The Insider - Business Bulletins

Your Business Bulletin from Thanet & East Kent Chamber

Your Business Bulletin from Thanet & East Kent Chamber

 

Thanet & East Kent Insider

 

26th August 2013 Issue No.: 204

 

1. Dover Counselling Centre Anniversary
Dover Counselling Centre has just celebrated its 25th anniversary. With a direct lineage that has its origins in the Herald Assistance Unit established after the Zeebrugge ferry disaster of 1987, DCC continues to provide first-class counselling to individuals and companies across the UK. As the official NHS mental health service for much of East Kent, DCC is rightly proud of its pioneering research and best practice operations. The Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, and the Rt Worshipful the Town Mayor of Dover, Cllr Ronnie Philpott, were among the VIP audience in Maison Dieu House Dover to hear of the developments in counselling skills over the last hundred years. Understanding, empathy and social attitudes towards depression have certainly changed since a shell-shocked Private Herbert Burden of the Northumberland Fusiliers was tied at the stake and shot for cowardice in 1915. He was just 17 years old. The families and friends of the 193 passengers and crew who perished on board the Herald of Free Enterprise on that fateful night of 6 March 1987 received a more enlightened response and the important lessons learned from their care inspire DCC counsellors today.

 

2. Why Haven’t I Heard of Dover Counselling Centre Before?

Professional mental health counselling is strictly confidential. There’s no marketing manager illustrating advertising strategies with the voice of the customer and there are no prizes for the caring counsellors. There are no front-page headlines for the families that have been helped, nor glittering accolades for the marriages that have been saved, for the lives that have been preserved and the bereavements that have been successfully negotiated. If an army marches on its stomach, as Napoleon suggested, to the sound of drums and trumpets, DCC is an outfit that marches in silence, on meagre rations, unappreciated in the main except by the individuals it has helped to return to their families and jobs in peace and with equanimity. Successful results require strict confidentiality for all parties. There are few opportunities to celebrate DCC’s triumphs and with a workload that promises to double in the next 12 months, there may be fewer still in the future. Under the wise guidance of its Chairman, Dr Bill Moses MBE, DCC is gaining admirers from far afield who appreciate and support the pioneering work undertaken and the efforts of all staff to help patients live a more fulfilled life with their family, friends and colleagues at work. For more information on the services in East Kent, contact Dover Counselling Centre direct, tel: 01304204123. Images of the anniversary celebrations are available on-line at http://www.photoboxgallery.com/DDCC. Astute observers of the East Kent music scene will recognise the supremely talented Ben Mills who entertained guests with playing and singing that would have been equally welcomed at the London Palladium or the Royal Festival Hall.

 

3. B2B Canterbury 10th September 2013

Our good friends at Kent Invicta Chamber are organising a Business-To-Business day in Canterbury on 10th September 2013. Billed as “A fantastic opportunity for business leaders to meet, network and collaborate”, there will be many opportunities to make new contacts and update your sources on what is happening in Kent business. Chief Organiser Carole Black of Best Business Events promises delegates and visitors a fascinating day. Full details are available on the website at http://www.kentb2b.co.uk/events/conference-exhibition-east-kent. Chamber member Best Business Events can also be contacted direct by telephone to 01732 758 530.

 

4. When Is A Voucher Not A Voucher?

We are grateful to Anne Charman, Community Engagement Officer at Kent County Council. She warns East Kent businesses of a fraudulent email purporting to be from Tesco Rewards Department. The recipients are led to believe that they have won a £500 voucher, even though have not applied for it or may not even ever have shopped at Tesco. Anne reminds us of the sound advice: “If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is”. Just as with the deceased African general scam, a request for bank details soon follows and you can guess the rest. Anne tells us that any genuine offers from Tesco can be verified by contacting the company or viewing the company website at http://www.tesco.com/clubcard/email-security. It is interesting to note that under the heading “How to identify a phishing email”, Tesco states unequivocally: “Email has poor grammar and punctuation” and then rather spoils the effect by declaring that even if a genuine Tesco email address is quoted: “its not guaranteed to be genuine”. We can perhaps forgive Tesco for a missing apostrophe in “its”, but when lecturing your customers, every little helps.

 

5. Chamber Expansion

The Thanet & East Kent Chamber and the Dover District Chamber of Commerce have opened a new research office to complement the existing facilities in Dover and Broadstairs. Located at the Discovery Park in Sandwich, the new office will coordinate research functions and provide an additional meeting place for Chamber members from across East Kent. Located on the second floor of Innovation House next to the Discovery Park management suite, the Chambers will be working together to ensure that existing members receive the best possible service and inward investors are made fully aware of the excellent facilities available in East Kent. Nikki Curran and Jonathan Curran have joined the team and will be working from the Dover and Sandwich offices.

