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INSPIRE.31 The business magazine of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce March - April 2019

Construction sector faces up to its challenges - page 4

n Announcement of new CEO


n Entries now open for

Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2019 - p 24

n Growth Hub:

What does Brexit mean for business? - p 15

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Brexit uncertainty continues Before I discuss Brexit uncertainties, allow me to mention a certainty; I am delighted to announce that after a thorough recruitment process, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) accredited Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce has appointed Briege Leahy as its new Chief Executive Officer, commencing 11th March.

Briege is a Senior Executive and former Managing Director of a successful company operating in the global technology logistics industry. In logistics you work with critical paths and that’s a welcome attribute to our Chamber of Commerce, in my opinion. She has a strong commercial background, as well as good experience and knowledge in leadership strategy & direction, business development, financial management and sales & marketing; all very relevant to a Chamber of Commerce. I am very excited about the future. Briege will, I am sure, challenge the orthodoxy for the benefit of our valued members and our Chamber too. Since my last report, we are now working fully with the Hertfordshire Growth Hub, in partnership with the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the University of Hertfordshire and Exemplas to enhance business growth in the county. Now for Brexit. “What will history say about this?” Please note everything I write is as of the time of writing. By the time of the next Inspire issue, the UK will have

passed the deadline (29th March) and it would appear politicians especially have many diverse views. The word uncertainty has been used increasingly and the recent decision by Nissan to withdraw a next generation model from the Sunderland plant is worrying, whatever payments the government offered or agreed with them. Once your future manufacturing products in a particular factory are switched elsewhere, the potential sustainability of that factory is uncertain over time. It is also the case that although Nissan in Sunderland employs some seven to eight thousand with significantly more in their supply chain, the fact is that Nissan use many digital manufacturing techniques which can be replicated elsewhere and this could mean, outside of the UK. The Nissan move unquestionably has got something to do with Brexit uncertainty and my opinion is not good news in an area which needs as much economic regeneration as possible. Politicians have been debating Brexit for two years and during this time uncertainty has caused not only companies but individuals to delay investment decisions. In terms of industry, the UK was two years ago at the bottom of the G7 productivity league table and whether I like it or not investment into technology adoption is the major ingredient of productivity gain. I believe investments are down due to this uncertainty and that causes me to predict that the UK will, whatever happens with Brexit, be destined to remain at the bottom of the productivity league table. Productivity is a key aspect of competitiveness. A good example of productivity gain came in late 2018, this Chamber of Commerce invested in a new integrated CRM system, moving away from the existing non-integrated CRM which had staff carrying out manual overrides. Hence was very unproductive. The BCC “Government must listen to business on tariffs”

Reports are circulating that the Cabinet is considering options around making imports tariff-free across the board if it leaves the UK without a deal. The Director General of the BCC said: “Businesses across the UK will be deeply concerned about these reports. Ministers have not consulted with businesses on removing tariffs. They have shown no clear understanding of the damage that such a move could cause to key parts of the economy, including manufacturing and agricultural firms across the UK. They have no plan to support the industries, places and people who would be affected overnight by these proposed changes, and no time left to prepare.” Suren Thiru, Head of Economics and Business Finance at the BCC added: “While eliminating some de minimis tariffs may not impact on the competitiveness of some businesses, others would risk being decimated overnight. It makes it hard to see how the UK can build up tariffs from a zero base when there would be little incentive for other countries to negotiate. If the aim is to keep prices down for consumers should the UK leave without a deal, then analysis has shown that unilaterally reducing tariffs to zero would have little impact. Instead you risk losing businesses and therefore jobs and income sectors across the country, as firms find themselves priced out of being competitive overnight. In short nobody wins.” My question, I am not an economist, is why in heavens name aren’t this Government consulting with businesses. It’s a bit like a Government placing an order with a Ferry Company that doesn’t have any ships! By Neville Reyner CBE DL Hon DLitt Chairman, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce Hon. Past President of the BCC

Building & Construction 4-13 Growth Hub 15 Spotlight on Three Rivers District 16-17 Patron Focus 18-19 Inspirational Team 21 Finance 22 Economy 23 Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 24 Past Events 25 Chamber Events 26-29 Tourism 30 Chamber People 31 Membership Benefits 33 New Members 34 Environmental 35-39 Members News 40-42 Herts Global 43 Building Connections 44 Skills & Development 48 Health & Wellbeing 49 Last Word 50 •••• Editorial and General Enquiries Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce MacLaurin Building, 4 Bishops Square, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9NE Tel: 01707 502180 Email: Web: Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Web: Published March 2019 © Benham Publishing and Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Media No. 1617 •••• Disclaimer Inspire is published for Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Inspire are not necessarily those of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. ©2019 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.



Building & Construction

Construction sector faces up to its challenges Construction is crucial to the future of the Hertfordshire economy. Many major construction and civil engineering businesses are headquartered in the county and they are predicting growth, partly because of the scale of planned housing expansion and other major construction projects nearby, including HS2 and, potentially, Crossrail 2. However, growth is a complex business and the sector faces many challenges, from the need for sustainability and tackling skills shortages to political concerns and the increasing



emphasis on health and safety. Inspire talked to some key businesses in the sector about what lies ahead. Among companies facing up to the challenges is Willmott Dixon, which is headquartered in Letchworth Garden City and has been based in the county for much of its 167 years. During that time it has delivered projects that are shaping the county’s future, and recently these include Hertswood Academy near Borehamwood, Westminster

Lodge and the new Museum and Gallery in St Albans, plus the North Herts District Council office refurbishment in Letchworth. Many of the company’s 2,500 people live in the county. Chris Tredget, Willmott Dixon’s managing director based in the Hitchin office, said: “I often see tantalising glimpses of what construction in

the future could look like: buildings comprised of a kit of parts produced in factories and assembled on site with minimal waste; components that are 3D printed as needed; the use of robot automation; designs with deconstruction built-in so that materials can be reused and not discarded. “The vision is there to become cleaner, greener and more productive - we just need concerted leadership to deliver on that as an industry.”

Building & Construction

Tackling the skills shortage Like others, he is concerned about skills shortages, though. He said: “One massive challenge driving this is the skills shortage construction faces. We’ll need around 157,000 new recruits by 2021 if we are to keep up with the demand for new projects. “To fill this gap, we need a larger proportion of young people to choose construction as their career. That’s hard when we’re competing with every other sector to attract the best talent, so being seen as a cutting-edge, sustainably-focused industry using new-age technology is essential. “Tackling the skills challenge also means embracing technology to reduce the numbers of people needed on site, perhaps by up to ten per cent. That’s why we’re seeing significant investment by a number of parties in facilities capable of delivering substantial sections of buildings off-site, reducing on-site resource as a consequence. This more efficient use of resources will also cut product waste as we strive to be an industry that sends practically zero waste to landfill. “I believe the next few years may well see more changes than it has in the past 60. We’re playing a part - our National Product Team is already developing new ideas in a number of areas. One example has seen us partner with US robotics firm Eksobionics to trial an exoskeleton vest across multiple sites to ensure safer lifting. We see this as a thing of the future to protect, support and improve the wellbeing and long-term sustainability of construction workers. “New technologies present opportunities. Constructing in the virtual universe through processes like BIM is revolutionising how we support customers, and that’s more than just cutting out duplication, re-work and wastage.” Also facing up to skills shortages is VolkerWessels UK, which is exploring every possible solution

to ensure that it can continue to attract and retain the very best candidates, to future proof the business and maintain the very best service for its clients. The company is working with education providers to promote careers in the construction sector, and to advise on pathways into employment or training. As a result, a significant number of VolkerWessels UK’s employees join the business as graduates, or apprentices, or on training placements. VolkerWessels UK provides career opportunities across a large number of disciplines, in different locations and with varied hours and working patterns, aiming to appeal to a wide and diverse range of candidates. The company believes that there is, for example, a valuable talent pool of parents wishing to return to work after a period of parental leave. There is also opportunity to be found by encouraging employees in different sectors to return to an industry which is changing its approach. Inclusion is a key part of VolkerWessels UK’s culture, and alongside its focus on attracting and retaining a diverse workforce, the company places a great deal of importance on ensuring that all employees from every walk of life, not least new starters, feel welcome and valued.

Keeping it green Chris Tredget at Willmott Dixon also points to environmental work being carried out to future proof the construction sector. He said: “We’ve been on a journey to reduce our carbon emissions for nearly ten years, and I’m proud that Willmott Dixon has been carbon neutral for six.

“Tackling carbon is a key priority and we’ve seen a reduction in emissions relative to turnover by 57% compared with our 2010 emissions. This is saving us £3m a year in fuel and energy costs, and we are on track to be the first contractor powering all sites with 100% natural renewable energy. “We are driving down emissions but we must go much further, using our influence to help our supply chain partners do the same. “We’re active members of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, a collaboration between major UK contractors to provide free training to help suppliers become more sustainable in their activities. It’s a huge investment but important if we are to tackle this across our industry. “Leadership and commitment is everything, whatever the economic conditions, we’ll continue to invest here and last year we became the first construction company to be certified to Level 2 of the Carbon Trust Supply Chain standard, in recognition of our work to cut carbon in the supply chain. It’s not easy; we had to develop new ideas and different ways of working around the unique challenges construction supply chains present compared to other industries. “Articulating the whole life cost benefits of sustainable buildings is fundamental to changing the mind-set of those who can only see capital projects in the singular dimension of ‘cost to construct’. Our recent work at Hertswood Academy, Westminster Lodge and the North Herts District Council office refurbishment in Letchworth show that when you have an already enlightened customer, you can create fantastic environments in which people can learn, work and maintain their wellbeing. “Changing the perception that sustainability equates to more cost is now critical if we are to adapt to a challenging new era and move forward. “

“We’ve been on a journey to reduce our carbon emissions for nearly ten years, and I’m proud that Willmott Dixon has been carbon neutral for six.”

The politics of growth For Dean Williamson MRICS, Director, LW Developments, there are many political considerations attached to growth as well. He said: “The planning system is one of the fundamental pillars of local democracy, with councillors being the important link between the system and the communities they serve. But not all communities like change, however needed or policycompliant a proposed development may be. What then? “In our experience political influences at a local level are affecting the planning system. “Planning decisions are being delayed or determined on political will rather than policy. This causes unnecessary costs and delays to both housebuilders and planning authorities. “Such conflicts of interest between the political and planning systems need to be addressed if we are to continue to invest in delivering the required housing for the region.”

Health & Safety is paramount The team at Staying Alive believe Health & Safety is of paramount importance at all times, however, more so within the construction industry, as it is a very high risk environment. Due to this factor, having a good coverage of first aid for all your sites will help, should the worst case scenario ever happen, and an accident occurs. With their courses they teach you how to tackle bleeding. This training shows you how to safely and effectively apply a Tourniquet, as well as Haemostatic Dressings, enabling you to help treat severe blood-loss, should you need to. They also offer this training as a standalone course, if this better suits your needs. As the company says: “We understand that attending first aid training can seem like a tedious task, but we assure you that we endeavour to make our courses dealing with incidents from the very minor to the most major accidents as fun, lighthearted and interactive as possible, as this makes it more enjoyable for those attending, as well as helping everyone learn and retain the skills and knowledge required to be a good First Aider at Work.”


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University of Hertfordshire Social Space Ground Breaking We are a proud and stable family owned national construction business based in Hertfordshire. Our construction teams are responsible for creating great places to live, inspirational spaces to learn, modern places to work and protecting our heritage for future generations to enjoy. We do this by listening carefully to our customers, investing in our people and spending wisely with our local supply chain. Through the fantastic efforts of our people we ensure everything we do has a lasting positive legacy and enhances the life chances of those we work with. St St Albans Albans Museum Museum & & Gallery Gallery St Albans Museum & Gallery

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Law & Order

Building & Construction

Leading the Compliance Process How a struggling service was transformed by the vision of Herts Local Authorities. By Trevor Clements MRICS,

I imagine that many readers will be more familiar with the planning permission process than Building Control’s role which is primarily to check the design and construction of new buildings and extensions for compliance with national building regulations. Our profession should at least get equal billing, dealing as it does with ensuring that buildings are safe, healthy, energy efficient, accessible and secure! You might also be unaware of the additional responsibility we have, dealing with any dangerous structures in the county on a 24/7/365 basis. The working day of one of our Surveyors can be interesting and challenging as we get involved with every type and size of project from Mrs Bloggs’ kitchen extension to GSK’s new laboratory. From a new dwelling house to a block of flats to an estate of 300 new houses. Throw in a 2:00am call out to stabilise a building with a lorry embedded in it and you have an idea why there’s never a dull moment and why it provides such a rewarding career. After 40 years in the job I have no regrets about answering that advertisement for a trainee building inspector. That said, in later years as a manager of one of the District Councils’ Building Control teams I foresaw that the future for the local authority service was uncertain. With a severe shortage of experienced Surveyors, and any that we trained being lured away by private sector competitors (Approved Inspectors) offering better terms, we were finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a consistently good level of service. That was exacerbated by the need to plug future gaps in an ageing workforce as some of my colleagues hung up their hard hats. We were not the only council team finding it hard. In fact, several in the county were in a worse position, and the future looked bleak! In 2014 some of the executive management of the Herts district councils had the vision to propose a merger of their building control teams into a single local authority owned company. 7 of the 10 councils became committed to the project. The aim was to create a more cost efficient, effective and resilient service and there ensued a long and often painful process to plan and build the infrastructure for the new company. It was a huge challenge; not least the logistics of

Head of Business Development “Our greater size has enabled us to offer a consistently good level of service and to increase the range of associated services.”

