The meeting took place at the offices of East Cambridgeshire District Council, in Ely, on September 27, and saw Malcolm Lyons, of the Huntingdonshire branch, join Graham Buck, (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire regional chairman) and Doug Balderson (regional chairman for Lincolnshire and Peterborough).Also attending was Alan Todd, from Greater Cambridge, and Aasiyah Joseph from Peterborough. The meeting was held to discuss issues that are important to the 100,000 businesses in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The members also discussed progress on infrastructure projects and rural broadband. Mr Palmer also shared his thoughts on the future of apprenticeships and how technology will change the employment needs of agriculture in the region. Mr Buck, said: We had very useful discussion with Mr Palmer in which he gave us an update on how he sees his role including how he intends to help small businesses find the skills they need to address shortages in the region. Mr Palmer said: I was very pleased that the FSB came to see me. Small businesses are the life blood of the region contributing to more than half of all employment and they are fully immersed in their local communities. We had a great discussion in which they outlined issues that get in the way of small business growth including skills shortages and businesses rates, I gave them my commitment to address these issues.