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Council seeks expert view on Brighton and Hove economy
ECONOMIC experts are to investigate the future of Brighton and Hove.
Brighton and Hove City Council is looking for consultants to take a fresh look at the city’s Economic Strategy. According to documents posted on the South East Business Portal , the new strategy will address the challenging economic outlook, changes in the public policy agenda and new opportunities for potential partners to work together.
The budget for the work is £30,000 including expenses but excluding VAT. The deadline for applications is Thursday September 27.
The council says its top priorities are creating a more sustainable city and tackling inequality.
Tony Mernagh, executive director at the Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, said generating jobs while protecting the environment is a delicate balancing act.
He said: “Climate change isn’t going away. Indeed the melting of the Arctic ice cap suggests it is getting worse.
“Every business has a responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint but for Brighton and Hove this has to be married with sustainable growth to generate at least 6,000 jobs over the next two years just to stand still.
“The generation of jobs is just one element of the economy homes, skills and employment space must follow. Sustainable growth combined with the principles of One Planet Living is a delicate balancing act. “But climate change is also an opportunity – how do we nurture our fledgling environmental industries to make sure they contribute to economic growth. “And how do we ensure that we nurture the environmental industries that can capitalise on our existing economic and higher education strengths.
“Clearly we aren’t going to be massmanufacturing batteries for electric cars, for example, so what are we going to be doing?
“The economic landscape typified by the four years since the 2008 recession is probably not going to improve radically for at least another three years and even David Cameron has said possibly we will see no real improvement until 2020.
“How the Brighton and Hove economy operates in a climate of low or no growth for such a protracted period of time will be a challenge. “We have done well to weather the recession so far but there is no precedent for a UK economy that languishes in the doldrums for up to 12 years. “Funding from the government is scarce but not non-existent. With innovative thinking some of it could be ours.”
Julia Chanteray, president at the Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce, said the aims of sustainable growth and job creation are not mutually exclusive.
She said: “The aim of the chamber is to help the city become a prosperous place to do business. “With prudent and sensible management we can achieve that while also lowering our carbon impact.”
A council spokesman said the review will require fresh thinking and challenges to traditional approaches to economic development. He said: “In moving towards a low carbon and prosperous local economy that tackles poverty we are mindful that the refresh of the strategy will also need to address the wider implications and impact of a flat-lining national economy and a changing international export scene.”
For more information on the consultant role, email Cheryl.Finella@brightonhove.gov.uk