DESPITE current economic difficulties a Southend councillor says he is determined to turn Southend to a ‘Miami on Thames.’
Daniel Nelson, councillor responsible for Economic Growth & Investment, said: “First of all there’s a bit of internal work for the council about how easy we make it to do business in Southend, particularly with planning and red tape such as licensing and how we can streamline those so they are more cost effective for businesses and also more pragmatic to allow things to happen.
“We’ve seen over so many years, regeneration projects stop and start. A lot of that comes down to as soon as things start getting sucked into the bureaucracy of Southend Council it just isn’t moving smoothly enough.
“I think we’ve made steps with the changes to our local constitution, but I think there are many policy areas we need to look at actually streamline, planning being one of them.
“I aspire for us to become a Miami on Thames, with a modern economy and a lot of that will be around ensuring we have an open to business policy mentality, not how can we make as much money for businesses as possible.
“The council business rate retention is about 25 per cent of business rates, which means the more businesses we have in Southend doing well the more money we have to spend on core services to help those in deprivation, so it’s an upward spiral.”
Coun Nelson added: “The growth plan will be done in the early part of next year.
“Any quick wins we can identify as part of that piece of work will done as soon as physically possible early next year, but an economy doesn’t grow over night and if I’m honest there is no quick fix for deprivation.
“We have to just work to build our economy and frankly that should have been done five years ago.”
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