Leading the compliance process • Free pre-application advice • Call before 10am for a same day inspection • 40 surveyors with vast local knowledge

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migrating all the data and consolidating 7 separate software systems. Add to that the conversion of thousands of paper files to a paperless electronic system and a mobile working platform, never mind the TUPE transfer of around 50 unenthusiastic staff and you have an idea why many of us (myself included) doubted the chances of a happy outcome. Fortunately, the new Managing Director recruited in 2016 was able to rally the troops – an appropriate phrase bearing in mind his early career as an army officer. We had no shortage of technical wisdom in the group, but Simon Heywood was able to contribute a commercially astute lead and a clear plan for moving forward. The birth of the company in October of that year was followed by relocation to a new central HQ at the Campus West building in Welwyn Garden City. It is no exaggeration to say that Hertfordshire Building Control is now being seen as a model for the transformation of the local authority service. Our greater size has enabled us to offer a consistently good level of service and to increase the range of associated services to include things like sound testing, energy calculations and air leakage testing. This has won us work from new customers including major national contractors and developers; companies who may previously have used the private sector service providers. We have also set up a thriving home improvement agency coordinating urgently needed work to adapt buildings to the needs of people with disabilities. For me, the single most inspiring result is our ability to recruit and train new surveyors and offer them a career pathway up to the senior positions in the company. We have around 14 apprentices, trainees and graduate surveyors at various levels backing up our 40+ experienced surveyors and this is unprecedented in our profession. Over the last year I have sensed an increasing pride and confidence among our staff as the new systems have been fine tuned and evidence of improved customer satisfaction comes to light. Cost efficiencies have certainly been realised so together with the resilience of a stable workforce, an ISO 9001 quality assured service and a healthy share of the market, the feeling is one of success. I’m so glad I’ve stayed to be a part of that!

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Building & Construction

Keeping pace with building control and modern methods of construction Ever since the spotlight was thrown onto the UK construction industry in June 2017 as the disaster at Grenfell Tower unfolded, there has been much focus on the vital role of approved building inspectors.

YMCA Croydon With ambitious government build targets in place and a chronic housing shortage putting further pressure on an industry already facing some critical challenges, how the industry is making sure that buildings are built and kept to effective safety standards, whilst meeting rising demand is more important than ever. Graham Mills, Regional Managing Associate from Salus Approved Inspectors and Chamber member explains, “Following Grenfell, Dame Judith Hackitt was tasked with chairing an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The scope of the review came immediately under scrutiny to make sure that it was going to adequately cover the whole ‘lifetime of a building’; that it covered pre-planning, design, gaining planning approval, fire strategy, building regulations, the build itself and then ongoing for entire lifetime of the building and those taking responsibility for managing it.” To achieve this, the new framework she proposed included one new regulator, the Joint Competent Authority (JCA), combining the roles and expertise of building control, the fire and rescue service, and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), and a change control process requiring robust record keeping of all changes to plans previously approved, with permission required for more significant changes.



This proposed change control process, and associated recordkeeping requirements, link to a recommendation for a digital record for every building: a ‘golden thread’ of information about each high-rise residential building (HRRB). The way Salus see it working best in practice is by all stakeholders in any build, irrespective of whether it is high-rise or not, to work closely together as part of one team with one goal in mind, and in Dame Hackitt’s words to ‘drive the culture change towards intelligent thinking that will in turn deliver safe building outcomes’. Currently, traditional construction methods are failing to meet the major challenges facing the demands of the built environment. The government’s official Construction 2025 strategy is ‘to erect buildings that create less emissions that can be delivered quickly and cost less to build and run over their lifetime’. How then, in the coming years, where a range of sectors such as education, healthcare, student accommodation, hotels, major retailers and housing require rapid, reliable and high

performing building solutions does the industry deliver targets and maintain build quality? Currently, just 63% of site-based developments complete on time and an even lower 49% delivered on budget. Over the past two years, Salus have seen new offsite modern construction methods (MMC) becoming the way forward for commercial projects, where a focus on speed, cost certainty and most essentially, quality is paramount. Driven by existing and predicted labour shortages, building information modelling (BIM) and wider advances in manufacturing technology, materials and automation, industry professions are rapidly acquiring new skills and adopting new mindsets, as manufacturers expand into site management and contractors develop manufacturing expertise. Mass offsite modular build factories can offer a consistency in processes with modular projects having demonstrated 80% fewer defects and dramatically reduced snagging phases compared with traditional builds. This is perhaps the greatest benefit of using MMC and where the most value can be realised –

“Over the past two years,Salus have seen new offsite modern construction methods (MMC) becoming the way forward for commercial projects, where a focus on speed, cost certainty and most essentially, quality is paramount.”

the potential it offers for significantly improved quality. This translates into faster onsite programmes meaning government construction targets can be more easily met. As building controllers, there is a key role to play in due diligence on any procurement model, be it traditional or MMC, to ensure it is not only fit for purpose through initial design and construction stages, but also through the lifecycle of the asset itself, advising on areas including fire engineering, thermal layering and accessibility. Ensuring quality is one of the biggest challenges for the industry and is a central theme of the Hackitt Review. Regardless of the scheme, a guaranteed professional, competent and consistent advice and regulation interpretation in all areas of building control, fire engineering and fire safety consultancy is what is needed. “Keeping up with the continued changes in regulations is key” Graham continued. To assist with this, Salus conduct a regular programme of CPD Seminars for clients and professionals in the industry to keep them up to date on the latest regulatory changes. Further information on CPD sessions can be found by at emailing or calling 0333 800 5678.

Building careers and futures

VolkerWessels UK is a leading civil engineering and construction contractor, providing innovative solutions in highways, rail, airport, marine, energy, water, defence and environmental infrastructure. We have a long local and national heritage, and our teams have built a reputation for their specialist skills, their quality and dependable delivery, and their collaborative approach. People are key to our success, and we’re proud to support careers across a range of disciplines, locations, hours and working patterns. We also offer opportunities for apprentices, placement students, and graduates. We’re expanding our headquarters in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, to improve our working and training facilities, and are currently looking for people in a number of areas, including the following: n n n n

Bid/procurement teams 1st, 2nd and 3rd line ICT support Accounts payable/receivable Quantity Surveyors

If you would like further information about working or training with us, please go to: For information on any other aspect of our business, please visit Hertford Road, Hoddesdon, EN11 9BX

01992 305 000






WHEN YOU’RE WORKING ON building projects there are usually various deadlines that are looming, which inevitably leads to a heightened risk of accidental damage to walls, doors, floors and other fittings.

Any type of chips or scratches will be noticed by a prospective purchaser in a new or refurbished

All of our technicians undergo significant in-house training and are given bespoke industry leading technology that is engineered to help them under most types of surface repairs. In addition to this, all Surface Medic technicians are CSCS certified which means we can work with you anywhere on-site.

property and must be effectively repaired to avoid completion delays. Usually, this would result in replacement which is costly and erodes profit margins on building projects, however when you compare the costs of replacement to what we can do you’ll find that you can save huge amounts of money.


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Staying Alive have over 15 years’ experience in providing high quality training at affordable prices throughout Hertfordshire & the South-East. Our trainers have a wealth of knowledge & experience in their field, with excellent communication skills, making learning fun & enjoyable. When booking with us, you will receive a fully regulated & accredited First Aid at Work course, which ensures you’re complying with the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981. • Emergency First Aid at Work – 1 day • First Aid at Work – 3 day • First Aid at Work Requalifier – 2 day • Annual First Aid at Work Refresher – 3hrs • Basic Life Support with Safe Use of an Automated Defibrillator – 4hrs We provide In-House courses at a date & time to suit you & your staff or you can book on one of our Open courses. We also offer Bespoke courses; rest assured we always endeavour to provide the training you require.


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Growth Hub With less than four weeks to go until the UK leaves the European Union (EU), the topic of Brexit is becoming ever more prevalent in people’s minds. The noise around Britain facing up to one of its biggest and most complex challenges is getting louder and concerns, particularly amongst business owners, about the impact of Brexit are increasing. There has been significant media coverage about Brexit over the past two years and it has without doubt been challenging to keep up with the decisions being made. But what does all this mean for businesses? The ever-changing Brexit landscape, along with media hype could be confusing and not always helpful to those trying to navigate the topic.

What does Brexit mean for businesses? Growth hub supports Hertfordshire businesses prepare for the UK leaving the EU.

It’s perhaps understandable that 31% of SMEs have not considered the impact of Brexit*. Of those SMEs that have considered Brexit, over half have not taken any actions to address their concerns. This is reflected in the Growth Hub’s engagement with Hertfordshire businesses, that cite not understanding what the impacts and implications could be, as well as not having the confidence to prepare, as contributing factors. The ICAEW UK Business Confidence Monitor Report for Q1 2019, states that 48% of UK businesses are less confident now compared to the last 12 months†. The report also illustrates that business sentiment has continued to decline and is now at its lowest for nearly a decade, most notably in the East of England. Brexit is a likely contributing factor, as this region is more reliant on migrant labour than any other region outside of London. With all these studies, reports and statements being issued, it is imperative that businesses have access to the tools,

resources and advice they may need to help inform them about Brexit and to advise them on the preparations they may, or should be making. Hertfordshire Growth Hub has created a Brexit resource page, full of useful links, tools and resources to help businesses understand how leaving the UK may affect them and what measures they can put in place to prepare. The resource page provides a digestible way of navigating all the information available about Brexit, including links to the latest Government advice, from employing EU citizens, to European and domestic funding. There are also additional resources and tools including how Brexit may affect individuals, as well as information relating to Brexit and Hertfordshire, such as the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) report which looks at the risks and potential impacts of Brexit within the county. Through the Growth Hub, businesses are able to provide feedback about their Brexit preparations to Government by completing a short survey. This can be found through the Brexit resource page and all businesses operating in Hertfordshire are encouraged to take part. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has recently cited the Hertfordshire Growth Hub’s page as an example of best practice, in their support to businesses preparing for the EU exit. The Brexit resource page can be accessed by visiting

More information about the Hertfordshire Growth Hub and the support services available to businesses in the county can be found by visiting



ICAEW UK business confidence monitor Q1 2019 report:



Spotlight on Three Rivers District

Growth recorded for the Three Rivers District visitor economy The South Hertfordshire, Rickmansworth and Borehamwood area has played an integral part in the growth of Hertfordshire’s economy, according to recently-released statistics. 16


Although the area has a wide mix of business activity, ranging from manufacturing to retail, the visitor economy has grown to become a major earner for the District. According to the research, the Three Rivers visitor economy is worth more than ÂŁ198 million a year to the District, which welcomed more than 3.3 million visitors into the District throughout 2017. The tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants and cafes in South Hertfordshire, Rickmansworth and Borehamwood helped support the bigger picture for the county with independent research commissioned by Visit Herts revealing an impressive picture of tourism across Hertfordshire. The income was driven by strong visitor numbers shared out between a high volume of day trips and overnight stays. The District saw 3.2 million day trips and 100,000 overnight visits take place throughout 2017 and the total value of tourism increased by 8%.

Spotlight on Three Rivers District At the centre of the Aquadrome are three lakes, formed by the extraction of the gravel used in the construction of the original Wembley Stadium:

3 Counties Expo

Among them, Batchworth Lake is fished and is also the home of a water-skiing club and Bury Lake is used for sailing, windsurfing and canoeing. The Aquadrome is open 365 days of the year and there is no admission charge.

