Doncaster MP Joins Roundtable Discussion With Local Businesses, To Talk About Net Zero and Climate Sustainability
Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North, recently met with businesses in his constituency, at an event that was organised by the local Chamber of Commerce.
Part of an ongoing series of roundtable discussions — which routinely focus on different aspects of the economy — this open forum gave attendees an opportunity to sit down with their political representative and hash out the pressing issues of the day. Over the course of a two-hour session, they were able to pose questions directly to Ed, raise any concerns they have about doing business in our city, and emphasise what they think ought to be on the frontbencher’s radar.
As the incumbent Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero, Ed was especially interested in hearing views on green topics. Everything from energy prices, to carbon literacy programmes and the support available for businesses that want to be more sustainable was discussed here at length.
Reflecting on the event afterwards, Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North, enthused: "I’d like to express my huge thanks to Doncaster Chamber for organising the roundtable discussion and to SYNETIQ for hosting us.
"The event gave me the opportunity to speak to local businesses and hear about the fantastic work that they are doing on climate sustainability. The exciting thing is that this work can mean good, skilled jobs for Doncaster and that is what I am determined to help with in my role as a local MP. The discussion was also very informative for my work as shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero and I am very grateful to local businesses for sharing their insights.”
Alongside Ed, there was also representation from the British Chambers of Commerce at the roundtable. Adam Szpala, the BCC’s Head of Public Affairs, joined the event to listen to firms on the ground talk about the things that matter most to them, so that the network itself can better represent them on a national stage.
Speaking about this, Adam said: “I am grateful to Doncaster Chamber for the invitation to join the roundtable with Ed, and for getting to hear insights from the local businesses in attendance. I’d also like to extend my thanks to SYNETIQ for hosting us and for the tour of their premises.
“It was very helpful to hear more about some of the challenges faced by businesses in the area, but also their optimism and can-do attitude when considering the transition to Net Zero and addressing the climate challenge. These insights are invaluable when we engage with policy makers on behalf of our members.”
From a local perspective, Dan Fell, Chief Exec of Doncaster Chamber, added: “These roundtables always generate stimulating dialogue and spark fresh ideas for how we can cultivate a more business-friendly environment right here in Doncaster. On this particular occasion, I feel like we managed to really get under the bonnet of some key issues relating to Net Zero and sustainability, and that various parties came away from the session with homework for the future.
“It is clear that many Doncaster businesses — in a range of sectors — are working hard towards net zero. Not just because of the moral imperative, but because it makes commercial sense too. This best practice needs to be shared and amplified.
“Additionally, too many organisations are still reporting that the incentives and support necessary for helping them on their journey towards Net Zero are not yet in place. Many businesses are also saying that they would welcome further help to attract, retain and develop people with the green skills that are necessary for them to maximise the opportunities associated with Net Zero.
“One policy intervention that would help with this would be allowing regions to retain unspent apprenticeship levy monies, with a view to them being ring-fenced for investment in green jobs, rather than being sent back to the Treasury.”
The Ed Miliband roundtable took place on Friday the 20th of June, and was hosted by Doncaster Chamber Patron, SYNETIQ. The Chamber regularly organises events like this, where local business leaders and influential figures are brought together under one roof to discuss various key themes. For example, previous iterations have seen Chamber members engage with South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard, and, more recently, senior policymakers from The Bank of England.
There are also separate roundtables for each of Doncaster’s MPs — where they can meet with businesses in their patches — similar to this latest one with Ed Miliband. Nick Fletcher, MP for Don Valley, had his respective session in May and there will be another one for Dame Rosie Winteron, MP for Doncaster Central, on the 8th of September.
All three Doncaster MPs will then convene for a group breakfast event in October, where they will also be joined by Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones. More information about this can be found below.