Councillor Kamaljit Chana Reverse Dragon’s Den Initiative Shortlisted for Award

Councillor Kamaljit Chana

Councillor Kamaljit Chana

Councillor Kamaljit Singh Chana of Harrow Council has been shortlisted under the Business Driver category for the 2nd Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises UK-based politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall. The Councillor is nominated for the launch of his detailed survey for local businesses in the area.

Cllr Chana conducted the survey over the summer, while he was the opposition spokesman for business issues, as he felt that local businesses were not being listened to by the Council. Determined to tap into the knowledge of local businesses, he created detailed surveys to get their opinions on various business matters. Referring to what he calls the “Reverse Dragon’s Den”, Cllr Chana visited over 200 local businesses in Harrow including Rayners Lane ward to discuss their business needs and to understand how the Council could be more effective. The survey asked businesses for their thoughts on a broad range of issues from information on the challenges they face, to what assistance and support they would like from the Council. The Council is looking to save £60m and Cllr Chana - now portfolio holder for Business and Enterprise - is keen to use the feedback he received to ensure that businesses get the right opportunities and services from the Council.

Cllr Chana explained: “These are difficult times for local businesses, with many struggling to stay afloat, to keep people employed and to pay their bills. Our business community also plays a hugely important role in keeping Harrow somewhere we like to live and work. The Council had become too reliant on ‘one size fits all’ business advice events, not long-term ideas and policies. Given businesses in Harrow currently have less than a 45% chance of surviving five years, I want the Council to be working more closely with them on a more regular basis and finding out more about what we can do to support them.”

Cllr Chana hopes that the survey will give businesses a real opportunity to raise their concerns, to share their thoughts and ideas, whilst giving the Council the guidance needed to going forward and better supporting them

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “The award illustrates that we do have government representatives that actively work on the meeting the people’s needs and we must focus on bringing more positive role models into society and diminish negative news - that is the grassroot diplomacy way”.  

Join Cllr Kamaljit Chana and other government nominees at The Mayfair Hotel, London on Thursday 15th May 2014 where the awards ceremony will be hosted by TV Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos.