Doncaster MPs and Mayor Outline Their Priorities for the Future and Answer Questions From Businesses at Chamber Event
All three Doncaster MPs, alongside the City Mayor, gathered under one roof for a stimulating panel discussion last week. Here, they debated the pressing issues of the day and fielded questions from businesses in each of their respective constituencies.
Organised by the local Chamber of Commerce, this breakfast event took place at the Warmsworth Holiday Inn and was attended by upwards of 90 delegates. With an agenda that covered everything from Levelling Up and Net Zero, right through to the campaign to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA), no subject was off the table and businesses had the opportunity to broach any relevant topic.
Exploring these myriad issues was a panel comprised of Nick Fletcher, MP for Don Valley, Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North, Dame Rosie Winterton, MP for Doncaster Central, and Ros Jones CBE, Mayor of Doncaster.
From the lively debate that ensued (which lasted an hour-and-a-half), attendees emerged with a sense of their political representatives’ priorities as well as the steps that might need to be taken to realise Doncaster’s ambitions.
It was truly an all-encompassing discussion that touched upon things like business rates, investment zones, the importance of partnership working and the existing plans to construct a new hospital on the Doncaster Waterfront.
Reflecting on the MPs Breakfast event, Dan Fell, Chief Exec of Doncaster Chamber, said: “We always strive to amplify the voice of our members, and to give them an effective platform when it comes to debating the issues that are keenly affecting them.
“Friday’s session was a prime example of this, as we covered a lot of ground, with businesses asking constructive questions and sharing insights with those who are empowered to make a real difference on their behalf. I am confident that we will see many tangible outcomes arising off the back of this event, just as we did with our previous MPs Breakfast in October.
“And now is certainly the time for everybody to be putting aside their political differences and uniting for the betterment of Doncaster and its people. It is right for Team Doncaster partners to act as critical friends in private but, in public, we should be showing a united front. Not just to local communities and businesses but to central Government also.
“We are at a point of jeopardy for the country and Doncaster. Inflation continues to soar, the labour market is incredibly tight, and the macro-economic environment across the country remains dispiriting. Closer to home, we have also seen our airport close — and NCATI will sadly be following suit in the near future — while we narrowly missed out on the bid to become the HQ for Great British Railways as well.
“Against this backdrop, Doncaster needs a win and the best way to achieve this is to work collaboratively, share ideas, and talk up our city. It was encouraging to see our MPs give up their time to listen to businesses and explore what more can be done to help our city prosper. I hope they left the event understanding the high level of expectation from Doncaster employers, but also seized of the need for positivity and cross-party working.”
"It was great to participate once again in Doncaster Chamber’s MP Breakfast Networking Event and to hear first-hand the concerns of Doncaster businesses.
I was glad to hear there was a consensus in the room that representatives must show a united front when it comes to talking up our city and the work of our Council, so as to be more inviting to investors, businesses and Government funding.
I also spoke of the value of Doncaster having in place a proper recruitment and retention strategy and the need to focus on upskilling those who are not currently in work. I am a firm believer that Doncaster’s vibrant workforce can provide for businesses so long as opportunities for the right training is made available.”
Dame Rosie Winterton DBE, MP for Doncaster Central
“I want to express my huge thanks to Doncaster Chamber for organising Friday’s breakfast event. Doncaster is a great city, with great people and great businesses.
Working together with business is the way to help our City succeed. I always find the Chamber’s events informative and enjoyed the opportunity to speak with so many local businesses about current challenges and opportunities.”
Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North
"I want to thank Doncaster Chamber for holding these meetings. They shine a spotlight on the elected officials in Doncaster.
"It’s so important, especially at this critical time for our city. There is much to be done and these meetings undoubtedly help progress to be made on many fronts."
Nick Fletcher, MP for Don Valley
The April MPs Breakfast was generously sponsored by international logistics frim, Woodland Group.
Speaking about this, the company’s Global Head of Fulfilment, Luke Fermor, said: “It was a pleasure to support and attend the MP's breakfast hosted by the Doncaster Chamber, and great to see the large turnout and strong involvement by local businesses.
“The event provided a platform for open discussions on a range of relevant topics, including Doncaster's commitment to becoming Net Zero, a goal we've committed to as Woodland Group also. The collaboration between the local authority and businesses to drive investment, opportunity and updates to facilities and infrastructure in the area were a key focus of the successful meeting.
“At Woodland, we believe that open and constructive discussions and collaborative action are the key to success in addressing tough topics. It was great to see this approach mirrored at the breakfast, and we would like to extend our thanks to Doncaster Chamber and attending MPs, Rosie Winterton, Nick Fletcher, Ed Miliband and the Mayor Ros Jones for their time and openness in answering questions and concerns.
“We look forward to the next breakfast in a few months' time and the continued collaboration with the Doncaster community to drive growth and development in the region.”
On that note, Doncaster Chamber is always providing opportunities for its members to engage directly with the government, local authority and other influential partners. Indeed, each of the Doncaster MPs will soon be attending their own individual roundtable discussions, where they will be able to have a more extensive conversation with businesses in their constituencies.
Meanwhile, another MPs Breakfast — which will once again convene all three of the politicians and Mayor Ros Jones CBE — is scheduled for the 27th of October.