Tourism also supports 3,353 jobs within the District with the industry now accounting for 8% of the area’s total employment. The figures show an 8% increase in the number of jobs supported by tourism. The figures were welcomed by Leader of the Council Sara Bedford, who said that the visitor economy had become an important part of the local business landscape. She said: “We welcome tourism; it boosts our economic growth, creates jobs, helps us build informed societies and flourishes our community.” “The results from the survey commissioned by Visit Herts highlight that Three Rivers is a great place to visit.” Her comments were echoed by Dr Steven Halls, Chief Executive of the council, who said: “I am pleased to see that we continue to welcome more visitors who get to experience our award-winning green spaces, heritage and hospitality.” Using the industry-respected Cambridge Economic Impact Model, the new research measured the volume and value of tourism in the county in 2017, and the impact of visits and visitor expenditure on the local economy. This is the second time that the volume, value and employment of all ten Hertfordshire districts have been included in the countywide research, and the latest results show a healthy picture across the county when measured against 2015’s baseline figures.

The result was that researchers were able to confirm that Hertfordshire’s visitor economy has increased by 6% and topped £2.2 billion for the first time, after welcoming a record 28 million visitors in 2017. Tourism supports more than 40,000 jobs for both residents, and those living nearby to the county, with the industry now accounting for 8% of Hertfordshire’s total employment. Deputy Chief Executive of Visit Herts, David Curtis-Brignell said: “Tourism is the UK’s fastest growing service sector and these figures demonstrate the contribution which our vital industry makes to the economy of Hertfordshire.” “Since Visit Herts launched just over three years ago, we’ve run three successful ‘Herts Big Weekend’ campaigns, created a new tourism website, won additional Government support from the Discover England Fund and have welcomed more and more partners across the public and private sector.” “We are delighted that the collective efforts of tourism businesses across the county have paid dividends and this partnership will be critical in ensuring that this growth continues during a challenging year ahead.”

Also playing its part in attracting visitors to the District are a series of events, including the Rickmansworth Festival, which takes place on the third weekend of May every year and celebrates canals, the community and the environment. The next festival, the finale of Rickmansworth Week, is on the 18th and 19th May this year and the big attraction for many people is the array of canal boats from across the country, a terrific spectacle, with at least 100 craft of many types and histories moored along the towpath up to four deep. The Rickmansworth Festival started as a purely canal-based event in 1993, as part of the British Waterways ‘Canals 200’ celebration that year. The first was on a large scale, incorporating the Aquadrome as the main location for land-based activities. Subsequent Festivals were much smaller, but they steadily grew in size and scope. At least 20,000 people now attend each year. The Festival now occupies part of the Aquadrome, the towpath between Stockers Lock and Batchworth, and the area round Batchworth Lock. You’ll find a range of music and performing arts, displays and presentations, traders, boats and catering.

One of the big attractions in the Three Rivers area was the Aquadrome, which covers 100 acres at Rickmansworth and consists of lakes, grassland and woodland and is an ideal place for walks.

The next 3 Counties Expo is on 27th June in Watford at the Mercure Hotel. This event will bring business owners together for a day full of opportunities. With free entry and free workshops and networking events this means business owners can make new contacts in the area and get some expert advice. Organised by two local business women Abby Dennis, Watford Marketing and Debbie Gilbert from Viva Business Support, this event is now in its 4th year and truly unites the local business community. This year Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce are partnering with the expo. There is free entry from 9am-1.30pm enabling local companies to network with each to explore ideas and strategic alliances. There are 3 free workshops covering a variety of business topics. Kerri Anne Cartmer-Edwards is sharing ideas on branding your business. Jodie Newman will be talking about why Creativity in business is so important and Marcus Tomlinson is discussing his top tips on improving your business through your mindset. Networking will take place at breakfast and there is a speed networking event at lunchtime, taking place after the expo closes to enable exhibitors to take part. The event has gained popularity over the years with stands selling out each year and over 300 people attending each event. For more information go to

“Since Visit Herts launched just over three years ago, we’ve run three successful Herts Big Weekend campaigns, created a new tourism website, won additional Government support from the Discover England Fund and have welcomed more and more partners across the public and private sector.” INSPIRE


Patron Focus

Patrons support is key to the work that the Chamber does in many specialist areas but why do companies sign up as Patrons and what exactly do they bring to the role? Inspire asked Denise Austin, of Patron Pearldrop Ltd, which is based in Stevenage, for her thoughts. What does the company do? We are a full-service video production company involved right from the concept stage of a project, through to the filming and post-production.

Bringing a sense of fun to the role of Chamber Patron Patrons are an increasingly important part of the life of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. 18


Our work includes a variety promotional, documentary, product, animation, aerial, live events and photography. We operate globally and across all sectors – no client or project is the same. In short, we bring fun and passion to film. Why did you decide to be Patron? After starting the business in Hertfordshire in 2003 we were keen to give back and become more involved in the Hertfordshire business community. We’d been part of the Chamber for a number of years. We really appreciated the support that they’d given us and realised what an important part they play in the success of the Hertfordshire business community. As an organisation, we had appreciated the networking, support

and training opportunities provided by the Chamber and we wanted to be involved further and help The Chamber shout about themselves, too. Becoming a patron seemed a brilliant way to do this. What do you bring to the Chamber? Hopefully, we bring a sense of fun to our role as patron and also provide a specific industry knowledge that compliments, and adds to, the abundance of skills that the Chamber already possess internally. We aim to provide the Chamber with an open and honest opinion on the type of film content that will work for them and provide a creative approach to delivering the messages that the Chamber needs to deliver to its members in the business community. What will be the most exciting thing that happens to Pearldrop in 2019? As always, it’s the exciting and interesting places we get to film in, the amazing stories we will hear and the people we will meet that will make 2019 interesting for us. We love what we do and every day is exciting. Images are stills taken from a video created by Pearldrop as part of its patronage.

Patron Focus

Degree Apprenticeships open up new horizons for young people The University of Hertfordshire’s Degree Apprenticeships are proving increasingly popular as they broaden the educational choices of the area’s young people. According to Julie Newlan, Pro Vice-Chancellor Business and International Development, the programme is not just helping graduates but also assists young people to get the most out of their apprenticeships, while offering a university experience to those who might not previously have considered it.

sector Degree Apprenticeships, working with local government and NHS partners in the region.

There are benefits for the Hertfordshire economy as well and the University recently announced partnerships with more than 40 businesses, as this year’s programmes got under way.

“Not everyone learns in the same way. The programme appeals to some young people who may not wish to attend university full-time. They may not want to study full-time for three years, they may not want the debt, but our programmes allow them to benefit from a university education through their apprenticeship.”

With more than 200 Degree Apprenticeship students on 14 courses, the University has become a key Degree Apprenticeship institution and says that the expansion of the programme has been driven by increasing demand from employers, helping them to draw on their Apprenticeship Levy. Additionally, there are eight new Degree Apprenticeship programmes currently being developed, which will be available in 2019. The University is partnering with leading multinational and bluechip businesses, including Airbus, Epson and MBDA, whilst also being one of the UK’s leading education providers for public

Julie Newlan believes that the programme is showing its worth. She said: “The programme creates a ladder of opportunity for our young people and broadens the opportunities that are available to them”.

“Similarly our programmes are also suitable for those already in work seeking to develop new skills to progress their careers, or perhaps change career or industry. Degree apprenticeships are an excellent opportunity for progression, enabling individuals to gain higher level technical skills and knowledge in their chosen profession, coupled with a recognised degree qualification.” Showing the strength of support from local companies, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Quintin McKellar, welcomed half of the employers currently working with the university at a briefing event. Speaking at the event late last year, Professor McKellar said:

“Many of the organisations are leading the way in helping to shape the future of higher education. By partnering with us, we can deliver courses that give graduates essential professional skills for the modern workplace and global business environment.”

“Increasingly, employers are recognising the opportunities that apprenticeships offer in supporting the development of their workforce.” “Many of the organisations are leading the way in helping to shape the future of higher education. By partnering with us, we can deliver courses that give graduates essential professional skills for the modern workplace and global business environment.” “And our recent gold award for teaching excellence gives you the confidence that your degree apprentices are receiving the best possible higher education experience.” The event attracted employers from a range of industries including travel, global distribution, automotive engineering, aerospace, motorsport, healthcare, pharmaceutical device design, software solutions, alongside representatives from charities, schools, the NHS and local government. Employers were given the opportunity to network, tour the campus and find out more about the roles and responsibilities associated with apprenticeships.



The changing face of communications Voice calling still remains a critical aspect of workplace communication but we cannot under estimate the value of messaging, video conferencing and team collaboration tools to drive businesses forward. It is estimated that by 2021, nearly a third of all telephony will be cloud based. The business model for communication is continually evolving and the need to engage with customers at a time and in a manner that’s convenient to them is now business critical. Customer experience is timely with 70% of people expecting a response to a social media comment within 15 minutes. Unified communication will provide your organisation with a multifunction platform that will enable

you to drive customer satisfaction and increase workforce productivity. A single application that enables seamless and easy engagement to serve your customers faster and reduce process and administration time within your departments. ‘Bring your own device’ has brought massive changes to organisations and is also contributing to a more agile workforce. A recent study has highlighted that 42% of employees “believe” that personalised devices improve productivity. A highly

engaged employee is worth his or her weight in gold. Not only is their productivity increased by 18% but their profitability increases by 12%. They are also 87% less likely to job hop, meaning you could save a lot of money in employee expense. Unified communications will allow you to create a geographically diverse workforce, utilising flexible and remote working without compromising on solutions or services that were once only accessed inside the office location. This simple measure is reducing

organisational costs in travel expenses and VOIP is cutting call costs massively. A unified communication solution will streamline your complex communication solutions and as a result, reduce the risk of a security breech. Whether you are looking for an on premise, cloud or hybrid solution, we have the technology to develop a solution that fits your employee and customer requirements, your company strategy and your technology budgets.

With 25 years experience within the communications arena, we can support your project from design, through to implementation and beyond with ongoing maintenance

0345 241 1521

Conferencing in the business heart of Hertfordshire

Redemption House Conference Centre

the ideal venue for your meetings, events and conferences • • • •

Spaces and set-ups for any size event – from 4 to 400 people Flexible, modern facilities fully equipped and with Wi-Fi throughout Accessible and comfortable, with natural light and air-conditioning Close to the A1M and main line rail stations

Find out what Redemption House Conference Centre has to offer at: Online: Email: Tel: 07817503529 02081711046



Inspirational Team

Changes that gave banking team the chance to make a real difference When Barclays reorganised its services in the area of Hertfordshire, it was with the aim of creating a much more personalised connection with the bank’s business customers.

Another aim was to offer small and medium businesses more general support and advice and the change is increasingly proving its worth, with many SMEs telling the bank that they appreciate the improved service that they are receiving. The changes have been overseen by Ian Taylor, Regional Director, Hertfordshire and North West London Business Banking for Barclays. Ian, who is based in St Albans, leads a team of 55 Relationship Managers, 29 of whom operate in Hertfordshire. Overseen by Area Managers Micky Kosowycz (North East Hertfordshire) and Ryan Snapes (South West Hertfordshire), the Relationship Managers cover areas including Hitchin and Letchworth, Stevenage and Royston, Welwyn

and Hatfield, Hoddesdon and Ware, Borehamwood and Elstree, St Albans and Harpenden, Hemel Hempstead and Watford. Ian said: “The change has worked well. We now enjoy a much higher profile in the Hertfordshire business community, both with businesses and with organisations like Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, with whom we work very closely.” “The result is that our Relationship Managers are well known in the area and their success has confirmed that we made the right decision in making the change.” “The thinking behind the change was the realisation that business banking had moved away from

the old idea that all we were there for was when the client approached the bank for a loan.” “That still happens but the bank is just as likely to suggest new ideas and solutions to a client as well as help with investment decisions off the back of new borrowing.” “A big part of our work is to support our clients in the best way to apply for a loan and to talk about ways that borrowing money can help grow the business.” “One of the key decisions we made was to maintain our criteria to qualify for the support of a Business Relationship Manager. It remains at £400,000 annual turnover, which means that we can help a wide range of businesses.”

“They do not have to hit the two or three million pound turnover mark before they qualify for our help.” “As a result of this, we can help small businesses that are on the way up and assist them as they make the decisions that will help them grow, rather than them having to wait before we can support them”. “The effect of the changes we have made is that, in a world where digital technology plays such an important part, our team has a much more personalised and local feel to it.” “Business customers will deal with someone based in a local branch who understands their area and have access to specialist knowledge of the sectors in which they operate.”

