National role for top business ambassador

A10 WEEK 22'MCBH'rd' Alex Pratt & his book
A10 WEEK 22'MCBH'rd' Alex Pratt & his book

One of the Vale’s top businessman is now the chairman of a national organisation for firms.

Alex Pratt, who runs Serious Readers in Bierton has already advised the government on business issues.

But in his new role at chairman of 39 national Local Enterprise Partnerships, Mr Pratt will work with ministers to ensure that businesses have what they need to thrive across the country.

Mr Pratt, who was awarded the OBE for services to business, said: “This is about businesses coming together with local authorities to say what they need in terms of things like skills and transport.

“We are the second smallest Local Enterprise Partnership in terms of numbers of people, but we are punching above our weight.

“For example we built more houses in Buckinghamshire than all of the London boroughs except for Tower Hamlets.

“Every person in Buckinghamshire contributes £4,500 a year to pay for whatever everyone else gets.”

And Mr Pratt, who’s business column you can read on the opposite page, said that, although he is looking forward to the new role, it will be a tough one.

He said: “It’s a lot of extra unpaid work, but it means a chance from, a local level to show that Bucks is leading the way.

“It means lots of meetings with government ministers, for example we are trying to raise the anti on digital infrastructure investment and I met with the Prime Minister on that last week.

“It’s something I understand, and you have to understand how things work to be effective.

“There’s no point in just shouting like a madman from the sidelines.”

Mr Pratt was voted into the role last week and will now work with groups around the country to get the best deal for firms.

His company Serious Readers makes a range of lights which are used for everything from tanks to reading.