POLITICIANS were recently welcomed to a summit of businesses in Basingstoke.

MP for Basingstoke, Maria Miller, invited James Morris, MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis in the West Midlands, to the Basingstoke Business and Enterprise Forum (BBEF).

The BBEF is an organisation that provides an independent middle ground where businesses can meet, build rapport and put their viewpoint across to Mrs Miller and government ministers.

Following a career in the IT sector, Mr Morris, who entered Parliament in 2010 and sat on the Select Committee for Housing and Local Government, addressed the forum, hosted by Chineham Business Park-based Labcold, and then answered questions from attendees.

Mr Morris discussed the importance of entrepreneurship and a diverse business culture spread through different sectors.

He also spoke about the importance of aligning skills to opportunities and answered a range of questions concerning education and the need to ensure that pupils attain the right qualifications to gain future employment.

Mrs Miller said: “It was important to hear that employers want excellent educational standards to go hand in hand with the development of practical skills. Basingstoke is a thriving economy and is one of the top ten employment centres in the south east.”