Monday, 8 February 2016

Norfolk Chamber of Commerce MPs Event 2016

One of the goals for Naked Element in 2016 is to make more of their Norfolk Chamber of Commerce membership. We’re doing well so far, it’s early February and we’ve already attended our second event. Both events have yielded interesting new contacts with plenty of potential for both Naked Element and Norfolk Developers.

The venue for this year’s annual Norfolk Chamber MPs event was a marquee in the grounds of the Marriott hotel. Unfortunately they were experiencing a few technical problems with a crackly PA, although this didn’t really impede the event at all. To add insult to injury, during the address by sponsors Abellio Greater Anglia, their speaker narrowly missed colliding with a falling projector screen. Despite gasps from the audience, he was fine and it generated plenty of amusement.

Following an introduction by chamber CEO Caroline Williams, Emma Hutchinson, Political Correspondent at ITV Anglia, took over introducing the MPs and chairing the event. The format was differing groups of MPs discussing issues such as linking Norfolk nationally and globally, economic growth and young people and skills. After the discussions, led by Emma, questions were invited from the audience.

The questions and discussions were wide ranging and incorporated the state of the A47 (described as a third world road as you leave Great Yarmouth), rural broadband, lack of housing, spending while interest rates are low and, as you would expect, the potential Europe exit. I was also interested to learn that offshore wind is a growing industry in North Norfolk and that the NHS still sends and receives a lot of faxes.

Much to my surprise I was very Impressed with the light-hearted approach and attitude of the MPs and the number of questions which actually got straight answers. There was plenty of conviction and not much sitting on the fence.

My overall impression was that it was an exceptionally good event and I’ll be back next year. Hopefully the technical issue will be overcome, it won’t be a Friday afternoon and Clive Lewis will be available too.

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