The Council organises an annual Working City event as part of its drive to bring more and better jobs to the city. I was delighted to welcome over 70 businesses to the Mansion House. Headlines about our city fall into two categories. There is high profile coverage of people struggling with the economic situation and welfare reform; people turning to food banks. But when I travel around Newcastle I see signs of change, high profile improvements at Central Station, work on site at the Stephenson Quarter and new shops and restaurants opening in the City Centre. I am thrilled to see these projects happening but we need to make sure they connect to the people and communities most in need. We want growth but we also need growth that is good for people.
Economic growth, creating good quality jobs, is the best chance we have of addressing the social issues in the city and I want people to get as passionate about the economy as they do about other social issues. The economy cannot be divorced from society. All businesses in Newcastle have a part to play in helping achieve a prosperous economy within a fairer society. Our offer is to make Newcastle the most ambitious and business friendly city in the UK. Our ask is that you help to connect growth to the communities that need it the most, so that no-one is left behind.
We are open for business and we will do all we can to create the best conditions for new jobs and investment. Our city is rising up the city competitiveness rankings and we are now ahead of Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool and Southampton. We have seen some real success stories across the city and this confidence shows that our best times are ahead of us.
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Please take the time to get involved in the conversations we have going around the Combined Authority, Core Cities, and the future of the East Coast Main Line.