commerce at national level.
  • supporting you where you may need assistance in understanding or implementing national policy objectives e.g. Net Zero / green issues.
  • advising and supporting on more local issues e.g. where you might have difficulty dealing with local authorities or on issues specific to the sector you are operating, be it logistics,  construction, food and drink, services and so on.
  • keeping you informed and understanding your views on the economic and governance context in which you operate in Essex - for example the ambition to pass some powers from national to local level through the devolution agenda.

There are a couple of issues I wanted to draw to your attention this month:

Minimum Wage
The Low Pay Commission is consulting on its recommendations to government on the level of the minimum wage and related issues for 2025 and beyond.

Whilst of course you may respond directly (the deadline is 9 June), we as a Chamber have been asked to contribute to the British Chambers of Commerce’s response nationally to the consultation. So if you would prefer to send a response to me I will collate and feed in on behalf of Essex Chambers members. This will help us understand our members’ views without asking you separately.

Indo-Pacific Trade
Last month the Act facilitating the UK joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) received Royal Assent.

With the Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch being an Essex MP and some publicity about the CPTPP expected around the middle of May we may well be asked to comment on the legislation and its likely impact in Essex. The Secretary of State may also be looking for a visit opportunity to a company that exports or is planning to export to this region, so if you are interested in this please do identify yourself to me – just call or email! Otherwise I would welcome any views or comments on the Agreement e.g. do you welcome it, will it make a difference for your company, will it help the Essex economy or do you think it will have little impact?  All views welcome.  

I’m happy to talk about these or other issues. I also am very open to ideas and suggestions about what more the Chambers could do to support you. I’m trying to visit as many members as I can - so please do let me know if you would welcome a short visit.

Thank you for reading and all the best!

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