BRITAIN'S biggest chamber of commerce has pledged to continue its work to ensure the new Government delivers a business friendly agenda.

The North-East Chamber of Commerce has campaigned since January to put the business view before all the North-East parliamentary candidates.

The chamber, which has 5,000 members, said the election simply marked the end of phase one of its Ballot for Business initiative.

The document, launched to MPs at Westminster, calls for the teaching of more vocational subjects in schools and greater recognition and funding for universities which get closer to business by offering facilities and services which aid product and employee development.

It advocates tax breaks and incentives to encourage research and development and an end to ravels of unnecessary red tape which is choking the competitiveness of industry.

And it seeks investment in better transport links to London and Europe and a simplification of business support mechanisms.

In all of this, it seeks more local control with decisions made for the region, in the region.

The chamber's head of policy Rachel Spence, said: "I welcome Tony Blair's commitment to a stable and growing economy. That is what will underpin and fund the investment in public services and social improvement.

"But it can only be achieved through strong business performance which is why the issues we are promoting and vital - especially to a region like ours which has some catching up to do with other part of the country."

She added: "We will be using the links and relationships we have developed with Government over the past four years to continue to press for our case, doing all we can to make sure that the vote really was a Ballot for Business at the election."