The Insider - Business Bulletins
Your Business Bulletin from Thanet & East Kent Chamber
Thanet & East Kent Insider
Issue No.: 135
1. Tourism & Transport
2. Growth Without Gridlock
In last week’s edition of the Thanet & East Kent Insider, we promised readers a report on the Growth Without Gridlock presentation in Maidstone last Wednesday. This welcome initiative from Kent County Council seeks to produce a co-ordinated transport strategy for the next twenty years. In welcoming delegates to the inner sanctum of KCC at County Hall, KCC’s leader, Paul Carter, thanked those attending for braving the severe weather conditions. It was with a self-conscious irony that he noted the absence of 40% of the delegates due to the ice and snow on the roads. The Thanet & East Kent Chamber is of course made of stern stuff and was fully represented as were our good friends at the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and the Dover District Chamber of Commerce. So that was the East Kent private sector’s most serious supporters eager and willing to hear the news and we were not disappointed. Each resident, worker and tourist has an opinion on what should be done to address the traffic jams on our roads. Delays in delivering goods to our shops are as frustrating as hold ups on the school run. KCC’s transport delivery plan is not called Growth Without Gridlock without good reason. It sets out a series of proposals that are designed to promote trade, boost jobs and minimise delays. What distinguishes this plan from many others is that it not only lists the cost of the improvements, but outlines a funding stream to pay for them.
3. Who Pays?
One of the proposals to help pay for the programme is a Port Landing Charge on international passengers in Dover and Ramsgate. This would put our local ports on a par with common practice at airports. Another proposal is for the revival of the Britdisc. First mooted by Paul Carter’s predecessor, Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, foreign lorries entering the UK would pay a surcharge. UK hauliers currently operate at a distinct disadvantage to many of their continental counterparts. Why should foreign lorries be allowed to fill their tanks with 1,000 litres of cheap diesel bought in Luxembourg and then undercut our domestic hauliers whose taxes pay for the roads they use? This is not what the European Union was designed to do and not what British membership should allow. If it means renaming the Britdisc with the fancy French title KCC proposes of ‘vignette’, we accept that in polite silence. We do not want our East Kent lorries to go the way of Grimsby trawlers. Over a 20-year period, the income generated from a vignette and the associated additional spending on fuel duty would amount to a staggering £9.5 billion which would meet over half the costs of the road infrastructure improvements envisioned.
4. What Would We Get For the Money?
A key element in KCC’s plan is a third Thames crossing between Gravesend and Chadwell. Delays at the Dartford crossing are estimated to cost the UK economy £40 million per year. A third Thames crossing is projected to contribute 6,000 jobs and £334 million a year to the UK Gross Value Added with significant reductions in journey times. The new crossing is scheduled to connect the A2 with the M11. Dover’s port traffic of around 5 million vehicles a year would be split between the Eastern Docks route via the A2 and the Western Docks via the A20/M20. This measure involves the rather quaintly named “bifurcation”. The mention of this word can bring a swift change of subject in discussions with the average Joe who may not want to admit that he or she has no idea want the word means. This is a handy technique that officialdom has used for centuries to baffle unwelcome enquiries. If you do not believe us, go to the pub this evening and say to the bar staff, “What do you think of bifurcation?” With luck you may just get directions to the nearest opticians. It may be that now at last, bifurcation may lose some its mystery. In a fluent presentation, the leader of Dover District Council, Paul Watkins, outlined the main benefits of the planned improvements to the Channel Corridor and the ending of the horrendous Operation Stack which costs our benighted UK haulage industry £1 million a day. The priorities for Growth Without Gridlock also include a Parkway Station at Manston which would bring journey times from London to Thanet much closer to the golden 60 minutes. Following discussions with Chamber members, later editions of the Thanet & East Kent Insider will bring more comment on Tax Increment Funding, a Variable Tariff on the Thames Gateway, Integrating the Bus Network and improvements to the A21 West Kent corridor.
5. Will East Kent Companies Have a Voice in Growth Without Gridlock?
The answer to this question is with Kent County Council and the new Local Enterprise Partnership. If these two public bodies wish the two largest business support organisations in the East Kent coastal business community to be represented then the Thanet & East Kent Chamber and the Dover District Chamber of Commerce are more than willing to participate.
The Thanet YMCA is a local organisation that is part of a national charity. The branch in Margate benefits from an Employment Engagement team which specialises in liaising with local companies to satisfy their recruitment needs. This is a free service for employers. For further details, Chamber members are invited to telephone 01843 221555 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting or 07900 137750 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
7. More Success In Thanet
8. Thanet and KCC
On the evening of Monday, 6th December 2010, Kent County Council was due to hold a meeting of the Thanet Local Board at St Saviour's Church of England Junior School, Elm Grove, Westgate-on-Sea. The meeting has been postponed due to the inclement weather. These gatherings provide an opportunity for KCC Councillors to get feedback from local people on the impact of regional policies in Thanet. We will keep readers informed of the new date. You may be assured that the Thanet & East Kent Chamber will be in attendance to represent the interests of the private sector.
9. Fare Increases
Roger Gale MP for North Thanet has described the recently announced 12.8% increase in fares on East Kent services by SoutheasternTrains as “an absolute disgrace”. What irks him most is that the promised upgrading of signalling is considerably behind schedule and that the line between Thanet and Ashford remains distinctly unimproved. As he puts it: “Why should people have to pay to subsidise a service that does not serve their needs?”. This is one MP who will not be voting in favour of a franchise renewal for Southeastern Trains. Readers might be interested to know that Japan has been operating a high speed railway network since 1964. In the past 46 years there has been not been a single fatality due to a train accident or collision. The current average delay on the 186 mph bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka under all conditions is under 30 seconds. It does snow in Japan.
