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Stourbridge MP Margot James appointed local growth champion

Stourbridge MP Margot James appointed local growth champion

🕔12.Aug 2016

Greg Clark, the Business and Energy Secretary, has appointed members of his ministerial team as local growth champions to work with local enterprise partnerships (LEPs)  as part of the new government’s focus on industrial strategy.

Margot James, MP for Stourbridge in the West Midlands and Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, has been appointed to work with LEPs in the West Midlands Combined Authority area: GBSLEP, Black Country and Coventry and Warwickshire.

With just five ministers in the department and 39 LEPs as well as London and three devolved nations to cover, James has to cover the stretch from Gloucestershire to Liverpool.

The ministers will act as a first point of contact for their respective LEPs in England within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Greg Clark says the plan underlines the vital role of local growth and the importance of ‘place’ in the government’s industrial strategy.

Speaking in Belfast, Clark said:

Government has helped transform the business landscape by putting power back into the hands of local communities and businesses to drive economic growth. To make sure every corner of the UK benefits, I am giving ministers in my team geographic areas of responsibility so they can build on existing relationships to better connect government policy with the businesses and industries we’re working with.

This is part of our plan to build an economy that works for all. An effective industrial strategy has to recognise and take advantage of the differences and unique strengths that exist across the country, and I will be encouraging all my ministers to get out there and meet the people who know their area best.

A public relations entrepreneur and the Conservatives’ first openly lesbian MP, Margot James became one of the icons of David Cameron’s ‘A-list’ of favoured candidates.

Margot James grew up in Coventry but was expelled from two schools for bad behaviour. She mended her ways under the influence of her brother-in-law, went to the sixth form at the exclusive Millfield School and on to read economics and government at the London School of Economics.

The minister began working in the wine trade, but made her money in public relations, setting up the Shire Health Group which became the largest healthcare PR company in Europe. She made an estimated £4 million when she sold her interest in it in 1999.

Margot James works as a volunteer with HIV/AIDS charities and is a mentor for Young Enterprise and The Prince’s Trust.

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