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Oct 30

UK government promises big but must show more action

UK government promises big but must show more action

In the past few years, the coalition government has made it clear that supporting growth in the UK – both in business terms and among individuals – is its highest priority. But while its rhetoric has been strong, there’s still a lot more it could be doing to back up these promises with solid action.

Take the Olympics, for instance. One of the key themes running through all its preparations was legacy and talk of ‘inspiring a generation’. To this end, big ideals were created for encouraging participation in minority sports, but it’s now one year on and these plans seem to be coming no closer to fruition – with one of the main reasons for this being a lack of investment in adequate facilities.

And this is not just limited to the more obscure sports. I’m sure we’ll never forget the moment last year when Jessica Ennis-Hill secured the heptathlon gold in front of 80,000 people in the Olympic Stadium. But now her home stadium of Don Valley Sheffield is to close, with no replacement ready.

Quite how shutting down the home of an Olympic hero is meant to inspire a generation is anyone’s guess. This may be a local decision, but ultimately the responsibility has to be traced back to a failure of government policy.

It’s the same story in the business world. On the one hand, the development facilities such as Tech City to encourage more foreign investment is a great ambition. However, basic infrastructure such as communications and broadband connectivity still aren’t up to scratch in many areas – particularly those outside of the main urban centres – including Tech City.

While ambition is always to be applauded, it will be no good talking about grand visions for growth – on an economic or personal scale – unless work is done at the grassroots level to support these ambitions. Without this, many of these schemes are doomed to failure and that is something UK businesses cannot afford at such a critical time for the economy.

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