Will the last businessman standing turn off the lights

I find myself in total disagreement with Mr Jago s correspondence when he applauds the Council s efforts to keep the amenities safe and tidy in your letters page 9/9/09. Let us be accurate; there are no amenities here other than the vegetation masking a

I find myself in total disagreement with Mr Jago's correspondence when he applauds the Council's "efforts to keep the amenities safe and tidy" in your letters page 9/9/09.

Let us be accurate; there are no amenities here other than the vegetation masking an unsightly view of a commercial building that the Council wish to eradicate. The footpath is some five metres wide, has no residential property contained along it and ends in a cul-de-sac. The Council has issued a Warning Enforcement notice against some minor undergrowth which encroaches some twelve to fourteen inches! You couldn't make this stuff up.

What is more worrying is this Councils idea of a business friendly approach, in what is an extraordinarily difficult economic climate. Our Company amongst other things contributes somewhere in the region of three million pounds to the local economy per year, employing around thirty local Barking and Dagenham people, and takes on four Apprentices from local schools every year. Hitherto we have been solidly committed to this Borough.

Yet as we look around and see our local retail centres in decline, our industrial sites looking run down, the lack of support for hard pressed local business men and women who provide much of the employment for local residents and the general antipathy towards business in general, topped by an over officious heavy handed approach to a few shrubs, it does make us and many of my colleagues wonder if there is actually a future for business in Barking and Dagenham.


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When we compare and contrast with neighbouring Boroughs like Havering and Redbridge we notice a marked difference in attitude and culture.

A fellow business man far more cynical than I referring to the mind-set of this Council recently quipped, "will the last businessman leaving the Borough please turn the lights off as they leave". I don't actually feel we are in such a position yet. But unless the Council begins to take action, not just talk words, but action, I fear the exodus of business may continue and we may well look back on his remarks and credit him with considerable foresight.

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Paul Cunningham

Operations Director

AJC Wilson Bodyshop

Rainham Road South

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