First big conference at the new Spa

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls , visits Scarborough to talk to at the Federation of Small Businesses annual conference, at the Spa.Pictured being quizzed by conference host, Selina Scott. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121270f 23/03/12
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls , visits Scarborough to talk to at the Federation of Small Businesses annual conference, at the Spa.Pictured being quizzed by conference host, Selina Scott. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121270f 23/03/12

MORE than 700 businessmen and women packed into Scarborough’s Spa for the venue’s first major conference since the £6 million refurbishment.

The Federation of Small Businesses has brought its two-day national conference to Scarborough.

The event got under way with sessions from Business Secretary Vince Cable and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls. The opening ceremony saw delegates watch an Olympic torch making its way to Scarborough on a screen, before a local federation member entered the Spa’s Grand Hall carrying a mock torch.

Scarborough mayor Cllr John Blackburn welcomed the federation, which has up to 500 members in the town. He talked about the town being the UK’s first seaside resort, and told delegates about Scarborough being crowned the most enterprising place in Europe in 2009.

The federation’s chairman John Walker said: “We will continue to try to get the Government to listen to the needs of small business owners.

“Our number one issue has got to be the cost of motoring. We do welcome other proposals including the simplification of tax and a planned scheme to enable young people to start businesses.”

Speaking to the Evening News Mr Walker added: “We chose to bring our conference to Scarborough because it is a well-known resort. We know the hotel facilities will be in good supply and much of them will be small business owners so it’s good to be able to support them.”