Readers will be disappointed to learn that Unionists and the Green Party have showed their lack of ambition for the economic development of the Borough last evening by voting against my Motion to encourage the new Ards and North Down Council to embrace and prepare for the imminent arrival of Corporation Tax in 2017.
The Northern Ireland business sector is unanimous in its support for Corporation Tax, given the estimated 30,000 new jobs it could create. Our Borough must position itself to take full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in advance of its arrival.
My Motion encouraged the Council and it’s officers to plan in advance for the requirements ‘by way of infrastructure, skills level and plant’ of new companies who might consider bringing jobs and investment to the Borough.
Regardless of the Unionists and Green parties lack of ambition for the economic development of our Borough, I will continue to speak on behalf of business within the Chamber and articulate a vision of how the local economy can be re-imagined.
I will use my seats on the Planning and Economic Development Committees to articulate my positive vision for the future. I am determined that we work toward a successful local economy that will encourage new businesses to base themselves in Ards & North Down to create high skilled, well paid jobs.
That is the only way we will encourage our young people to keep their talents here in the Borough. We lose too many ambitious, well-educated and dynamic young people to GB Universities and then English or Scottish companies.
I am determined that we will create an economically vibrant landscape that will both retain local talent, and entice it back from foreign shores.