We need to have a more vibrant city
Phil Sayers is assurance partner at Grant Thornton UK, in Regent Road, Leicester. He drives a Mercedes C220 CDI Sport
Q: Is a more right-wing cabinet good for business and the economy? Or should the PM rethink his austerity measures?
A: Our political system does not allow any party to stay in power very long without gravitating towards the centre. So the answer is it depends on what measures they introduce. It is easy to see the advantages of paying down the national debt, but I believe that encouraging growth and stimulating demand are equally important for the economy to recover.
Q: Pulp Fiction and Lord of the Rings film producer Harvey Weinstein said Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby was "cool" on a visit to Curve. Is he cool?
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A: I have not met either man so can't give a verdict. However, Pulp Fiction is very cool and one of my favourite films. Lord of the Rings isn't bad either, so I'm guessing Harvey Weinstein knows what he is talking about. What would be cool for business would be if Sir Peter can make Leicester increasingly vibrant as a place to visit and to do business, and sort out more jobs for the excellent graduates our universities produce.
Q: Do you care if archaeologists find the remnants of Richard III in a city car park? Will it finally put Leicester on the map?
A: As it is the University of Leicester's world-renowned archaeology department doing the digging, finding Richard III would be a feather in their cap and help attract even more students from home and abroad. Given it's a council car park, would Richard be in for the mother of all parking tickets?
Q: Desert Island Discs is 70 years old. What three songs would you take, what book and what luxury?
A: I am naturally positive and up-beat so I would probably pick songs to reflect that such as In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry, Don't Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin and Would You Like To Swing On A Star by Bing Crosby. My book would have to be something by Ray Mears or Bear Grylls entitled How To Survive On A Desert Island and my choice of luxury would be something like a good quality paring knife.
Q: How is the double dip recession affecting Leicestershire?
A: Leicestershire has a tremendously diverse business landscape with no great polarisation of industry sector. Also, while it has its share of genuine world class businesses, it is not weighted towards the really big employers and hence when cuts have come they have been spread out in ones or twos rather than large swathes of redundancy. This means the county has been relatively resilient, further helped by its entrepreneurial culture.
Q: The campaign to cut red tape is ongoing. What bit of legislation drives you around the twist?
A: One example is causing harassment, alarm and distress – where distress is measured by the perception of the victim. Not only is this a blatant attack on freedom of speech but I cannot see how it could ever be enforced.
Q: The former boss of Jessops has been given the job of turning around HMV. Any tips for him?
A: The age of vinyl is dead and CDs will follow. Music is likely to be given away in free downloads to attract audiences to live events. Continue to diversify into games and sell either to the bottom end of the market or the top end. But don't get caught in the middle.