10. VAT and Aunty’s Sweater
We are grateful to Mark Hurdman of Levicks Chartered Accountants, tel: 01843 for providing some welcome advice on the implications of the imminent rise in VAT scheduled for 4th January 2010. In an exclusive communication to the Thanet & East Kent Insider, he writes: With the standard rate of VAT set to increase to 20% from the current 17.5%, it is a good idea to be aware of the rules on the correct rate of VAT you should be charged on purchases around the busy New Year period. When buying goods or services on or after 4 January 2011 from a retail business such as a shop, restaurant or hairdressing salon, all purchases should be subject to 20% VAT. Businesses that are passing the VAT increase on to customers will increase their current prices by just over 2%. The exact calculation is 120/117.5. It is up to each individual business to decide whether it wants to pass the VAT increase onto its customers in this way. If however you pay for something you have taken away (or the supplier has delivered) before 4 January 2011 then the sale took place before 4 January 2011 and you should be charged VAT at 17.5%. It is common for retailers to give refunds, particularly in the period after Christmas. If you are given a refund on or after 4 January 2011 for a sale made before 4 January 2011 this will be made at the old VAT rate. If you want to exchange goods, for example a jumper for another size or colour, you may find the gross cost has increased and you have to pay more. The replacement item will have been sold at the new VAT rate.” So now you know. If you really want to exchange that yellow, purple and orange sweater that your aunty bought you for Christmas, take it back to the shop before 4th January 2011. For anything more complicated, you might like to give Mark a call at Levicks, tel: 01843 862716 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
11. Fake or Genuine
With Christmas shopping beginning to dominate retail trade, Crimestoppers is reminding us all that buying counterfeit goods can be dangerous and can lead to unintended support for organised crime. We are also notified that buying counterfeit goods by credit card can produce a serious risk of identity theft. Some fakes are obvious and require little more than a cursory glance to determine that the luxury goods may not be quite as luxurious as the seller would wish them to be. If someone is deceiving you, Crimestoppers would be grateful for a telephone call to 0800 555 111 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Sometimes discrimination is more difficult than simply spotting that Roleks may not be the correct spelling of the brand name. The Thanet & East Kent Insider offers an insight into buying a Rolex watch. Make your purchase from a recognised Rolex agency and you should not have a problem. Rolex dealers in Kent do not sell on-line. If you are offered a new Rolex with a stainless steel case inset with 18ct yellow gold, a champagne diamond dial with a date display and an 18ct gold fluted bezel for just £1,000, perhaps someone wants to marry you or, more likely, the watch is stolen or a fake. The recommended retail price is £7,040. If the second hand of the watch in question has two movements per second, it is a fake. The genuine Rolex moves five times a second. If the watch feels light, it is a fake. A good Rolex is heavy. Finally, if the person selling the watch looks fake the chances are that the watch is the same. Finally, of course, if the seller is a member of the Thanet & East Kent Chamber can produce a member of the Chamber logo, then you should have every confidence in the transaction.
12. Finding Staff
News has reached the Chamber of a local educational establishment wishing employ a handyman to assist with the security and maintenance of their premises. We have our doubts about this story, but readers must judge for themselves. Of course, what is undoubtedly true is that the organisation could have saved itself time, money and headaches by using one of the following Chamber members; 247 Recruitment of Cliftonville tel: 01843 Adecco of Broadstairs tel: 01843 609292 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlightingConnexions Partnership Kent & Medway of Maidstone tel: 01622 607578 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting Direction Recruitment of Ramsgate tel: 01843 HRGO of Ramsgate tel: 01843 591798 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting Maximus Employment & Training of Ramsgate tel: 01843 808410 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting, TNG (Avanta Enterprises) of Ramsgate tel: 01843 570250 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting and tel: YMCA of Margate tel: 01843 221555 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting. To get back to our story, t he enterprising head was reluctant to rely solely on references, a CV and the advice of his caretaker. He wrote the advertisement himself. Turning his back on the pre-interviews and personality profiling offered by the employment agencies in the Chamber membership, he wanted to interview all the candidates personally. He opted to absent himself from managing his area of expertise to deal directly with recruiting a handyman. Setting aside a whole day for the process, he asked the first candidate into his office. “Mr Jones”, he began, “We are planning no major works here for the next year, but it is important that the successful candidate can undertake some simple maintenance tasks. Now in the corner of the room is a sink. I would like you to remove the tap and replace the washer with this one here. Can you do that?” Mr Jones looked at the new washer offered and said adamantly. “I don’t do plumbing”. Taken aback momentarily, the Head moved on to his next task. “Oh I see. Well then, here is a short plank of wood and a saw. I would like you to cut this down the middle in a straight line”. “Ah well”, said the candidate, “I’m not much good at carpentry I’m afraid.” Striving hard to contain his frustration, the Head continued, “In that case perhaps you could do the last job and that is to paint the bottom left quarter of this door with the gloss paint here”. As the Head was about to hand over the paint and brush, Mr Jones said, “I don’t do painting”. Containing himself no longer, the Head blurted out, “You don’t do plumbing, you are no good at carpentry and you cannot paint. Tell me Mr Jones, what makes you think you are so blessed handy?”. “Well, headmaster”, said the candidate, “You see I live just around the corner”.
© David Foley December 2010
Thanet & East Kent Insider
Issue No.: 134
1. Growth Without Gridlock
Next week, Kent County Council will launch its plan to ease congestion on our roads. It is entitled, Growth Without Gridlock and consists of a “transport delivery plan to keep Kent moving”. Among the issues to be addressed are: Third Thames Crossing, Duelling of the A2, Operation Stack, High Speed Rail, Parkway Station at Manston and Local Control of Highways Spending. The new strategy will also consider linking new infrastructure to local planning through the District Local Development Framework and improving the transport network to boost business in our Kent villages. As Kent County Council looks to make savings of £340 million over the next 4 years, identifying the priorities for public spending on our roads will be a key issue. SWIFT Codes for all Banks in Australia The Thanet & East Kent Insider expects to report on the launch in next week’s edition which Thanet & East Kent Chamber members will receive promptly on publication.