“We now enjoy a much higher profile in the Hertfordshire business community, both with businesses and with organisations like Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, with whom we work very closely. The result is that our Relationship Managers are well known in the area and their success has confirmed that we made the right decision in making the change.” INSPIRE



What to do now if you are not ready for Making Tax Digital As MTD makes its final approach, there will inevitably be some businesses that haven’t taken steps to get ready for this significant change to the way we file our VAT.

Notify HMRC now if you are exempt There are a few exemptions to MTD but HMRC will assume you are in unless you notify them of your exemption before your mandatory start date, which is from 1 April 2019 for most businesses. For more complex businesses (VAT groups, Payments on Account clients etc.), the mandatory start date is now from 1 October 2019.

Check for software upgrades If you currently use accounting software you should check what upgrades they are providing as not all software developers are providing a solution for MTD. Check if there are any associated costs of an upgrade as these can run into the thousands of pounds.

Consider bridging software In a nutshell

VAT and Indirect Tax Advisory, Ruth Corkin



If you currently file your VAT returns using the HMRC portal and are VAT registered and over the VAT threshold of £85K, you will not be able to use this portal from 1 April 2019. If this is you, and you haven’t done anything about it yet - what can you do now to minimise your chances of missing your deadline and incurring penalties?

If your accounting software isn’t providing a solution, or if you currently use a spreadsheet based accounting system, then you will need to use something called “bridging software”. This is a very simple and low cost way of digitally filing your VAT return with HMRC. Your accountant may be able to provide a solution so speak to them in the first instance. If they can’t help, there are others on

the market but do make sure that it is fully MTD compliant by checking the software list on the HMRC website. Hillier Hopkins offers an MTD compliant bridging software solution called VAT Controller. Many clients are choosing this as a quick and straightforward way of complying with MTD.

Take action now “With only a few weeks left, your options are quite limited to get ready on time. Some businesses are even choosing to use bridging software now as an affordable short term fix before investing significant time and money upgrading their accounting system later.” Ruth Corkin, VAT Advisory for Hillier Hopkins.

One more thing…. If you file monthly returns and pay your VAT by direct debit. Then there are only 2 days in May set up your MTD filing account and they are 15th and 16th May – put them in your diary now! Not sure if you are affected by MTD? Go to the “MTD Checker” on the Hillier Hopkins website or contact Hillier Hopkins on 0330 094 8450 or email


EU personal data transfers by small and medium businesses: contingency measures against a no deal Brexit Mike Barwise, Business Information Risk Management Consulting, Peter Barnes, Barnes Meridian Consulting Business Info Risk have created a practical data protection briefing note for small businesses with 12 action points to cover data transfers from the EU in event of a 'no deal' Brexit.

become a so called third country and cease to be party to the general assumption of data protection law adequacy enjoyed by members of the European community.

On December 19th, 2018 the UK Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) published its guidance GDPR compliance in event of a no deal Brexit. This is very welcome, but it does not go into much practical detail.

The optimum resolution to this will be for the UK to apply for and obtain an adequacy decision, but its award is not automatically assured, and even if granted it could take quite some time to obtain (an application by Japan has taken over a year so far).

The paper aims to provide more background and to identify practical steps that small and medium businesses can take as contingency measures in case of a no-deal Brexit. We, the authors, are not lawyers, but from our many cumulative years’ experience in data protection and business management we believe that none of the actions suggested here are likely to be detrimental should a no deal Brexit be avoided. Indeed, for the most part the effort to action them would not be wasted as they reflect best practice in covering all bases and it is better to be safe than sorry. The potential no deal position In the absence of a EU membership withdrawal agreement containing special provisions to the contrary, when the UK leaves the EU on March 29th 2019 it will

In the interim (or at worst if an adequacy decision application fails), the simplest mechanism for personal data transfers between the EU and UK will be the adoption by individual businesses of standard contractual clauses (SCCs). These have existed for some time but have not been amended since the GDPR came into force. As a result, despite UK Government assurances that they can still be used until they are amended, replaced or repealed by the European Commission, your European data partners might not necessarily be satisfied that the existing SCCs fully meet the requirements of the GDPR. The SCCs for EU controller to third country processor relationships are the most obvious case. Seven of the obligations imposed by these

2010 vintage clauses fall short of the full requirements of the GDPR. Merely including these SCCs in your EU to UK data transfer contracts may therefore be insufficient in practice to ensure compliance. It is essential to recognise that in respect of personal data transfers from the EU to the UK it will be the data protection regulatory authorities of the EU countries with which you do business (and ultimately the European Commission) that both interpret the legislation and evaluate your level of compliance with it, and their decisions may override those of the ICO.

is in the EU, even if you have adopted the SCCs into your data transfer contracts. The standard to which you can demonstrate that you actually fulfil both the requirements of the SCCs and the obligations imposed by the GDPR will therefore be a paramount consideration, as even minor compliance failures could prompt challenges by your EU partners or EU data subjects. Read the full report at news/chamber-news/eupersonal-data-transfers-bysmall-and-medium-businessescontingency-measures-againsta-no-deal-brexit

Furthermore, in the absence of an adequacy decision, your processing is likely to be scrutinised by the EU parties to your data transfers more rigorously than while the UK

“The standard to which you can demonstrate that you actually fulfil both the requirements of the SCCs and the obligations imposed by the GDPR will be a paramount consideration.� INSPIRE


Past Events

Hertfordshire Businesses celebrate the success of fundraising at 4th Annual ‘Ambition 2018 Sales & Marketing Conference’ The Spotlight Theatre in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire was the venue for last year’s ‘Ambition 2018 Sales & Marketing Conference’ as organised by big-hearted local businesses who donated their time, manpower and talent to deliver an inspiring day filled with business networking, social media panel discussions, and expert sales and marketing specialists.

The Sponsors and partners together with representatives from the charities

Internationally acclaimed, professional guest speakers offered motivation in abundance to approx. 100 attendees last November, with all ticket sales donated to two local charities: The Muscle Help Foundation and The Tamba Bereavement Support Group. On Wednesday 8th January 2019, the sponsors and organising

committee of the event met again at The Spotlight to present an impressive £5000 to the charities; £2500 each. These donations will have significant impact to both charity organisations. Over the past four years funds raised for charity has reached more than £15,000 in total.

Entering is Winning Awards Workshops

January Chamber Lunch

Four workshops held across the County throughout February with testimonials from past winners and advice from marketeers.

Brought to you in collaboration with the Hertfordshire LEP With 60+ attendees, the January Chamber Lunch held on January 17th at the beautiful Hanbury Manor Hotel & Country Club was a great success. Our guest speaker David Williams, Conservative Leader, Hertfordshire County Council delivered address on

a range of topical subjects affecting growth and the economy within the County. We were also joined by Tina Barnard, Chief Executive, Watford Community Housing and Hertfordshire LEP Board Member and Strategic Infrastructure Programme Board Chair.

The aim was to help those members and non-members, who are thinking of entering the Awards with their applications in order to provide them the best chance possible of winning this year and they had a great turnout!

into what is involved in entering the Awards. Great hints + tips!” And Katharine Tate, The Food Teacher™, Transforming Health and Wellbeing, said: “A refreshing morning reflecting on my business and preparing for the Awards process.”

Thanks go out to all of the speakers and those involved in the workshops and of course to all of our fabulous attendees. The delegates really seemed to enjoy these workshops, including Sian Milne, Owner of Powerful Changes Ltd. who commented: “Really good workshop that gave a good insight

February Women in Leadership Skills Gap: Roundtable Discussion It is safe to say this sold-out Women in Leadership lunch held at the luxurious Sopwell House, was a big hit! Our speaker Julie Newlan, Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire came along to talk about her career, journey and challenges along the way. We have had a lot of fantastic feedback regarding this event! Including Lucy Gravatt from the Hertfordshire LEP who commented: “Huge thanks to the team for a flawless event today. It was

stimulating, thought-provoking and empowering! I am really looking forward to the next one.” These events are very inspiring; enabling networking with peers and development of leadership skills as well as providing mentoring, support and inspiration to the County's next generation of business leaders.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) were commissioned by the Home Office to review the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) comprising of occupations and job titles in shortage across the UK. The event took place at Astute Electronics in Stevenage with delegates including the new Chief Executive of the Hertfordshire Chamber: Briege Leahy, discussions took place to help inform the MAC’s advice to the Home Secretary. L-R: Alistair Stroud, Astute Electronics; Mary Sykes, HCoC; Christoper Bowden-Hawkins, NIS; Steve Polfreman, Herts Building Control; Gillian Haythornthwaite, Association of Labour Providers; Emma Tarbox, Tate Recruitment; Briege Leahy, HCoC; Catherine Read, Astute Electronics; Daljit Basra, Stevenage Circuits Ltd; Neville Reyner, HCoC; Clive Cowie, Airbus Defence; Tracy Liennard, MAC; Nitin Dahad, TechSpark Ltd; Maria del Castillo, MAC; Cllr Terry Douris, Herts County Council; Amber Clabburn, Institute of Engineering & Technology; Mena Caldbeck, Stevenage Borough Council




Forthcoming Business Events March Chamber Lunch Brought to you in collaboration with the Hertfordshire LEP and Salus Approved Inspectors Ruari is responsible for delivering the works which will increase capacity from 10 million to 18 million passengers per year and transform the passenger experience. Ruari is recognised as an expert in large, complex projects and regularly gives lectures to professional institutions and universities.

Our guest speaker at this month’s lunch will be Ruari Maybank, Construction Director, London Luton Airport Operations Ltd.






Luton Hoo Hotel, Luton


Members £30.00 Non-Members £39.00

He has a track record of successfully leading high profile projects such as the Millennium Dome, London 2012 Olympic Games and a number of major Defence accommodation projects.

The Enemy Within – Cyber Security Seminar Date: Time: Venue: Price:


02/04/19 08:30-10:30 BioPark, Welwyn Garden City Members £10.00 Non-Members £15.00

Join us at this breakfast seminar and learn more about the cyber-threats that pose a risk to your business and how to ensure your business is secure.

Speakers will include:

Use the opportunity to liaise directly with our expert speakers and network with other businesses in Hertfordshire who share the same issues and concerns.

• Phillipa Phipps - Cyber Protect


All Price quotes include VAT at 20% unless otherwise stated

• William Osborne - Business Development Director, CRIBB Cyber Security Officer, Hertfordshire Constabulary • Paul Trainor - Divisional Director, James Hallam Insurance


Looking After Family Business Seminar Date:


We will discuss a broad range of



issues affecting family owned and


Hanbury Manor, Ware


Members £10.00

run businesses and look forward to hearing about some of the challenges you have faced.

Non-Members £15.00 We are privileged to welcome

Herts Chamber working in collaboration with Longmores Solicitors invite you to a seminar for family business owners and those involved in family business.

Alan Yates, Chairman and Managing Director of Endoline Machinery Ltd, as guest speaker. Alan will share valuable experience of successfully leading a three-generation family business.

April Chamber Lunch The speaker for this event is to be confirmed shortly.

Date: Time: Venue: Price: Join us on 25 April 2019 for our monthly networking lunch, being held at the luxurious Brocket Hall.

25/04/19 12:00-14:00 Brocket Hall, Hatfield Members £33.00 Non-Members £45.00

These events provide a great opportunity for business networking with members and non-members alike. Each month we invite a guest speaker to inform and motivate you.

For more information on any event: 01707 502180, or INSPIRE All Price quotes include VAT at 20% unless otherwise stated



Forthcoming Business Events Bringing the Local Community Together Networking event with MetroBank Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and MetroBank St Albans have joined forces to bring the local community together for a morning of networking. Enjoy the powers of networking and meet like-minded business-people who could be the connection your business needs to grow.






MetroBank, St Albans


FREE to attend

For the opportunity to give a one-minute pitch, please contact Gemma Rydqvist at

Women in Leadership Lunch Our new Chief Executive, Briege Leahy, will be introducing herself and sharing some of her journey at this event. Briege was the former Managing Director of Luna Logistics until its recent takeover. As a senior executive with a strong commercial background, Briege has a thorough understanding of logistics and a wealth of experience in leadership strategy and direction, financial management, business development and sales & marketing.


We are also delighted to have Rebecca Mitchell, House of Colour as a speaker at this event. From her dedicated studio in Harpenden, Rebecca runs friendly colour analysis, personal style and skincare/make-up classes to support both men and women to become ‘better versions of themselves’. She provides the practical advice and skills needed to reconnect with identity and to help people think differently about how they present themselves on the outside… so it reflects more of who they are on the inside. Through learning these techniques, Rebecca will help you become your own personal stylist!


