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Official Magazine for South East London Chamber of Commerce - Issue 8

Tony Pidgley

Strengthening local communities

• BEXLEY Partnership for good growth • BROMLEY Town Centre ready for the festive season • ROYAL BOROUGH

OF GREENWICH Helping business grow • LEWISHAM Council offer one-off business rate discount to Lewisham based businesses • VISIT GREENWICH New arts festival launched • SKILLS Entrepreneurial Spirit: Nurturing Talent after

University • CONSTRUCTION Optimism in office sector • HEALTH & WELLBEING Coping with an older workforce •

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inside 10

5 7 8-10 12 14 15 16-17

18 19-22 23 24 25 26-28

Chamber News Economy Focus on Bexley Focus on Bromley Arts & Culture Focus on Greenwich Royal Greenwich Business Awards Focus on Lewisham Education & Skills Legal Ask the Expert News Big Interview with Tony Pidgley


29-31 32-33 35 37 38-39 41

43 44-45 46-48 49 50 50

Welcome |

Chamber Events Visit Greenwich Festive Hospitality Construction The Person behind the Business Finance Update Members Benefits Health & Wellbeing News New Members and finally...




Welcome To The Masthead - the South East London Chamber of Commerce magazine. he Chamber had a busy summer. Finally, our website makeover is complete and a new payment system and CRM system have been installed. Our new GDPR policies are in place and the new systems are talking with each other. The Board has been working hard on our Strategic Business Plan 2019/2022 and we will be consulting with our membership on what sort of events you would like to see taking place. A questionnaire will be sent out in November. We hope to introduce specialist training sessions and more speaker events. During the autumn we have a breakfast meeting with Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of RBG, and in early December, an evening event will be held to hear The Rt Hon

Nick Raynsford, President of the Town & Country Planning Association, talk about his report on the current planning process which is published on 20 November. Talking of key decision-makers, this edition of the magazine features on page 26 an interview with Tony Pidgley CBE, the Chairman of Berkeley Group, whose company is tackling some of London’s most challenging and complex developments sites, and prides itself on strengthening local communities. I am writing this Welcome sitting on a balcony in Pokhara, Nepal. My annual holiday is being taken with Young’s Travel, part of Chamber member Everest Inn Group. My fellow director Yadav Bhandari and his brother Pashupati are both here, as is the Chamber 'gong'!

Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: admin@benhampublishing.com Web: www.benhampublishing.com Published: October 2018 © Benham Publishing

Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: karen@benhampublishing.com Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: mark@benhampublishing.com Media No. 1601 Disclaimer The Masthead is published for South East London Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members.


Exciting times ahead for Chamber after busy summer

Editorial and General Enquiries

South East London Chamber of Commerce Unit TW/145, Trinity Wharf, Harrington Way Warspite Road London SE18 5NR Tel:

020 8317 3365

Email: office@selondonchamber.org www.selondonchamber.org

Photography Warren King Tel: 07779 337765 email: warren@wkphotography.co.uk web: www.wkphotography.co.uk

The other day in Kathmandu, we met with Rajendra K. Khetan, President of Nepal Britain Chambers of Commerce & Industry - see picture. We will meet him again in Kathmandu and it has been impressive to hear about the many large UK companies who are working in Nepal. I look forward to him visiting our part of South East London when he next visits the UK. We return to the UK very timely, to attend the House of Lords Dinner co-hosted with Southwark Chamber on 15th October.

Helen McIntosh FCIPR President

All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at South East London Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in The Masthead are not necessarily those of South East London Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. © 2018 Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this journal, Benham Publishing and its agents can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.

October 2018



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Chamber News |


Chamber welcomes new board members The Chamber has welcomed two new experienced business people onto its board. Communications roles. She spent seven years at Youth Sport Trust as the Director of Communications, five years as the Communications and Fundraising Director of Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and two years as the Director of Development at Westway Trust.

Louise Wolsey

ouise Wolsey is Group Executive Director of Strategy, Communications and Organisational Development at London & South East Education Group.


The Group was formed in 2018 and comprises of London South East Colleges, which has seven campuses across Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich, London South East Academies Trust, and two Apprenticeship companies, and has a turnover of about £60m. Prior to this role, Louise spent 14 years in the voluntary sector, working in a range of Business Development and

In September 2015, Louise joined Bromley College of Further and Higher Education, (later London South East Colleges) as the Executive Director of Corporate and Strategic Development.

Since then, she has supported a highly successful merger, expanded upon the College’s external stakeholder strategy and secured funding for multiple high value projects including £6.4m from the GLA for a new £11.02m Aerospace and Technology College.

Louise is a firm believer in the benefits of cooperation between education providers, local authorities and employers. Throughout her time at London South East Colleges, she has worked to ensure that employers continue to shape and enhance the experience of LSEC’s learners.

She hopes to use her experiences to further promote growth and partnerships in South East London. Dave Millett, Director of DRF Consultants of East Malling, has spent almost 40 years in the telecoms industry, starting with BT where he qualified as an accountant. He worked in a number of senior marketing and strategy European roles for companies such as Siemens, Avaya and Nortel then joined the UK’s first ever VoIP company as Operations and Marketing Director.

Dave founded Equinox in 2009 as the country’s first telecoms broker, which he recently sold. In that time, he regularly appeared in the media including BBC TV and Radio, Talk radio and CNBC, commenting on the industry and UK infrastructure

In recent years, whilst running Equinox, he worked in collaboration with Branduin to provide business advisory to start-ups and SMEs in partnership with a range of London Councils.

He also is an associate of Cavell, who provide strategic consultancy to Telecom operators around the world. He has worked in Ireland, South Africa and Botswana on projects with them as well as with BT, O2 and Vodafone in the UK.

Dave has now set up DRF, which will continue these relationships with Branduin and Cavell as well as offering its own business consultancy services.

Dave Millett

He said: “I am looking forward to helping the Chamber to continue its growth and expansion of benefits and services it offers it members.”

EB 2 launch event South East Enterprise held a spectacular event on 13 September at the old ammunition factory on the Royal Arsenal Riverside Estate in Woolwich to launch the second phase of the Royal Borough of Greenwich E-Business programme. llr Denise Hyland, cabinet member for Economy, Skills and Apprenticeships talked about the success of the first phase of the programme which achieved an increase in revenue for Royal Borough SMEs of £17m, created over 110 jobs and safeguarded over 1000 jobs locally. Close to one hundred local businesses attended the


event which featured performances by three students of Millennium Performing Arts college based in Woolwich singing songs form popular shows. Tony Goldstein, Managing Director of South East Enterprise talked about the evolution of the E-Business programme and how it is continuing to meet the needs

Omowumi Saidat Lawal, KAS Concept Solutions Ltd

of local SMEs in the Royal Borough with the inclusion of a robust cyber security component, the company has been writing cyber policies for Greenwich businesses. There was a short address by Lewis Redshaw of Redshaw Advisers who talked about how the E-Business programme had really made a difference to

his business, from its inception in 2014 to the present day where SEE has recently written the company’s cyber security policy. To find out how EB2 can help your business or to have your cyber security policy written contact SEE on 020 8305 2666 or email info@seenterprise.co.uk

October 2018




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October 2018

Economy |


Small businesses challenge traditional view of growth New research has identified that many small businesses are adopting an increasingly flexible approach to growth that goes against traditional ways of thinking because it allows for periods of contraction. he study from Direct Line for Business identified three million Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK that need to expand or contract throughout the year to meet business demands. These companies have been named ‘Balloon Businesses’ because they don’t follow a continual growth trajectory but instead recruit and release employees in response to business needs, or open pop-up or temporary locations as demand fluctuates. Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of SME owners have set-up their business so they can scale it up or down without affecting its overall viability, according to the study. Their approach goes against the belief in linear business growth and the research suggests that they are fast becoming the backbone of the UK economy, currently employing about 12 million people, according to the researchers. Nearly half (49 per cent) of SMEs say the headcount of their business fluctuates throughout the year, followed by a third of micro businesses (32 per cent) and around a quarter (27 per cent) of sole traders. When it comes to premises, a third of SMEs say the number of locations they operate from changed between the second


half of 2017 and into 2018, as businesses increasingly take advantage of short term leases and pop-up locations. SMEs also highlight a lack of consistent revenue throughout the year, with significant peaks and troughs. Decision-makers identify June as their most profitable month, while January is traditionally the month they record their lowest revenues. Underlining SME flexibility, more than 2.6 million (47 per cent) of these companies have started offering a new product or service outside of their primary industry, with one in nine (11 per cent) expanding their service or product offering every year. In the first half of 2018, SME businesses in IT and computing were the most adept at diversification, with more than two fifths (44 per cent) starting to offer products outside of their primary sector. Jazz Gakhal, Managing Director at Direct Line for Business, said: “Traditionally, business growth has been viewed as a linear process, but small companies are now incredibly agile, hiring contractors to meet demand and taking advantage of short term leases to test the landscape and expand their footprint. By adopting flexible working practices, they can quickly scale up or down their operations without putting the company’s survival at risk.”

According to the study, UK SMEs are extremely optimistic about their growth prospects over the next year, with nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of businesses anticipating their revenue will grow by an average of 10.6 per cent over the next 12 months. A third of SMEs (33 per cent) plan to employ new full-time staff, while 28 per cent plan to bring in part-time staff and 21 per cent plan to hire temporary staff to deal with seasonal business demand. Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation, said: “The reason the UK has a thriving small business community is because the entrepreneurs running these

firms are incredibly resourceful and adaptable. Whether it is making use of free Wi-Fi in a coffee shop when just starting out, or taking advantage of pop-up shops to trial a retail offering, people are increasingly taking a flexible approach to running a business. “Indeed, company owners and operators are increasingly ready to let their operations shrink if necessary in the short term to ensure their long-term success. Not every company gets it right first time. To be successful it is vital for small businesses to be malleable and realise when a business needs to change.”

According to the study, UK SMEs are extremely optimistic about their growth prospects over the next year, with nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of businesses anticipating their revenue will grow by an average of 10.6 per cent over the next 12 months.

October 2018


| Focus on Bexley

Partnership secures speedy go-ahead for broadband upgrade Thanks to an effective partnership with the Council, Openreach engineers made superfast broadband available to around 10,000 more homes and business in Bexley during 2017/18. heir positive collaboration has also encouraged Openreach to include Bexley in the first phase of its ‘Fibre to the Premises’ investment programme, which will provide faster, more reliable broadband technology. This programme could see around 25,000 homes in Crayford and Erith being upgraded to ultrafast and future-proof Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology during 2018/19. Council Leader Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE welcomed the news: “We are delighted with the results of our partnership working with Openreach, because broadband is now a vital part of the borough’s infrastructure. “Fast and reliable broadband will benefit thousands of local people and make the borough an even more attractive location for businesses.” The technology provides additional capacity for datahungry services and applications, such as Virtual Reality gaming and smart homes, where a network of online sensors can coordinate and control home appliances – from thermostats, doorbells and security cameras to door locks, lawn sprinklers, window blinds and washing machines. And for businesses, it further improves their ability to improve


We are delighted with the results of our partnership working with Openreach, because broadband is now a vital part of the borough’s infrastructure. Fast and reliable broadband will benefit thousands of local people and make the borough an even more attractive location for businesses.

October 2018

the way they work, explore global markets through the use of new technology, backup systems and processes, as well as operate more efficiently thanks to much faster upload and download speeds. It also adds even more reliability and resilience to the network, meaning things are less likely to go wrong in the event of unforeseen circumstances or extreme weather and conditions. “Bexley already has access to extensive high-speed broadband, with around 98 per cent of households and businesses now able to connect to speeds of 30Mbps and above,” says Kim Mears, Openreach’s MD for Infrastructure Development. “We’re now taking this to the next level by working closely with local partners like the London Borough of Bexley to build a future proof, ultrafast FTTP network capable of 1Gbps speeds – that’s about 24 times faster than the current UK average of 44Mbps. “This has the potential to completely transform the way people go online and opens up a world of opportunity. It’s also an important step in future-proofing Britain’s broadband network and supporting emerging mobile technologies like 5G.”

