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Senior Tory listens to views from Bradford
Business leaders in Bradford got a direct chance to influence Government policy when a senior Conservative figure visited the city.
Bob Neill, vice chairman of the Conservative Party, met members of the city’s Asian Business Forum to speak to them about what the party’s priorities should be.
He promised to feed back their views directly to Prime Minister David Cameron.
Mr Neill also visited City Hall, where he spoke to about 30 Conservative councillors from across the north of England in the Council Chamber.
He said: “It’s part of a number of visits I do around the country, essentially to meet local councillors. But also it’s an opportunity to meet local business people and to meet representatives of business communities.
“It’s a listening exercise. I want to know what people want our priorities to be, going forward.
“We have a policy board we are setting up, so it’s very useful at this stage to have input from people at the grassroots.”
Bradford Council Conservative Group leader Councillor Glen Miller, who was at the City Hall meeting, said councillors had raised concerns about communication within the party.
Coun Miller said that when senior Government ministers from the party visited an area, sometimes local Conservative councillors were not told.
And he said when the Government gave grants to local authorities not in Tory control, again the news sometimes was not reaching them.
He said: “We asked whether they could inform local parties about it, rather than it just being officers that we inform all the time.
“He said yes, we should let local leaders know.”
Mr Neill met representatives of Bradford’s 600-strong Asian Business Forum at Whetley Mills in Thornton Road.
One of the members, property businessman Mussadhik Hussain, said he would raise a number of issues, including the banks’ reluctance to lend to businesses and the high price of car insurance in the city.
He said: “At the end of the day, I will request him to appoint a minister for Bradford. That would be the best way to sort out some of these problems.”
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