Your Business Bulletin from Thanet & East Kent Chamber
Thanet & East Kent Insider
12th June 2017 Issue No.: 216
1. General Election Hustings
After chairing three hustings during the previous general election campaign just two years ago followed by the Chamber Question Time “European Union: In or Out?” event featured on ITV Meridian last June, the Chamber detected a somewhat diminished appetite for intensive political debate. But, at the request of our membership and at short notice the Chamber arranged an East Kent hustings on Friday, 2 June 2017. On the panel were representatives from the four main political parties; Craig Mackinlay MP (Con), Del Goddard (Lab), Martyn Pennington (Lib Dem) and Cllr Rev Stuart Piper (UKIP). Organised by popular demand as a BBC-style Question Time, it is worth noting that none of the panel had previously seen the questions. The issues debated included the NHS, fishing rights, the Manston Airport site, the Unique Selling Points of our coastal towns, Section 40 of the Crimes and Courts Act 2013, unemployment, the East Kent skills deficit and a final two personal questions which did not feature in party manifestos. Registered Chamber members will find a full list attached.
2. Who Won The Debate?
Chamber members in attendance will judge who fared best in the lively debates that followed nearly every question. The issue of the future of the Manston Airport site produced the most responses from the floor with incisive, but entirely civilised insults accompanying some of the exchanges. Heckling changed to mirth when each member of the panel was asked to name his favourite meal. Readers who were not present must ask someone who was there in order to match the panellist with the dishes nominated which were “Any dish with fish”, “Steak, definitely steak”, “Curry, I love a curry” and “Barbecued barracuda with parmesan”. Pictures from the morning and all recent Chamber events can be found on our official image website at http://antonimages.co.uk/events/chamber-of-commerce/
3. Manston and RiverOak
RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) has confirmed the dates of its six-week consultation on its plans to reopen Manston Airport as an air freight hub. As detailed in RSP’s Statement of Community Consultation, a series of free events have been arranged in East Kent where members of the public are invited to scrutinise and comment on the proposals. With the objective of encouraging as many as possible to respond, RSP is hosting sessions in Broadstairs, Cliffsend, Margate, Sandwich, Canterbury and Ramsgate. The dates times and places of the consultations are as follows: Wednesday, 14th June 2017 at The King’s Hall, Beacon Hill, Herne Bay CT6 6BA from 1400 hrs to 2000 hrs; Thursday, 15th June 2017 at The Pavilion Harbour Street, Broadstairs CT10 1EU from 1400 hrs to 2000 hrs; Friday, 16th June 2017 at Cliffsend Village Hall, Foads Lane, Cliffsend CT12 5JH from 1400 hrs to 2000 hrs; Saturday, 17th June 2017 at Sands Hotel, 16 Marine Drive, Margate CT9 1DH from 1000 hrs to 1400 hrs; Tuesday, 20th June 2017 at The Guildhall, Cattle Market, Sandwich CT13 9AH from 1400 hrs to 2000 hrs; Thursday, 22nd June 2017 at ABode Hotel, 30-33 High Street, Canterbury CT1 2RX from 1400 hrs to 2000 hrs and Saturday, 24th June 2017 at Comfort Inn, Victoria Parade, Ramsgate CT11 8DT from 1000 hrs to 1400 hrs.
4. Are These Consultations Important?
5. Jaguar Land Rover
6. Events So Far This Year
Chamber members were treated to expert guidance on marketing on 10th February at our “Market Hard, Sell Easy” Chamber Business Networking Breakfast. The expert speakers were Jean-François Chodecki of Corporate Creations and Alison Wilby of Maximus Marketing. On 25th February, James Cardwell-Moore, Commercial Director at Business Stream, explained how East Kent companies could take full advantage of the new deals available following his company’s acquisition of Southern Water’s business customers. On 9th March, the Project Manager of GEN² Property Limited, David Mounter, outlined the latest news on the plans to construct a High Speed railway station at Cliffsend, between Manston and Ramsgate. Chamber members heard of the likely transformative effect on the economic development of our East Kent economy and were given the opportunity to give their input on this project which is due to be completed in early 2020. The meeting on 6th April entitled “Property, Property, Property” was appropriately blessed with three speakers. Mike Williams, Senior Geoenvironmental Engineer at the MLM Group, showed why his firm was working on 9,000 live projects with a value in excess of £1.5 billion. Michael Whittaker, a chartered accountant at McCabe Ford Williams, gave a professional overview of the costs, profits and pitfalls of the Buy-To-Let market. Robert Najem, Commercial Director at Barnard Systems, outlined the 40% savings that can be made by building new homes and commercial edifices using modern steel modular construction methods. On 19th May at our “Lean. Mean & Keen” meeting, Gary Burgess gave a well-received account of how to maximise efficiency, reduce waste and keep customers happy. As the Continuous Improvement Manager at FujiFilm Speciality Ink Systems Ltd, Gary drew on his 29 years of industrial experience to give Chamber members some practical suggestions on how they could boost productivity and increase their profits. Start-ups and established companies found that they could benefit significantly from adopting some of the processes espoused and encouraged by Gary’s parent firm of FujiFilm, the world’s largest photographic and imaging company.
