High Sheriff John Peace to fight for Notts jobs29 March 2011
The incoming High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, John Peace, plans to use his year to promote the county to national and international business leaders.
Mr Peace, who is the chairman of three FTSE 100 companies - Burberry, Standard Chartered Bank and Experian which he help found - was born and brought up in Notts and remains a committed advocate.
He also chairs the Nottingham Economic Resilience Forum set up two years ago by the public and private sector to get Notts into sound shape to respond quickly to the economic recovery.
Mr Peace, who takes over from Amanda Farr as High Sheriff on Friday, April 8, said he would use his year as an extension of the resilience forum to bring parts of the community together.
Mr Peace recently led a "Seeing is Believing" cohort of national business leaders to Ashfield and Mansfield to examine economic issues and challenges on behalf of Business in the Community.
He said: "My focus as High Sheriff will be joblessness. What will matter most over the next two or three years will be jobs.
"If we don't tackle the jobs issue, we won't have economic recovery."
He continued: "That is where I shall use the High Sheriff role to bring people together - different people from different parts of the city - to hopefully get jobs created.
"We must all focus on jobs very carefully and I will reiterate that over and over again."
Mr Peace said he would be holding a series of dinners to persuade local business leaders to take on apprentices, internships and help reduce joblessness.
Speaking as he returned from India and Abu Dhabi on business, Mr Peace said both countries focused on the need to build and grow their infrastructure. He said Nottingham must continue to press the Government for the dualling of the A453, an issue raised last Thursday with David Cameron on his visit to Boots. The Prime Minister gave no assurances about construction although he said he was aware of the issues.
Mr Peace said Nottingham needed excellent rail services, the tram network and international class shopping centres.
Owners of Broadmarsh and Victoria Shopping Centres said last week they planned to press ahead with expansion plans worth £750m.
Both will create white collar and blue collar jobs.
Mr Peace said the coalition Government now understood the importance of growing the economy and that it wasn't just about cutting cost.
"Without investment in infrastructure, we won't grow the top line," he added.
Mr Peace said the point had been made to Mr Cameron on a recent trade mission to Kuwait and Qatar.
He added Nottingham must have a "clear campaign" identifying and promoting the virtues of the city.
"This is multi-facetted. We need to keep hammering at it using our network and hosting dinners in London."
Robin Hood and Nottingham Forest still resonated overseas and in high places.
"We sometimes underestimate their power," he added.
"Nottingham should take its case to board rooms in the City of London and overseas.
"We need to keep telling David Cameron and Nick Clegg, when undertaking trade missions, that they must be aware of what's available in Nottingham.
"All the Government can do is set a national policy but it is regionally that it has to be implemented. Each region is slightly different, so it is up to us to identify what we need to do to make Nottingham more successful.."