All Price quotes include VAT at 20% unless otherwise stated






DeVere Theobalds Park, Cheshunt


Members £33.00 Non-Members £45.00


Strengthening Team Performance Breakfast Event with Sarah-J Coaching Join us at this breakfast seminar at Shendish Manor with Sarah Jones, owner of Sarah-J Coaching. Sarah will discuss what makes a successful team based on her experiences of working with business owners and leaders to reboot and reinvent team performance. The sum of a team’s outputs is often greater than the whole and Sarah will outline typically why teams fail, how to turn around performance and why they succeed. She will also provide tools and techniques that you can start using right now to rebuild and improve team performance and keep the momentum going!

Date: Time: Venue: Price:

21/05/19 08:00-10:00 Shendish Manor, Hemel Hempstead Members £10.00 Non-Members: £15.00

May Chamber Lunch Join us on 23 May 2019 for our monthly networking lunch, being held in the VIP marquee at the Hertfordshire County Showground. We are delighted to announce that our speakers at this lunch will be President of the Herts Agricultural Society, John Humphreys and Chairman, Kevin White. John Humphreys has a long history with agriculture – son of a Shropshire dairy farmer, going to Shuttleworth Agricultural College (1967-1969). He joined the family Agricultural Engineering business A.T. Oliver and Sons Ltd. in August 1969 as the sixth generation of the family firm.

He later became a Director and eventually joint Managing Director with Antony Oliver. Kevin White started his Hertfordshire Agricultural Society career in 1984, as both a steward and a cattle competitor. Since then he’s been nominated onto the committee of Management and F&GP and risen through the ranks to Senior Trade Steward. The lunch will take place prior to the Herts County Show and we are delighted to reveal that a discounted show ticket rate will be offered to all who book a place at this Chamber Lunch.

Date: Time: Venue: Price:

23/05/19 12:00-14:00 Herts County Showground, Redbourn Members £33.00 Non-Members £45.00

See our website for details.

For more information on any event: 01707 502180, or INSPIRE All Price quotes include VAT at 20% unless otherwise stated



Hertfordshire benefits from the growing ‘staycation’ trend International turmoil, the impact of Brexit, collapsing airlines, drones at airports – there are times when holidaying abroad can appear to be a distinctly unappealing prospect.

The result is that, for many people, taking their breaks in the UK looks more appealing than it has been for years and Hertfordshire is ideally placed to benefit from the ‘staycation’ trend. With its stately homes, wild days out and cultural experiences, Hertfordshire is seen by many as the perfect place for a short break or longer holiday, particularly given the growing popularity of spending money on experiences rather than possessions. A visit to Hertfordshire offers much to enjoy, including historic sites such as St Albans Cathedral, Hatfield House and Knebworth House, the chance

to relive the magic of Harry Potter with a visit to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, plus everything from wild beasts, Roman ruins and sculpture gardens to picturesque traditional English villages. Many businesses benefit from the growing popularity of Hertfordshire, everything from luxury hotels to B and Bs, and a number of them have been showing their confidence in the area by investing heavily. One of the best known hotels doing just that is Sopwell House in the St Albans area, a luxury country house hotel set amongst 12 acres of Hertfordshire countryside. Sopwell House, which has more than 300 years of history, offers 128 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a conservatory bar, a cocktail lounge, a Spa with a 14.5m swimming pool and a gym.

Future Town, Future Transport Stevenage; designated the UK’s first New Town in August 1946. 30


Owners AB Hotels has such confidence in the appeal of Hertfordshire that it has invested £28 million in the hotel in the past seven years, including spending £13 million in a new spa due to open in June. Rafi Bejerano, Director of AB Hotels, said: “We are finding that more and more people are opting to take their breaks at home. With all the talk of uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the publicity about problems travelling abroad, the idea of a staycation is increasingly popular. “We are, for example, attracting a lot of people not just from Hertfordshire but from the London area and further afield. “We are seeing that people want to spend their money on experiences rather than on possessions. A lot of the people that come to visit us have everything that they need, they have

Designed from a relatively blank canvas, Eric Claxton, the Chief Engineer, took the approach that the new town should separate bicycles and pedestrians from cars as much as possible and a comprehensive separate cycle network was planned and implemented in the town. It was so revolutionary that the founders of Almere, The Netherlands, decided to replicate the extensive cycle network after a visit to Stevenage in the 1970’s. Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) are currently producing a Transport Strategy for the town, which identifies ways that we can reinvigorate the original vision of Eric Claxton and improve the transport network to encourage behavioural change to create better and healthier living conditions for all of us. The prioritisation of walking and cycling, and other sustainable modes, will be key; helping to create healthier and more integrated communities, as well as improving air quality.

enough coats and pairs of shoes, and would rather have an experience instead than buying something else. “People lead hectic lives and time is precious so we offer them the chance to relax and de-stress. “We are proud to have invested in Hertfordshire and created jobs for people in the area. We want people to come and see the results of our £28 million investment.”

As home to a wealth of local, national and international industries, Stevenage has an opportunity to improve connections between employers and employees; delivering a healthier workforce and meeting Corporate Social Responsibilities whilst also reducing the carbon footprint of travel movements in the town. As a Co-operative Council, we want to engage with local businesses, as well as residents, to determine what facilities need providing and how they should be developed and delivered. SBC want to ensure that Stevenage offers a wide range of travel choices to its employers, employees and residents. Fulfilling Claxton’s vision of reclaiming our streets from the domination of vehicles and traffic congestion, and transforming them into attractive, accessible and sustainable areas in Stevenage.

The Strategy is available online on the website at and you can also visit to view and comment on the consultation document If you have any questions or want to know more, please contact your Planning Policy team on 01438 242865 or email us on

Chamber People

Getting the message out is key for Sarah Communication is ever more crucial for the modern organisation, which is why Sarah Castleman’s job with the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce is proving so important. Sarah started working as a Marketing and Communications Executive in October 2018, in her first full-time job having graduated from the University of Winchester, where she studied a joint honours degree in Creative Writing and Media and Communications.

Sarah said: “My role is to get the Chamber’s message out and we do that in a range of different ways.”

Sarah’s job is to help the Chamber to communicate not only with its members but also the wider business community. In an increasingly digital age, it’s a valuable role as the Chamber seeks to raise its profile.

“We welcome all of our new members on social media and with our collaborative 19,000+ following it is a real selling point for the Chamber.”

To help achieve that, a key part of the 23-year-old’s work is to source and prepare material for Inspire and liaise with the magazine’s publishers Benham Publishing. She also manages content for the Chamber website and puts out a host of social media posts on platforms including Twitter and Linked-in. Since Sarah started the Chamber have implemented Instagram and Facebook, as well as issuing monthly press releases.

“Social media is an important outlet for us, we issue a lot of posts on the various platforms providing information about our events and useful links.”

“One of the attractions of social media is that it allows people to respond to what we are saying,

and we do get a fair number of people retweeting, sharing or replying to what we have put out. In fact, our members often tag us in their own posts to boost them that little bit further.” “For us, social media is a good way of keeping our members and the wider business community informed about our activities.” “We are also working hard to increase the number of press releases that the Chamber issues. This is something that we have just started doing but getting press releases used in the media is a good way in which the Chamber can promote itself.”

“We welcome all of our new members on social media and with our collaborative 19,000+ following it is a real selling point for the Chamber.”

“We are also now trying to utilise our blog a lot more but this is really only just getting off the ground.” However, it’s not all about the written word for Sarah, she also helps with another key part of the Chamber’s work – bringing about face to face contact at events, which is so important in a digital age when human contact can diminish. Sarah said: “Networking events are a good way of spreading the message about the Chamber and bringing people together. I help our Events Manager with the setting up at a number of the events and help to keep them running smoothly – often with the technical side.” “One event I really help a lot with is the Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards. As our most prestigious event we post a lot of social media, press releases and emails about it. I have to make sure all of our sponsors get enough coverage as well as promoting entries and bookings. It’s an important part of the job.”



Challenges For Family Business

Richard Gvero Joint Senior Partner and Head of Commercial and Employment

Some of the most successful businesses locally, nationally and globally are family businesses. But as much as the family dimension is a large part of their success, it can cause issues unless it is carefully managed. One issue is the lack of formality. Shouldn’t the family bond transcend the need for legal documentation? Acting for numerous family businesses, I have found it often doesn’t. A well-managed family business will have written employment contracts and policies to reduce the scope for disagreement. There will also be competition

restrictions for an outgoing family member. Similarly, shareholder agreements increase clarity; they deal with share valuation and succession issues as well as defining shareholder relationships and vision for the business to reduce the scope for misunderstandings. Often formal corporate governance, including board meetings, is overlooked. This increases the risk of dispute. Is the business a meritocracy or do family members have all the seats on the board? Employment law does not recognise family favouritism and non-family members who are not treated fairly

could have significant claims. Such employees will also lack motivation and may be poached by competitors. There also needs to be a forum for families to discuss business issues and develop an agreed approach. And when things go wrong, there should be agreed dispute resolution mechanisms to avoid expensive and damaging litigation. Finally, don’t forget succession planning. The next generation do not always want to carry on the business and alternatives such as business sale must be considered.

We are running a seminar Looking after Family Business in collaboration with the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce on 5 April 2019 at Hanbury Manor to discuss these issues in more detail. To book your place please visit : Contact Longmores on 01992 300333 if you need legal advice for your family business or visit

Ask the Expert Cloud Accounting More and more businesses are transitioning to cloud accounting to take advantage of its many benefits. Our Managing Director, Paul Windmill, has outlined some frequently asked questions to help you to understand more about cloud accounting and how it can help you and your business. Q What is Cloud Accounting? A Cloud Accounting is the use of a secure website to enter and store details of your financial transactions, and run reports to show you how your accounts look. It’s live accounting software that the service provider maintains, which you can log into and use at any time, and from any device with internet access.

Q What are the benefits of Cloud Accounting? A The primary benefit of using cloud accounting is the mobility. Cloud accounting is user-friendly and requires less technical expertise to set up. Being able to log on to your accounts from any device with an internet connection means you can generate invoices on the go or process payments immediately. Furthermore, data capture and entry are more automated using apps reducing the time spent on that



specific element of your business. Your data is always safely secured and backed up online, so you never need to worry about your computer crashing and losing your data. Cloud accounting also allows for the facilitation of a paperless environment. This is due to it eliminating the need to store physical documents. Finally, when adopting cloud accounting, you will be compliant with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital for VAT regulations.

Q How do I choose the best package? A We can assist you in choosing the best package for your business by evaluating your current method of accounting, and therefore what you need out of the package. We will also take into account future plans of the business to ensure it fits in with the needs of your business.

Q How secure is my data? A Your data is hosted on secure servers with multiple sites in order to provide resilience against any server failures. The majority of cloud accounting software providers use 128 bit encryption and also two-level user authentication for access to ensure the highest level of security.

Q What happens if I experience technical issues? A We have an experienced team

to assist in resolving any issues you may experience. However, established providers such as QuickBooks, have dedicated support teams available, 24/7, 365 days a year, whom are able to take full control of your computer screen to rectify issues.

Q Need more advice? A Contact us on 01923 224411 for further information about how to begin your transition to the cloud.

available during working hours

Contact us today on 01923 224411

Membership Packages

AXA PPP healthcare small business healthcare cover We offer all Chamber of Commerce members free access to our 24/7 medical information telephone helpline, Health at Hand, regardless of whether they have healthcare cover with us or not. Health at Hand provides telephone access to nurses, counsellors, midwives and pharmacists, whether it’s a question about a prescription or you’re struggling to cope with stress at work. So activate your free health information phone service today at *Terms and Conditions: • This offer is only available to members of participating Chambers. • This offer is available to direct new customers of AXA PPP healthcare only.

At AXA PPP healthcare, our small business healthcare cover aims to get small business owners and their teams back to health and back to work as soon as possible by providing them with prompt access to eligible treatment in a private hospital. Should Chamber of Commerce members wish to take out a healthcare cover plan with us, they’ll also receive the following benefits: • 50% off their Chamber of Commerce membership for three years* • Free access to our 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme for all employees, regardless of whether they’re covered on the plan.

This gives employees’ access to a trained counsellor over the phone, 24/7, 365 days a year. • 50% off annual PureGym membership for the whole team, not just those covered by the plan. **

Find out more about our exclusive offers for Chamber of Commerce members at

• 50% off Chamber membership is up to value of £125 per employee you cover each year. • 50% off Chamber membership can be claimed each year for up to three years as long as a current business healthcare plan remains in force on a direct basis.