Focus on Bexley |

The leaders of the London Borough of Bexley and Kent County Council have welcomed London City Airport’s recent decision to support the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet (C2E) Campaign. eresa O’Neill OBE and Paul Carter CBE said that the need for a Crossrail station at London City Airport is a prime example of the untapped potential on the route. And of how finishing the job on Crossrail will deliver widespread regeneration, housing and growth.


C2E partnership with London City Airport

A Crossrail station at London City Airport - connected to High Speed 1 services at Ebbsfleet – will help businesses and leisure travellers from across South East London and Kent better access international opportunities. You can find out more about the C2E campaign at www.c2ecampaign.com

Events at the Engine House The Engine House is hosting a growing range of exciting events at its home between Belvedere and Thamesmead. ecent attractions have included talks on the potential of advanced technology and sessions at which successful local business people have shared their learning. More are planned through the autumn and into the New Year. They include a networking event, advanced technology workshop, a Google workshop on digital marketing and data, another on social media and branding, plus advice on your digital presence. Interested? To sign up for email updates from Bexley for Business visit https://www.bexley.gov.uk/stay-informedabout-subjects-you-choose


October 2018



| Focus on Bexley

ITRM Ltd revealed as Bexley’s Business of the Year 2018 IT specialist ITRM took away a hat-trick of awards at Bexley’s Business Excellence Awards, including scooping the prestigious top prize of Business of the Year 2018. round 300 guests from the business community celebrated at the 6th annual Bexley Business Excellence Awards in association with Ocado, which was held at Hall Place and Gardens in June.


Hosted by actress and writer Tracy Ann Oberman, best known for her role as Chrissie Watts in EastEnders, the sold-out event was the climax of the prestigious awards that celebrated the successes and achievements of Bexley’s vibrant business sector.

Cllr Louie French, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “The Bexley Business Awards continue to go from strength to strength, highlighting the growing number of brilliant local businesses and the key role that they play in our local communities and economy.” Other big winners on the night were Taylor Technology Ltd, who won Best Employer and were highly commended for Tech Innovation, as well as newcomer high street spa Acquasis, which

won Best Start-Up and also achieved a commendation as Independent Retailer.

Full details of all the winners, highly commended and commended are available at www.bexleyawards.co.uk

The Bexley Business Awards continue to go from strength to strength, highlighting the growing number of brilliant local businesses and the key role that they play in our local communities and economy.

Partnership for good growth Jules Pipe, the Deputy Mayor of London for Planning, Regeneration and Skills visited Bexley during the summer for an update on the borough’s growth plans. llr Teresa O’Neill OBE said after the meeting: “Jules is the Mayor’s lead on a number of areas that are central to the successful delivery of our growth strategy, particularly infrastructure and skills. We hope to meet regularly to ensure we work together to deliver growth that works for our residents and businesses – and for London.” Representatives from Bexley, South East London Colleges and Peabody brought the Deputy Mayor up-to-date on the good progress they are making with their plans to create an innovative new Place & Making Institute in east Thamesmead.


October 2018

The Institute will help address the acute skills shortage in the development and construction sectors and equip young people to gain employment in industries and services linked to growth. “We all agree that growth is about creating quality places, not just home and jobs. And it’s also about creating opportunities: for businesses to flourish and for young people to find fulfilling and rewarding work building the communities of the future,” said Cllr Louie French, the Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Growth.

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| Focus on Bromley

Bromley town centre is ready for Christmas 2018 The turning on of the Christmas lights will take place this year on Sunday 18th November with a fun packed afternoon from 1pm where crowds will be entertained by local bands and dance schools. he much-loved Santa Dash once again returns with the spectacular sight of a thousand Father Christmas’ running through the pedestrianised section of the High Street. The lights will be switched on by Lesley Joseph who is heading up the panto cast in Churchill Theatre’s Cinderella. Throughout the month of December, Bromley town centre host a number of Christmas activities in the town centre, to find out more visit



Throughout December, additional policing will be in place in the town centre to keep visitors and businesses safe. Funded by Your Bromley, an additional four

October 2018

officers/PCSOs will be in town to keep visitors and businesses safe.

In addition, funded by the BID, to support the night time economy, two pairs of Night Ambassadors patrol the town centre’s busiest streets in evenings at the weekend so we can be certain that the streets are safer than most other outer London town centres. They are SIA qualified and have been specially selected for their customer service and calmness. The police and Night Ambassadors use Shop Safe Radios connecting them to businesses and to the CCTV Centre and are part of the Your Bromley funded Businesses Against Crime partnerships and its Exclusion Scheme that operates to keep the town centre safe for visitors. St. Mark’s Square is steadily moving towards completion with the VUE cinema and Premier Inn

hotel be opening in October. The underground car park and footbridge link to Bromley High Street South (opposite Bromley South train station) will open in the same month. Confirmed restaurants to begin their fit-out are; Nando’s, Pizza Express, Turtle Bay, Preto and Las Iguanas. With recent investment of more than half a million pounds spent upgrading the centre’s facilities, it’s easy to see why The Glades is the place to shop this Christmas. 2018 has seen fantastic new store arrivals including youth brand, Jack Wills, as well as optical care specialist, David Clulow and Swiss-based coffee connoisseur, Nespresso. US concept gym Orangetheory has added a refreshing twist to the shopping centre’s line-up and more global retailers have opened including premium label carrier, Tessuti, and Australian accessories brand, Colette by Colette Hayman.

Guests will have even longer to enjoy new stores this year with the centre opening from 9am – 9pm on Monday to Saturday from 10th December. Visitors will be able to experience the most wonderful time of the year in a magical new light at The Glades’ ADVENTure Land grotto, where families can enjoy an enchanting elf-led escapade around a Nordic-inspired village discovering fun-packed games, music, jokes and surprises - all hidden behind 24 windows and doors. Santa will be waiting at the end for a chat, photographs and to present adventurers with souvenirs.

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F r more information Fo i f ti please l con ntact t t us quoting: ting: PFGBG17






| Arts and Culture

What’s On at the Greenwich Theatre Bookings : 020 8858 7755 www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk Bing Live BB Live Ltd Wed/Thurs 17 & 18 October

My Love Lies Frozen in The Ice Dead Rabbits Theatre Friday 19 October Edith In The Dark Baroque Theatre Company Saturday 20 October

Black is the Color of My Voice James Seabright Sunday 21 October

Nick Sharratt’s Big Draw Along Mark Makin Projects Tuesday 23 October Comedy Club 4 Kids Fri 26 Oct & Sat 22 Dec Rubber Johnny Fri/Sat 26 & 27 October

Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect Mark Makin Projects Sun 28 October

Shakespeare Schools Festival 2018 Tue 30 Oct – Fri 2 Nov

Shivers Little Mighty Sunday 4 November

Robinson Crusoe Fri 23 Nov – Sun 13 Jan 2019

A Christmas Carol European Arts Theatre Company Tue/Wed 27-28 November Knitmas: A Winter Yarn Sharklegs Theatre Company Sat 8 Dec – Sun 30 Dec

Dinosaur Pieces The Roan Theatre Company Wed 16 Jan – Sat 19 Jan 2019 &2/-./6%-"%2

October 2018

Focus on Greenwich |


Helping businesses grow in the borough Councillor Danny Thorpe Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich best interests of business in the borough and that we are continually reviewing our practice to ensure businesses get the support they need. One of the main subjects we wanted to promote is the review of our procurement process. Part of this process is improving how we support our local economy and ensure our bidding and tendering processes are much more accessible to SMEs. We will be using the discussion at this event to shape the assistance we provide to businesses across the borough.

Winners of the 2018 Royal Borough of Greenwich Business Awards. ere in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, we have over 11,500 businesses, ranging from those that employ five people, to those that employ over 150 people. We're determined to do more to support our businesses and grow our own local economy and we are continually looking for ways to support our local businesses. One of our key priorities is to spend more of our money in the local economy year on year, as well as increasing the engagement we have with those choosing to do business here.

One of the main topics of discussion on the day was expansion, and how we can help them to grow. The uncertainty that has arisen following the decision to leave the EU was one of the main concerns businesses had, particularly around issues concerning the supply chain and workforce issues. We are committed to supporting our local businesses during this time and are committed to increasing our support to helping small businesses particularly, to ensure the effects are kept at a minimum.

As part of our ongoing commitment to liaise with those who choose to locate their organisations within Royal Greenwich, I recently completed a whistle-stop tour of businesses in the borough to find out what works well, and the lessons the Council still has to learn when it comes to supporting our businesses and helping them grow.

I really enjoyed going out and meeting local businesses on my tour of the borough and the information I learnt throughout this experience is being used to shape the discussion we have on how we can support our local economy. Following this tour, I invited local businesses to Woolwich Town Hall to provide information about how we're working in the


Tour of the borough

Business breakfast

Celebrating success

In the Royal Borough, we believe it's important to celebrate those who go above and beyond, so others can learn from best practice. That's why we're proud to be holding our second annual business awards in February 2019. Applications will be open on 15 October and we would encourage as many businesses in the borough to submit nominations.

More details of how to apply, and a link to the application form can be found at royalgreenwich.gov.uk /businessawards.

Looking forward

Supporting our local economy is not a stationary process and we are always looking forward, developing new initiatives and repeating successful schemes. We are looking forward to hosting Small Business Saturday once again, as well as supporting London Living Wage Week. We have also just secured a renewal in our Fairtrade status and moving forward, we will be providing guidance to businesses in the borough on how to increase their business practice as such. Ensuring a thriving local economy is one of the main priorities of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and we will do all we can to provide an environment where businesses can thrive. To contact our Business Support Service, please contact business@royalgreenwich.gov.uk


I really enjoyed going out and meeting local businesses on my tour of the borough and the information I learnt throughout this experience is being used to shape the discussion we have on how we can support our local economy.


October 2018

Royal Greenwich Awards 2019 |

Best of Royal Greenwich Business Awards 2019 Launch On Monday 8 October, dignitaries from the Royal Borough of Greenwich joined representatives from local businesses to launch the 2019 Greenwich Business Awards. he Business Awards are organised by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, supported by the South East London Chamber of Commerce. Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, was joined by Cllr Denise Hyland, Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Apprenticeships, and Cllr Christine May, Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich to launch the awards. The Leader of the Council discussed his priority of supporting businesses in the Borough and had a further chance to hear from those in attendance. Sponsors of the 10 categories joined main sponsors U+I and awards reception sponsor Riney in Woolwich Town Hall, where it was announced that this year’s host is news-reader Steph McGovern. Each sponsor met with the Leader of the Council and had the chance to mingle with others in attendance.


Categories with Sponsors • Micro to Small Business Award Handelsbanken • Culture and Creative Excellence Award The Drury Tea & Coffee Co. • Greener Greenwich Award IKEA • Medium to Large Business Award BPTW • High Street Retailer Award British Land • On-line Business Award Hindwoods • Business Champion Award Grant Saw Solicitors • Social Enterprise Award GLL • Apprenticeship Employer Award LSEC • Young Entrepreneur Award Peabody

London South East Colleges

Drury Tea & Coffee Co.

• Nominations open 15 October at www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/businessawards

• If you have any questions about the awards please email business-awards@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

• Keep in touch via social media and don’t forget to use #GreenwichBizAwards

October 2018



| Focus on Lewisham

New cinema to be created The borough of Lewisham is to receive a new cinema after councillors approved plans for a site in the heart of Catford. he 23,000 square feet site, which has recently been Poundland and previously Catford Mews, will be home to: • a 205-seat three-screen cinema showing independent and blockbuster films • a café, bar and live music venue • recording studios • food court showcasing local independent food vendors.


London Living Wage Lewisham Council are offering a one-off business rate discount of up to £6,000 to Lewisham based businesses that become accredited London Living Wage employers in 2018–19.

