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16.06.03
Thelma Sorenson elected chairman of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Economic Forum

Thelma Sorensen, has been elected chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Economic Forum, which is charged with providing strategic direction to its economic development.

The newly constituted and 37-strong Forum acts as the strategic economic partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, bringing together the views of private and public sector organisations to achieve prosperity for the area.

Thelma said: "I'm so proud to have been elected chairman of the Forum, as this is the first time that a private sector representative and a woman has held such a post. I want to ensure it is a really meaningful body, not just a talking shop."

Cornwall business leaders and the heads of public sector organisations welcomed her election. Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: "Thelma has played a key role on the Objective One Business Task Force in ensuring that we take a demand-led approach to the needs of local business and I know that she will be a huge asset in driving forward the Forum's agenda."

Rick Hopkins, spokesman for the Forum of Private Business, one of the CBP's members, said: "I'm sure that under Thelma's firm hand, a more realistic, pragmatic and clear agenda will now be followed, ensuring that the needs of Cornwall's economy will now be handled in a robust and targeted manner. This will be good news for businesses of all sizes in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly."

Among the Forum's top priorities is the need to persuade the Government and other organisations to invest more money in Cornwall's infrastructure, including making improvements to the rail network, dualling parts of the A30 and improving the service to the Isles of Scilly, extending the actnow broadband network and further developing Newquay Airport. Equally important is the provision of targeted support for high growth businesses and the enhancement of the quality of business support and the delivery of appropriate quality and flexible workforce development training

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Editor's notes:

Thelma Sorensen

Thelma Sorensen was born into a small family horticultural business in South East Cornwall and had a long early career in the insurance industry, where she gained extensive commercial experience. She was closely associated for many years with a large privately owned construction company in South East Cornwall.

Later, she became local administrator for the Chartered Institute of Building, organising training, high-level conferences, seminars and exhibitions. She has also organised major conferences in South Wales in respect of Objective One in the construction industry there.

Other appointments have included being secretary of the Cornwall and Devon Region of the Design and Industries Association. She sits on the DIA National Council, has served on its National Awards Committee and has personally managed important National Design Awards.

She is an active member of the Business Task Force for Objective One in Cornwall and was elected chairman of the Cornwall Business Partnership in January 2002. In July 2002, as chairman of the CBP, she organised the first 'Planning for Prosperity' conference at Tolvaddon, supported by the Government Office for the South West, Cornwall County Council and the South West Regional Development Agency, and sponsored by the Objective One for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Partnership.

Thelma is a member of the Objective One Programme Monitoring Committee and is very active working with major construction companies and related organisations within the construction industry helping to raise skill levels within the workforce. She is on the Steering Group of Constructive Cornwall.

She is also Vice-Chairman (Cornwall) of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council and a non-executive director of Finance Cornwall Ltd. She sat on the working group for the Image and Brand for Cornwall Project and has been a member of the Cornwall Partnership to assist the development of the newly launched Cornwall Strategic Partnership.

Thelma is an active Executive Committee member of the Construction Industry Council (South West) for Devon and Cornwall, a member of the national Architecture Club and the South West Women in Construction organisation for professional women in the construction industry. In her spare time, she is an enthusiastic member of the International Wine and Food Society.

Cornwall Business Partnership

Cornwall Business Partnership is the umbrella body for all the major business representative organisations in Cornwall. Its role is to act as the
single business voice for Cornwall. It is recognised by such bodies as the Government Office for the South West, the South West Regional Development Agency and Cornwall County Council.

Its aims and purpose are to:

• Provide a single voice for business in Cornwall

• Create a positive business environment

• Encourage entrepreneurial activity

• Demand excellence in enterprise

• Promote inward investment

• Facilitate economic development

• Highlight success to the outside world

Overall, to increase the prosperity of the region
The Partnership's members are the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors, the Institute of Management, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forum for Private Business, the Construction Industry Council (South West) Devon and Cornwall, the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Mid Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, West Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Connecting People, Cornwall Agriculture Council, Objective One Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Business Task Force, the Mid Cornwall Enterprise Trust, Cornwall Enterprise Trust, the Cornwall Tourism Forum and the High Growth Sector Forum.

For further information, please contact:

Michelle O'Brien
Cornwall Enterprise Company
Pydar House
Pydar Street
Truro
TR1 2EA
Tel: 01872 322884

John Baker
John Baker Communications
PO Box 5
Saltash
Cornwall
PL12 4YW
Tel: 01752 849839
Mobile: 07710 147395
Email: johnbakercoms@btopenworld.com

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
jason@dclark.co.uk

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