The Brighton Hove Business Lunch Club got off to a cracking start this year, with 45 members and guests listening intently to the words of our main speaker, Caroline Lucas MP, earlier this month.

It would be fair to say that many business people were less than excited at the election of a Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, but having heard her talk and having had the chance to chat to Caroline, I think she has a good listening ear and is prepared to take on the points raised.
It was also clear that there are a fair few misunderstandings about what The Green Party wants to see happen in Brighton and Hove. In response to a question from the floor, she was quick to stress that she does not consider a congestion charge would work here. Which came as a great relief to many of our members!
Caroline is seeking to have a positive relationship with the business community, and we must welcome this. She is keen to understand our views on the LEP and will be talking to Nik Askaroff of EMC at a later date. Nik is a former chairman of Sussex Enterprise and was closely involved with SEEDA and the early discussions on LEPs, so is well placed to fight the good fight, as you might say.

The venue for the business club’s first meeting of 2011 was the wonderful Dome room at Hotel du Vin on Ship Street, which never fails to deliver on the service and great food front.
We have run Lunch club meetings monthly for the past 2 years, across Brighton, Tunbridge Wells and Crawley. In that time we have been lucky enough to have some great speakers through our doors. From Olympian Sally Gunnell, to the Editor of the Sunday Telegraph Ian Macgregor, through to Crawley Town FC Chief Executive Alan Williams. Caroline’s visit was certainly up there with the most talked about by our members.

We are now expanding and taking on new members. We are looking for owners or bosses of companies with a turnover of at least £2 million or who employ at least 10 people. If you want to get a feel for what we do and how we do it, watch our new Lunch Club video and see for yourself what our members say.

If you’d like more information on the club, please send me an email ( or call me on 01273 311810.
As a regular feature of our blog, we will be letting you see more news from our Lunch Clubs members, so please let us know if you have any news stories you would like to share.