Lord Heseltine agreed. “There is no army of people looking to increase their debt,” he stated, also asserting that this is reasonable in a time of low confidence.
In such a context, Heseltine argued, it becomes ever more important to effectively stimulate competitive spirit. He is confident that his plan to deliver regional business funding, won in competition between 39 local enterprise partnerships, is an effective way of doing this, if coupled with better capability in the nationwide network of the British Chambers of Commerce and sector trade bodies. The UK compares unfavourably with European peers when it comes to the clout and strategic alignment of these networks.
Heseltine’s plan for growth is driven by a belief that the UK must raise its average business performance. “It is easy to find examples of excellence in Britain,” he said. “But the global economy will judge us on our average.”
Negativity ill received
The positivity of Jim O’Neill and Lord Heseltine was well received by most delegates in stark contrast to the negative campaigning of shadow Chancellor Ed Balls. While delegates welcomed news that Sir John Armitt has been tasked with finding ways to reduce the impact of party political interests in long term policy making, most were doubtful that any real difference could be made to such an embedded aspect of British politics.
It was also observed that, while Mr Balls preached long termism and identified the need for an industrial strategy, he failed to acknowledge or respond to the strategy issued by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills last September. He also sidestepped a request from one delegate that Labour should adopt EEF’s industrial strategy, Route to Growth published in November.
Fed Cup: Serena leads US to victory over Ukraine.
Serena Williams defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday to send the United States back into the Fed Cup World Group by clinching a series victory over Ukraine.
Williams’ win gave the U.S. an unassailable 3-0 lead. Christina McHale later won 7-5, 6-3 against 17-year-old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina to secure a sweep of the singles matches. Americans Liezel Huber and Sloane Stephens completed a 5-0 rout with a 6-4, 6-1 win over 19-year-old twins Lyudmyla and Nadiya Kichenok in doubles.Williams was making her first Fed Cup appearance on foreign soil in more than a decade to become eligible for the U.S. team at the London Olympics.
“We’re back in the World Group where we want to be and it feels really good to get two points,” she said.Tsurenko frustrated Williams early on with accurate hitting from the baseline on the red clay court.”What’s your problem?” Williams roared at herself after hitting two consecutive aces to prevent a break in the sixth game.The 22-year-old Ukrainian pressured Williams’ serve after giving up a break, but couldn’t convert two break points. Williams broke again to take the set.
Williams became more relaxed as the match progressed, breaking twice early in the second set.
“I had a little bit of a slow start, but I just knew that I could keep fighting,” she said. “I just want to go out there and be super relaxed. I play better when I’m relaxed.”Tsurenko broke Williams to prevent her from serving out the match at 5-1, but the powerful returning of the 13-time Grand Slam champion helped her break for a third time in the set and clinch the win.McHale’s match with Svitolina was tighter. The 19-year-old American broke once to take a close first set, but breezed through the second.