Suffolk Chamber honoured at BCC Chamber Awards for campaign against A14 tolls

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, being interviewed for TV during the ca

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, being interviewed for TV during the campaign against tolls on the A14. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has been recognised at a national awards ceremony for its campaign against Government plans to fund an upgrade of the A14 through tolls.

The chamber picked up the “Most Effective Campaigning” award at British Chambers of Commerce’s annual Chamber Awards, which were annouced at a ceremony at the Tower of London.

Suffolk Chamber led the campaign against the plan to use tolls to help fund key improvements to the A14 around Huntingdon, which was widely viewed as imposing an unfair and damaging burden on the economy of Suffolk.

The Department for Transport eventually agreed that the scheme should go ahead, but be funded conventionally without tolls.

Suffolk Chamber president Sarah Howard tweeted followed the ceremony: “very, very proud. The team won ‘most effective campaign’ for #notolltaxonsuffolk! Well done all!!”

“This is a fantastic achievement for Suffolk and for everyone involved in the important campaign that led to the Government scrapping their plans for a toll tax on our county.” said John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber.

“We were honoured to receive this award on behalf of all of those businesses, local authorities, Members of Parliament, business groups and others who worked hard on No Toll Tax for Suffolk. To be recognised at such prestigious national awards is something we can all be so very proud off.”

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Sarah Howard added: “To be nominated for the national campaign award was great news but to win against very strong national competition is a real honour.

“No Toll Tax on Suffolk was so successful because business big and small got behind it and ensured those in Westminster heard our clarion call. If you are a someone who got involved in this campaign in anyway at all then this award is for you.”

The overall Chamber of the Year award went to Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber, with Northamptonshire Chamber receiving the Excellence in Membership Services trophy and the Black Country chamber winning the Excellence in International Trade Services category.

The Chamber Awards also recognised individual businesses and business leaders from the UK’s chamber community, with awards including Small Business of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, Excellence in Innovation, Achievement in International Business, Sustainability, Best Use of Technology, Commitment to People Development Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Person in Business,

Nora Senior, president of British Chambers of Commerce, of which Suffolk Chamber is an accredited member, said: “These awards are the perfect opportunity to thank British businesses, up and down the country, and across all sectors, for their contribution to our economy.

“I’m constantly impressed by their determination, innovation and commitment to investing in their local communities. I have no doubt that the winners and finalists of our awards will be tomorrow’s wealth creators, and will play a vital role driving forward the future prosperity of the UK economy.”

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