How much discount am I entitled to? The discount you can get will depend on: • what type of organisation you are and • the number of employees you have. The maximum is £6,000. Type of organisation

Private sector Public sector and charities

Number of employees
















Claiming the discount

To get the discount, your business must be based in the Lewisham borough and must become accredited with the Living Wage Foundation between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019. There is a small fee for this – see the table below. The discount offered is a one-off and cannot be backdated. It will be on a first-come-first-served basis until our overall contribution equals £66,000. 1. Apply for accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation. 2. Send us your accredited licence agreement. 3. We will then write to tell you how much discount you are entitled to.

Cost of accreditation to the Living Wage Foundation Type of organisation

Private sector Public sector and charities


Number of employees
















Business Rates, Business Rates Team Po Box 58992 ,Bromley Road. SE6 9GY Tel: 020 8314 6150

October 2018

The venue will also support the local creative community by offering artists’ workspace, teaching rooms and exhibition space. It will be the first commercial multi-screen cinema in the borough for nearly 20 years. Preston Benson, founder of the Really Local Group, said: “We are delighted to announce our plans for the new Catford

Mews. For decades, the residents of Catford and the wider area have been underserved with respect to leisure offerings and this motivated us to launch this new multi-functional space.” Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham said: ‘It’s exciting to be getting set to welcome the return of a cinema to Catford. Catford always had a historic tradition as a cultural hub in south London. We want to revive that tradition. “The cinema joins the Catford Beer Festival, Catford Jazz Festival and the new independent restaurants that are opening in the town centre. Catford has a real buzz and things are set to continue to improve.” Redevelopment on the site is expected to be completed by May 2019.

Whatever you drive we can supply the right tyres at the right price

Grips charges £1 for checking air pressure on cars.

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to all members of the South East London Chamber of Commerce.

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Checking air for St Christopher’s is raising approximately £200 - £250 per month for the organisation.

Next time you need air please come to us.

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FREE Puncture Repair Service

The condition of roads is far from desirable and Grips wishes to keep South East London's businesses on the road.

Education & Skills |

Small businesses challenge traditional view of growth New research has shown that young people leaving education and looking for work may be missing out on potential employment opportunities by failing to consider Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). he study by Santander UK revealed that only 35% of young people who are leaving full time education, whether that be school, college or university, say they wish to work for an SME. An even smaller proportion, just one in six (18%), want to work for a start-up or micro business. Instead, the most popular career aspirations are to work for a large firm (51%), the public sector (51%) or a global multinational (49%). The main reason today’s young people say they would not want to work for an SME is because of a perceived lack of job security (56%). There is also the belief that SMEs offer a lower salary (46%) and fewer opportunities for progression than large companies (33%). Yet, according to Santander, by choosing to ignore SMEs, young people are missing out on a vast number of opportunities, given that more than 99% of businesses are SMEs. The majority (70%) of SMEs are actively recruiting for entry level roles, whether that be graduates (43%), further education leavers (36%) or school leavers (35%). Sue Douthwaite, Managing Director of Santander Business, said: “SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy, making up the overwhelming majority of private sector businesses. “While there are fantastic opportunities working for large companies or the public sector, anyone about to leave education should not discount the huge range of exciting career opportunities offered by the nation’s SMEs. SMEs offer huge opportunities for growth and many are at the



Language Classes French, Spanish, Italian and German Classes

A series of language courses will be running from September 25th 2018 for ten weeks. New joiners welcome at all classes. The cost is £185 for new students and £155 for returning students. The Thursday classes will be held at More London near London Bridge and the Tuesday classes will be held near the Barbican Courses are open to beginners, intermediate and advanced speakers of French, Spanish and Italian as well as beginner and intermediate students of German. A discount of £30 (cost for ten weeks £155) is available to chamber members

Class Times and Locations French classes

www.languages2000.co.uk/french • Beginners plus French at More London Thursday 12.00pm (45 mins) start date September 27th • Intermediate French at More London Thursday 7.15pm (45 mins) start date September 27th • Advanced French at More London Thursday 1.30pm (45 mins) start date September 27th • Higher intermediate/advanced French Near the Barbican Tuesday 8.00 am (45 mins) start date September 25th)

Spanish classes.

forefront of British innovation and exports.” Graduate recruitment in particular is still at the top of the SME hiring agenda, with nearly a third (30%) of businesses having hired a graduate in the past 12 months and a similar number (32%) planning to do so in the next 12 months. Lack of interest among young people in SME careers may, in part, be due to lack of exposure to them, says Santander. SMEs tend to be less visible at careers fairs, with a third (33%) admitting that they do not engage directly with education providers, so graduates and school leavers may need to be more proactive in reaching out to them in comparison to the big businesses and public sector which often exhibit at careers events. Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK, said: “SMEs may not be as

visible in education institutions as larger businesses or the public sector as they may not have the same level of resources or just historically haven’t worked as closely with schools and universities. An internship is a fantastic way to get to know a business so anyone who isn’t sure what they would like to do, or who is and would just like some experience, should consider speaking to the careers department at their school, college and university and finding out what opportunities there are.” To help connect graduates with SMEs, Santander runs a UK-wide Universities SME Internship Programme which matches up SMEs with interns at one of 84 partner universities. SMEs can contact one of the universities to find an intern who matches the needs of their business. Santander will then contribute up to £1,500 to each SME per intern towards a placement of 1-10 weeks.

www.languages2000.co.uk/spanish • Beginners Spanish at More London Thursday 8.00 pm (45 mins) start date September 27th • Intermediate Spanish at More London Thursday 6.30pm (45 mins) start date September 27th

Italian classes

www.languages2000.co.uk/italian • Intermediate Italian at More London Thursday 12.45pm (45 mins) start date September 27th • Intermediate/advanced Italian at More London Thursday 5.00pm (45 mins) start date Thursday September 27th • Beginners Italian near the Barbican Tuesday 8.45am (45 mins) start date September 25th

German classes.

www.languages2000.co.uk/german • Intermediate German at More London Thursday 5.45pm (45 mins) start date Thursday September 27th • Beginners German at More London Thursday 8.45pm (45 mins) start date Thursday September 27th For further information please contact Susan on susanelizabethisaacs@icloud.com or visit www.languages2000.co.uk To join the mailing list please link to http://eepurl.com/bev4c9

October 2018

Skills |

Entrepreneurial Spirit: Nurturing Talent After University There are many avenues open to graduates after university. Some go on to further study, while others pursue opportunities in established organisations. Increasingly however, former students are seeking to turn their own business ideas into reality. arlier this year Santander conducted a study showing that more than a quarter of university students run, or plan to run a business during or shortly after their studies.


At Ravensbourne University London, we actively encourage this. Our graduates have established a host of successful businesses, from award-winning production companies and digital agencies to fashion labels. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, we believe that universities should support entrepreneurial students with ambitions to grow their own company, as much as those following traditional career paths. One of our proudest achievements at Ravensbourne University London has been the ongoing development of our Incubation programme, which encourages enterprising graduates to develop innovative ideas that they can commercialise. We promote collaboration among a pool

of bright and talented young people with complementary skills.

Ravensbourne University London’s Incubation programme provides a range of practical opportunities: an affordable shared space and access to cutting edge facilities and equipment. Alongside this, we also offer one-on-one business support sessions so graduates can gain bespoke expert advice and regular events to help incubatees network and learn how to build their business. Once a year, we host the Incubation Lite Awards, which recognise and reward the most exciting and innovative projects. We also run a scheme known as SEEDS (Self-Employment Entrepreneurship Diversity Scheme), whereby students from neurodiverse backgrounds are given the opportunity to win a year’s free Incubation support.

We have been lucky enough to see many of our Incubatees go on to achieve great deal.

Haus Pictures, an Incubation company run by four Ravensbourne graduates, went on to receive nominations from the BFI and Raindance Film Festival. DoubleMe, an Incubation company providing mixed-reality holographic experiences, has also seen numerous successes, recently working on installation projects with the Victoria and Albert Museum. Knitting and crafts company Stitch and Story, another Incubation business, has secured contracts with high-end retailers such as Liberty and John Lewis, while shoe company House of

Spring has exhibited at London, and New York Fashion Week.

Our vision for the future is that all of our students leave Ravensbourne equipped for a bright future, whether that be in further education, industry or their own business. Through our Incubation programme, we empower our graduates not just to make the most of their creative minds, but to navigate the challenges and opportunities the world of business brings. Find out more about Incubation at ravensbourne.ac.uk

Our graduates have established a host of successful businesses, from award-winning production companies and digital agencies to fashion labels.

October 2018




Arrang ge a

FRE EE consulta ation now w! We are committed to delivering the highe est quality skills development ment in the region for adults and employers. From m apprenticeships to professional o development and commercially relevant sshort courses, we have a range of options to suit your needs. www.LSEC.ac.uk | e: commercial@LSEC.ac.uk | t: 020 8295 7072

October 2018

Legal |


Settlement Agreements: A fast, fuss-free, effective solution A Settlement Agreement is a legally binding contract made between the employer and employee, often used to diffuse potentially tricky situations. ince employment tribunal fees were abolished in July 2017 tribunals have recorded increased numbers of claims being submitted. Aggrieved employees are now more likely to issue proceedings.


The purpose of a Settlement Agreement is usually to extinguish the employee/employer relationship and in doing so, the employee waives their rights to pursue any claims against the employer in a court or tribunal (in connection with their employment or its termination), in exchange for a financial settlement. A Settlement Agreement may be used, for example, to avoid a protracted redundancy, performance or disciplinary process, which can often be time-consuming, costly and a

strain on employer resources, or where there is an existing dispute such an Agreement can be used to bring the matter to an amicable close. Settlement Agreements not only protect the employer from any employment related claims, offering an element of certainty, but also clearly set out what the employee is required to do and not do, on termination of employment. The Agreement usually includes terms relating to the return of property, confidentiality, restrictive covenants, intellectual property and warranties upon which the Agreement and any compensation sum, is conditional upon. The terms should be clear and unambiguous. To make the Agreement legally binding the

employee is required to seek independent legal advice. The employee is under no obligation to accept a Settlement Agreement. However, an Agreement is more likely to be accepted where an employee is offered a financial settlement that is above the statutory/contractual payments they are entitled to. The scope of any financial settlement varies and is largely up to the employer to determine. Employers should consider the same factors a tribunal would: length of service, statutory redundancy and job market. The offer should be introduced by way of a protected conversation, to prevent the discussion being used in a later unfair dismissal claim. However, legal advice should be sought before any conversation

takes place; depending on the timing and what precisely is communicated there is a risk that an employee could try to use the offer as evidence of further unfair treatment and/or discrimination. Therefore, although Settlement Agreements are a very useful tool, care should be taken to draft the Agreement, tailoring it to suit the specific circumstances of the departing employee. All statutory requirements must be complied with to ensure the Agreement is, as the employer intended, a legally binding document. For any further information about Settlement Agreements, please contact Joanne Mash at Grant Saw Solicitors LLP on 020 8858 6971, or by email jmash@grantsaw.co.uk

October 2018


| Ask the Expert

Contaminated Land Solutions There is a growing need for assessing the environmental impact when developing brownfield sites. Site owners and developers need timely, accurate isolation of the key issues and the creation of an approach that safeguards their investment and maximises value for money. Why are they required? There is a growing awareness of the impact of the environment on our health and wellbeing. It is the Local Authority’s responsibility to ensure that potentially contaminated sites are assessed. Your development will not proceed until the Local Authority is satisfied that every care has been taken to ensure the fitness of the site for the proposed use.

ormed in 2003 by Peter George & Steve O'Hara, GO Contaminated Land Solutions have been providing client-focused environmental services for over 15 years. We provide several vital environmental services including: • Phase 1 Contaminated Land Reports or Desktop Studies • Phase 2 Intrusive Investigations • Developing Remediation Strategies • Monitoring site remediation • Completion of Verification Reports • Qualitative Flood Risk Assessments


October 2018

What types of contamination need to be considered? Some potential sources of contamination are obvious, others are less so. Typical examples of potential sources of contamination are old quarries with contaminated material or rotting rubbish producing methane and other gases, past rebuilding on bomb damaged sites or old industrial complexes without consideration of chemicals we now know to be harmful.