2. Business Networking Breakfast
3. News From Europe
The Your Europe Newsletter for November 2010 published by the Enterprise and Industry department of the European Union focuses on innovation in small businesses and research & development. We learn the EU has set a target of 3% of EU GDP to be spent on R&D by the year 2020. The current rate has remained at around 1.84% since 2005 which contrasts rather sharply with that of 2.5% in the United States and 3% in Japan. Apparently, the US obliges its federal agencies to devote 2.5% of their external budgets to “funding innovative projects by SMEs”. This is surely a measure that would be welcomed by SMEs in East Kent. European directives have created considerable obstacles to bringing new ideas to market. A European Patent valid in 13 European countries costs about 20,000 Euros. A US patent can be obtained for 1,850 Euros. You do not need a Ph.D. in economics to know which of the two systems is the more favourable to innovation and commercial success. The EU Commission is proposing a patent for 27 EU member states, but at a cost of 6,200 Euros this would still be over three times more expensive than the US equivalent.
4. Jobs Fair
Chamber member CanterburyChristChurchUniversity is organising a Job Fair for Friday 21st January 2011. We are grateful to Fontemaria Totaro and James Corbin for bringing this event to our attention. The day promises a variety of exhibitor stands, presentations and workshops that will “provide a forum for future and current graduates to network with potential employers.” Asda, Reeves and IBM have confirmed their participation and CCCU is expecting a wide range of employers to use the occasion to attract the best candidates. Employment agencies will also be interested in surveying the market place. Further details can be found at http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/support/careers-and-student-development/events/jobfair.asp. News of the recent Evans EasySpace exhibition at Lakeside Business Park will follow in the next edition of the Thanet & East Kent insider.
5. Thanet College & Chaucer School
ThanetCollege held its Star Awards last Thursday evening. Unlike awards ceremonies in many educational circles, the Star Awards are the subject of a democratic vote from other members of staff. Thus the winners enjoy the prestige of knowing that their performance has been judged as outstanding by their colleagues and peers. This system should have much appeal to readers working at institutions with a forward-looking leadership anxious to recognise the achievements of their best workers. Fortunately for the leadership of this Chamber of Commerce, such arrangements have not yet been adopted here. Also celebrating success last week was the ChaucerTechnologySchool in Canterbury which has enjoyed five years of successive improvements in its GCSE results at A - C grades under its inspiring head, Simon Murphy. Hosting the evening at the King’s HallHerneBay last Wednesday, Simon paid tribute to his invited speaker for the presentations, Paul Carter, the Leader of Kent County Council. Afterwards, he said that the trip to the United States in 2005 by over 90 head teachers to visit Microsoft which had been organised by Paul Carter had inspired him to put new technology at the forefront of his policies and had been a significant factor in the progress of his school. The Thanet & East Kent Insider has often reported on best practice. We congratulate ThanetCollege and ChaucerTechnologySchool for putting innovation at the heart of their agendas.
6. Parcel Delivery Service
Many readers and one public authority have contacted the Thanet & East Kent Insider asking us to publicise an alleged scam involving a company called PDS, Parcel Delivery Service, which invites readers to telephone a premium rate number in Belize at great cost to the owner of the line. It is also alleged that the scam is on a hot list provided by Royal Mail, Trading Standards and various other bodies. Readers might like to know that there was a scam of this type which was closed in 2005. Kind-hearted citizens might be tempted to warn their friends and associates, but the official advice from PhonePayPlus, Sophos and many other reputable organisations is very much to the contrary. In a statement dated 17th November 2010, PhonePayPlus states:”PhonepayPlus, the phone-paid services regulator, is aware that a chain e-mail about an alleged postal scam is being circulated on the internet. The email refers to the Royal Mail, Trading Standards and ICSTIS (PhonepayPlus' former name). PhonepayPlus appreciates that recipients of the email may want to find out more information about the alleged scam and has therefore issued the following statement: The chain email refers to a service (operating on 0906 6611911) that was shut down by PhonepayPlus (then ICSTIS) in December 2005. PhonepayPlus subsequently fined the company that was operating the service, Studio Telecom (based in Belize), £10,000. The service is NO LONGER running and has NOT been running since December 2005. You do NOT need to contact PhonepayPlus, or the Royal Mail, about this service as it was stopped almost five years ago. If you receive a copy of the email warning you about the alleged scam, please do NOT forward it to others. Instead, please forward this statement from PhonepayPlus.” Of course, like capital letters, crooks appear all the time. The vast majority of them do not live in Thanet or East Kent. It is entirely possible that some bright spark might attempt to pervert the Christmas spirit and try to revive the scam. Our advice is to keep your boss happy. Do not succumb to any requests from any unknown sources to call unfamiliar telephone numbers in exotic locations.
7. Grants From Europe
Information on the grants available from the European Union is available in a beginner’s guide on the website at http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/publications/financial_pub/pack_rules_funds_en.pdf. More detailed information on grants can be accessed at http://ec.europa.eu/contracts_grants/index_en.htm. Careful navigation through the latter website reveals a page entitled “Financial Transparency System”. A quick search on European Commission beneficiaries shows that the UK received two grants totalling over 2.75 million Euros (£2.33 million) for “PROVIDING ACCOMODATION SECURITY, LIFE SUPPORT & OTHER SERVICES TO EC OFFICIALS IN IRAQ”. Perhaps some of the funds could have been spent on spelling classes. Of course, we all make mistakes, but, unlike the EU, we do not all have a budget of £107 billion to make mistakes with.
8. Mayor Takes Great Strides
Unfortunately, in this case the ‘strides’ in question did not belong to the mayor but refer to the Australian slang term for underwear. Anyone focused on next year’s council elections may be relieved to know that whatever your criticisms of the behaviour and policies of local councillors, it is unlikely to rival the opprobrium heaped on Ian Stafford, gardener, handyman and erstwhile mayor of Preesall and Knott End. We are grateful to one of our readers who took time away from the imposing intellectual demands of his day job to give us the sordid details of this public servant who fell from grace. In fact, Grace might be one of those who lost her nether garments as a result. Twice elected mayor of a quiet town near Fleetwood in Lancashire, Ian Stafford carried the hopes of his electorate to make the area a better place; unfortunately, he also carried to his home the underwear of some its female citizens. Following a spate of thefts, an undercover operation recorded the Mayor on camera stealing the items from the bedroom of a female victim. Police took little time in getting to the bottom of the matter and on visiting his house they found nearly £900 worth of women’s underwear. Candidates for the main political parties at the next election can breathe a little more easily from knowing that this particular Mayor was an Independent; perhaps a little too independent for most people.
