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Politicians Row Over Who's Best for Business in York


3:52pm 16th December 2013

The Labour leader of York Council James Alexander has defended his handling of the city's economy after being criticised by opposition Lib Dems.

Speaking after a visit by Lib Dem cabinet minister Vince Cable over the weekend, James Alexander told Minster FM:

“I’ve discussed with Vince Cable amongst other things the successful work Labour initiated in York to increase the city’s number of apprenticeships, to help reduce the number of people on benefits to a record low, to encourage new businesses to York such as Hiscox and John Lewis and to achieve the second lowest unemployment rate in the country. York is now being talked about as an example by Vince Cable’s department as what a pro-growth council can achieve, as highlighted by The Economist.

“Much of this work has taken place without the support of our Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition in York. They do not believe the council should play such a central role in fostering economic growth in the private sector or put resources towards this end. However, the progress on York’s brownfield sites compared to eight years of Liberal Democrat council control speaks for itself”.

Lib Dems in the city announced a survey of local businesses over the weekend and the creation of a new Local Business Forum. York Lib Dem leader Keith Aspden said:

“Local businesses play a crucial role in York. Unfortunately the Labour run council has taken a number of decisions recently, such as the damaging closure of Lendal Bridge, without consulting local employers. This is completely the wrong approach. To help create jobs the council needs to work hand-in-hand with local businesses and tap into their experience and expertise. Our survey aims to do this and give local businesses a stronger voice in York.”

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