How are sites assessed? For a Phase 1 report a walkover of the site is generally required. A report will assess the geology, ground and surface water, past and current land use. Mineral extraction reports should be reviewed for old coal mines, past workings to extract gravel, limestone, clay or a wide range of other minerals.

We use this information to develop a site specific conceptual model and risk assessment, looking at any potential source of contamination and assessing the possibility of this reaching and affecting either people or the wider environment. What happens to the completed report? The completed report and any subsequent report is submitted to the relevant local authority and possibly the Environment Agency for approval and comment.

What happens next? Depending upon the findings we will undertake a Phase 2 Intrusive investigation to ascertain the nature and extent of the contamination. We prepare a remediation strategy

showing how the site needs to be cleaned up to make it safe.

How do you know the site is clean and ready for use? We collect records from your contractor and visit the site to undertake our own sampling and testing of soil, waters, gas and vapours. This is used to compile a final verification report allowing you to realise the potential of your site.

Why use us? Our leadership team has been involved in the property industry for nearly 40 years and has been specialising in contaminated land issues for over 15 years. We guarantee that our reports will meet the requirements of the appropriate regulatory authority.

Typical examples of potential sources of contamination are old quarries with contaminated material or rotting rubbish producing methane and other gases, past rebuilding on bomb damaged sites or old industrial complexes without consideration of chemicals we now know to be harmful.

News |


Creative area plan continues to advance Ambitious plans brought forward by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to create a landmark destination for the arts in Woolwich’s Royal Arsenal have moved another step closer. lanning permission has been granted for the first phase of a multi-million pound restoration of historic military buildings, to create a 15,000m² heritage complex of theatres, dance studios and restaurants.


The Council approved plans, as part of phase one, to convert three of the Grade II Listed former Royal Arsenal munitions buildings, known as 17, 18 and 19, and change their use to performance and creative space. Councillor Miranda Williams, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and the Third Sector, said: "This is a significant milestone for Woolwich and

the revitalisation of a historic site that will create a destination for the arts. “The Royal Arsenal symbolises the connection we have to the military and the heritage of successive generations of our residents who laboured there.”

The Woolwich Creative District comprises five buildings and the final scheme will include a 450-seat theatre, 600-seat performance courtyard and rehearsal studios, offices, restaurants and space for community hire. Work on the Woolwich Creative District is planned across two phases. The first features temporary theatres

and repair work to three of the historic buildings, to accommodate a temporary tenant, and permanent works to the two remaining buildings. A further phase will complete the long-term upgrade for a permanent performing arts tenant and, for building 18, a return to the Royal Arsenal for the Greenwich Heritage Trust. A number of international arts and performance companies are looking to make the Woolwich Creative District their new home and discussions are under way for a show to launch the site in 2019.

Vehicle data gathering begins FiveAI, a UK company that is developing technology for driverless vehicles, has started data gathering in the boroughs of Bromley and Croydon. he information will be used as the company develops its plan to trial a driverless passenger service in London by 2019.


Up to ten of Five AI’s vehicle’s will be driven in for ten months by human drivers in the same way as any normal road-going vehicle. They are not using autonomous technology at this stage. Ben Peters, co-founder and VP product, FiveAI, said: “Throughout this exercise, we want to keep residents informed about exactly what we’re doing, and why. We’ve been working closely with Bromley Council, Transport for London, as well as all of

the necessary authorities, to ensure that this exercise is safe and fully compliant with UK law.” Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Executive Councillor for Environment and Community Services, said: “The last few years have seen tremendous changes in technology. It is quite possible that we will see dramatic changes in the way we use transport in the coming years. The work that FiveAI are undertaking will inevitably be part of that and we are watching this with interest.”

The data gathering exercise is designed to help FiveAI to gain an understanding of the

road environment and the behaviour of road users, including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, and will take place at different times of the day and night.

The data will be used solely to develop FiveAI’s driverless vehicle technology. Data such as imagery for object recognition and geometry to measure distance will be collected, processed and stored in full compliance with UK and EU law including GDPR, and will not be used to identify individuals or for any other purpose.

FiveAI’s data gathering vehicles feature an array of front-facing sensors on the roof and are clearly branded.

Ground-breaking GlutenFree Product to create sustainable future for African Farm Workers London’s famous foodie destination, Borough Market, recently hosted the Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA) to help raise awareness about a new project designed to create a sustainable future for small scale farm workers in West Africa. CDA has become what’s believed to G be the first British business to import fully traceable High Quality Cassava Flour

into the UK from Nigeria. Claire Pritchard, Chief Executive of GCDA (and currently Chair of The London Food Board) decided to import the flour after hearing about the product from Professor Ben Bennett who is Deputy Director of The Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich. "London has one of the most varied and creative food scenes in the world,” says Claire, “and we have real purchasing power. By importing the flour, GCDA hopes to create a market for this exciting gluten free product which in turn will help support agricultural workers in Africa, many of whom are women.” High Quality Cassava Flour comes from the edible cassava root which is naturally gluten-free. In Africa, it grows easily and can be stored safely in the field and harvested when needed. GCDA imported a tonne of HQCF with help from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and donated several kilos of it to London food entrepreneurs who came up with creative ways of using it in their dishes. Those involved included celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala’s famous restaurant Café Spice Namesté. Free tasters and samples made from cassava flour, including baked goods, Indonesian street food and chocolates were handed out to visitors at Borough Market who were also treated to cooking demonstrations showing howversatile this gluten-free ingredient is. “Borough Market has always been at the centre of food innovation, and continues to lead the way in ethics and sustainability,” says David Matchett, Market Development Manager at Borough Market. “Our traders are very conscious and sensitive to the environmental and ecological impact of food production and distribution, and we’re pleased to be bringing High Quality Cassava Flour to a wider audience.” www.gcda.coop

October 2018


| Big Interview

Strengthening Local Communities October 2018

Tony Pidgley CBE Chairman of Berkeley Group talks to Masthead magazine about strengthening local communities with a mix of housing, culture and commerce.

Big Interview |


ony Pidgley CBE is the Chairman of Berkeley Group, one of the UK’s leading homebuilders. His company, which he founded in 1976, is tackling some of London’s most challenging and complex development sites, and prides itself on strengthening local communities with a mix of housing, culture and commerce.


Two of Berkeley Group’s most ambitious projects are based in South East London, both within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The first is Royal Arsenal, the former MOD munitions site on the Woolwich riverside. The second is Kidbrooke Village, which used to be known as the Ferrier Estate before its regeneration began back in 2009. Speaking exclusively to Masthead Magazine, Tony explains what it takes to deliver change on this scale: “Royal Arsenal and Kidbrooke Village are two of London’s greatest regeneration stories. They are very different places, but they have both transformed and thrived through Berkeley Group’s partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich. That’s because successful regeneration is all about collaboration. With every site, you have to start by talking to people and take a good long look at the local community.

Before: The Royal Arsenal

Find out who they are what they value and what they want to change. Then, you have to create a shared vision which gets to the heart of it and changes people’s lives for the better. If you don’t take the time to create that belief and purpose, sooner or later it stops working. Royal Arsenal is a great example. When we came here in the late nineties, Woolwich town centre was on its knees and the closure of this historic munitions factory had caused real pain. The site itself was bleak and challenging. It was vast, derelict, cut-off and heavily contaminated.

But after twenty years of partnership and regeneration it’s become a beautiful riverside neighbourhood. It’s teaming with community life and reconnected to a reenergised Woolwich. Royal Arsenal is now a safe and welcoming home, a thriving cultural scene and a vital source of local jobs and opportunity once again. The site has been reconnected with the community around it and brought to life with homes, pubs, cafés, shops, offices, a medical centre, pharmacy, Heritage Centre, the Academy of Performing Arts, a brewery, restaurants, a crèche and much more.

After: An artist’s impression of the completed

We have created 12 acres of public open space so far, including Dial Arch and Artillery Square, and Wellington Park. More than 500 trees have been planted and for the first time in generations local families can enjoy a walk along the Woolwich riverside. The Thames Clipper Passenger Pier opened back in 2005, and next year trains will stop at the new Elizabeth Line station, bringing the opportunities of central London much closer. Together with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, we created the RARE brand (Royal Arsenal Riverside Explore) which is now owned by dozens of local businesses and used to promote the Farmers’ Markets, the Woolwich Carnival, Film and Swing Festivals and Christmas Fêtes. Berkeley also helps to run business forums and networking events for traders from across the town centre. Those of us who remember the old Woolwich of the 1990s will understand why both we and the Council put so much energy into nurturing Royal Arsenal’s commercial potential. Its success has brought new investment to the rest of Woolwich and given local people more of the opportunities they were lacking in the ‘bad old days’.

October 2018


| Big Interview

Just a few miles from Royal Arsenal, the old Ferrier Estate has been through another dramatic transformation. In the 1960s it was celebrated as the future of social housing. But by the end of the 1990s it had fallen into disrepair and the community was beset by crime, unemployment and entrenched social problems. So in 2007, Berkeley went into partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich with a shared vision to create Kidbrooke Village; a sustainable urban village with shops, schools, squares and parks, all set within 86 acres of stunning open space. We started by creating handsome new homes for existing estate residents and by reconnecting the site with its surroundings. Since then, more than 1,500 homes have been built for a whole range of people – young and old, professional and families – with a complete mix of tenures. We wanted to create a sense of community right from the start, so we invested in vital social infrastructure, including a temporary village centre with a Sainsbury’s, doctors surgery, dentist, café and a local store. And we put our heart and soul into the landscape, creating a beautiful natural setting for everyone to enjoy. The contrast with the old Ferrier Estate could not be clearer and the local community has supported us every step of the way. In 2014, working in partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and

After: Kidbrooke Village today

London South East Collages, we opened an on-site Construction Skills Centre. This fantastic training venue provides a direct link between the local community and the thousands of jobs this regeneration programme is creating. Many former Ferrier Estate residents have been through its door and gone on to secure the lasting, rewarding careers they deserve. But what makes Kidbrooke Village really special is the people and their year-round programme of fetes, festivals, clubs, markets, volunteering and old fashioned gettogethers. Many of these events are run by local residents, others are the result of our partnership with the London Wildlife Trust. This constant patter of community life means neighbours get to know each other and everyone takes pride in their neighbourhood. This is what placemaking is really all about. We’re far from finished at Kidbrooke, and later this year we will open the new Village Centre, with new shops, a pub, a community space and more of the civic amenities people really care about.

Before: The former Ferrier Estate.

October 2018

Royal Arsenal also has a long way to go. The commercial and cultural hubs are taking off and the performance and rehearsal spaces of the new Woolwich Creative District will give this community even more energy and life.

Everything we’ve achieved across these two extraordinary projects is the result of a strong and enduing partnership based on trust, respect and collaboration. The Royal Borough of Greenwich, the Greater London Authority, the local communities and Berkeley all play vital roles. We are a team, working together to achieve something we all care passionately about and that benefits everyone. As you would expect with such long and ambitious projects, we faced major challenges and opportunities along the way. Powerful forces have changed our course more times than I care to remember. But they were always met with a shared determination to solve problems, seize the initiative and deliver our shared aspirations for Royal Arsenal, for Kidbrooke Village, and for the people of Greenwich.

Just a few months ago Berkeley Homes became part of a new partnership to regenerate the Thamesmead industrial estate, alongside Peabody and The Royal Borough of Greenwich. This is another unique site, with a different history and a new community to work with, learn from and support. Our approach to reviving Thamesmead will be unique, but the principles of collaboration and respect will be the same as ever. In my experience, we can always create somewhere welcoming, valuable and enduring if the public and private partners come together in the spirit of partnership and create a shared vision for the community. But don’t take my word for it. I warmly invite you to visit Royal Arsenal and Kidbrooke Village to see what the power of partnership can achieve.”

We have created 12 acres of public open space so far, including Dial Arch and Artillery Square, and Wellington Park. More than 500 trees have been planted and for the first time in generations local families can enjoy a walk along the Woolwich riverside.

