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Where Are The Property People? No Space For Real Estate In Burnham's Business Team

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has unveilled his business advisory panel — but no representative from the region's commercial or residential property sector will be sitting at the table.

The full list of 18 names includes almost every sector of the region's £56B economy, except property.

Heading the list of members are Ann Steer, chief customer officer at online retailer N Brown Group, Jennie Johnson MBE, chief executive of childcare group Kids Allowed Ltd, and Tom Kirk, managing director of engineering firm Francis Kirk Group.

A spokesman for the Mayor pointed to the selection process, which invited applications in November.

"Membership will change over time to ensure as many different business areas are involved," he told Bisnow.

The panel will work with deputy mayor and Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese.

The panel is an independent, informal and voluntary body with members joining on a personal basis, rather than as representatives of their own companies or organisations. Membership will change over time to ensure that as many business voices as possible can be heard. The founding 18 members have been asked to join for an initial period of 12 months.

The Mayor's office said the panel's work will complement Greater Manchester’s well established Local Enterprise Partnership. Both groups will work together to help drive Greater Manchester’s ambitions.

Greater Manchester’s LEP is the formal body established by the Government to give businesses, universities and others a decision-making role in the city region’s economic strategy and investment. 

The panel’s advice will also complement the views of Greater Manchester’s business representative organisations, with whom the Mayor also meets regularly.