9. Our Sponsors
Girlings Solicitors has been managing the 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, HerneBay 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 . 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 .
© David Foley November 2010
Thanet & East Kent Insider
13th November 2010 Issue No.: 132
1. Comfortable In Your Nest
You might not be comfortable if your nest stands for National Employer Savings Trust (NEST). We are grateful to Mick Rendell, an Independent Financial Advisor at Chamber member Acorn Bowman FIM Limited tel: 01843 609365 , who has written to the Thanet & East Kent Insider with details of the compulsory employer contributions which will be phased in under NEST arrangements from 2012. It’s a shame that Mick isn’t called Robin as it would allow for an interesting juxtaposition of names, but we cannot blame him for that. However, we can blame employers who do not take notice of their statutory obligations if they have employees aged 22 years or above earning more than £7,475 in the year 2011/2012. An estimated 13 million employees currently have no pension arrangements. The government expects another 8 million workers to take out a pension as a result of the new legislation. Any employer who induces a worker to opt out could be subject to severe penalties and there are swingeing fines for a variety of offences for which ignorance is not a defence. If you are one of those people who get tremendous pleasure out of reading all the technical details, you will find them on the government’s website at www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/cp-oct10-full-document.pdf. For the rest of us who have fresh-faced complexions and get out in the open air from time to time, we can rely on the services of the professionals. Chamber members with a particular expertise in these matters sadly do not include a single nesting bird, but to avoid swallowing your pride in a court of law after a failure to follow the NEST regulations, feel free to contact any of the following: Acorn Bowman FIM Limited of Broadstairs tel: 01843 609365 County Financial Services of Birchington tel: 01843 265070 Financial Milestones of Staplehurst tel: 01580 892874 IGF Invoice Finance Ltd of Maidstone tel: 01732 849872 J Cleverdon of Broadstairs tel: 01843 866599 Levicks Chartered Accountants of Broadstairs tel: 01843 862716 Michael Martin Partnership Ltd of Whitstable tel: 01227 770500 and Neville Weston of Ramsgate tel: 01843 594571 . If you have clicked on the Department for Work Pensions website link mentioned above and managed not to faint at the cost of £35.50 for the published hard copy of Making Automatic Enrolment Work, then you might have noticed the words at the bottom of the title page which read “Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Work and Pension by Command of Her Majesty October 2010.” It’s good to know that a proper sense of respect for our sovereign is at the heart of government.
2. Transport & Tourism
In response to requests from members, the Thanet & East Kent Chamber will be hosting a business networking breakfast on the theme “Transport & Tourism”. Provisionally scheduled for a 7.30 am start on Friday 10th December 2010, the session will include contributions from professional operators on land, sea and air. Further details will appear in next week’s edition of the Thanet & East Kent Insider, together with information on how to reserve your place.
The publication of this edition of the Thanet & East Kent Insider will be followed by Remembrance Sunday. The Chamber is grateful to the BBC for supplying details of members of our armed services who have died in defence of the United Kingdom since the outbreak of hostilities on 4th August 2014. World War 1 led to the deaths to 886,342 in the period to the armistice on 11 th November 1918. World War II is still fresh in the minds of many of our senior Chamber members who recall the raids on Manston, Canterbury and Dover. An estimated 383,667 servicemen and women were killed between 1939 and 1945. We date the Palestine conflict as beginning in 1922 and ending in the British withdrawal in 1948. It produced 233 fatalities. The Malayan emergency which ended in 1960 provided a magnificent example to the United States on how to combat Communist insurgents and restore democracy, but it cost 340 British lives. Sadly, the lessons were not followed in Vietnam. The Yangtze Incident of 1949 was immortalized in the film of the same name which featured real-life hero and D-Day survivor Richard Todd; 46 of the UK servicemen involved were less fortunate. The Canal Zone emergency in Egypt, 1951 – 52, saw the deaths of 54 service personnel, but this was dwarfed by the Korean War 1950 – 53 with its 765 fatalities. Further conflicts in current or former Commonwealth countries continued as follows: country dates/fatalities Kenya 1952-60/12; Cyprus 1955-59/105; Suez 1956/22; Borneo 1962-67/68; Oman & Dafur 1962-75/24 and Aden 1963-67/68. The troubles in Northern Ireland caused 763 deaths in the military and thousands more among civilians there and in mainland Britain. The exemplary bravery of our forces sent to liberate the Falkland Islands in 1982 led to the loss of 255 servicemen. The first Gulf War of 1990–1991 and the Balkans conflict 1992–2001 saw 95 casualties in total. The rescue mission in Sierra Leone in 2000, Operation Barras, led to just one fatality; a brilliant exercise but a sad loss to 22 SAS D Squadron and to the family and friends of Trooper Bradley Tinnion. The war in Iraq has cost 179 British lives. Afghanistan remains our most costly current conflict with 343 fatalities to date in the period from 2001 to 11 th November 2010. In the ninety-six years since the beginning of World War I, the BBC informs us that the British armed forces have suffered 1,273,440 fatalities. It makes you think that the rebellious colleague who sometimes pinches your favourite parking space and the imminent rise in VAT may not be quite such a disaster after all.
4. An Unusual Christmas Present From Mencap
The Thanet & East Kent Insider often features items relating to mental health issues. This is not because everyone at the Chamber is going bonkers, but because we believe that healthy profits require an enlightened attitude by all employers to mental health and to our responsibilities to our local community. It is therefore with especial pleasure that we report on the successes of East Kent Mencap. Jane Brooke has contacted the Chamber with news of an exhibition of photography at Cliftonville Library featuring images of Thanet’s landscapes and heritage. The images have all been taken by members of the East Kent Mencap photography group. Jane tells us in her email: “This is a great opportunity to see some fantastic shots and perhaps find an unusual Christmas present at a very competitive price. The exhibition runs from Tuesday 15 November to Thursday 9 December at Cliftonville library which is on Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Margate, Kent CT9 3JX and is open Monday- Friday 9.00am – 6.00pm Saturday 10.00am –2.00pm, closed Weds and Sun.”
