Prime Minister David Cameron snubbed Conservative Party controlled Swindon Council on Thursday 10 February, even though he was in the town.
Rumours abounded throughout the day that the PM was visiting and there was a rising expectation amongst a wide range of business people visiting the Business in Swindon Show at Steam Museum that he would call in. See show report below.
On hand to greet him at the entrance of Steam were a high level reception line up including Leader of the Council Roderick Bluh, Chief Executive Gavin Jones, Lead Member for Strategic Planning councillor Peter Greenhalgh who had been told that the PM was going to call in to Steam for a whistle-stop meet and greet. Also there was Nicky Alberry, chair of of show organisers GWE Business West and Ian Larrard, Director of the Initiative in Swindon and Wiltshire, GWE Business West.
However the rising expectation turned to gradual disappointment as it became clearer that hopes were being dashed and Mr Cameron was a not going to make an appearance. The problem was nobody had told the council big-wigs so they were left waiting wondering what was going on.
Earlier in the day Mr Cameron visited Swindon’s Honda factory to meet managers and production line workers and was due at meeting in the town centre later in the afternoon. Why his officials did not inform council leaders of the change of plan is not yet clear.
Pictured above, Gavin Jones Chief Executive, right, and council leader Rod Bluh, council Leader wait in vain for the PM. with journalist Kirsty Heber-Smith, centre.
Below, GWE Business chair Nicky Alberry, centre, and councillor Peter Greenhalgh, right, pacing and waiting in the Steam Museum entrance
Photos: ©Calyx 41 Churchward Avenue Swindon SN2 1NJ +44 (0) 1793 520131
Business Show Swindon a steaming success
Priscilla Midgley writes: Over 500 attendees and 80 exhibitors made Steam their destination of choice yesterday to attend the inaugural Business Show Swindon organised by GWE Business West and sponsored by Lloyds TSB Commercial.
The day featured a topical seminar programme covering subjects such as social media, networking, marketing, intellectual property and Funding for Growth. Exhibitors included Solutions for Business, Enterprise Europe Network South West, Jobcentre Plus and Forward Swindon.
There was also an exclusive espresso bar for members of the Initiative in Swindon and GWE Business West’s LinkedIn group. This proved an innovative way of bringing members together so that they could network face-to-face and also encouraged others to join the LinkedIn group, with membership now reaching 2,000.
Peter Davison, Owner, Secret Agent Marketing, who attended one of the sessions said: “This is a fantastic idea! Not only great coffee but it’s an excellent opportunity to meet interesting and worthwhile contacts. I also find the GWE Business West LinkedIn group very useful. It’s one of the largest groups I belong to that involves local businesses.”
Feedback from the show has been incredibly positive. Julie Margerum, Managing Director, Vox PR, said, “There is a real need for this type of event in Swindon and it’s really great that GWE Business West are supporting and showcasing local businesses.”
Chris Hitchings, Director of Development, Forward Swindon, agreed, “It’s been very busy and lots of noise means people doing lots of business!”
Oliver Payne of Bruck Payne Associates, a recruitment, human resource and psychometrics company found exhibiting particularly beneficial. He said, “This is the first time that we have exhibited as a company. We were aiming at increasing brand awareness and are delighted with the number of good leads that we have received. Its very encouraging and we are keen to exhibit at future GWE Business West shows.”
Neil Wilkins, Viper Marketing & Communications Group, who delivered two seminars including the ever popular social media, believes that the event was a fantastic showcase for businesses and individuals wanting to develop and proactively engage with like-minded others. He stressed that there seems to be a real hunger for learning, with lots of note taking and questions being asked in the seminars.
Ian Larrard, Director of the Initiative in Swindon and Wiltshire, GWE Business West said, “A big thank you to all those who attended and exhibited. This is the first business show of its kind for many years in Swindon and from feedback received, has been a resounding success and just what the Swindon business community were looking for. We intend to make this an annual event and indeed businesses have already asked to book their stands for next time.”
To hear about news and the date for next year’s show, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org