Over looked your Chambers’ hidden value? Like many SME’s we have had our fair share of recruitment issues, with positions vacant for over a year despite using the services of specialist agents and LinkedIn. Potential risks with staff retention remain our other challenge. In an industry plagued with global skill shortages, salary increases only focus employees over the short-term. Introducing a tangible benefits package presented the usual budgetary constraints. NIS joined the Hertfordshire Business Chamber to increase awareness of our brand and gain a better understanding of the challenges for local business. However, we had completely overlooked the wide ranging

• AXA PPP healthcare reserves the right to change or remove this special offer at any time. ** Read the full offer terms and conditions at

benefits which came with our membership. We were also surprised at the competitive cost of providing a comprehensive AXA health scheme after applying the Chamber membership discounts. For example, a 20 year old can join the scheme for about £10 per month, someone aged 60 for around £25 per month, and all siblings under the age of 30 can be added with just one fee for the first child at around 50% of these values. In addition, all employees received a 50% discount on Pure Gym membership, which has worked well as a team building exercise after work. The whole of our management team were given comprehensive health check visits. Most surprisingly, a 50% discount on the renewal of our Chamber membership covered a significant proportion of our overall expenditure. We look forward to an improvement in productivity and peace of mind for our staff following any serious illness.

Ironically, I had not seen the Doctor for over 27 years but shortly after introducing the AXA scheme, I ended up with what felt like a life threatening issue comprising of constant and agonising stomach pains with significant weight loss resulting in the reduction of my waist by about 8 inches within 2 months. It was a worrying time which prompted a review of my Will! Sadly the 3 month NHS Specialist waiting list was concerning, however, the AXA policy kicked in extremely quickly. I was given access to a list of Specialists throughout the country, with details of their credentials and educational history. Within about 15 minutes of seeing the Professor on Christmas Eve, I was reassured my condition was not serious and would self-heal in time; after a few days the scan confirmed his diagnosis. This was quite a relief and my New Year’s resolution didn’t feature weight loss on this occasion! Mustaq Chandia Director Network Integrity Services Ltd



New Members

Welcome to new members 24hr Solutions Ltd

DSA Bookkeeping

Building Maintenance and Mechanical Engineering Twitter: 24HrSolutions 02088 193117 24hr Solutions Ltd Faulkner House Victoria Street St Albans Hertfordshire AL1 3SE

Book Keeping 07714 091096 The Old Boardroom Collett Road Ware Hertfordshire SG12 7LR

Avalon Vehicle Rental Vehicle Hire Twitter: AvalonRental 07534 188891 1 Hall Road Hemel Hempsted Hertfordshire HP2 7BH

British Red Cross

Energy My Way Renewable Energy Heating Twitter: EnergyMyWay 01707 872017 10 Dahlia Close CHESHUNT Hertfordshire EN7 6NW

John Walker Mediation

British Red Cross 01992 585969 Baker Street Hertford Hertfordshire SG13 7HT

Mediation 01442 834025 John Walker Mediation Long Meadow, Flaunden Lane Bovingdon


Marvellous Pharma

Award winning Charity supporting families for over 8 years Twitter: chexsofficial 07970 498966 CVSBEH Community Skills Hub 59 High Street, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire EN8 7JU

Pharmaceutical Warehouse distributes, imports, exports medicine 07708 003111 Unit B, Abbeygate Business Centre Hitchin Road Luton Bedfordshire LU2 0ER



TARRC - Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre TARRC is the UK-based R&D laboratory of the Malaysian Rubber Board Twitter: tarrcuk 01992 584966 Brickendonbury, Brickendon Lane Hertford Hertfordshire SG13 8NL

The Business Solution Hub Business Solutions Consultancy Twitter: thebusinesssol1 07540 295284

United Pharma Ltd Pharmaceutical company 0044 2089933818 Office 11, 12 Jenner Avenue, London W3 6EQ

Watford Colosseum Live Music & Entertainment Venue Twitter: WfordColosseum 01923 474100 Rickmansworth Road Watford Hertfordshire WD17 3JN


The unlikely cybersecurity threat: Your physical documents It will never stop being important to protect and fortify your digital security, but there’s an element that often gets overlooked. As technology continues to grow, in every aspect of our everyday and work lives, it is increasingly important that we maintain a high level of security. In the US, a study by A. James Clarke School of Engineering saw that on average hackers attack every 39 seconds, and studies in the UK have shown that hacker attacks are on the rise, but how

do printed documents affect your personal and corporate cyber security? Simon Cassar, Manager at CS Shredding comments “often we forget how much information is held in our documents; personal documents contain personal details which can help a hacker work out a password and some corporate documents contain all

the information you will need to access the corporate bank accounts” Simon furthers “without organising a secure process for destroying physical documents, it leaves a person or organisation extremely vulnerable to attack” Since the introduction of the new General Data Protection

Regulation (2018), organisations are required to report any breaches which has shown just how vulnerable big organisations are. Facebook, Quora, Marriott and British Airways are just some examples of large organisations who have had data breaches in 2018, who knows which big or small organisations will be caught by hacking in 2019.

Commercial and domestic collections across Hertfordshire Our simple process, explained:

How we can give you peace of mind: ✔ A simple and secure process for ensuring all confidential waste is destroyed efficiently ✔ Free Certificates of Destructions for all customers ✔ Special discounts for all Herts Chamber members Telephone 01707 621431 Email




Information for


Is YOUR business disposing of its waste correctly? EVERY business that produces waste in the UK has a legally-binding ‘DUTY OF CARE’ . Over 50% of UK businesses are not complying with waste management regulations. 90% of these are small companies with fewer than 50 employees.

Any waste from commercial activity is business waste. If you use part of your home to run your business then any waste from that is business waste. All business waste has to be collected by someone who is licensed and registered to do so.

Take responsibility for YOUR waste and make sure whoever collects it does not fly tip. Don’t risk getting an UNLIMITED FINE – Check YOUR business complies with the law and YOUR Duty of Care.

For more information, visit:


Remember your reusables!

In the UK 7 .7 billio plastic wate n disposable r bo consumed e ttles are ach year. Stop single -use plastic .

Around 50% of plastic is used just once before it is thrown

Remember your reusables!

away. There’s no justifying it, single-use plastic is a problem that we all need to take responsibility for. WasteAware, the communications element of the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership, is on a mission to encourage people to ditch single-use plastic and ‘remember their reusables’ whether at home, the shops or in the workplace. A shocking 60% of all plastic bottles used in the UK are singleuse water bottles – that’s 7.7 billion every year! Imagine how much waste could be stopped if everyone simply used a reusable water bottle. Recycling is great for the environment, it is also very important to reduce the amount of waste we create in the first place. As a business you’re in a position of influence for your colleagues, clients and workforce by highlighting the importance of reducing single-use plastic in the

workplace. Providing the relevant equipment and information can increase awareness to help drive a ‘sustainable company’ ethos. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, you can easily reduce single-use plastic around your workplace with just a few simple switches: • Replace disposable coffee and plastic cups from around the office, with reusable cups and glasses. • Replace disposable plates and cutlery with permanent reusable alternatives • Encourage staff to bring in their own ‘zero waste’ packed lunches and water bottles

Is your business complying with its Duty of Care ??? The Hertfordshire Waste Partnership (HWP) is leading on efforts to reduce fly tipping around the county and beyond. As part of this, the HWP is urging businesses to keep in mind their waste management responsibilities under the Duty of Care requirements. Recent research undertaken by one of the UK’s largest waste management companies shows that up to 90% of organisations who fail to comply with their Duty of Care are small and medium size enterprises with less than 50 employees. This matters because legally, under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, every business that produces waste (including recyclables) has a Duty of Care to manage all wastes they

produce in compliance with UK waste management regulations. Failure to comply can ultimately result in your company being prosecuted in either a Magistrates Court or even at the Crown Court where fines are unlimited. How do you fulfil your Duty of Care? For businesses this means you must both arrange for the collection and disposal of any wastes you produce as well understand how your wastes will be dealt with after leaving your premises. This is achieved by having a proper waste collection contract in place with a suitable service provider;

We have a FREE digital ‘Remember Your Reusables’ resource pack available with artwork that you can use in your organisation (posters, screen savers, email footers, video, stickers)

#Remember YourReusa bles: wasteaware ables WasteAware Par tnership HertsWaste Aware HertsWaste Aware

Please contact us to find out more: and see

Refill If your business is open to members of the public and has a tap, then you can register as a Refill station! This allows your visitors to request a free tap water refill for their reusable water bottles. It’s so simple to get involved and register your business, visit to find out more. one who is licensed to undertake the services they are providing, as demonstrated through the appropriate contract documentation. Service providers can include private waste management companies or your local borough or district council. However, the Duty of Care requires you to do more than simply take such licenses at face value. As a business, the Duty of Care requires you to check the potential service provider is properly licensed before entering into a contract. Such checks can made by: • contacting the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506; • emailing at dutyofcare@; or • by using a link on Hertfordshire’s WasteAware website; taking you directly to the Environment Agency’s online checking tool where you can enter a service providers details to see if they are properly licensed. For more information you can also check out the website, designed to help business comply with their Duty of Care.



Around 50% of plastic is used just once before being thrown away. Stop single-use plastic.

r e b m Reme bles! a s u e r your

#RememberYourReusables: WasteAwarePartnership HertsWasteAware HertsWasteAware


What’s expected of us? The guide for commercial business recycling Following the recent protest by our nation’s children, a country-wide microscope has been focused on our sustainability.

Craig Curtis Managing Director

It’s at this time that we should question and reflect for improvement what our own county of Hertfordshire are doing with our waste. Managing Director at CS Recycling, Craig Curtis, has commented, “it’s inspiring to see so many of our younger generations doing what they can to spotlight sustainability” he adds “we have seen exciting promises within DEFRA’s resource and waste strategy in December 2018 and if they are put in place,

the country will see far better resource sustainability”. Currently, there are different waste regulations across the nation, but within DEFRA’s Resource and Waste Strategy, it is hoped there will be more continuity across the counties. A high-level overview of the Resource and Waste Strategy saw mentions of new national waste management initiatives that will hope to “double resource productivity and eliminate avoidable waste by 2050”. Within the Resource and Waste Strategy, DEFRA highlights that it will: • “improve recycling rates by ensuring a consistent set of dry recyclable materials is collected from all households and businesses • reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfill by ensuring that e very householder and appropriate

businesses have a weekly separate food waste collection, subject to consultation • improve urban recycling rates, working with business and local authorities • drive greater efficiency of Energy from Waste (EfW) plants • encourage waste producers and managers to implement the waste hierarchy in respect to hazardous waste” Curtis furthers “as strong promoters of segregated waste at source and advocates for the waste hierarchy, we are excited to see the implementation of DEFRA’s strategy and seeing the results on our planet’s health.” “the future of Hertfordshire’s waste management could be very bright indeed, if DEFRA’s strategy comes to fruition.” Commercial businesses need to be prepared for the potential

implementation of more robust waste management controls, which may see them requiring more detailed records of their own waste management protocols. Curtis comments “commercial waste management is easily monitored by businesses by use of Waste Transfer Notes, which we give to our customers in two formats; as an annual waste transfer note and a further duty of care upon completion of each collection.”

Commercial Recycling Solutions for customers across Hertfordshire ✔ Able to work with commercial businesses across South East England ✔ Dedicated to diverting quality recyclables from landfill ✔ Will always provide transparent pricing to customers, no hidden costs ✔ Bespoke solutions as unique as our customers

Call our friendly team for a quote on 01707 656261 or email our salesperson

Why choose CS Recycling? ✔ Free recycling audits for all prospective customers ✔ Free Waste Transfer Notes for all our customers ✔ Our team will ensure reliable collections



Members News

Stevenage at the heart of biotech revolution Biotech is one of the most promising parts of the British drug industry, not least according to the investors who continue to pump vast sums into the sector despite the looming shadow of Brexit. In the first eight months of 2018 alone it received nearly £1.6bn, compared with £1.2bn for the entirety of 2017. An unassuming building in a science park near the Hertfordshire town of Stevenage is hosting four biotech firms that hope to achieve a major breakthrough for the field – and go some way to justifying that faith from investors. The premise of biotech is radical: it harnesses living organisms to fight diseases. These firms – Adaptimmune, Cell Medica, Autolus and Freeline Therapeutics – are working on so-called living medicines, which use human cells and genes, to treat conditions ranging from hard-to-treat cancers to haemophilia and eye diseases.

