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PM and Ministers Meet Local Business Leaders

22 October 2008
Kent science park 1
Gordon Brown arrives at the Kent Science Park.
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From L to R: SEEDA Chair, Jim Brathwaite, Lord Mandelson, the Prime Minister, John Denham and Jonathan Shaw.
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SEEDA Chair, Jim Braithwaite welcomes Gordon Brown.

On Tuesday 21 October, SEEDA Chairman Jim Brathwaite introduced the Prime Minister and Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson to South East business leaders at Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne. Gordon Brown spoke about the challenges of the first ever truly global financial and resource crisis, and the actions the Government is taking to re-capitalise the banks and bring stability back to the financial system.

Following this there was time for a dozen businesses to highlight their concerns on issues ranging from cashflow to skills; slow planning and excessive regulation to public sector procurement; council tax on unsold housing stock to the need to encourage banks to invest in green technology and other innovative businesses.

John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, referred to his earlier announcement regarding £350m of Train to Gain funding, now available in identified training modules for SMEs. Jonathan Shaw MP, Minister for the region, joined his colleagues in taking questions. The Prime Minister referred to the new commitment by RDAs to meet the Government's 10 day target for invoice payments - SEEDA has already achieved 85% within 10 days!

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