Page last updated at 17:00 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Courage needed to beat downturn

Housebuilders and local authorities in the East of England need to "be brave" and work together to beat the economic downturn, says a leading councillor.

John Reynolds, chairman of the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA), will make the call at Cambridge on Thursday.

He will say it is vital for developers in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk to keep building to withstand recession.

Mr Reynolds will also outline the large role local councils must play.

Mr Reynolds, who is also Cambridgeshire County Council cabinet member for corporate services, is speaking at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) annual conference at Robinson College.

'Biggest employer'

He said: "I believe the RICS has a powerful voice which will be listened to by the builders and developers and they can make a real contribution to helping UK Plc to climb out of the current economic downturn.

"I will also be outlining what Cambridgeshire County Council, both as a community leader and as the biggest employer in the county, is doing to help the local economy.

"We have already introduced an interim pay award for our non-management staff ahead of a national agreement and we ensure we are extremely prompt when it comes to paying our contractors and suppliers."

Cambridgeshire Together has organised a "summit" on 20 November, the first in the East of England, to discuss the impact of the credit crunch and economic downturn as well as what can be done to protect the Cambridgeshire community and economy.

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