5. News From Dover
The bid by Dover People’s Port Trust Limited to take over the governance of the Port of Dover moved a step closer when Sir Patrick Sheehy and Algy Cluff joined the party that presented a formal offer to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street recently. Sir Patrick, former Chairman of BAT Industries plc, is a much respected figure in the City of London. Algy Cluff certainly knows the value of a golden opportunity as any shareholder who has invested in his many companies will testify. With Richard Philips, former Group Financial Controller of a £1.4bn enterprise, among the Directors, there is mounting evidence to support Dover MP Charlie Elphicke’s assertion that “This is a serious bid backed by serious people. They wouldn't waste their time if it was unrealistic." The current management of the port is of entirely contrary opinion. In a strongly worded statement released on 8 th November 2010, Dover Harbour Board states: ”The People’s Port Proposal cannot be considered a serious proposal and the letter, full of inaccuracies, falsehoods and unsubstantiated statements cannot be considered a serious bid.” Readers can make up their own minds by reading the full offer letter at www.peoplesport.org.uk/our-bid/the-offer.
6. A Competition And Your Grandmother
Louise Askew of Thanet District Council would like to remind readers of the opportunity to win £500 of vouchers in the ‘This is Margate’ photography competition. As part of the build-up to the opening of the Turner Contemporary next year, the competition puts a clear focus on the many attractions of Margate. There are three entry categories for 16 years and under, students and adults. Full details are available on the website at www.thisismargate.co.uk/images-and-links/this-is-margate-photo-comp.aspx. The closing date for entries is Friday 26 November 2010. In an interesting variation on the usual criteria, we learn that: “We are also interested in receiving any historical photo entries submitted that fit into the themes of the competition.” So, if you have any black and white images of your granny with an ice cream on Margate beach or stepping out of a charabanc on a works outing to Dreamland, this could be your big moment. For an extra insight into your granny’s chances, give Thanet District Council’s Lucy Tuson a call, tel: 01843 577169
7. Transport Minister & Thanet
We are grateful to Kos Media for its coverage of the visit of Transport Minister, Philip Hammond, see http://www.yourthanet.co.uk/kent-news/Isle-MPs-meet-transport-minister-in-Margate--newsinkent41966.aspx?news=local . As reported in last week’s edition of the Thanet & East Kent Insider, the details of the discussions remain confidential, but he returned to Westminster aware of many of the main barriers to growth that inhibit companies in the East Kent coastal business community from reaching their full potential.
8. The Future Of Mobile
The Thanet & East Kent Chamber was represented at a presentation in London by Lee Epting, Director of Content Services at Vodafone. She is responsible for Vodafone's global content services portfolio which includes portal, applications shop, music, games and tv/video. She has a particular interest in the uses of the mobile telephone for everyday financial transactions and is a keen supporter of M-PESA which is operated by Vodafone’s partner in Africa, Safaricom. The average purchase by a mobile using the M-PESA system is just £8. More details of the talk will appear in next week’s edition of the Thanet & East Kent Insider, together with the comments of fellow presenters, Christian Lindholm and Ralph Simon.
9. Kinder, Küche, Kirche
Please don’t blame us for Kaiser Wilhelm II’s words in German. Not all our Chamber members are entirely in tune with the social progress of the past hundred years. SWIFT Codes for all Banks in Australia Some feel particularly uncomfortable with issues of political correctness, both in the workplace and at home. The Thanet & East Kent Insider cannot support such outdated and backward looking attitudes in any shape or form. It is only with the greatest reluctance and in the hope that it may serve as a warning to others who may be similarly tempted that we relate the following anecdote from one of our members. You may have your doubts about this story, but we leave it to our readers to judge for themselves. In a telephone call to the Chamber last week, we heard the following lament. “It was outrageous. I bought her a new hat for her niece’s wedding only a few years ago and now my wife wants another present. I just don’t understand it. Why does she want a watch of her own? There is a perfectly good clock on the cooker in the kitchen.”
12. Our Sponsors
Girlings Solicitors has been managing the 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 . 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 .
© David Foley November 2010
Thanet & East Kent Insider
6th November 2010 Issue No.: 131
1. Turner Contemporary: Ahead Of The Game
The Turner Contemporary is on course to dazzle visitors when it opens next spring. Chamber members will recall the presentation given at our business breakfast earlier this year when the inspirational Head of Operations, Paul Gray, gave an account of the building schedule, funding arrangements and exhibition timetable. Since then the Arts Council announced on 25th October 2010 a cut in funding to the Turner Contemporary of £34,328. How prescient it was therefore for the Turner Contemporary to go to Phillips de Pury & Company auction house on 13th October 2010 and offer for sale Tracey Emin’s Neon Sign above Droit House and achieve a sale price of £48,000. Even after associated charges, this shows that the Turner Contemporary Art Trust is ahead of the game. Local businesses of all sizes and sectors will be watching eagerly on 15th November 2010 for the official announcement of the launch date and the first year’s programme. Traditionalists who consider that Britain’s most popular artist would have preferred to lend his name to a neo-classical building rather than the futuristic design by David Chipperfield Architects might like to consider that Turner himself was roundly criticized for not conforming to tradition. An article on his lectures which appeared in The New Monthly Magazine and Universal Register of 1816, the year following the defeat at Waterloo of that dangerous upstart Napoleon, scorns Turner for his approach: “there is an embarrassment in his manner approaching almost to unintelligibility, and a vulgarity of pronunciation astonishing in an artist of his rank and respectability.” Tuner died in 1851, twenty-three years before the ground-breaking Impressionists Exhibition of 1874. He was ahead of the game alright, but Joseph Mallord William Turner was not a conformist which perhaps explains why he had so few friends and never married. The Turner Contemporary Gallery will have many friends and none keener than those local businesses looking forward with eager enthusiasm to the opening date and hordes of visitors to Margate.
