Chamber chief calls for “genuine” sector partnership

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In the June issue of Business Cornwall magazine, Cornwall Chamber chief executive Richard Glover has some strong words about public and private sector collaboration in the Duchy.

Glover asks when it comes to the two sectors working together: if we all agree at the beginning, why do we fall out in the end?

While Glover says he cannot fault the public sector’s motives and aims, the execution is not always as is needed. “For all this agreement, many (chamber) members are frustrated by an apparent lack of delivery on the promises and excessive red tape,” he says, “while the public sector dismisses the private sector as simply ‘looking for a grant’.”

He questions the effectiveness of some of the public funded initiatives designed to help local business. “The devil is in the detail,” he tells us. “Far too often when a funded project talks about ‘partnership’ it is thinking ‘route to market’. It is not looking for a way of shaping the outcomes of a project; it is working out how best to show outputs.”

Glover says the business community is not without blame either. He explains: “When some in the private sector criticise the public sector, they are not engaging with a set of quite challenging targets for the entire economy but simply focussing on narrow self interests.”

Glover says now is a time for “genuine partnership” between the public and private sectors. He calls for the public sector to release more control over the delivery, and urges business organisations to become more organised and “less parochial”.

“Most of all,” he concludes, “it will need many in the business community to ready themselves for the need to make entrepreneurial investment decisions instead of waiting for someone else to pick up the tab.”

Read the full article in the June issue of Business Cornwall magazine, out next week.

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