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Back at the helm

PUBLISHED: 09:16 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 17:20 25 August 2010

THE man responsible for extending the presidency of the South East London Chamber of Commerce to two years is back for a second bite at the cherry. Clive Barker, 63, has been elected to act as president for the chamber, which covers Greenwich, Bexley, Br

THE man responsible for extending the presidency of the South East London Chamber of Commerce to two years is back for a second bite at the cherry.

Clive Barker, 63, has been elected to act as president for the chamber, which covers Greenwich, Bexley, Bromley and Lewisham, for the second time, eight years after he campaigned to double the office tenure.

He said: "It just felt like you just got your feet under the table before you had to leave.

"Since then there have been some excellent presidents and boards who have really given impetus to the chamber I and I hope to follow on from them."

Mr Barker, who owns and manages construction and engineering company CSB Logistics, based in Charlton and Woolwich, has a four-point manifesto.

These include building on the progress already made, to engage with big business in the area, to promote community cohesion by encouraging companies to use local suppliers and to focus on providing practical educational help in schools.

He pointed to the work the chamber does with the government and how he hopes to build in these contacts to increase the influence of the chamber, while connecting with bigger businesses to link them in with smaller companies as suppliers.

He added: "Big businesses don't often believe it needs to join, but I believe they can benefit hugely by using local suppliers, something that is particularly important in these difficult times."

Perhaps his most ambitious move is to attempt to engage chamber members with schools in south east London.

"I want businesses to go into schools to talk about what it is to run your own business. I already visit schools to talk about being an entrepreneur. The kids all know Dragons Den and The Apprentice and so are interested, so I can tell them about the attitude they need to succeed. I want to make it so every member spends just one or two hours going into schools to share their knowledge about the business world," he said.

"Of course we all do this as volunteers but I think we can do more for people in the area.

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