Chamber Events |


Making the right connections Each month the Chamber hosts a variety of events which offer members a superb opportunity to meet and chat to fellow business people. Here, we review a few of our past events.

Summer BBQ

Upcoming Event

The Raynsford Review

13 July 2018

The Chamber’s Summer barbecue this year took place at The Bromley Court Hotel. Naturally fingers were crossed for warm weather and our attendees were certainly not disappointed.

This warmer-than-warm weather allowed use of the grounds of The Bromley Court’s Gardens. Indeed, the venue and food allowed for a relaxed, enjoyable event. Photo: Warren King

The Chamber’s Christmas Lunch, the next seasonal event, should be much colder. Taking place Thursday 13 December it promises to be another pleasant affair. See page 36 for further details.

5 December 2018 18.30 – 21.00

DoubleTree by Hilton Greenwich, Catherine Grove, Greenwich, SE10 8BB

on the back of assertion rather than evidence’ and suggested that continued deregulation is leading to poor quality outcomes for people.

Lewisham Breakfast Meeting 19 July 2018

This proved to be quite a popular event, certainly due to the calibre of speaker. Damien’s presentation was marked with sincerity. The Council has challenges to be sure, such as austerity, but the Mayor acknowledged his challenges and outlined his battleplans. Our member responses were of interest – one question posed to Damien was “as local businesses,

Lewisham Networking Lunch & AGM

The Chamber was pleased to host the recently elected Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan, at our Lewisham Breakfast Meeting in July, that took place at The Clarendon Hotel.

what can we do?” The “we” in this represents a core value of the Chamber – maintaining a united, local business voice for the benefit of our area. By working with policymakers and guiding their action the Chamber, and its membership, has the opportunity to make lasting change.

Pic: Chamber President Helen McIntosh and Mayor of Lewisham Damien Egan. Photo: Warren King

13 September 2018

The Chamber’s summer event “recess” ended with a Lewisham Networking Lunch and our Annual General Meeting, that took place at Locale in Blackheath Village. This event featured our popular one-minute slots and opportunities for attendees to display stands. We were also privileged to have four local councillors in attendance: Cllr Danny Thorpe (Royal Greenwich – leader), Cllr Denise Hyland (Royal Greenwich), Cllr Amanda de Ryk (Lewisham)

and Cllr Joe Dromey (Lewisham). This was a well-attended event and it was a pleasure to see such a variety of Chamber membership in attendance. Being such a well-received event, expect the Chamber to visit Chamber member, Locale, again in the future.

Foreground L-to-R: Cllr Danny Thorpe, Cllr Amanda de Ryk, Cllr Denise Hyland, Cllr Joe Dromey Photo: Warren King

The Rt Hon Nick Raynsford, President of the Town and Country Planning Association.

After 18 months in the field collecting evidence, the final report of the Raynsford Review of Planning is due to be published on 20 November. This December, the Chamber is hosting an evening where Nick will talk about the Report’s findings. This event is sponsored by DoubleTree by Hilton London.

The Raynsford Review of Planning has been set up to identify how the Government can reform the English planning system to make it fairer, better resourced and capable of producing quality outcomes, while still encouraging the production of new homes. (Source tcap.org.uk) In May, former housing minister Nick challenged current planning reform, saying that it has been ‘built

The Raynsford Review of Planning, which was presenting its interim findings in May, made nine provisional recommendations for reforms to the planning system, including giving the public a greater voice the planning process. The review, of which the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) provides the secretariat, has been led by a cross-section of built environment professionals and has engaged with more than 1,000 people, including many members of the public. Nick Raynsford said in May: “The planning system is no longer capable of shaping the places we need to secure people’s long-term health and wellbeing. We need a new approach with people at the heart of decisions and system which meet the growing challenges of housing affordability climate change and economic transformation.” Cost: £20 Members & Non-Members

Drinks and canapés provided

October 2018


| Forthcoming Events




House of Lords Dinner

Monday 15th October 18.00 - 22.30

Palace of Westminster, House of Lords, Westminster SW1A 0AA

An Evening of Construction Lecture & Supper

Tuesday 16th October 18.30 - 20.30

Council Room, Queen Anne Court, Old Royal Naval College, SE10 9LS

Bromley Breakfast Meeting

Thursday 18th October 07.30 - 09.00

The Bromley Court Hotel, Bromley Hill, Bromley BR1 4JD

Bromley Networking Lunch

Thursday 25th October 12.00- 14.00

The Bromley Court Hotel, Bromley Hill, Bromley BR1 4JD

Lewisham Link 'n Drink

Wednesday 31st October 17.30 - 19.00

Everest Inn, 41 Montpelier Vale, Lewisham, London SE3 0TJ

Charity Quiz Night

Thursday 1st November 18.30 - 22.00

October 2018

The Clarendon Hotel, Montpelier Row, Blackheath SE3 ORW


In association with Southwark Chamber of Commerce. Hosted by the Lord Kennedy of Southwark Cost: £99

Professor Ed Galea heads the FSEG, the Fire and Safety Engineering Group at the University of Greenwich. Professor Galea and his team are amongst the world’s leading experts in their field. The topic of the evening regards a FSEG project funded by IOSH regarding the evacuation of high rise construction sites. Speaker: Professor Ed Galea, University of Greenwich Topic: Evacuation Strategy for High Rise Construction Sites Member £25 | Non Member £30 Hot buffet breakfast & early morning networking. Speaker: Cllr Peter Morgan Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing for the London Borough of Bromley Topic: New businesses to the borough, resources, infrastructure and housing. Member £16 | Non Member £21

Lunch 'n Learn Social Media is changing with every blink of our eyes. Platforms rise up and collapse, functions change or disappear, trends come and go. Stay on top of your social media game with this Social Media update, where we talk about everything that has changed and how that effects your marketing efforts. Speaker: Orsi Toth, Get Set for Growth, Topic: Social Media for business growth Member £20 | Non Member £26 Free monthly informal meeting in a relaxed atmosphere, open to businesses from all boroughs. Host: Chamber President, Helen McIntosh Cost: Free

The Chamber is hosting a fun Charity Quiz Night in aid of Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice. There will be a meal of Bangers 'n Mash, prizes for the winning team & lots of laughs. Please join us in our efforts to support this local charity. We would like you to book in your company team of 10, if you book as an individual we can put you into teams. Ticket £15 pp or £150 for a team of 10

Forthcoming Events |






The Greenwich Tavern, The Treehouse, 1 King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9JH

Greenwich B2B Link 'n Drink in association with the South East London Chamber of Commerce is an informal networking event with presentations. FREE to attend.

Free monthly Informal meeting in a relaxed atmosphere, open to businesses from all boroughs. Hosted by Chamber President, Helen McIntosh. Free to attend

Greenwich B2B Link 'n Drink

Tuesday 6th November 18.30 - 21.00

Greenwich Networking Lunch

Thursday 15th November 12.30 - 14.00

Bromley Link 'n Drink

Wednesday 28th November 17.30 - 19.00

The Bromley Court Hotel, Bromley Hill, Bromley BR1 4JD

Greenwich Breakfast Meeting

Thursday 29th November 07.30 - 09.00

Royal Blackheath Golf Club, Court Rd, London SE9 5AF

Greenwich B2B Link 'n Drink

Tuesday 4th December 18.30 - 21.30

The Greenwich Tavern, The Treehouse, 1 King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9JH

The Raynsford Review

Wednesday 5th December 18.30 - 21.00

DoubleTree by Hilton, Catherine Grove, Greenwich, London SE10 8BB

Christmas Lunch

Thursday 13th December 12.30 - 14.00

The Clarendon Hotel, Montpelier Row, Blackheath SE3 ORW

Charlton House, Charlton Rd, London SE7 8RE

Networking lunch taking place in Charlton House, book your stand space and one minute slots to promote your business Cost: £20 Member | £26 Non Member

Greenwich breakfast Meeting with the Leader of Royal Borough of Greenwich. Speaker: Cllr Danny Thorpe, Topic: Greenwich & the Leaders new vision, manifesto & commitments over the next few years. Member £16 | Non Member £21

Greenwich B2B Link 'n Drink in association with the South East London Chamber of Commerce is an informal networking event with presentations. FREE to attend. England is still becoming acquainted with a heavily deregulated planning system. Since 2010, when planning legislation was first relaxed to accommodate housing growth, there have been complaints from both the private and public sector that the system is unsustainable. The Raynsford Review seeks to provide practical and comprehensive policy guidance to overcome these issues in a way that is mutually beneficial to all stakeholders. Speaker: Rt Hon Nick Raynsford, Topic: The Raynsford Review Cost: £20 Member & Non Member See page 29 for further information

The Chamber would love for you to come and celebrate the festive season with us, enjoy a traditional 3 course meal, good company and as always networking opportunities. Menu can be seen on the Chamber website. £32 Member | £37 Non Member

October 2018


| Visit Greenwich

Fun Palace - Rothbury Hall

Gracefool Collective - This Really Is Too Much Laban Theatre

English Piano Trio - St Alfege Church

Measure For Measure - Greenwich Theatre October 2018

Visit Greenwich |


New Arts Festival launches in Greenwich A new arts festival arrived in the heart of Greenwich this October. Greenwich Performs, a celebration of all the arts brought together classical music, jazz, Shakespeare, children’s theatre, poetry, contemporary theatre, a Vegan Oktoberfest and a community Fun Palace. There were special appearances by local resident Blake Morrison and Michael Frayn, who discussed his play Here, with director James Haddrell, who also directed a revival of the production at Greenwich Theatre. Musical highlights included acclaimed chamber choir, Canticum at the Queen’s House, the English Piano Trio at St Alfege Church and a Coffee and Chamber Music morning at the White House in Crooms Hill, one of the most venerable houses in Greenwich. Dance magic came courtesy of Gracefool Collective at the Laban


Trinity Laban - Beats in the Bar

Building, and Chantry Dance at Greenwich Theatre with their mesmerising new ballet version of Dracula – Welcome to D’s. Greenwich Open Studios invited everybody in to the Greenwich Gallery and there were guided walks in Greenwich and Greenwich Park and tours of some of most the historic houses in Greenwich. The festival kicked off with Handel’s Esther at St Alfege church, plus fireworks and songs from the Rock Choir at The Point. Another highlight was the amazing Fun Palace of family activities which sprung up at Rothbury Hall, curated by Emergency Exit Arts. Greenwich Performs was supported by the Peter Harris Trust and will hopefully return next year. Find out more at visitgreenwich.org.uk/ greenwichperforms/

St Alfege Church Choir

Greenwich Open Studios invited everybody in to the Greenwich Gallery and there were guided walks in Greenwich and Greenwich Park and tours of some of most the historic houses in Greenwich.

October 2018



NOW TAK AKING BOOKINGS. Quote ‘The Masthead ’ at time of bookinng fo or a chance to win a ‘Luxurious Spa Day For Two’. For bookings and enquiries: Christmas@iclondon-theo2.com | 0208 463 6868 1 Waterview Drive, Greenwich Peeninsula SSE10 0TW Rea e der d offer valid on Christmas parties and festive dining confirmed and paid for by 31st October 2018.

