C4B Chairman's Update              August 2015
Paul Barrett
Dear [salutation],     Welcome to the August issue of the C4B newsletter, in which we look at recent changes and new plans that will affect the District. These include proposals to replace the existing South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) with a simpler, more effective Kent and Medway LEP. As a representative of SELEP since its formation, I fully support these proposals: SELEP has been shown to be too large and the geographical areas within the partnership have different interests. Closer to home, we report on the City Council's new committee-led system of local governance, on-going Canterbury BID (Business Improvement District) initiatives and the first-ever Canterbury Hop Pocket race, which takes place in September.
The case for a Kent and Medway LEP
KCC has submitted a letter to Government asking it to back its proposals for the establishment of a new Kent and Medway LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) to replace the existing South East LEP (SELEP). The proposals, which are supported by the business community (including C4B), the education community, the local authorities and KCC, outline the case for a simpler, stronger partnership that will be highly relevant to business and more effective at delivering long-term growth. Plans include creating a more highly skilled, productive workforce; accelerating housing growth through infrastructure delivery; and supporting the growth of dynamic and innovative businesses. The new partnership would work together with neighbouring partnerships in Essex, East Sussex, and London. Click here to read the full proposal document.

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C4B welcomes Council changes
C4B welcomes the advent of the new committee-style system of governance adopted by the City Council, the new leadership of Simon Cook and new wave of councillors. The new-look Council looks to be supportive of business, understand the need for up-to-date IT infrastructure, and the importance of the education sector. (As an example of the wider benefits of the latter, the University of Kent rented out 3,000 rooms during the recent Kent vs Australia cricket match, and its total turnover for student bedrooms let during the summer break will total £4m – a great additional revenue stream for the district.) We will be inviting the new Leader, Simon Cook, to attend a board meeting to meet C4B committee members in the near future.

For details of the City Council's new committee system, visit canterbury.gov.uk/your-council/how-your-council-works/about-your-council/committee-system/new-committee-structure/

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BID Update
Despite problems in June and July associated with Channel Tunnel closures, Operation Stack, and the strong pound, businesses in the Canterbury BID (Business Improvement District) are benefiting from the long-term programme of improvements to create a cleaner, greener environment in the city centre. These include regular Monday to Thursday night deep cleaning, the erection of colourful hanging baskets, and the introduction of BID Street Ambassadors, who have now visited most businesses in the city centre, reported 1,500 issues and greeted 8,000 visitors. For more information about the Canterbury BID, contact enquiries@canterburybid.co.uk

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Hop Pocket Race
On Thursday, 24 September, the Canterbury BID is organising a Canterbury Hop Pocket Race in the city centre to encourage footfall and spend. Each team has to carry a filled hop pocket weighing 168 lbs (12 stone) along a 500m route up the High Street. The event runs from 6pm to 7.30pm, with the race starting at 6.30pm. Entry costs £20 and all money raised will go to Porchlight, a charity that support homeless people in Canterbury, which the BID recognises is an issue for many businesses in the city. Entries are limited to 20 teams and the closing date for entries is 11 September. To find out more and register for entry, visit www.canterburyhoppocketrace.co.uk.

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Festival Beer
If you'd prefer to drink the end product rather than carry the raw materials, you'll find plenty of traditional Kent beers, including Green Hop seasonal beer made from fresh, as opposed to dried hops, on sale at local pubs and at the Canterbury Food and Drink Festival (25 – 27 September).

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