The Greater Wessex Leaders met with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in Winchester to show how local leaders are trying to boost the south’s economy.
Louise said: “The visit was the ideal chance for Eric Pickles to see first-hand the measures we are all taking to support the local economy and drive economic growth in our local areas and across the south.
“I took the opportunity to raise two very important local issues with him: the importance of high speed broadband for the rural economy, and the need for action on the A27.
“Access to a good broadband service is vital for our local economy and businesses, many of which are home-based. Better broadband access will also help reduce social isolation in our more rural communities, and make it easier and cheaper for residents to access services.
“West Sussex County Council has committed £6.26 million to match fund a government grant to improve the county’s broadband network, and I was keen to highlight to Eric the need for this work to happen sooner rather than later.”
Louise added: “Another key issue is the need for improvement works to the A27, particularly around the traffic bottlenecks at Worthing, Arundel and Chichester.
“All local authorities recognise improvements to the major highway are much-needed and we have lobbied successive governments asking them to prioritise improvements on the A27. This would not only benefit residents, but also greatly boost the local economy and encourage businesses to make their home in West Sussex.”