October 2018

Festive |

Why South East London businesses need to invest in Christmas Amid all the uncertainty in the world, one thing is certain. It will soon be Christmas and many businesses in South East London are already planning their festive celebrations. lenty of company owners across the region recognise the value of a staff party and now is the time to select the venue for your event before it gets booked up because local pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels are very popular. But why have a party anyway? Surely, in turbulent times itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an unnecessary expense? Well, no, exactly the opposite, in fact. A good Christmas Party can do wonders for staff morale and getting the festivities right is not difficult in an area blessed with excellent venues that can stage the best parties possible plus taxi companies that can take you home or hotels and guest houses should you decide to spend the night. Selecting the best venue is crucial but how do you get it right? Well, much of it is down to first impressions - do you like the dĂŠcor, does it look like it can generate a good atmosphere, are the staff friendly? Also ask yourself is the ambience right for all your people? Some staff members might not appreciate busy bars and pubs, whilst others might not want a restaurant. If you want to try something a little different this year, themed parties can work really well and


South East London has plenty of companies skilled in making the magic happen. If you do decide to experiment, bringing in a specialist company to help you plan and work with the venue to get the dĂŠcor right makes a lot of sense. Everything from Thirties America to space-age celebrations is possible but to pull it off successfully you may need expert help. Also, remember that people like to be appreciated. Maybe your staff and suppliers have gone over and beyond what was expected of them to help the business. Maybe they have played a key role in helping you survive and thrive this year. A good boss knows that it makes sense to acknowledge their contribution at the Christmas party. Maybe a tribute in a short speech would go down well or a thank you note on place settings would be a good idea. But be warned. Yes times, have been tough for some, yes, budgets have been tight, but a cheap party still looks cheap and reflects poorly on the business so if you are a boss who is determined to hold an event, loosen the pursestrings a little - your staff will appreciate the gesture.

October 2018



Celebrate the festive season in style with Christmas at the Clarendon Join the Chamber for our Christmas lunch at The Clarendon Hotel, Montpelier Row, Blackheath SE3 0RW 13 December 2018 12.30 - 14.00 A delicious 3 course meal from the seasonal Christmas menu will be served under a wonderful canopy of Christmas decorations in the Meridian restaurant.

All are welcome for this festive celebration.

Cost: ÂŁ32 Member ÂŁ37 Non-Member

October 2018

Hospitality |

Blackheath’s ‘hidden gem’ The ever-popular Locale Blackheath in Blackheath Village is gearing up for Winter with a range of special offers, including for Christmas. o be found in Lawn Terrace, Locale Blackheath is described by many as the hidden gem of Blackheath and one that is full of surprises. Although not on the main street, people are always amazed when they step into the ballroom-style dining room, which gives the establishment the most beautiful, glamorous and opulent restaurant in Blackheath and the biggest, too.


Locale Blackheath can cater for events large and small and, in addition to the stunning restaurant, there is a private function room on the ground floor, the Olive Room, which is available for parties. Those who fancy a drink in stylish surroundings appreciate Locale Blackheath as well and countless testimonials suggest that it has ‘the best cocktail bar in Blackheath’. The personal touch is key to the success of Locale Blackheath and running the establishment is a wonderful front of house team, starting with the host, the Maître D Lucian, whose energy creates a special atmosphere. Lucian is supported by a great floor and bar team and no one can

better their experience, knowledge and passion for hospitality. The restaurant itself offers an exciting mix of Modern European Cuisine plus a great selection of sea food and grilled meats, including steaks that are imported direct from Tuscany and cooked on the world’s hottest indoor barbecue. Preparing the food is chef Tomasz and his team, who are always reinventing the menu and never run out of inspiration and good taste. For them, quality is everything and the ambience created by everyone involved in Locale Blackheath makes it somewhere to which people return time and time.

As the dark evenings close in and summer fades into distant memory, Locale Blackheath is running a series of Winter-time offers to provide some warming cheer, including offering large party bookings, for up to 150 guests. And with Christmas just around the corner, the restaurant can cater for everything from small intimate gatherings to large drinks and canape parties and big sit-down dinners. Locale Blackheath is the perfect Christmas venue with something to suit very taste.

You can find out more at http://localeblackheath.com

October 2018



| Construction

October 2018

Construction |


Cause for optimism in office sector as construction battles through tough times Research into the construction industry has revealed mixed fortunes for London with public spending down on major contracts but office building expected to experience an upturn in the coming months. arket research by Glenigan shows that the value of construction contracts let by the 32 London boroughs and the City of London fell by 11% in the 12 months to July 2018. According to researchers, the total value of spending in the most recent period was £1,562 million compared to £1,754 million in the preceding 12 months. The London borough commissioning the biggest amount of construction projects recently was Camden, whose share of construction orders placed in the past year is £160.4 million, driven by a number of joint ventures formed by the council with private sector partners. Construction awards by the Greater London Authority also fell by 14% in the 12 months to Q2 2018 to £432 million from £504.6 million a year earlier. Overall construction spending by the GLA and the capital’s 33 local authorities was £1,993 million, which is down by from £2,253 million in the preceding year. Glenigan strikes a more positive note when it comes to commercial office development even though it says that economic uncertainty and the danger of a hard Brexit continue to hang over the sector, particularly in London. According to Glenigan’s analysts, a sharp revival in planning approvals in the first


half of this year suggests that sentiment in the sector may have turned more optimistic and an upturn in office construction is on the horizon. Glenigan construction data shows the value of new work starts in the office sector remained subdued, having fallen 20% in UK in the first six months of 2018, compared to the period last year. However, it says that the new work construction pipeline looks more promising; the value of detailed planning approvals for underlying office projects climbed by 56% in the first half, compared to the period in 2017. The upturn in first half office project approvals was particularly strong in the North West (up by 238%), the North East (151%), the West Midlands (165%) and the South West (139%) but London, where approvals rose by 85%, and the South East, up 35% also saw signs of a r evival in tender opportunities. According to Gleningan, one factor boosting the potential construction work pipeline in London is the amount of Grade A office space not always available elsewhere in the UK. A recent report from Savills noted that the total availability of office space continues to fall and that Grade A availability stands at 10 million sq ft but that much of it is in London.

Fund launched to tackle skills shortage

Another concern for the construction sector is the shortage of skilled workers. Now, a multi-million pound fund has been launched to help tackle the problem. Skills Minister Anne Milton said that the £22m Construction Skills Fund will bring training to construction sites, allowing learners to apply their knowledge in a real-world environment. This will help meet the needs of employers and tackle the construction skills shortage, while also supporting those who want to join the industry, particularly adult learners. The 18-month scheme is funded by the Department for Education and will be administered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The fund aims to support: • 20 on-site training hubs in England • Work experience and placements for people working to join the industry • Entry pathways for those currently unemployed

Anne Milton said: “For our economy to thrive we need everyone, regardless of their age or background, to be able to get the training and the skills they need to make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead. “The Government has committed to building 300,000 new homes a year by the mid2020s and we want to make sure that we are investing in the UK skills base to deliver this.” Steve Radley, Policy Director at CITB, said: “The Construction Skills Fund is a milestone scheme for the sector and provides a significant investment in skills and training. It will help attract new talent and bridge the gap between training and working in the industry. “Having training on or near to major projects will reveal what an exciting sector this can be, while also putting new talent in the shop window. “We are pleased to help deliver this major new project and we are confident that, with industry support, it can help meet construction’s skills needs now and in the future.”

The Government has committed to building 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s and we want to make sure that we are investing in the UK skills base to deliver this.

October 2018

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The Person behind the Business |

The future’s calling It’s the revolution that is sweeping away the traditional way that businesses communicate. usinesses are being urged to brace themselves for one of the biggest revolutions in technology that the world has ever seen, as Cloud-based telephony and IT takes over from the traditional telephone line, PBX and IT Server. The prediction comes from Neil Linter, Managing Director of Beckenhambased Glemnet, an independent service provider of Cloud-based telecoms, and IT services to businesses of all sizes, from startups through to SMEs and large enterprises. Central to the company’s operation is technology that moves companies away from traditional telephone lines and on premise servers to telephony and IT solutions hosted on the web-based Cloud.


One of the big advantages is the flexibility of the systems which means that although some of a user’s devices can still be traditional phones and PC’s on desks others could be operated through Laptops, Tablets, and Apps on a mobile smartphone. In addition, all users’ devices, whether in one location, nationwide or even worldwide, as long as there is an internet connection, behave as one central technology platform that they can manage from anywhere. No longer are companies tied to expensive static phone lines and inflexible local networks, something which will be phased out in the years to come, and Neil said: “The Cloud represents a major revolution in business technology and we are at the very start of it. What we are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg. “If you go back a few years and you went to see a client or prospective client and started to talk about moving their operations to the Cloud they would look at you as if you had arrived from Mars. “Today all that has changed and in many cases the clients are leading the conversation because they know that they need to upgrade their communications and that the Cloud is the way to do it. “The introduction of GDPR, which is now live, has driven the revolution as well because small businesses can see the advantage of having their systems hosted by secure off-site servers run by major companies like Microsoft rather than through a potentially insecure server in their own office. “Also, more and more businesses appreciate the flexibility. Under the old system, if there was a problem

with the server in your office you could not work but with the Cloud you can go to Costa and work if your office is not available. “The revolution is being driven by a number of other factors, one of which is that in a few years you will literally not be able to have a traditional phone line installed as BT phase out their legacy telecoms network. It will all have to be Cloudbased and traditional phone lines and being tied to one desk in the office will be a thing of the past. “This is a time of rapid change and we are seeing the communications market open up through companies like CityFibre, Community Fibre and others which are challenging the dominance of BT Openreach. “As more people turn to the Cloud, increasing numbers of properties are having fibre installed to give them faster broadband with a bigger capacity, and this is being helped by the Government’s Gigabit voucher scheme, which provides up to £3,000 for the work to be done. “We are an accredited voucher supplier which means that we can apply on behalf of SMEs and the funding is removing one of the big barriers to the expansion of Cloudbased telecommunications. “Previously, one of the big concerns for a small business seeking to upgrade their communications was the upfront cost of running fibre into their property but the voucher scheme is helping remove that concern. “Over the past year and a half, we have seen a rapid growth in interest in Cloud-based technologies. This really is a revolution.”

The introduction of GDPR, which is now live, has driven the revolution as well because small businesses can see the advantage of having their systems hosted by secure off-site servers run by major companies like Microsoft rather than through a potentially insecure server in their own office.

October 2018



Curating tomorrow’s ideal Wealth managem ment for individuals an nd small businesses in So outh East London. • • •

Pensions & Retirement e Estate Planning

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Insurance and Prrotection

Investmen nts

Ta ax Planning

SME & Corporate Benefits

For your free, no-obligatio l n consultation, pleasse call us on 0203 841 6881 or email hello@ambroseclayton.com Don’t forget to mentio tion your Chamber status. Partner of

ambroseclayton.co om Ambrose Clayton is a trading stylle off Wealthmasters Financial Management who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Cond duct Authority.

Business Insurance

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‘Your local insurance experts’

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Chamber Account Manager

faran@stewartandpartners.co.uk Tel : 020 8304 2638 www.stewartandpartners.co.uk






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October 2018

Finance |


Are you ready for Making Tax Digital? By Matt Reid, Senior Tax Adviser Corporate & Business Taxes, McBrides Chartered Accountants ith just six months to go before Making Tax Digital (MTD) comes in for VAT, there are critical steps that businesses should be taking to ensure they are ready for the April 2019 deadline.


As part of MTD, VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the registration threshold of £85,000 will need to keep VAT records digitally and file their VAT returns using MTD compatible software. This will apply from their first VAT period starting on or after 1 April 2019. After this time, it will no longer be possible to submit VAT returns via the HMRC Gateway. Instead, third-party software will be required to comply with the regulations. Businesses with a taxable turnover below the VAT threshold will not have to operate MTD but can still choose to do so voluntarily. MTD for income tax and corporation tax purposes is still in the pipeline and will not be implemented before April 2020 at the earliest.

We have identified two categories of businesses that need to take specific action to become compliant with MTD for VAT: • VAT-registered businesses above the £85k not using online accounting software • VAT-registered businesses using Sage desktop Taking each in turn:

1) VAT-registered businesses not using online accounting software have a big decision to make around choosing a compliant online software package and getting staff trained and using the new system before the April deadline comes in. Such businesses will need to think about the key reasons for using their existing software and consider the benefits of moving to a cloud-based supplier in future. These often include saving time and money, as well as providing up-to-date account information which means smarter, more productive businesses with decisions made on real-time management information.

Approached in this way, moving to a new MTD compliant accounting software can provide businesses with additional benefits to improve their finance function.

