Yesterday was one of those packed days where you don’t even have time to think. It started at 6.45am at County Hall in Maidstone, where I collected some notes together and headed off to The Maidstone Studios, for the launch of the Kent 2020 Vision, the largest business conference and exhibition in the South East, held at the County Showground in Detling.
Last year’s event was superb – around two and a half kilometres of stand space; nearly four thousand attendees; and appearances by Andrew Neil, Kriss Akabusi, Simon Calder and others. KCC is one of the event’s funding partners, and I was asked to speak to around 430 business people who had attended the launch event.
It was a pleasure to see so many of Kent’s business community being so optimistic about the county’s future prospects. As I said, my job is to make sure that Kent County Council does everything it can to support and champion their aims; to fight against Government bureaucracy and make sure that we ‘walk our own talk’ by being a good client in the way we do business – paying our invoices as quickly as possible, using kent companies in our supplier chain whenever and wherever we’re able.
But I was under no illusions – I was simply a warm up act for the main attraction – Lord Digby Jones had come to speak about his experiences, which is why there was a full house. I had to leave before he spoke, but we managed to get a few moments to talk about what Kent is doing to become a more business-friendly location.