“All in all, the Autumn Budget spelled good news. The chancellor talked about rewarding the strivers and the grafters. We have plenty of hard-working people on the coastal strip. The key to economic prosperity for Coastal West Sussex is building better roads and rail links, more housing and workspaces and upskilling our workforce. We need to work hard to deliver on our potential.
“Firstly, we’re delighted with the additional £30 billion to improve roads. The A27 is an embarrassment and is choking our region – we need those in local leadership to provide direction and drive to make sure we get our fair share of that money… and quickly. The average man and woman in Sussex needs to be more vocal as the process has been stalled for far too long by the interests of the few. We also need to reach a reasonable compromise with the national park so that the coast can thrive while the park continues to provide an outstanding amenity.
“The extra £400m for schools is welcomed, but I know as a Governor for a local Academy that this is more of a one-off sticking plaster than a long-term solution, and it will run out fast. Our schools need more than the “little extras” – they need more teachers and increased funding.
“We’ve seen our high streets change rapidly over the last few years, and the slashing of business rates for small retail businesses will certainly help. As the demand for residential housing continues to outstrip supply, the announcement to help redevelop empty shops as homes or offices is a step in the right direction, as is the £5.5bn to ‘unlock’ 650k homes. Again, local leadership needs to remove log jams and deliver the space for us to live and grow.
“And finally… as an area which has an increasing number of small digital companies, we also welcome the 2% tax on revenues earned by likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon to create a fairer marketplace for all.”
Henry Powell, Vice Chairman, Coastal West Sussex Partnership