School wins wellbeing award The John Warner School in Hoddesdon is celebrating the receipt of a major national award. The Well-being Award for Schools, run in conjunction with the National Children’s Bureau, recognises outstanding work being done to promote mental health and wellbeing within school communities across England. The report issued stated that there has been a significant change in the culture of the school with leaders showing a clear commitment to staff and student wellbeing. The school’s values (aspiration, endeavour, respect, participation and creativity) provide a shared language which has helped to integrate wellbeing alongside new policies and systems which allow staff to “work at their best, feel valued and maintain a healthy work-life balance” and for “a range of interventions to support students’ wellbeing and mental health”. The school was commended on the launch of The Hub, its new alternative provision which has

been in operation since September 2018. The Hub provides “a positive, safe learning environment…[and] demonstrates the inclusive ethos of the school.” Richard Caranese, who is Head of Alternative Provision, said: “In September we introduced our Alternative Learning Provision (The Hub) whose sole purpose is to engage, direct and care for vulnerable pupils. We recognise that we are all vulnerable at some stage and The Hub gives us as a school the further tools to help support one another as a school community. From supplementing our existing interventions to

They are based at a governmentfunded cell and gene manufacturing centre, which opened in May and is the largest such collaborative centre in the world. Cell and gene therapies can fix genetic defects and reengineer patients’ cells to recognise and attack tumours and other diseases.

Along with others, CGT is working hard to scale up the new therapies so they become routine treatments in Britain. The Stevenage centre will eventually be able to make 6,000 patient doses a year.



Headteacher Jeremy Scott said: “We are delighted that the significant changes we have made in recent months to improve student and staff wellbeing have been recognised in this award. While the award celebrates these achievements, we are also very focused on continuing to develop this aspect of our school over the course of the next few months. I would like to thank all the staff and students of the school who have contributed to this award.”

MDX rises 24 places on Stonewall’s annual Equality Index Middlesex University has been awarded 154th place out of 445 employers in the 2019 Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.

In Stevenage, Adaptimmune, Cell Medica and Autolus all focus on cancer while Freeline is working on therapies for bleeding disorders. Keith Thompson, the CEO of Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT), who set up the Stevenage centre, believes that turning cells and genes into living medicines can offer cures rather than just treating symptoms – and could be exported by Britain around the world. He describes it as “an absolute revolution”.

working with specific groups of students. We are very proud of what we have and proud of where we intend on taking it."

The Workplace Equality Index is the definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace and at MDX staff and students have been working hard together to develop and improve everyone’s experiences of diversity and inclusion at work. Through collaboration with the MDXSU, the

LGBT + Everybody Else forum and colleagues and students across the university, MDX, a member of Stonewall's Global Diversity Champions programme, has climbed 24 places from last year’s Index, in an even more competitive cohort of institutions comprising major financial services institutions, law firms and a large cross section of public and tertiary sector employers.

Anna Kyprianou, MDX’s Executive lead for promoting diversity, said: “I am immensely proud of the commitment and genuine passion for equality and diversity shown by colleagues across the University, especially from those who have formed, developed and supported fora such as our LGBT + Everyone Else Forum. Our recent Stonewall Workplace Equality Index placing is a well-deserved

external recognition of the positive strides we are making to drive equality across the whole University. “Though there is always more to do to ensure that Middlesex is a truly diverse, equal and welcoming learning and work community - we are clearly on the right path towards recognising, valuing and celebrating our diversity.”

Members News

Broxbourne businesses to benefit from new retail discount scheme It’s good news for Broxbourne businesses, as some 204 local companies are set to benefit from a new retail discount scheme. It was announced at a Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday 22 January 2019 that occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments will receive a reduction in their business rates bills for the years 2019/20 and 2020/21, thanks

to a new discretionary relief scheme. The Council will administer the scheme, granting relief to qualifying businesses. The value of relief will be one third of the bill and will be applied after any other forms of relief have been deducted. Qualifying businesses do not need to apply for the relief –

it will be applied to their bills automatically. Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Ayling, said: “This is great news for lots of businesses in the Borough who will save a third off their business rates bill. The scheme, which I fully support, will help to boost our already thriving town centres and local economy.”

The cost to the Council of granting the relief will be reimbursed by central government. Full details of the retail discount scheme including qualifying criteria can be found on the Council’s website at

So why the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance?

By Paul Cecil – Barley House

London Marathon 2019 So why the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance? Where do I start? My Story It started as a normal Sunday afternoon, back in February 2015. “See you later’’ I said to my wife Teresa, as I closed the door and went out on my normal Sunday run. I like to run the beautiful tracks in and around the woods in the Goffs Oak and Cuffley area. 2 miles into the run I suddenly felt very dizzy. And that’s all I remember.

I woke up in Queens hospital, Romford. “Paul, Paul” I could hear my wife calling me. As I opened my eyes I saw a beautiful and very worried Teresa. “Where am I?” I asked “Hospital” replied my wife. What had happened was I had fainted head first into a very shallow, and muddy ditch. I lay there for quite some time with my face in the water, slowly drowning, until my now and forever hero and friend Pascal Mcmanmon spotted me. Pascal pulled me out of the ditch and immediately tried to resuscitate me.

Whilst applying CPR he also managed to call an ambulance. The brilliant crew of the EHAA landed their helicopter in the field right next to me. I then spent 3 days in a coma and finally a few weeks resting in Queen’s Hospital and Barts Hospital. It was due to the bravery of Pascal and the speed, experience and professionalism of the EHAA, who all brought me back to life. With the amazing help of the staff at both Queens and Bart’s hospital and with the support of the best and loving friends and family. I am proud to say I am fit and well today.

So how do you pay back people who have saved your life? You help them to make sure they can continue helping others. It’s a fact that without Pascal and EHAA I wouldn’t be here today. These guys are purely funded by the charity, crazy or what! They need approx. £500K per MONTH, to survive. If you are going to give to charity this year, please consider EHAA. I never thought I would ever need them.




Members News

New project helps create healthy heathland

Industry award for Abodebed

Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust has begun an ambitious heathland restoration project in Hertford thanks to funding from Tesco. The project at Hertford Heath Nature Reserve will allow delicate heathland plants such as heather and gorse to thrive on this rare patch of Hertfordshire heathland. Hertford Heath is classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) as one of the last remaining patches of open heathland in Hertfordshire. The project has seen diggers scraping away layers of topsoil from selected areas of this site, under close supervision. Heather and gorse need sandy and gravelly soils which lie underneath the layer of topsoil. The upper layers of soil are full of nutrients that allow more dominant plants to take over the site, squeezing out these heathland plants. Staff and volunteers have also been working on site to help with tree-felling and

scrub clearance to prevent the heathland areas from becoming overshadowed. A recent audit showed that heathland is the most threatened habitat in Hertfordshire with as little as 30 acres of heather-covered heathland remaining. Only a small area of heather remains at Hertford Heath but the Trust believes that there is great potential for this to increase, making it one of the most important heathland sites in the county. Jenny Sherwen, Reserves Officer at the Trust, says: “Heathland is an increasingly threatened habitat in the UK and Hertford Heath Nature Reserve is the only heath of its type in East Hertfordshire. The works we have done here might look quite drastic but are crucial to helping

heather, gorse and rare heathland flora regenerate. In summer, this area will be teeming with wildlife which will also benefit the local community, of which this reserve is such a big part.” The project was largely funded by grants from Tesco’s Bags of Help community scheme. Tesco customers voted for the Trust’s heathland restoration project in the Hertford branch of Tesco in May and June 2018. More than 80% of heathland in the UK has disappeared in the last 200 years. Heathland is in decline because of the loss of traditional management practices which leads to scrubs and trees smothering and out-competing the more delicate heathland vegetation.

with Hertfordshire Based

SPORTING FUTURES TRAINING With over 80 School Apprentices in Hertfordshire Schools

Herts Chamber gold member, JPA Furniture, are delighted to have won a national award for ‘Social Sustainability and Community Development’ at the edie sustainability leaders awards.

Creating Opportunities to Inspire and Achieve through PE and School Sport.

An outstanding average of 87% Achievement rate since 2011 For Information: e:

t: 01438 791068

Business Technology Centre, Bessemer Drive, Stevenage, Herts, SG1 2DX

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Located adjacent to the KD Tower in the town centre of Hemel Hempstead, the newlybuilt, modern and spacious apartments have been an instant hit with guests. in the letter accompanying the award, James Waters, Vice President of Partner and Customer Services,, said “your property review score is one of the highest on That’s why we are honoured to present you with the 2018 Guest Review Award.” Martin Fieldman, Managing Director, Abodebed Ltd, said “This award is a recognition of the very hard work of the Abodebed team in ensuring that our apartments and service consistently meet and exceed guest expectations.”

Chamber member wins National Award

School PE Apprenticeships

Abodebed Town Centre Services Apartments received a Guest Review Award from for their recently-launched Oval View Apartments.

Graham Pulsford, MD commented: ‘Obviously we are delighted to win this award and would like to wish congratulations to all the other finalists as quite honestly every entry looked incredible. We’re a family owned SME and it’s important to

us to actively make a positive contribution as a consequence of our business activity. Our vision and challenge is to provide office furniture solutions which benefit the people who use them, the environment and society.’

We are very proud of this achievement and are celebrating by offering to collect and recycle a redundant chair for free for every chair ordered until April 1st – a new for old solution for Hertfordshire businesses – that’s a first!

Herts Global

Post-Brexit Immigration Plan - 3 Key Points The government has published its white paper on immigration, sharing its plan for the immigration system after Brexit.

UK valuable trading partner It may or may not be a surprise to hear that 20% of the export documentation processed by the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce is for the UAE, which comprises of seven Emirates of which Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the largest and most well-known.

It plans to phase in the proposed changes towards the end of the Brexit transition period, in autumn 2020. So what's changing?

Immigration Permission Required for EU Citizens The government suggests that EU citizens will need to meet the same requirements as all other potential migrants who are not British or Irish citizens. This means that most EU citizens wanting to come to the UK on a longer-term basis to work will need an employer to sponsor their visa application.

Amendments to Tier 2 of the Points-Based System Following most of the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee, the government proposes

adjustments to the existing Points-Based System category of Tier 2, used by employers to sponsor visa applications by skilled workers from overseas. The proposals include: • Removing the existing (and some might say counterproductive) cap on sponsored work visas. • Reducing the skills threshold from level 6 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (degree-level) to level 3 (A-level). • Abolishing the requirement for employers to advertise roles before sponsoring skilled workers (the Resident Labour Market Test). • Reducing the bureaucratic burden on sponsoring employers.

'Low Skilled' Worker Visas The government recommends an immigration route for 'low skilled' workers as a transitional measure to support sectors which have come to rely on workers from the EU. This will consist of a 12-month working visa followed by a cooling off period of a further 12 months to prevent workers effectively working here permanently. Additionally, such workers will not be able to switch to other immigration categories, bring family members or qualify for permanent residence. For further information on immigration issues affecting your business,please contact Tom Brett Young at awardwinning law firm VWV, on 0121 227 3759.

“Following most of the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee, the government proposes adjustments to the existing Points-Based System category of Tier 2, used by employers to sponsor visa applications by skilled workers from overseas.”

Herts Chamber’s International Trade Manager, Keith Moore, was recently invited by the Arab British Chamber of Commerce to attend a roundtable meeting being hosted by Mr Abdeslam El-Idrissi, Deputy Secretary General and CEO, Rt.Hon. Baroness Symons Chairman of the ABCC and guest speaker His Excellency Mr Sulaiman Almazroui, Ambassador to the UAE in the UK. The UAE is certainly open for business and sees the UK as a valuable trading partner and always has done, it has earmarked 7 Strategic Priority Sectors that it would welcome investment from UK, these are Renewable Energy, Healthcare, Space R & D, Technology inc. A.I. & Cyber Security, Transportation, Water and its scarcity, and finally Education. Keith commented: “I can think of quite a few of our members in these sectors who should consider the region as a good opportunity if they have not done so already, especially as there is an active programme for infrastructure and the construction of new ‘smart cities’.” UK-UAE bi-lateral trade is expected to reach a staggering £25bn by 2020 and over 600 UK companies have reaped the benefits of setting up business premises in that area. English is widely spoken and over 120,000 Brits now live throughout the seven Emirates and with the additional 1.5 million tourists every year you are never far away from hearing an English voice. To learn more about the UAE and the Arab region a major summit is taking place on 3rd July 2019 in London at the QEII Centre. Visit for further details.



