Minster joins Business Secretary at Westminster


On Tuesday 3rd February, Susan Marlow (Director at Minster) joined a Made in the Midlands (MIM) delegation to meet Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, at the Houses of Parliament.

Minster & Made In The Midlands with Vince Cable & Lorely Burt

In all, over thirty Midlands businesses made the trip to Westminster, taking the opportunity to put forward their points of view, and to impress on the Business Secretary how much the UK economy benefits from Midlands businesses. Following a group tour of Westminster, they joined Vince Cable and MP for Solihull, Lorely Burt, for an informal lunch.

 After her experience, Susan went through a Q & A with EvoPr discussing reasons she attended this meeting and how she felt the opportunity has made an impact:

Q:  Why did you attend the MIM meeting with Business Secretary Vince Cable?

Because it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to meet such an influential MP and to bring to his attention the good work that Midlands businesses are doing for our country.

Q:   What was it like visiting the heart of Government?

It was nothing like I imagined – the inside of Westminster Palace is vast and extremely beautiful. I learned an awful lot about how our government works which is actually really helpful as a business owner; I’d thoroughly recommend everyone to visit and take a tour as it’s open and available to all of us.

Q:  What questions did you ask?

Sadly time ran over so we didn’t get the chance to ask individual questions, but I did meet Vince Cable briefly and he asked about me and my business and what we did. I explained that Minster works with a range of Midlands manufacturers and businesses by providing IT and software support to enable them to enjoy greater business efficiency. He was generous in his comments stating the Government needed to support more women in business and entrepreneurs such as me.

Q:  What did you gain from the trip and were your expectations met?

I went with an open mind as I didn’t quite know what to expect. I came away feeling much more appreciative of the job MPs do and why it’s so important that we all make contact with our local MPs; if businesses don’t engage and express what’s important to industry, then we can’t expect them to know. As a business owner I feel empowered by this experience.

Q:  How important is it that the Business Secretary meets and listens to business owners such as Minster?

Extremely important and this meeting was very useful. Both Vince Cable and Lorely Burt made it clear that the Government needed to continue to aid manufacturers by developing more schemes to fill the skills gap than those already in place. They appreciated the importance of our region and why regeneration of the UK economy is coming from the Midlands – firms like JLR and Aston Martin are really driving and supporting manufacturers within the region, and they recognised that we need to find ways to bring business back to the UK.

Q:  As an organised group, what was your stand out memory?

It was really refreshing to talk with other like-minded people who care passionately about their businesses and the future of our region – the energy was infectious and it felt fantastic to be involved with such a positive organisation as MIM.

Q:  Any surprises?

I didn’t expect to have the opportunity to sit in on a Commons debate which was organised by MIM and allowed me entry in to the Strangers Gallery in the House of Commons for 15 minutes to watch and listen to the MP’s as they debated; such an unexpected surprise!

Q:  Any disappointments?

I would have liked to have had more time with the MPs and to have a more formal Q and A session, but the MP’s presentations were very impressive and informative, although I would have liked it to have been more interactive and inclusive of the delegates.

Q:  Would you do it again and if so, why?

I would definitely do it again. It was extremely useful and having the opportunity to talk with other Midlands business people about their businesses was very refreshing, adding value to my existing knowledge and understanding of Midlands manufacturing.