Day of destiny
On Thursday May 2, all of us in the North of Tyne region go to the polls to choose a new mayor.
The choice will be between a range of individuals of various skills, experiences and abilities.
Whoever becomes Mayor will carry a high responsibility for the economic and social growth of all of us who live here – now and in future years.
Some people have said the new Mayor does have not enough powers to affect major changes in the way we live in the region.
To some degree I concur with this, but I firmly believe this is the first step in the devolution process and more powers will come.
I have always felt that the basis of this region’s stability and growth lies with the hundreds of SMEs who have their business interests rooted here. These SMEs are generally family-owned, where the individual owners took a risk and a gamble when they started in business.
They now provide thousands of jobs and capital investment in this region for all our benefit.
In my view the first priority of a new Mayor is to ensure the continued success of these businesses. He needs to understand their needs, problems and aspirations. Without these businesses the region will be a lost cause.
I am at a loss to understand the thinking of one of the candidates, Jamie Driscoll.
In his book he says that ‘nine out of ten business owners contribute nothing to the production process.’
What absolute nonsense. It would appear he doesn’t understand how to run a business and what each member of a firm contributes. I personally do not know any owner who fits into this analysis.
I would say on behalf of all business entrepreneurs and owners that his words are a slur on all of us who runs SMEs in this region. If Jamie Driscoll had run his own successful business he would really understand that fortitude, ambition and entrepreneurship of those he criticises.
I have given my support to Charlie Hoult as I feel he has the necessary skills and experience in business to enable him to make things happen as Mayor. His family are also rooted to this area.
It is easy to write words and theorise but often the words are lost in the sands of time.
A successful Mayor will need thinking time, but he has to deliver the changes necessary to take this region into the fourth industrial revolution for our children and grandchildren. We are just custodians for future generations.
I have in my life travelled the world and done business in many countries and seen many different political systems.
In spite of all the problems of this country at this time I have not found another country to replace this one and where I would go to live. Whatever our feelings and political views we all have a duty in this wonderful democracy to go out on Thursday and register your vote.
My choice would be Charlie Hoult.