Your Business Bulletin from Thanet & East Kent Chamber
Thanet & East Kent Insider
7th August 2010 Issue No.:
1. Business Rates
2. The Arts In Ramsgate
Eileen Richford, Technical Officer at Ramsgate Town Council, has contacted the Chamber with news of Ramsgate Arts’s “A Summer Squall”. This is a series of arts-related events running over the bank holiday weekend of 28th – 30th August 2010. Taking as its three themes Made in Thanet, Green Futures and Heritage, the events promise to bring a lively and commercially aware series of activities to Ramsgate during one of its busiest periods of the year. Many of the attractions are free and visitors, tourists and residents alike will welcome the 28 choices listed in the attractive brochure produced by the Ramsgate Arts voluntary group that has been preparing for the festival for more than a year. Full details are available on the website at http://www.ramsgatearts.org. As the Thanet & East Kent Insider has often remarked, history tells us that healthy arts and healthy business go together and we wish Ramsgate Arts every success with their weekend.
3.Water Water Everywhere, But Is It Safe To Drink?
4. Planning & Property Profits
The national press often covers horror stories of planning blight. Councils insensitive to the needs of their local companies can stimulate copy for the media as the frustrations of those entrepreneurs most affected are driven to launching a full broadside attack on the intransigence of officialdom. All of this helps to sell newspapers and amuses those who consider themselves not directly involved. In fact, we are all involved when an enterprise is not allowed to be enterprising and when employment opportunities are reduced or abolished by those in a position to support companies in the best position to grow. With nine out of ten companies in the East Kent coastal business community employing fewer than 25 workers, backing the expansion plans of start up companies probably offers one of the quickest routes to boosting the economy and thereby reducing unemployment. It is refreshing therefore to find that at Thanet District Council we have a regeneration department that communicates regularly with the Thanet & East Kent Chamber, the largest business support agency in Thanet, and is happy to listen to problems that the Chamber raises. Reasonable solutions follow from reasoned arguments. Whereas some planning authorities charge over £1,000 for pre-application planning advice, the Chamber is often able to obtain some guidance at no cost or at a reduced cost to members. Where specialised technical information is required, we are also fortunate in our area to be able to direct enquirers towards property professionals who have the skills and experience to assist in commercial and residential transactions including maintenance, preservation and tenant references. We are pleased to list the following: CJ Maintenance (S.E.) Ltd of Hersden tel: 01227 711500; Cliftonville Tile Centre of Cliftonville tel: 01843 296603; Cooke & Co Estate Agents of Cliftonville tel: 01843 231833; The Door & Window Company Ltd of Broadstairs tel : 01843 864307; Eurocell Buildings Plastics Ltd of Ramsgate tel: 01843 589686; FLS Tenant Referencing Services Ltd of Hersden tel : 01227 719898 ; Fox’s Removals & Transport of Margate tel: 01843 294422; Hemispheres Property Consultants of Ramsgate tel: 01843 596663; L & G Mortgage Solutions of Birchington tel: 01843 845600; Margate Harbour Arm Ltd of Margate tel: 07968 209047; Meadowside Chartered Building Consultancy of Birchington tel: 01843 841055; MPG Properties of Ramsgate tel: 01843 596224; Oakwood Homes Estate Agencies Ltd of Margate tel: 01843 221133; OFP Ltd of Sandwich tel: 01304 613298; Pescon (Kent) Ltd of Canterbury tel: 01227 463248; Pike Shopfitting & Joinery of Sandwich tel: 01304 614901; TCB Property Maintenance of Margate tel: 01843 228484; Terence Painter Properties of Broadstairs tel: 01843 866866 and W W Martin (Thanet Ltd) of Ramsgate tel: 01843 591584.
5. US Navy On A Collision Course
Following our recent report of a first class evening spent with the Royal Navy Presentation Team, one Chamber member has sent us an account involving the US Navy exercising off the coast of Newfoundland. We have our doubts about this story but we leave it to our readers to make their own judgment. According to our Chamber member, the following is a transcript of a radio conversation between a ship of the US Navy and the Canadian authorities which was allegedly released into the public domain on 10th October 1995.
