“We were constantly criticised for being too prescriptive and centralised in approach. But often the moment we relaxed the broad standards we had set, local standards, far from showing the initiative about which we were so frequently told, simply relapsed to the levels we had sought to replace.”
Michael Heseltine, Life in the Jungle. (Hodder and Stoughton 2000)
In 1994, Lord Heseltine had a very simple paradigm. Small businesses want to concentrate on running their own businesses, not to spend time and trouble seeking out information and advice, or dealing with mountains of government paperwork.
His solution? Get someone else to do it and slash government sponsored bureaucracy.
The Government created the Business Link network to deliver this radical change in industrial and economic policy.
Chapter 2 explains how the decisions taken and mistakes made during the setting up phase of Business Link impacted on small and medium sized businesses for a generation. It exposes early opposition and support for England’s first national business advisory service.