2. Tourism and Retail
Following last week’s article about retail and the advice received from a visitor to the Thanet & East Kent Chamber from the organisation with “the highest density retail sales in the world”, we have been asked by Chamber members to supply some more detail. Here goes. We learned that the most successful factory outlets in Europe work in close harmony with the surrounding tourist attractions so that visitors and shoppers are presented with a series of opportunities to appeal to the interests of the whole family: the erudite, the curious, the day-trippers and the shopaholics. In brief, packaging a product in liaison with the neighbouring attractions maximises the retail spend and stimulates repeat visits. The East Kent coastal business community is blessed with stunning tourism potential by virtue of its inherited historical assets, strategic location and seaside benefits. The lesson we need to learn is how to work together to support our retailers, hotels, restaurants and golf courses so that our local economy benefits to the maximum. This will undoubtedly be one of the challenges faced by the recently announced Local Economic Partnership for Kent, Essex and East Sussex. The Thanet & East Chamber will be looking to play a full part in representing the local business community to the decision-makers who will be in a position to dispense their share of a £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund.
3. Quex At Christmas
The Hannah Dining Suite at QuexPark has written to the Thanet & East Kent Insider with details of “An African Experience at QuexPark this Christmas”. On 3rd, 10th, 11th and 17th December 2010, the on-site restaurant at Quex will be offering “the vibrant spirit of Africa” to diners who will be offered African delicacies together with music and dance. Ticket prices from £24.95 per person suggest a lively response from anyone looking for a new experience for a pre-Christmas evening. If you are willing to “re-live the footsteps of Major Powell-Cotton and dine amongst the lions at Quex”, give the venue at call; tel: 01843 482 004 or freephone 0900 142 2736
4. Science, Jobs And More Than Just Tomatoes
Thanet continues to attract inward investment. As we celebrate the new daily flights from Manston to Edinburgh and Manchester which began earlier this year and look forward to the opening of the Turner Contemporary next spring, we must not forget the continuing success of the world-class hydroponics facility near Birchington, Thanet Earth the child of its parent parent company, the Fresca Group. On any one day, there may be 450 people working on site. Fresca Group has attracted investment from Holland from the Rainbow Growers group, Kaaij Greenhouses and A&A which each own one of the three completed greenhouses. The Rainbow Group building is the largest single pepper greenhouse in the UK, measuring 8.5 hectares. Kaaij Greenhouses own and operate the UK's largest single unit greenhouse specialising in growing a range of 10 vine tomatoes which are increasingly popular in supermarkets and greengrocers. The A&A Partnership was formed by Addy Breugem and Arjen de Gier in 1999. Their innovative approach to growing cucumbers is paying dividends for consumers throughout the country. All three Thanet Earth growers were recently thoroughly tested in a demanding audit by Tesco Nurture. The result was a resounding success as each gained the prestigious Tesco Nurture Gold Award. At a time when schools, universities and governments are worried about the numbers of young people studying sciences, it is comforting to know that Thanet has within its borders such a leading facility. It is worth recalling that the Fresca Group Ltd is still privately owned and employs over 1,000 people. With a headquarters at Paddock Wood, it remains a valuable member of the Kent and Thanet business community.
5. Do You Speak Dutch?
Thanet Earth, see item 4 above, is looking to appoint a Dutch-speaking non-executive to a salaried post. Recommendations from readers of the Thanet & East Kent Chamber will be warmly welcomed at Thanet Earth.
6. Directors Wanted
Louise Askew, Economic Development Officer for Regeneration Services at Thanet District Council has contacted the Chamber with news of an Arms Length Management Organisation, ALMO, which has been formed to manage 18,000 council homes in East Kent hitherto under the management of Thanet District Council, Dover District Council, Shepway District Council and Canterbury City Council. The board of management is expected to consist of four tenants, four councillors and four independent members. Applications are invited from interested parties for the independent posts. Board posts will not be remunerated although reasonable expenses will be paid. Board meetings are expected to take place initially once a month at 6.00 pm on Monday or Tuesday evenings, but this will decrease to once every two months when the ALMO is fully established. The proposals have received widespread support from tenants in all four districts. More details are available at www.eastkenthomes.org.uk. Applications for board membership should be sent direct to East Kent HR Partnership, Dover District Council, WhiteCliffsBusinessPark, Whitfield, Dover, KentCT16 3PJ.
7. KCC & Home-Working
Kent County Council is anxious to receive advice on home-working. KCC has produced a Kent Survey and is asking “all home-working professionals and those who run a business from home” to answer the questions at www.workhubs.com/surveys so that informed policies can be developed. KCC is looking to understand how its reduced resources can best be used to support enterprise. Anyone reading this who works at home and fails to take part in the survey... well you only have yourself to blame if a home-working business support centre is built at the other end of the county and not near you.
8. The Corner Shop
Sycamore Stores is a small family business on the corner of Northwood Road, Broadstairs. The owners, Martin and Shelly, have steadily improved the premises and adapted their stock to meet the needs of their passing trade. With two superstores within a short walk of the shop, excellent service has been an important element in encouraging custom as there is limited opportunity to expand. The main market is firmly local. A cheery word and a friendly smile always greet customers. Any lost pedestrians or enquiring passing motorists are directed on their way with exquisite politeness and an enhanced view of what small shops can contribute to their local community. How shocking it is then when the unrestricted parking outside their shop is threatening their business and imperiling their livelihood. When Napoleon said that Britain is a nation of shopkeepers he did not have in mind motorists who selfishly park all day in front of Sycamore Stores. The solution? It’s very simple and one that has been used successfully by councils throughout the UK: a 15-minute parking restriction on the road outside the shop would solve the problem at once. The Chamber will be contacting Thanet District Council on the issue and will report to our 2,500 readers on the results.
9. Philip Hammond In Thanet
At the invitation of Roger Gale MP and Laura Sandys MP, the Thanet & East Kent Chamber was represented last Friday at a lunch at Salmestone Grange, Margate to welcome the visit of the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, the Secretary of State for Transport. Having just announced that morning the sale of a 30 year lease of the hi-speed rail link to Borealis Infrastructure and the Ontario Teachers' Pension fund, Philip Hammond could have been excused yet more media coverage. But, as viewers of ITV Meridian news that evening will recall, he spoke at length to camera outside the splendid 14th century venue, stressing the importance of key infrastructure in support of the private sector. The agreed protocol for such meetings with senior politicians of all persuasions is that the discussions remain confidential to the parties present. Members of the Thanet & East Kent Chamber may be assured nonetheless that their voice was heard and that one of the key decision-makers in the cabinet is fully aware of many of the main concerns of the East Kent coastal business community.