7. Ronnie Philpott and Barry Coppock
East Kent has lost two supremely community-minded public servants with the passing of Veronica “Ronnie” Philpott last month and Barry Coppock before Easter. Ronnie gave unstintingly to the town of Dover, as a councillor, as mayor and as a keen supporter of the town’s many cultural, educational and charitable organisations. Her unfailing commitment and sunny disposition will be much missed in the business community. Barry Coppock was the Leader and Chairman of Thanet District Council and a busy TDC councillor from 1991 to 2003. Barry had a unique way of expressing his impatience at anybody who wasted his time in meetings. He claimed that his favourite word in the English dictionary began with ‘boll’ and ended with ‘cks”. A supporter and advisor to China Gateway plc in later years, Barry leaves many people in Thanet sharing the grief of his wife Jackie, a former Mayor of Ramsgate, and his great friend Frank Thorley. In 2004, Coppock Close in Newington, was named in honour of Barry and Jackie and provides a permanent memorial.
8. Dover Counselling Centre
Founded in the wake of the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster in 1987, Dover Counselling Centre (DCC) is respected throughout the world for its pioneering approach to addressing mental health issues. The increasing demands nationwide for its counselling services means that DCC has outgrown its building in St James Street, Dover. As a result, the charity is moving its administration headquarters to new premises in Gordon Road, Whitfield. An official opening of the new building, now named Horizon House, is scheduled for next week. The Chamber understands that a mystery guest, billed as “a star of television, film and theatre”, will be making the keynote speech and it is expected that there will be considerable media interest in the event. It is interesting to note that the positive results of professional mental health counselling, defined by DCC from its inception as “To be there and care”, are at last being recognised more widely. There is now common agreement on the parity of esteem for mental health and physical health. After answering more than a quarter of a million telephone calls since 1987, DCC has more than played its part in bringing about this welcome change.
9. C. G. Hibbert
10. New Members
The Chamber is pleased to welcome the following new members to the Chamber: Pettit Recruitment Solutions of Sandwich, Maximus Marketing of Ramsgate, Town and Country Cleaners of Canterbury, Business Stream of Edinburgh, Venture Telecommunications of Broadstairs, Artemis Recruitment Consultants of Margate, Clover House of Whitstable, Unitemps of Canterbury, Paul J Mahoney (Inspiring Safety) of Garlinge, Hartwell Architects of Dover, Maximus Green Ltd of Ramsgate, Victoria Gayle Interiors of Ramsgate, Matilda Hays Flowers of Ramsgate, KES Light Haulage of Dover, RiverOak Strategic Partners of London, Domestic Butler of Ramsgate, Quinn Estates of Canterbury and Transworld Business Advisors of Tonbridge.
11. Fact Or Fiction
A chamber member recently called our research office in Sandwich and related a tale of his experience the previous weekend. We have our doubts about this story, but we leave it to our readers to judge for themselves. As he put it; “It was a warm afternoon last Saturday and while my dear wife was at the gym, I was sitting in the back garden wondering if I should get on with the DIY jobs I had promised or have another glass of cool chardonnay. Suddenly, a strange face peered over the garden wall and asked: ‘Got any odd jobs to do?’. Realising that this was a heaven-sent opportunity, I said: ‘Well, yes actually. Could you paint the porch out front? If so, how much would it cost?’ ‘Oh about £40 if you supply the paint’, came the friendly reply. ‘Fair enough and not bad for the whole porch’, I thought. ‘That would allow me to finish the bottle and listen to the cricket on the radio’. ‘Agreed’, I said rather too loudly and went to the shed at the bottom of the garden to find a tin of white Dulux one-coat gloss, a medium brush and a pack of sandpaper which I duly handed over with the cheery words: ‘Come back when you’ve finished and I’ll give you your cash’. Settling back comfortably into the garden lounger with the rest of the wine, I must have dozed off as the sun had gone in when the handyman reappeared. ‘All done’, he said and passed the brush and empty paint tin over the back wall. Congratulating myself on the best value deal I had ever done, I gladly handed over two crisp £20 notes and made ready to inspect the work. As I was moving around to the front of the house, our friendly handyman waved goodbye and said; ‘You had me fooled for a moment with your little joke. But I knew it was a Toyota and not a Porsche. Looks nice in white, doesn’t it?’”
© David Foley 11th June 2017