Building Connections

Building Connections Ellis Training Works latest recruit to Enterprise Adviser Network Lucy Gravatt Head of Communications Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership As a Chamber member, we know the value of ‘building connections’ and the power of networking in helping to broker conversations that can develop into something altogether more meaningful. An example of this recently was when we approached the Chamber at a networking event to enquire if they knew of a local employer who would like to help create better links with local schools and become part of the Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN). Immediately Mary Sykes put us in touch with fellow Chamber member Ellis Training Works, an industry respected training provider based in Potters Bar. After an initial discussion with husband and wife team John and Joy Ellis, when we set out the aims of the programme, the company’s curriculum manager Tish McDermott was put forward as an Enterprise Adviser. Now, less than two months on from that brief exchange, Tish has been matched to Park Education Support Centre (ESC) in Potters Bar which provides an invaluable service to support pupils who are 'at serious risk' of permanent exclusion or who have been permanently excluded from their mainstream school. For those of you unfamiliar with the EAN, this is a national network co-ordinated by The Careers & Enterprise Company in partnership with Local Enterprise Partnerships. Its aim is to connect



schools and colleges with local employers. A senior business person, known as an Enterprise Adviser (EA), is matched with a local school/college to provide strategic-level support to help develop careers programmes. It is underpinned by the belief that young people should be given the best support available to develop their careers and to make informed choices about education and employment.

Mudlarks and the Enterprise Adviser for Amwell View School (SEN). She said: “I have extensive experience of working with a variety of schools, and wanted to share my knowledge of school enterprises, the successes and how local businesses and communities can help. I did not really envisage there being any advantages to myself or Mudlarks; it was a role that I undertook to benefit the school.”

For Nicci Smith, Talent Programme Manager at GSK, and Enterprise Adviser for Pinewood School (SEN), the reason was simply to ‘give something back to my local community’. As we embark on this exciting new partnership with Ellis Training, we look forward to reporting back on its progress and to building connections with future Enterprise Advisers.

The programme is co-ordinated locally by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership which is supporting 102 schools and already has 94 Enterprise Advisers from a wide range of sectors and sizes of organisations ranging from micro to large. These include social enterprises such as Mudlarks, a Hertford based charity supporting vulnerable young people and adults; Marriott Cheshunt (pictured above); ComputaCenter, headquartered in Hatfield, and pharma giant GSK. The benefits for businesses in getting involved include: • Pro-actively supporting young people; • Training potential employees; • Helping ensure schools can deliver curriculums linked to the skills required within their workplace. The reasons given by individual Enterprise Advisers are as varied as the range of organisations they represent. Vic Hobson is MD for

School-work: Hertfordshire pupils visit Hanbury Manor Mariott Hotel and Ocado.

If you are interested in finding out how you can get involved, contact Gareth Dace, Senior Enterprise Coordinator: 01707 356129 Email:

As I write this, there are just 40 days and 40 nights left until the UK must leave the European Union on 29 March. Now as anyone familiar with this biblical expression knows, that is not necessarily the case. For, just as in Hebrew times, the phrase can simply mean a ‘very long time’ indeed.

The second Council of LEP Chairs with Prime Minister Theresa May: January 2019.

Who’s counting? We’re in it for the long haul Deal or no deal, Hertfordshire has everything to play for and collectively we can make a difference. Lucy Gravatt Head of Communications Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership

As you read this, we may well have passed this particular milestone no nearer to exiting the EU than we were when Article 50 was triggered on 29 March 2017. True, the battle lines have been drawn and re-drawn, exit strategies have been torn to shreds then pieced back together and backstops, binary decisions and hard borders have become part of everyday political life. But in the hinterland beyond party politics, strong cross-party alliances and bridges are being built to last to create cohesive, sustainable local growth in the communities they serve. At the first Prime Minister’s Council of LEP Chairs in June 2018, the Rt. Hon Theresa May said Local Enterprise Partnerships had a ‘crucial role in delivering further growth in local communities’. The mechanism for this was to create Local Industrial Strategies that are distinctive to each area, that map out specific challenges and opportunities, build on local strengths and address weaknesses. Over the past few months we have done just that. Using our Strategic Economic Plan as a starting point, we have built a robust economic evidence base on which to develop our strategy. The conclusions we have drawn are not startling, but collectively they begin to paint a picture of Hertfordshire that is far more complex and colourful than one might at first assume. On the face of it, Hertfordshire, as one would expect from its proximity to a global city, is performing well. Economic participation rates are high, unemployment is low, the workforce is comparatively well skilled, economic growth is well established, the enterprise

base is growing strongly and employers are creating jobs. But scratch the surface and things are not quite so comforting. There are significant variations in performance and productivity across the county and the pressure cooker effect of London’s iterative growth, coupled with the mega development of the OxfordCambridge arc, could place a huge economic squeeze on Hertfordshire. Added to this is the huge loss of employment land in Hertfordshire over the past decade, equivalent to the entire office stock of St Albans, Watford and Stevenage combined. Clearly there is no room for complacency. So what is our response? The evidence is telling us that the solutions must be bespoke to place; that what is the right ‘economic fit’ for Watford will not necessarily hold true for Hatfield, Stevenage or Bishop’s Stortford. Our upcoming roundtable will focus on the economic future of the UK’s first Garden City, Letchworth. And who best to tell us what it is like to do business there than local business owners and decision makers themselves. The University of Hertfordshire too, as a major employer, thought leader and contributor to local economic growth, must play an important part in helping to shape this countywide debate. The role of enterprise is also vital, be it in helping us understand the barriers to scaling up our SMEs or the contribution social enterprises make to our local economy. Above all, we want to hear your views. We urge you to take part in the Hertfordshire Business Productivity Survey so that we can continue to target support where it is needed most. Hertfordshire has everything to play for and collectively we can make a difference over the next 40 days, weeks and years. Keep up to date with our progress: #HertsForGrowth

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Chair Mark Bretton outside No. 10 Downing Street before attending the Council of LEP Chairs meeting



At Herts, we make it our business to help you with yours. So whether you’re making your first steps into the world of business or are on the lookout for talent, support or facilities to take your company to the next level, we’re here for you.


Find out more at

01707 286406

Herts for business.

Skills & Development

Have you ever considered hiring a Reservist and utilising their extensive transferable skills? Are you looking to turbo charge your career or work for a forward thinking employer who provides a good work/life balance? If the answer is yes, then you need to read on. Reserve service with the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army or Royal Air Force delivers worldclass training and development opportunities benefitting both employer and employee. The Reserve Forces undergo rigorous training, which develops key skills such as leadership, teamwork and organisation. These core Reservist skills are invaluable to employers in all sectors. Reservists receive training which could cost an organisation over £8K per annum to implement. From communications and IT to language skills, LGV licences, first aid, catering and personnel management, Reserve Forces training is directly transferable – at no cost to the employer. Teamwork, self-confidence, leadership qualities and experience of other cultures are highly-prized attributes that many Reservists develop and bring back to their workplace. Undergoing training and serving on operations also develop resourcefulness, perseverance and the ability to improvise in unfamiliar or difficult circumstances.



A Defence friendly organisation attracts a motivated talent pool. Reservists are incredibly committed. Most train one evening a week with their unit and attend training weekends throughout the year. To consolidate their skills, they also take part in annual training which is usually completed over a period of two weeks. An HR policy that accommodates this, provides a wonderful work/life balance and fresh challenges for the employee. Partnering with Defence also delivers a diverse range of training opportunities. When an organisation signs the Armed Forces Covenant and enters into the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme, they can attend development and leadership courses delivered by local Army Reserve units. The Army Intelligence Challenge offers one such opportunity. Hosted by 3 Military Intelligence Battalion, multiple companies put forward the best candidates to take part in this one-of-a-kind competition. This full day course introduces participants to military analysis skills enabling them to problem solve under time constraints. After reviewing the available information (with coaching support from a Military Intelligence Operator), they are given two hours to prepare a brief and present it to a ‘Task Force Command Board.’

Throughout the year, employers that have pledged to support Defence people, can also benefit from Executive and Future Leader; professional development courses based on the British Army’s approach to leadership and management. Mrs Cherry Lewis-Taylor, veteran army officer and Franchisee of four McDonalds Restaurants said: “I felt that all my employees learnt a lot, not only about leadership

but also about the true value of teamwork. Seeing how they developed throughout the day and came back buzzing was very rewarding.” Shaun Littlewood, an employee of Port of Felixstowe said: “What has resonated with me on this course? Always play to your team’s strengths. Listen to your team’s ideas and you will always find a solution to the problem.”

“Undergoing training and serving on operations also develop resourcefulness, perseverance and the ability to improvise in unfamiliar or difficult circumstances.”

If you would like to explore partnering with Defence and benefitting from these courses, start your journey today by contacting Regional Employer Engagement Director Kristina Carrington For more information about joining the Reserves visit

Health & Wellbeing

Research reveals extent of workplace stress A new survey has revealed the professions where stress is perceived to be the biggest problem. The research by CV-Library, the independent job site, revealed that the majority of professionals are feeling the strain. The survey of 1,100 workers sought to discover the causes behind workplace stress and in which industries professionals were most affected. CV-Library’s work revealed that the sectors where workers are most likely to suffer from stress are:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Social Care Recruitment Sales Accounting Construction Marketing IT Legal Design Manufacturing

86.4% 81.8% 79.2% 76.7% 76% 73.7% 70% 70% 69.2% 68.6%

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, said: “Stress and mental health has become a hot topic of late, with businesses and professionals alike focusing on mental wellbeing at work. Despite this, it’s clear from these findings that more needs to be done to help eliminate stress and support increasingly busy professionals.” Respondents were asked to identify the top causes of their stress, with the number one problem being the fear of making a mistake (71.4%). This was followed by increasing workloads

(57.1%), their manager (42.9%), customers/clients (29%) their colleagues (28.6%) and tight deadlines (14.3%). Lee said: “While it’s concerning to learn that such a large percentage of professionals are suffering from workplace stress, this comes as little surprise. High pressure roles, the always-on culture and mounting workloads are having an increasing impact on workers. If you’re feeling the strain as a result of your job, it could be time to look for a better opportunity elsewhere.”

Our priority is you Your GP will give you the time and care you need when you need it the most. They can refer you for the services you require including specialist or nurse-led treatments, and you will typically be offered a same day appointment as part of our rapid access service. Contact us today

Call 01442 330697

Your partner for a healthy life



Last Word

Delivering increased enterprise value Nick Winters Partner Kingston Smith Q What do you do? I provide advice, accounting and tax support to a wide range of clients across the region. I enjoy working with clients who appreciate me sharing my knowledge and experience to provide them with insight and improved clarity. The advice that I provide helps deliver increased enterprise value, revenues and profitability to my clients, alongside an understanding of their financial position, tax efficiency and access to R&D tax credits.

Q Who do you work for? I am a partner at Kington Smith, a top 20 firm of chartered accountants and business advisers. We offer local businesses commercial and practical solutions based on their needs and aspirations, helping them to succeed and achieve their goals. Working together, we gain an understanding of our clients, providing the right advice




at the right time to give our clients a competitive edge in the market place. I am based at our office in St Albans and we benefit from local knowledge but the backup of a Top 20 accounting firm of around 600 people.

Q Why did you join the Chamber? We joined the Chamber as members some time ago and seeing the benefits, became Business Alliance partners in 2017 and then this year we became Patrons. The relationship started out with us as members attending and networking at events and realising the benefits of meeting other businesses in the area. We soon realised that the Chamber could provide us with opportunities to connect, collaborate and grow our network.

Q What you do get from it? As well as the networking opportunities and knowledge of

the local market, we now work with the team at the Chamber to deliver joint events with them on topics that we are specialist in and would benefit the members. A recent example was our joint event on Making Tax Digital. We hope to expand on this in the coming months. We have also been introduced to other partners the Chamber work with that we could benefit from working with too.

Q How has it helped your business network? Chamber events are well attended and their web, social and written content are always useful. This enables us to get to know local businesses and service providers and to cement our presence in the local market place.

Q What advice would you give someone starting out? It is important to have a plan, that can be broken down into short term objectives so that

progress can be measured. As well as having a plan, it is also necessary to be flexible so that you can adapt to changing needs demand.

Q What do you think is the biggest challenge affecting running and growing a business? Finding good advice, whether that be formal advice from professionals or advice in the form of advice from mentors can be a challenge, but is important to fuel profitable growth. Funding can also be a challenge.

Q How confident are you your business will grow in the 2019? We have ambitious local growth plans which will build on the growth of our St Albans office over recent years. We serve a thriving local business market and are confident that we can continue to grow the office.





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Inspire February 2019  

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management, Busines...

Inspire February 2019  

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management, Busines...

Profile for benham