10. More On Websites
Business Link has contacted the Thanet & East Kent Insider with news of 11 free ways to promote your website. Details are available at http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=5001695874&type=ONEOFFPAGE&site=210
For quality help from experienced specialist IT professionals, look no further than the following experts: The Ardent Group of Whitstable tel: 01227 774850 - Cariss of Margate tel: 01843 823724 - Coastal Data Systems of Birchington tel: 01843 846935 - IP Computer Consultants of Westgate-On-Sea tel: 07971316738 - Mach Associates of Broadstairs tel: 0870 321 9986 - Oast House Media of Great Mongeham tel: 01304 369440 - Simtech Computer Services of Margate tel: 01843 230566 and Sota Solutions of Sittingbourne tel: 01795 413500
11. The French Say Non To Channel Swimming
Why are the French against Channel Swimming? See http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00vsty4/Inside_Out_South_East_01_11_2010/ . Perhaps it is because it was an Englishman, Matthew Webb, who first swam across the Channel that our French cousins have never been great enthusiasts for taking up the physical challenge of swimming between Dover and Calais. Starting from the French side has been banned for the last 11 years. Perhaps it is more a case of Gallic logic at its best. Why spend all day freezing to death in saltwater at a cost of around £4,000 when you can cross in comfort by ferry for around 1% of the price? They may have a point there. We have received a variety of suggestions from Chamber members as to how the French might be encouraged to join us in the Channel with the same harmony of purpose that they promise to bring to our aircraft carriers. One idea received is for Dover restaurants to include more garlic and snails in their dishes to make them more appetising to successful French swimmers. But, our favourite proposal is that Channel Swimming should be renamed Chanel Swimming. After all, we all know the power of a good brand name and perhaps it would encourage better fashion sense in the swimmers; the grease and goggles look just doesn’t do it for the inventors of haute couture.
12. Our Sponsors
Girlings Solicitors has been managing the 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, HerneBay 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 SWIFT Codes for all Banks in Australia 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
© David Foley November 2010
Your Business Bulletin from Thanet & East Kent Chamber
Thanet & East Kent Insider
16th October 2010 Issue No.:
1. Eurocell Open Day
2. Golf At Its Best
The 2010 Thanet v Dover Golf Tournament took place at the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club. East Kent’s largest corporate golf day featured a team from Nord De Calais as well as over £20,000 of prizes available to the teams competing. In a closely fought contest the main team prize was won by Thanet with team captain Alastair Narraway of OFP Ltd collecting the trophy on behalf of the Thanet & East Kent Chamber members. The winner of the Ray Haines Memorial Trophy with the lowest individual score was Justin Bishop following a round of 74, an excellent return on this demanding course which has hosted two Open Championships. Other winners included Alex Pentecost of Avia, Dave Mulcare of Amdell and Darren Lamb of Country Carpets. Joe Futter was nearest the pin on the 8th hole but just not quite near enough to win the new Skoda car on offer for a hole-in-one. One of the happiest winners of the day was the Dover Counselling Centre (DCC), a charity founded in the wake of the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster which is now £276 better off thanks to the generosity of Chamber golfers. DCC continues to minister to some of the bereaved of the 193 victims of that dreadful night of 6th March 1987. The National Memorial was the beneficiary of the putting competition. Full details will be available shortly on a Roll of Honour. The Chamber thanks Ken Hannah and his team at the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club for its delightfully friendly service, Graham Rayner for his unrivalled marketing skills and Justin Bishop of the Walpole Bay Hotel who used all his experience as an ex-professional golfer to make the sure the tournament progressed without a hitch.
3. Boost Your Turnover
The Thanet & East Kent Chamber has designed a logo specifically for the use of Chamber members. We urge all members to use the logo on their publicity, websites, letterheads, sales brochures and email correspondence. Members will be aware of the advantages of Chamber membership when applying to access the Thanet College discretionary spending budget of £3.5 million and a free place at the Business-to-Business exhibition on 24th November 2010, see 4 below. The increasingly high profile of the Chamber on television and radio will also produce a credibility advantage to members who advertise that they are officially linked to the largest business support agency in the area. Attached to the members only edition of this Thanet & East Kent Insider is a copy of the Conditions of Use together with a high resolution jpeg file of the logo. In contrast to some membership organisations, there is no charge for its usage.
4. Free Exhibition Space
5. News From Dover
The People’s Port of Dover Trust is now a legal entity and will be bidding to take over the ownership of the Port of Dover with the stated objective of operating the port for the benefit of the local community. Plans for the National War Memorial on Dover’s Western Heights received a boost last week with news of the support of Ian Hislop. Although a renowned humourist as editor of the satirical magazine Private Eye and a panelist on every episode to date of the BBC’s Have I Got News For You, Ian Hislop takes a serious interest in military history. He presented the six episodes of Channel 4’s Not Forgotten which detailed the experiences of soldiers in the First World War. Ian Hislop’s support increases the chances of the National War Memorial being built before the 4th August 2014, the centenary of the outbreak of the twentieth century’s most lethal conflict which resulted in over one million deaths among the British Imperial Forces.
6. A Little Bird Told Us
Thanet’s poorest residents are being offered financial support by the charity Cheerful Sparrows. Tracing its origins to a Mr Sparrow, a casualty of the Boer War, this wonderful Thanet-based organisation offers help to Thanet residents whose specific needs cannot be addressed through official channels. Referrals must originate in the first instance from a reputable body or professional association; GPs and school welfare officers are in a particularly good position to make recommendations. Long-term residents of Thanet will recall the former President of Cheerful Sparrows, the late Peter Finlay, who passed away in May this year after a lifetime of service to the district. Those who attended his funeral may remember the Reverend Stanley Evans’s comments from the pulpit when he said that Peter Finlay served only one term as a Councillor as “he found the council's bureaucracy frustrating”. For those not blessed with the best numeracy and literacy skills, accessing help from social services can also prove impossibly frustrating and Cheerful Sparrows may provide the solution.