2) VAT-registered businesses using Sage desktop software will need to take urgent action as they will no longer be able to file their VAT returns with HMRC directly through the software. Instead, an upgrade is required to either a subscription basis or by buying a new ‘MTD Subscription’ module add-on. To help with the transition, Sage is offering discounts to businesses signing up to its monthly subscription package. However, there are also opportunities for non-VATregistered businesses looking to change their accounting software. Such businesses should use the MTD VAT deadline as an opportunity to modernise their finance function and take the same approach as businesses not using online accounting software outlined in (1) above.

The benefits of moving to an MTD-compliant software are obvious but there are real opportunities to develop a strategic advantage over the competition by reviewing software needs, assessing products on the market and choosing a product that helps to transform the time, money and effort spent on accounting and compliance procedures. Whichever type of business you manage, by preparing for digitised VAT accounting now you will be in a stronger position to cope with the further MTD initiatives as they are implemented later down the line. For any questions on Making Tax Digital, please contact Matt Reid in our tax team on matt.reid@mcbridesllp.com or 020 8309 0011.

If you need help making your decision about which package to choose please read our factsheet ‘Evolving your accounts system and moving to the Cloud’, which can be found on our website at www.mcbridesllp.com/intelligence You can also contact Andy Fuller on andrew.fuller@mcbridesllp.com or 020 8309 0011.

October 2018

44 | Member Benefits

here are many different insurance products in the marketplace, each serving different but equally important requirements. Therefore, it’s important to understand which are the most appropriate for you and your family/business and to structure them in the most tax-efficient way.

The importance T of protection We insure a lot of things in our private lives – contents and travel insurance, phone and car insurance. We insure a lot of things in our business lives – professional and public liability, employers’ liability, on top of more contents insurance. But we often forget about the most valuable asset – ourselves.

October 2018

Income Protection

When comparing claims records between life insurance, critical illness and income protection, it is income protection that is claimed the most (as a percentage of active policies). However, income protection is the least subscribed and most overlooked by the public, with only 9% considering it important. For most of us, our lifestyles are built around our income. How would you pay the bills or sustain your existing lifestyle if you were sick or injured and couldn't work? Income protection payouts are usually based on a percentage of your earnings: 50% to 70% is the norm and payments are tax-free. It will payout for as long as the chosen policy term. Example: I choose to take out a policy until aged 60 on an ‘own occupation’ basis as a financial adviser. This means if I’m injured tomorrow and cannot work as a financial adviser, the policy will pay out up to 70% of my current income until I’m 60 or am able to return to work, whichever is sooner.

Relevant life cover

Relevant Life Cover is a tax-efficient life insurance policy, allowing companies to offer a death-in-service benefit to its employees (including salaried directors). It's set up by the company and pays out a tax-free, lump sum on the death (or diagnosis of a terminal illness) of the person insured. The proceeds go directly to the employee's family or financial dependants. Importantly for small businesses, the premiums count as a tax-deductible expense.

Key person insurance

The loss of a key person in your business could have a severe impact. The business could suffer badly, with sales and profits falling and increased workloads for the remaining staff. Key person insurance is a life and/or critical illness policy that covers your company against the loss of a vital employee. The policy is owned and paid for by the employer, so any pay-out is payable to the employer. As you can see, the protection insurance world can be a minefield so it’s important to receive the right advice. We are happy to assess any existing policies or new requirements you may have. Please contact us on hello@ambroseclayton.com or call 0203 841 6881 to book your protection assessment.

Member Benefits |


Does the Buck Stop with You? Is Your Neck on the Line? Cyber-attacks are not just reserved for corporate giants with the type of incident that we read about in the daily papers. Every business is exposed to some form of indiscriminate or targeted cyber risk. ver 875,000 SMEs have declared that they have been affected by a cyber-attack in the last year.


With costs from £10,000 up to £2.5m, enough to put a small or medium sized business in financial trouble. There are many potential consequences, not least of all your defence costs for any cyber liability claim.

Management Liability Insurance can help protect you against breaches of regulation, legal costs and compensation awards that you, as an individual, can be held personally responsible for.

Cobra’s Management Liability policy gives you this and much more …

Stewart & Partners have joined forces with Cobra Underwriting Agencies to offer a discount insurance facility to Chamber Members. The scheme enables Members to benefit from reductions in premiums on many types of business insurance.

Mistakes happen. If you’re a director, officer, trustee & employees of a company the decisions you or they make can leave you liable.

With premiums starting from £150 (depending on your requirements) Cobra’s Management Liability Policy offers you peace of mind to take the decisions you do on your company’s behalf.

What is Management Liability Insurance?

It’s a fact of commercial life that claims and investigations are becoming increasingly common. Legal costs are just the start – there is also the time taken up and potential damage to your reputation. So, what’s covered:

• Legal costs of a claim or investigation incurred by you or your organisation examples of which could be:

• Any award or settlement made:

• Legal employment and regulatory helpline providing free advice supplied by Radar

Examples of the types of claims covered are:

• Employee death during the course of their normal work leading to an investigation by the police and the Health & Safety Executive

• Allegations leading to an investigation by The Office of Fair Trading • Prosecution by HM Revenue & Customs

• Unfair Dismissal Claims • Discriminatory Claims • Employee Fraud

• Harassment & Bullying Claims

To learn more about Management Liability Insurance or any other business insurance product, contact our dedicated Chamber Account Manager Faran Andrews on 020 8304 2638 or email faran@stewartandpartners.co.uk.

October 2018


| Health and Wellbeing he study, which concluded that companies should do more to protect employees, found that 12% of employees working in firms with fewer than 50 employees suffer from stress on a constant basis, compared to 8% in larger companies.


The Health and Safety Executive reports that more than 11 million days are lost at work a year because of stress, costing the UK economy more than £5 billion each year. Businesses with smaller workforces are hit the hardest as they often don’t have the additional resources to fill the gaps. Despite this, many SMEs struggle to support their staff and alleviate work pressures. Moorepay’s research found that half (47%) of small businesses don’t provide mental health support to staff, compared to the national average of a third (34%). Employees across businesses of all sizes agree on what would help combat stress at work, with flexible working (44%), reducing working hours (34%) and offering access to counselling (34%) coming out as the top three initiatives. Andrew Weir, Employer Services Manager at Moorepay, said: “There are many advantages to working in for a small firm, but these businesses often lack the time and resources to devote to wellbeing and mental health initiatives,”

SME employees are 50 per cent more likely to suffer ‘constant stress’ Working in a small business is twice as stressful compared to larger enterprises, according to research from HR and payroll specialist Moorepay.

October 2018

“Businesses, whatever their size, have a duty of care to support their employees. Supporting staff with stress or other mental health issues doesn’t have to be expensive or involve a complete process overhaul. Many effective initiatives are simple to introduce and within easy reach for many smaller organisations. “Insight in people data is crucial to helping smaller firms identify warning signs and provide help and support where it’s needed. This includes absence, training and progression data. Ultimately, this will have positive impact on productivity, and the bottom-line.” The survey, conducted by 3Gem on behalf of NGA HR, questioned 1,000 full-time employees across the UK.

Health & Wellbeing |


Coping with an older workforce One of the advantages of increasing health in the community is the fact that many people work until they are at, or beyond, retirement age. new survey shows that employers value the differing skillsets and knowledge that a multigenerational workforce can bring, but many worry that with this comes the increased potential for conflict in the workplace, a new survey has found.


The YouGov survey of middle market businesses commissioned by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM found that seven in ten (72%) of firms in the Midlands and East Anglia said that an age diverse workforce helped the company to have a more comprehensive skillset and knowledge base. Almost eight in ten (77%) felt that a multigenerational workforce brought contrasting views to their organisation. However, four in ten companies (38%) said that a multi-generational workforce also increased the risk of conflict in the workplace.

The survey also found that managers tend to find managing their own generations easier than managing others. The results are likely to be replicated in other parts of the UK and Emily Robinson, a senior consultant from RSM HR, said: “Having five generations under one roof doesn’t have to create friction or management headaches. “As our survey found, many organisations value the diversity of opinions, experience and knowledge that a multigenerational workforce can bring. But taking advantage of those benefits will depend on the ability of organisations to create a culture where everyone feels heard, valued and understood.” RSM has published a new report called New Forces at Work which advises employers to consider new approaches to people management and incentivisation.

Practical steps include:

Work out your age profile – carry out a workforce audit to get a clear picture of the age profile of employees to ensure that those at the top can understand why the company’s approach to people management may need to change.

Create an inclusive culture – Those at the top of the organisation need to lead by example to create an inclusive and dynamic culture.

Go beyond stereotypes – Don’t rely on stereotypes about baby boomers and millennials to inform your strategy. The only way you'll find out what your workforce wants is to ask them. Organisations need to run regular employee engagement surveys to understand what people think about your organisation and what will motivate them to do a good job. Find similarities, celebrate differences – Stagnant wage growth and rising living costs have toppled the long-held belief that

each generation should have a better life than the one that came before. As a result, cross generational tensions have begun to rise. Consider ways to strengthen inter-generational relationships, for example, by setting up reverse mentoring to allow younger generations to share their ideas and perspectives with older employees.

Watch out for age discrimination – With an ageing workforce, the potential for age discrimination claims can increase. To protect your organisation, you must make sure your policies, procedures and practices don't help one generation while alienating others.

October 2018


| Health and Wellbeing n today’s economic climate, many can be forgiven for feeling ‘grateful’ to have a job and therefore all too easily the added pressures of working life get accepted rather than questioned. Many may even consider it a weakness to suggest they are unable to cope. But mental health has risen up the workplace agenda - and it starts by having a conversation with your boss. Recent research by Business in the Community found the majority (84 per cent) of managers acknowledged that employee wellbeing was their responsibility. More than 11 million days a year are lost at work because of stress, and employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work by doing a risk assessment and acting on it. After all, stress, anxiety and depression may result in significant mental health problems when experienced over a long time. Dr Paul McLaren, consultant psychiatrist at Priory’s Hayes Grove Hospital in Kent and at Priory’s high street Wellbeing Centres in Harley Street and Fenchurch Street, central London, talks through how best to raise the issues. He says there are several approaches employees can take - and by "tackling the taboo", they may be pleasantly surprised by the positive response. After all, he says, healthier employees improve the bottom line. 1. ”Remember a mental health problem is no different to reporting a problem with your physical health…it just feels different. When we are depressed, we often have strong feelings of shame about how we are feeling. That is not just a psychological reaction but part of the biology of depression. Shame leads us to hiding away but hiding away makes our situation worse in the workplace and elsewhere. Think about the origins of how you are feeling. 2. If you can't find the words to explain how you feel, or the help you may need from your employer, write it down first in an email or letter... Check it and run it past someone close. 3. Rather than making it about how you "feel", focus on the impact your mental health is having on your work and productivity - and how you can work together to improve the situation. Remember, your employer will want to help you not least because it makes good business sense. 4. It’s entirely up to you how much you want to disclose - you don't have to "name" your condition but be careful about words like “stress” which can mean many different things and is often misinterpreted. If you have seen your doctor, and have a diagnosis, then let your employer know you are ill.


I’m suffering from depression and anxiety – how do I tell my boss? A top Priory psychiatrist talks you through it, with 10 important things to remember.

October 2018

5. Don't sweat about the so-called stigma - stigma and discrimination about mental health is "not allowed" to exist in the workplace in 2018. Most responsible employers recognise that and many take positive steps to reduce it through educating their workforce about mental as well as physical wellbeing. 6. If you really feel you can't face talking to your boss, seek help in the form of a mediator - you don’t have to do this alone if you don’t want to. Help and support can often be found in your HR department, through a trusted colleague, via an occupational health officer or a representative from ACAS. 7. Face your fear and recognise that your boss may be more receptive than you think -These days mental ill health is the commonest reason for sickness absence. Between one in five and one in six people will seek help for depression at some time so the chances are that someone in your office or management team will have direct experience of it either through having suffered themselves or being close to someone who did. 8. Check out what is on offer at work. Companies both large and small across the UK invest in their employee wellbeing and want to provide support to their employees. This might include free phone counselling and short-term face-toface counselling (typically 6-8 sessions). Care First, part of the Priory Group, operates an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for many UK employers consisting of a 24/7 telephone counselling helpline, face-to-face counselling and a range of services such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) programmes, and an online health and wellbeing programme and an ‘EAP in Your Pocket’, which is an app giving employees access to tools for stress and anxiety. Users track their mood over time and receive help to maximise their coping mechanisms. Check whether your employer offers this too, as it is free for employees and hugely valuable. 9. Don’t forget to let them know how they did. When you have weathered the storm and recovered, let your employer know how they did. What was helpful for you when you were struggling? Help your organisation to learn from your experience. 10. By speaking up, you are helping yourself and others. As a valued employee, with knowledge and experience, your firm has invested time and training in you and want you to be productive. When we get depressed we lose sight of that. By speaking up, you are helping yourself - and them.”