“Change your direction 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.”
“Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.”
“This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.”
“Any I say again, you divert YOUR course.”
“This is the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Enterprise of 93,284 tons. Divert YOUR course now.”
“And this is a Canadian lighthouse. Your call.”
6. Silly Season
In some Western European countries, certain factories and commercial operations close down entirely for two weeks in August. In many of the 27 members of the European Union, the pace of business is limited as national economies focus on tourism and employees enjoy their annual holiday. Traditionally, the press in this country, local regional and national, produce spurious and sometimes obviously concocted stories in an effort to retain their readership and to maintain the interest of their advertisers. Being a serious publication reporting on business issues of importance, the Thanet & East Kent Insider naturally rises above such behaviour. Readers will be relieved to know that the Loch Ness Monster has not been sighted in the River Stour at Pluck’s Gutter nor has a psychic octopus called Paul been found at Quex Park predicting the results of the opening weekend of the Premier League. What has provoked a reaction among the 2,500 key-decision-makers who read the Insider is the item in last week’s edition about the pointless, portable and expensive electronic signs on the verges of our local motorways which display edifying messages such as “TAKE EXTRA CARE WHILE TOWING”. We asked for any suggestions to supplement the meagre vocabulary of the Highways Agency. We were not disappointed by the results. Les Posniak of NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent offers the witty: “DO NOT BE DISTRACTED BY IRRELEVANT ROADSIGNS”. Rob Prince of China Gateway International has sent four examples including a photograph of a sign outside one of the buildings at Northampton General Hospital which reads: “Family Planning Advice: Use rear entrance”. Another well-travelled reader recalls visiting India just after Mrs Gandhi had left office. He saw a large hoarding in Madras which displayed in characters one metre high “Honesty is the Best Policy” and underneath in text of a similar size: “Especially In Income Tax Matters.” Whereas not everyone will follow the instructions at Northampton General Hospital, readers will surely now take extra care with their taxes, even if they already do the same with their caravans.
7. Our Sponsors
Girlings Solicitors has been managing the legal affairs of commercial and private clients for over a century. Twenty-six partners and one hundred and twenty members of staff ensure a comprehensive range of services from the local offices in Ashford, Canterbury, Folkestone, Herne Bay and Margate. Offices in France and Spain complement specialist departments for charities, individuals and companies. For details, telephone 01843 220274. Express By Holiday Inn took on the daunting task of restoring the former Prospect Inn at Minster. The result is a spectacular hotel that combines the best of Oliver Hill’s 1930s design with ultra modern facilities and technological support. Conveniently located for business guests and holiday makers in East Kent, the meeting rooms and 105 bedrooms are available at competitive prices throughout the year. For details, telephone 01843 820250. Adecco is the world’ s largest HR solutions company offering a comprehensive service of temporary and contract staffing, permanent recruitment, outsourcing, outplacement, career services, training and consulting. Officially designated as a 2009 British Superbrand, Adecco is represented in Thanet and Dover by its Broadstairs office, tel: 01843 609292. CARISS design, install and support education and business computing systems as East Kent’s leading specialist company in Open Source Software. To lower your carbon footprint, reduce your power consumption and adopt a thin client system, call CARISS, tel: 01843 823724. Mach Associates are the high-fliers in providing Internet technologies and specialist software solutions with a particular expertise in servicing the travel industry. A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and with ISO9001 accreditation, Mach Associates also offers reduces telecom operating cost through VOIP/PBX phone systems, tel: 0870 321 9986. Sota Connect offers a comprehensive IT service covering best-value voice, data and Internet services for companies of all sizes as well as public sector organisations. The company operates two state-of-the-art data centres of over 10,000sq ft. Sota Connect owns and operates a unique 200km fibre network from London to Ramsgate with high bandwidth Internet access giving superfast Internet connections, tel: 0800 072 2420.