7. Trustees Week
We are grateful to Cllr Clive Hart who has drawn our attention to the valuable work of trustees who play a vital role, volunteering their time for the benefit of others less fortunate than themselves. The week beginning 25th October 2010 has been designated Trustees Week and has been designed to celebrate the efforts of trustees everywhere in the country, encouraging more people to take an active interest in the charities operating in their local area. Full details are available at http://www.trusteesweek.org.uk
8. China’s Growing Domestic Market
We learned last week that China’s foreign exchange reserves increased in the last reported quarter by USD 194 billion, the equivalent of around £121 billion at current exchange rates. The Financial Times tells us that total foreign currency reserves now stand at around £1,160 billion. That is a lot of money to have jingling in your pocket available to spend. We have received a succession of reports over the last six months from seasoned travellers to China that a significant change has taken place. There is a growing market for imports. It might be time to stop thinking of China as a base for low-cost manufacturing and to start considering exporting to the country to meet the growing demand from increasingly wealthy and urban domestic consumers. We have received a request for a Kent-based clothing manufacturer who can supply China with ready-made garments for 18 – 25 year olds. Another Chamber member has begun exporting mini-keyboards for mobile phones. Consumer demand in China is undoubtedly growing strongly and UK companies with interesting products are well advised to get in quick. The BBC and the CIA agree on an estimated population for China of 1.34 billion. Even if just 5% of the inhabitants are potential customers, that is still more than the population of the UK. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
9. High Earners
Jon Cleverdon of J Cleverdon Chartered Accountants invited the Thanet & East Kent Chamber to a confidential meeting last week at which he outlined a series of strategies relating to bespoke planning to save high earners considerable sums of money which could then be used to invest in the local economy or reward key employees, our preferences, or alternatively to indulge every whim living on a beach in a warm country. In our limited experience, you soon tire of exotic locations where there is no marmite, HP sauce or news of Doncaster Rovers’s latest defeat. You pays your money, and you takes your choice. The beauty of Jon’s system is that you pays a lot less money. He categorizes the tax solutions in seven areas as follows: Employee Benefit Trust, IR 35 Contractor Solutions Peak Performance Contracts, Stamp Duty, Income Tax Strategy, Inheritance Tax Planning, Capital Gains Tax and Employer Funded Retirement Schemes. To find out more, give Jon and his colleagues a call at their main office in Broadstairs, telephone 01843 866599
10. Community & The Arts
This Chamber has always believed that a successful enterprise requires a strong arts community. That is why the Chamber organised arts festivals in 2009 and 2010 from which many members benefited. A consistent supporter of business engagement has been Michael Wheatley-Ward of Chamber member, the Sarah Thorne Theatre Club. Despite the forebodings of disaster from some quarters, Michael has made a brilliant success of the venture, combining artistic success with a commercial acumen from which heavily subsidised public theatres could all learn. Regular readers of the Thanet & East Kent Insider, see editions of 1st May 2010 and 12th June 2010, will be familiar with the names of the patrons Michael has ensnared, Dame Judi Dench and David Suchet. What is perhaps less well-known is the astonishing audience figures he has secured for his programmes, most recently for Rodney Bewes in a production of Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat. One Likely Lad does not make a summer, but with enticing evenings to come which include The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band Changed My Life Forever and Kissing Sid James, about which the advance publicity tells us intriguingly “Crystal's a croupier with a bit of a thing for Sean Connery”, we can expect continuing success for the rest of the year. SWIFT Codes for all Banks in Australia In the last twelve months, over twenty community and business groups have shared in the success of the Sarah Thorne Theatre Club, proving yet again that reciprocity is a key ingredient in promoting sales. Recently, we have featured the exemplary business engagement policy of Thanet College. Michael Wheatley-Ward can be added to the list of enlightened East Kent entrepreneurs who believe in their community. In efforts to boost turnover and reduce costs, you do not need to be Richard Branson or Damien Hirst, Britain’s wealthiest artist, to appreciate that in our local economy there is a simple reciprocal benefit in the doctrine, “You buy from me, I buy from you”.
12. Insurance Claim
News has reached the Chamber of some rather unusual insurance claims. Anyone who has been the victim or the perpetrator of a road accident will know the foreboding that greets you when faced with a claim form to complete. Chamber member Millards Insurance of Deal, tel: 01304 613072 can offer practical help and years of experience to Chamber members required to provide a true and accurate account of an incident. We have heard of some curious replies to common questions but none more so than the example forwarded by one Chamber member who insists that it is the gospel truth. We have no doubt about its veracity, but readers must judge for themselves. In answer to the question “Could either driver have done anything to avoid the accident?”, this enterprising claimant wrote simply: “Travelled by bus.” Now you can’t argue with that, can you?
13. Our Sponsors
Girlings Solicitors has been managing the 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
© David Foley October 2010
£3.5 Million Boost to Local Economy
Thanet & East Kent Chamber, the largest business support body in Thanet, has partnered with Thanet College, the largest training provider, in a pioneering initiative that promises to give a huge boost to the local economy. A series of meetings between the new College Principal, Graham Razey, and the Chamber’s Chief Executive, David Foley, resulted in a breakfast meeting at the Fayreness Hotel, Broadstairs last Tuesday. During the meeting Graham Razey announced to a packed room that £3.5 million of the College’s budget that is currently being spent on suppliers from outside the area will be switched to local companies “wherever possible”. Almost every sector of the East Kent economy stands to benefit from this new policy. SWIFT Codes for all Banks in Australia Commenting on the announcement, David Foley said: “This is a wonderful example of business engagement at its very best. Thanet College is leading the way in working with the private sector.” Graham Razey declared: “The Thanet & East Kent Chamber is at the heart of the business community. We will go local wherever possible and look forward to working with East Kent companies of all sizes”.