Ashford EDG April 2024 Minutes

30th April 2024

Ashford Economic Development Group – April 2024 minutes

Nettie Buss (AB)
Susan Bonett (SB)
Jo Brown (JB)
Tim Butler (TB)
Maria Callow (MC)
Matthew Fell (MF)
Richard Lavender (RL)
James McComas (JMcC)
Lyn Newbury (LN)
Andrew Osborne (AO)
Tudor Price (TP)
Jason Rainbird (JR)
Dr Patricia Rice
Tim Sheppard (TS)
Dan Sherlock (DS)
Richard Stafford (RS)
Prof Jonathan Wadsworth (JW)
Joseph Wilkinson (JW)


AB welcomed members of the Low Pay Commission, Dr Patricia Rice, Prof Jonathan Wadsworth, Matthew Fell and secretariat members Tim Butler (Chief Economist) and Mr Joseph Wilkinson (Head of Policy). In addition the AEDG welcomed James McComas (General Manager at Champneys Eastwell Manor Hotel & Spa) and LN in replacement for SN’s absence.

Update on Ashford College


To follow on from the previous meeting a key challenge for the college is to secure Level 2 Electrical and Plumbing placements for 200 students. In total approx. 350 placements will need to be filled.

Ashford College need more Industry Liaison Officers ILO’s to secure more industry placements. Two or three organisations can share one student placement over a period.

British Chamber of Commerce (BCC)

TP mentioned Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce was visiting Kent today. There would be a key meeting in Dover to discuss the issues around the pending Entry Exit System (EES).

Low Pay Commission

MF introduced the purpose of the visit from the Low Pay Commission. They are holding a series of meetings with employers and workers. They want to hear first-hand evidence about the impact of the National Minimum Wage. That evidence will help shape their recommendations to the Government on the future of the minimum wage.

The key themes of discussion were around:

  • The economy, outlook for pay and the labour market in our area
  • How businesses are impacted by the rising minimum wage
  • Views on the future of the minimum wage

All views shared were treated in confidence and evidence gathered will be anonymised as appropriate.

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