BUSINESS leaders from across Wirral had a chance to air their concerns today during a "question time" debate with two of the borough’s MPs.

The event, organised by Wirral Chamber of Commerce, took place at the Holiday Inn in Hoylake  and was attended by more than 70 people.

On the panel were the chamber’s chief executive Paula Basnett, Wirral West MP and employment minister Esther McVey, and Wallasey MP and shadow leader of the House Of Commons Angela Eagle.

The meeting was hosted by Alistair Gould, from Birkenhead-based chartered accountants McEwan Wallace.

Ms Basnett said: “It’s a chance for our businesses to understand what the organisation is trying to do.

“It’s also an opportunity for visitors to voice their frustrations on problems their businesses are facing."

Ms Eagle said: “I always like to listen to the frontline experiences of people who are employing my constituents. It helps to hear what their worries are.

“I think I know what their concerns might be, but it’s nice to either have your views confirmed by employers or discover there are some other issues you may not have anticipated that are causing problems.

“What we need to see is employment prospects gathering pace in Wirral.

“Official figures show lending to small and medium-sized businesses is going down and I’d be interested to hear their experiences of accessing finance."

Ms McVey said: “We’ve just seen some of the highest ever employment figures so we know business confidence is high and there have also been a lot of new business start-ups, which is key.

“We know it’s a tough time, but local businesses are doing a lot to tackle this in many ways.

“Messages from today’s meeting will get back to Westminster.”