Andy Coyne introduces this year’s list and reflects on the transient nature of power
What a difference a year makes. Just 12 months ago, Ian Austin, minister for the West Midlands, was at number four in our list, which ranks those people in the Midlands whom we judge to wield the most power in business terms. One general election later, the Labour party is out of power and the role no longer exist.
This year’s list also reflects the looser grip public sector bodies hold on power as a result of a coalition government being formed that isn’t enamored with quangos. It is also committed to a rigorous program of spending cuts. As Insider went to press the continued existence of many public-sector business support bodies was still in question. This year’s list reflects the importance of some of our key businesses to the region, not least of all because of the number of smaller businesses they affect through the regional supply chain.
I’m sure you won’t agree with our selection in its entirety but such lists are by their nature subjective. All we can hope is that Insider has made a good case for our choices. With the backdrop of an economic downturn and a general election, this year’s list has changed as much in a 12-month period as any Power 100 in the feature’s history: its instability reflecting the volatility of the wider economy. Many will be hoping for a more stable Power 100 next year, reflecting a welcome period of calm in the regional economy. We shall see if that is the case.