News |


O’Keefe launches community investment scheme Specialist construction company O’Keefe Group, which has offices in Greenwich, on Dreadnought Street, and in Kent, at Ightham near Sevenoaks, has launched a community initiative designed to take Corporate Social Responsibility to the next level.

Pictured from left and top: The O’Keefe teams; Roger McKerlie presents trophies; Jo Strahan greets a fellow player, and an aerial showing the scale of the event.

ot content with the usual CSR programme, O’Keefe has launched an ambitious CSI (Corporate Social Investment) scheme, Community Foundations, which will see the company put its mouth where its money is, with its stakeholders encouraged to invest time as well as O’Keefe money in its local communities. Community Foundations is designed to support the communities in which O’Keefe operates and to give back to society. Where possible, it will support projects which work with the young and with the old from disadvantaged backgrounds as they work to change their lives.


It has also been especially designed to enable O’Keefe staff and other important stakeholders such as clients, suppliers and sub-contractors to become actively involved through volunteering and offering their skills and experience to the organisations the company will support. This will organically evolve O’Keefe’s internal community of employees and stakeholders into an external one as well, with the initiative kicking off with a focus on three particular beneficiary organisations – 21 Together, K Sports and Blackheath Rugby Club. 21 Together is a new charity in Kent set up by four mothers, each with a child with Down’s syndrome. Its aims are to provide local, accessible training for parents, carers and professionals, support for parents and families, and information and awareness of Down’s syndrome within the wider community. K Sports is a unique sporting organisation developing a Sport for Social Inclusion programme centred on the 28-acre Cobdown site in Kent. The scheme aims to increase participation in sport and to foster and encourage excellence, alongside supporting academic achievement and vocational learning.

Blackheath Football Club was founded 160 years ago by some of the old boys of Blackheath Proprietary School as an open club and as such became the first rugby club in the world without restricted membership. O’Keefe head of marketing Roger McKerlie said: “Working in the built environment sector enables us to contribute at an early stage to the creation of new communities through the buildings we help to build and, as an organisation with a rich family heritage, we recognise the importance of the community in everything we do.” The company’s community ethos was marked in December when a team of five, including CEO Patrick O’Keefe, braved the elements on a Sunday morning to support its sponsorship of The London Pantomime Horse Race. In July, O’Keefe entered two teams of eight, including quality and systems manager Jo Strahan and Roger McKerlie as goalie, and business partner Redrow entered five teams of site and office staff, in a six-a-side family football tournament at K Sports, which raised more than £10,000 for 21 Together.

Practice wins Planning Consultancy of the Year Since forming in 2007 as an independent arm of a design-led multidisciplinary practice in Greenwich, bptw planning has established itself as a planning consultancy specialising in residential and mixed-use regeneration. ow bptw, which collaborate with some of the country’s top developers including Barratt London and Countryside Properties, local authorities and housing associations to deliver new communities and commercial opportunities across London and the South East, has been crowned Planning Consultancy of the Year 2018 at the Planning Awards. Sitting within a practice of more than 125 people, bptw planning is led by partner Gerry Cassidy who has more than 25 years’ experience working in local authorities, specialist town planning practices and major West End multidisciplinary development consultancies with clients including private developers, landowners, and the Capital’s housing associations. Gerry said: “Our commitment to people and


places extends beyond our project work and is ingrained in everything we do. This is reflected in our steadfast commitment to the continuous professional development of our team, engagement with communities and desire to cultivate long-lasting working relationships with our clients, collaborators and the wider industry. We are passionate about planning and regeneration which is demonstrated by our entire team, and has led to us receiving this fantastic award.” Out of many notable schemes on which bptw have worked are Convoys Wharf in Deptford and Rochester Riverside in Medway. bptw secured approval on the 40-acre regeneration of Convoys Wharf, Deptford – one of the largest regeneration schemes in the UK - which will open up the waterfront and the Thames Path for the first time in 100

years and deliver 3,500 new homes and more than 100,000sqm of commercial and community spaces. At Rochester Riverside bptw worked successfully with clients Countryside Properties and The Hyde Group, alongside Medway Council, to secure consent for 1,400 new homes which will transform the historic town centre with the creation of a new community for existing and new residents. bptw’s commitment to working not only with large scale developers but also local authorities has seen a successful planning application for the refurbishment and extension of the Plumstead Library for RB Greenwich.

The 1904 library will be converted into a multifunctional cultural and sports centre. Working closely with architects Hawkins\Brown, bptw coordinated the application for the scheme, which will protect the listed part of the library building, ensuring its use into the future, whilst incorporating active leisure uses. Councillor Danny Thorpe, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration and sustainability, said: “This is a substantial milestone for the project which is going to be at the heart of our longer-term aim of revitalising the High Street and regenerating the area.”

Plaque is unveiled ayor of Bromley Kim M Botting, who is also President of the Royal British

Legion branch in Orpington, unveiled a plaque commemorating those who fell in conflict, at an event in Orpington. The ceremony was attended by Royal British Legion colleagues and local dignitaries. Kim became Mayor of Bromley for 2018-19 on May 16. She was Mayor for 2015-16 as well. The last person to be Mayor twice in Bromley was more than thirty years ago. Her husband Mike, Councillor for Chelsfield Ward, is her Consort.

Meet the Conference Manager at The Clarendon Hotel Blackheath ntroducing you to our newly I appointed conference manager Jasmin Burchett, who

is in charge of marketing and sales for our five different available conference spaces. Hearing from Jasmin and her experience since being appointed with the role, “the options available at this venue and location are endless, with new contacts and companies joining us with varied Requirements and being able to fulfil clients’ needs is such a rewarding task. From hosting training days for companies who use our garden areas to break out and enjoy the tranquillity of being in a London location with so much greenery! To hosting conventions who take use of our meeting room facilities to judge competitions and hold workshops for a particular niche, finishing off the day with a gala dinner with awards. The great news is there is always a place to wind down and relax in our lounge and nautical themed bar area, and the option to choose our 24 hour delegate rate. A night’s stay with a beautiful view over Blackheath Common really is in myeyes, a great way to finish off the day.”

October 2018


| New Members

And Finally…

Wayne Hodgson The Red Eagle Group Ltd Managing Director First started working in recruitment at the age of 21 as a trainee in August 1998. Was systematically promoted and became a director of the business in 2001. Left the business in October 2004 and with my previous employers blessing started my own company on November 2004, Red Eagle Ltd. The company has evolved and now encompasses a number of businesses within the group.

Welcome to our new members Averya Ltd

Tel: 07492 311155 Email: harinderg@gmail.com Contact: Harry Gill

BII World (Business Innovation Institute) Tel: 020 8068 7649 Email: julie.shpak@BIIworld.com Contact: Julie Shpak

Bexleyheath Marriott Hotel

Green Robin Solutions

Tel: 020 3355 6889 Email: rob@greenrobinsolutions.com Contact: Robin Walker


Tel: 020 8852 0700 Email: Blackheath@localerestaurants.com Contact: Lucien Dragoiu

McMillan Wealth Consultants

Tel: 0208 298 2425 Email:Nicola.Meredith@marriotthotels.com Contact: Nicola Meredith

Tel: 07766 768071 Email: neil.jenkins@sjpp.co.uk Contact: Neil Jenkins

Tel: 07875 212016 Email: info@cineviewstudios.com Contact: Dipesh Silwal

Tel: 07793 949608 Email: jamie@meyerhomes.com Contact: Jamie Pearson

Cineview Studios

Davy’s Wine Merchants Tel: 020 7407 9670 Email: jdavy@davy.co.uk Contact: James Davy

Meyer Homes Priory Group

Tel: 020 8642 7722 Email: benmarshall@priorygroup.com Contact: Ben Marshall

As a member of our Chamber, you are joining a unique organisation with a strong campaigning voice for business to local and national government. You can access a range of services, networking events and support to help your business do better. Importantly, you can also access other members to find new suppliers, promote your business services, or join forces on new opportunities. Find out how to join and learn how others are benefiting from their membership.

For more information telephone: 020 8317 3365 email: office@selondonchamber.org

As a member you're well connected with access to our range of benefits and services, including our directory of local member businesses.

October 2018

What was your first job and what was the pay packet? First job was at the age of 13 working for a busy café on Margate seafront earning £1.50 per hour, I worked most weekends and all through the summer holidays for two seasons. What do you always carry with you to work? Probably the same as everyone else, my phone. Can’t leave home without it!

What is the biggest challenge facing your business? Candidate shortages, within increasing business and low unemployment the challenge is to keep attracting and retaining quality candidates.

If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change to help business? In the light of Brexit, I'd work swiftly to agree new global trading arrangements to help all UK businesses get exporting as well as the rights of migrant workers. What can you see from your office window? Out of one window I can see down Sandgate road, out of the other I look over Holy Trinity Church and Gardens. If you could do another job what would it be? I couldn’t see myself doing anything other than recruitment, but I would have loved to have experienced being a stock market trader in my youth. As a business person, what are your three main qualities? Others have commented on my determination, attention to detail and willingness to take calculated risks. What was your biggest mistake in business? I’ve employed a few mistakes in the past, this has led to a different approach to our internal recruitment process, they must fit as an individual within our culture, it’s not just about past performance in our industry. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? Don’t be afraid to take risks, be prepared to work long hours and don’t be put off by early upsets or seemingly difficult challenges. Who do you most admire in business? There are so many inspiring business leaders, but Richard Branson and Alan Sugar in the generic business world have great business stories we can all learn from and implement within our own businesses.

ServiceCare plans from £28 per month.* For complete peace of mind trust the experts at Mercedes-Benz Dartford to keep your vehicle running smoothly, powerfully and efficiently. Why not use our Drop & Go option. The flexible choice for when you want to get on with your day. Or if you would prefer, relax in our lounge with complimentary refreshments and Wi-Fi, whilst our friendly and dedicated team take care of your vehicle. We also have our Drive option, providing a loan car, available on request. Sometimes it’s simply not convenient to bring your vehicle into us. With our Collect option one of our dedicated drivers will collect and return your car from your home or work.

Complimentary Roadside Assistance † StarView film – see your service through the eyes of our technician Mercedes-Benz GenuineParts for quality and reassurance Mercedes-Benz highly trained technicians and Customer Service Consultants Complimentary 40-point safety check Complimentary Mercedes-Benz wash and vacuum

To book your next service or repair visit mercedes-benzdartford.co.uk or call us on 01322 294414.

* Based on the A-Class with 2 services over 24 months. †

Comprehensive Roadside Assistance comes free-of-charge for 3 years with any new Mercedes-Benz or 1 year with all Approved Used cars. Cover is also available for customers with cars registered from 24 October 1998, originally first registered in the UK and is automatically activated/renewed on completion of a service by a Mercedes-Benz Retailer. Cars registered between 24/10/98 – 31/03/08 are covered for technical breakdown only. All cars registered aer 01/04/08 are covered for minor mishap, accident assistance and vandalism/attempted the.

Mercedes-Benz Dartford, Burnham Road, Dartford, Kent DA1 5BL, Tel 01322 294414. www.mercedes-benzdartford.co.uk

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The Masthead October 2018  

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The Masthead October 2018  

South East London Chamber of Commerce Magazine October 2018

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