 

6. Golf At Royal St George’s Golf Club

The 10th Annual Chamber Golf Day scheduled for 29th October 2013 is now fully booked with 32 teams of 4 players due to play the fairways and greens that have been host to fourteen Open Championships. Almost every professional player of note has played this famous links course in Sandwich. The great Harry Vardon triumphed in 1899, Sandy Lyle in 1985 and Greg Norman in 1993. Tiger Woods achieved a creditable 4th place in 2003. The 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George’s was won by the genial Irishman, Darren Clarke. Success at the Chamber Golf Day this year will not merit a winner’s cheque of £900,000 which Darren Clarke received, but thanks to the handicap system, Stableford points and benign pin placings, all 128 players in the tournament will have a realistic chance of competing for a prize table valued by the Chamber’s Graham Rayner as “around £30,000”.Prizes will be awarded for the Corporate Team Championship, the Chamber of Commerce Challenge Cup, the Individual Championship, Longest Drive and Nearest the Pin.The Ray Haines Memorial Trophy, named in honour of the late Chief Executive of the Dover Chamber who sadly passed away in December 2008, is played under Lowest Gross Rules We remind all players that no usage of mobile telephones or electronic devices is permitted in the Club House or on the Golf Course, which will be a blessed relief for most and should provide a day of bleep-free peace for everyone.

 

7. Chamber Diary

The 2014 Chamber diary has now gone to press. This prestigious publication is now widely regarded as a definitive guide to the East Kent coastal business community. All registered members of the Chamber on 23rd August 2013 will be listed in alphabetical order and in a classified list under company sector. All advertisers will receive multiple copies. The publication will be distributed to members in October and November 2013.

 

8. Discovery Park

No longer described as ‘the former Pfizer site’, the 220 acre Discovery Park in Sandwich is now fully established in its own right and going from strength to strength. Recent recruits to the reception and welcome staff are Courtney Dawson, Renata Harmadyoya and Koren Larking. Operations Director Jeff Hind is clearly delighted with his new staff. He states: “Their appointment is particularly important given that the Park continues to grow and become busier each day. Our vision is to create a real sense of community on Park and by bolstering our front of house team is essential to this as first impressions make a big difference and we want our tenants and visitors alike to feel valued and welcomed.” Credit must also go to Andrew RonchettiI, Discovery Park’s Estates manager who also helps to ensure a positive first impression. The immaculate lawns, carefully maintained buildings and graffiti-free walls suggest that Andy’s experience as a Master-at-Arms in the Royal Navy is being put to good use in securing the site for tenants and visitors. Solid growth this year in the East Kent economy is reflected in the steady growth in tenants at the Discovery Park. Chamber members will appreciate the encouraging new opportunities provided for suppliers and job seekers.

 

9. East Kent Schools

Education in East Kent has received a huge boost in recent weeks. The announcement of new buildings has been widely welcomed but it is the GCSE results which have gained the most attention, bucking the national trend with some outstanding local performances. We extend particular congratulations to Dover College, Dover Federation for the Arts, Dover Grammar School for Boys, Dover Grammar School for Girls, Hartsdown Technology College, the Marlowe Academy, Saint Lawrence College and St. George's C of E Secondary School. The Marlowe Academy, so often the recipient of a bad press in past years, is rising up the league tables under inspiring head teacher, Cassie Ellins. She reports: “There has been a 35% increase in the number of students achieving 5 GCSEs at grades A* to C including Maths and English, while 79% of students have achieved 5 GCSEs overall at grades A* to C. These are our best ever results.” Record exam marks at East Kent College have also added lustre to the local scene which is good news all round. Communications Officer at the college, Sam Crooks, has written with details of part-time courses time courses including Accountancy & Finance, Computing & Engineering and Management & Leadership. For more details, give Sam a call to 01843 605010.

 

10. What About Training In The Private Sector?

Profile Development and Training is firmly in the private sector and is aiming to add to the 250 learners from 100 companies that it currently trains. HR Director, Casey Gibbons, reports that this Broadstairs company has just been accredited with the nationally recognised quality mark, the matrix Standard, which is awarded to a select number of organisations which provide high standards of support to individual learners. Fellow director Andrea Webb said: “As a training organisation it is paramount that we offer full and clear information to our learners and employers. This is what we feel the matrix Standard demonstrated. I am delighted that this has been recognised and we have now gained this accreditation". The lower case “m” in “matrix” is part of its charm. Profile Development and Training can be reached by telephone to 01843 609300.

