Businessman: ‘Bucks is like the Shires in Lord Of The Rings’

Alex Pratt
Alex Pratt

The Bucks economy is akin to the Shires in Lord Of The Rings, according to a leading Vale businessman.

Alex Pratt told councillors at Bucks County Council’s annual debate that Bucks was doing much better than other parts of the country – but he also warned that there were not enough jobs located within the county.

He said: “Our workforce is highly productive, we’re in pretty good shape. House building and employment has returned to pre-recession levels.

“The number of young people not in education, training or employment is a quarter nationally and over half in Spain, but here it’s 3%.

“We’re a bit like the Shires in Lord Of The Rings.

“There’s a nightmare going on all around us but you come back to Buckingshire and everything is rosy.

“But more people have to leave Bucks to go to work than anywhere else.

“We start lots of businesses but they don’t grow.

“There’s not enough jobs for graduates to go to and only 60 companies employ more than 300 people, with most employment in the services.

“We are fooling ourselves if we think we are providing opportunties for our residents to work in Bucks.”

Mr Pratt is chairman of Bucks Business First, which represents 35% of the county’s businesses.