 

11. Interest From Overseas

Bangladesh may not be regarded by many as a rich source of investment capital, but consistent annual gains in GDP allied to the considerable funds available from Bangladeshi nationals living in the UK are changing the image of this Commonwealth nation. The Bangladeshi economy grew by 6.3% last year. Over £1 billion was remitted to Bangladesh from the Bangladeshi owners of UK SMEs, predominantly Indian restaurants. With property prices peaking in Dhaka, there is much interest in the resurgent UK property market. Last month, the Chamber welcomed to East Kent nine Bangladeshi Members of Parliament who were accompanied by diplomats from the Bangladeshi High Commission. After a warm welcome from the Dover District’s leading citizen, DDC Chairman Cllr Sue Nicholas, the delegation heard a presentation and film about the National War Memorial planned for the top of Dover’s White Cliffs. This was followed by a presentation on the new housing and hotel development at Western Heights and Farthingloe by Rob Prince of China Gateway International Plc, ably supplemented by Tim Ingleton, Head of Inward Investment at Dover District Council.After a visit to the Western Heights site and expert guidance from John Iveson of Dover Museum, the party adjourned to Ramsgate for lunch, passing through Sandwich and the delightful countryside on the way. In the afternoon, the distinguished visitors were the guests of English Heritage for an afternoon visit to Dover Castle. The delegation returned to London with the conviction that East Kent is rich in history, is open for business and is happy to cooperate on commercial projects with like-minded decision-makers keen to boost international business.

 

12. Advice From ACAS

Our good friends at ACAS remind the Chamber that changes in employment law came into effect on 29th July 2013. By and large, the changes will be welcomed by East Kent companies as they serve to reduce the risk from Employment Tribunals, see http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3909. From 31 July 2013, claimants who wish to appeal to an Employment Tribunal will be charged fees, a measure that is forecast to stop spurious claims and to reduce the number of formal appeals for reinstatement. Although the ACAS website offers most useful basic guidance, many members may prefer to discuss their particular concerns with suitably qualified employment legal firms. We suggest one of the following: Barnes Marsland tel: 01843 221466. Boys & Maughan tel: 01843 234000, Gardner Croft tel: 01227 813400, Girlings Solicitors tel: 01843 220274 and Mowll & Mowll tel: 01304 873344. Dr Jonantha East of South East Mediation, tel: 0845 0178393, is also available to bring a peaceful conclusion to commercial and employment disputes.

13. Marlowe Innovation Centre

The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, was accompanied by Chamber Co-President Laura Sandys MP at Marlowe Innovation Centre in Ramsgate last Friday to celebrate the beginning of the construction of 24 more units which will double the size of the centre. As Greg Clark put a symbolic spade into the ground, he acknowledged the importance of start-up companies in the development of the economy and paid handsome tribute to the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust for providing the driving force to make the new offices a reality.Sponsored also by the European Regional Development Fund, Kent County Council, Thanet District Council and East Kent Partnership, the development is unique in England in being located on the site of a secondary school. Pupils at the Marlowe Academy stand to benefit significantly from the increased work experience opportunities and the close proximity to hard-working entrepreneurs in the early phases of expansion.

 

14. The Venerable Elvis Speaks Again

The Venerable Elvis is Thanet’s resident hermit. He lives in an unexplored part of the hinterland between the disused power station at Richborough and the abandoned quarry in Manston; unexplored that is except by our roving reporter who found a way through the secret pathways to his humble abode five years ago. Since then the Thanet & East Kent Insider has published a series of exclusive interviews. Thought to be at least 235 years old, the Venerable Elvis was first quoted in our columns in edition 32 of 1st October 2008 when his advice was typically sound. “If at first you don’t succeed, it is best to avoid skydiving”. When matters of great national importance are under discussion, he offers a time-honoured response which the great and good of this country would do well to consider. Following a debate in the UK media about the poor ranking of our school children in international league tables, our edition no. 178 of 21st January 2012 reported the great man’s comments: “There are ten types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who do not.” Accountants at all levels of expertise took careful note of his guidance reported in our edition number 46 of 29th January 2009: “If you lend a man £50 and you never see him again, it is probably worth it.” Thus it was with a keen sense of anticipation that our reporter braved the early morning mists last week to meet East Kent’s prime sage and to return to an educational theme which has surfaced following the recent GCSE and A-level examinations. “What do you think of plagiarism by our students?” The Venerable Elvis stroked his long grey beard, reflected carefully for several minutes, pronounced sombrely: “Plagiarism in all forms is like taking food from a starving man” and then added ruefully: “Of course, that is not my edict, I got the idea from someone else.” We are indeed blessed to have such a wise man in our midst.

 

 

© David Foley 26th August 2013

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