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the

masthead

Official Magazine for South East London Chamber of Commerce - Issue 15

The road to recovery

As we approach the halfway point of what already seems like a long year, the world is moving cautiously from lockdown to recovery mode

Big Interview

with EasyBuild Carol Massay on breaking down barriers to success • GREENWICH - Welcome back to the high street! Royal Greenwich is open for business with measures in place to keep you safe while you shop • LEWISHAM - Restart - Recover- Renew As businesses begin to trade, once more we are all glad to see the economy start to pick up • BROMLEY - Bromley Town Centre safer than ever to work and visit • BEXLEY - Creativity in the heart of Bexley • EDUCATION & SKILLS - Digital Poverty - the digital divide • VISIT GREENWICH - New recovery campaign for the summer • ECONOMY - £100bn boost for the UK


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Model shown is Corolla Hybrid Design +TRK 1.8 VVT-i Auto £27,160 including optional Pearlescent paint at £900. Prices correct at time of being published. 5 year/100,000 mile manufacturer warranty. Terms and conditions apply. Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km): combined 55.4 (5.1) - 57.6 (4.9). Combined CO2 116 - 112 g/km. Figures are provided for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results. All vehicles are certified according to the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). CO2 figures (and hence car tax and recommended ‘on the road’ prices) may differ from information printed before 1 April 2020, due to a change in the official method of calculation. This date may change, please visit www.vehicle-certification-agency. gov.uk/fcb/wltp.asp for the latest information. For details of your preferred model and grade derivative, please contact your local Toyota Centre. Choice of options and accessories fitted (pre-registration) may affect the official CO2 figures, car tax and ‘on the road’ price. *Business users only. Available on new leases of Corolla Hybrid Design when ordered and proposed for finance between 15th June 2020 and 30th September 2020, registered and financed by 31st December 2020 through KINTO One Contract Hire, a product offered by KINTO U.K. Limited. Advertised rental is based on a 36 month customer maintained contract at 8,000 miles per annum with an initial rental of £1,392 +VAT. Excess mileage charges apply. You will not own the vehicle. Other finance offers are available but cannot be used in conjunction with this offer. Offer may be varied or withdrawn at any time. At participating Toyota Centres. Toyota Centres are independent of KINTO U.K. Limited. Indemnities may be required. Finance subject to status to over 18s only. KINTO U.K. Limited registered office Haven House, Compass Road, Portsmouth, PO6 4RP. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Terms and conditions apply. KINTO is a registered trademark owned by Toyota Motor Europe and used under licence by KINTO U.K. Limited.


Welcome 3

find

inside £100bn boost for the UK Economy

7

Bromley Council undertaking public consultation on new planning guidance

12

4-5

Chamber News

8-9

Focus on Greenwich

12-13

Focus on Bromley

26-27 28-29 30-31

7 Economy 10

Focus on Lewisham

14 Focus on Bexley 16-17 Strategic Members News 20

21

Skills - Digital Poverty Education & Skills

23 Legal

24

Ask the Expert

Dr Sam Parrett, OBE on the Great Digital Divide

20

Big Interview Past Chamber Events Annual General Meeting 2020 32-33 Visit Greenwich 34-37 Business Recovery 39 Technology 40-41 News 44 Finance Update 47 Health & Wellbeing 50 New Members 50 and finally…

Royal Greenwich - it’s time! A new recovery campaign for the summer

32

Welcome to The Masthead the South East London Chamber of Commerce magazine. coming months, including a virtual AGM on Wednesday, 23 September at 2.00pm.

W

e are on the road to recovery, albeit very slowly. The Chamber has had some excellent virtual events which are covered in this issue and more are planned for the Editorial and General Enquiries South East London Chamber of Commerce Unit TW/145, Trinity Wharf, Harrington Way Warspite Road London SE18 5NR Tel: 020 8317 3365 Email: office@selondonchamber.org www.selondonchamber.org

@SELondonChamber

@SELondonChamber South East London Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber has been working closely with all four boroughs on their recovery plans and following one of our joint virtual business events with the Royal Borough, two questions were asked by academic members which led to the Chamber setting up a HE/FE Recovery Partnership which will help in delivering a joined up approach in London to reskilling/upskilling and identifying new training needs. Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: admin@benhampublishing.com Web: www.benhampublishing.com Published: July 2020 © Benham Publishing

Cover photo: Royal Arsenal Riverside, by Berkeley Homes

We are affiliated to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a member of London’s Local Chambers (see page 4). I am meeting on a weekly basis with both and our views are being fed into the GLA, Government and British Chambers of Commerce On page 7 we have included a short piece from LCCI on future paperwork required for importing/exporting. In this issue (page 5) there is an obituary to Tony Pidgley, the founder and Chairman of the Berkeley Group. Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: karen@benhampublishing.com Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: mark@benhampublishing.com Media No. 1724 Disclaimer The Masthead is published for South East London Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members.

As a Strategic Partner we work closely with Berkeley Homes and Tony was the subject of the Big Interview in October 2018. It’s fitting this issue’s front page is of Royal Arsenal Riverside. This can be accessed by visiting https://www. selondonchamber.org/ and look in Masthead’s archive. Or, if you are viewing digitally: https://issuu.com/benham/ docs/1601_-_the_masthead_

Helen McIntosh FCIPR President All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at South East London Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in The Masthead are not necessarily those of South East London Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. © 2020 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 forthe 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.

July 2020


4 Chamber News

Who are London’s Local Chambers?

So your Chamber is a member of London’s Local Chambers (LLC) what does that mean?

L

ondon’s Local Chambers of Commerce Forum, as it was when founded by Clive Barker (a former President of SELCCI) in 2010, is an umbrella group of all eighteen of the local borough and area chambers in the capital. it was originally set up to exchange best practice and share ideas for encouraging membership of the chamber movement. In 2016, Clive moved on to become more involved in education and Stephen Nelson, another former President, took the helm as chair. Progress has been made snce then and now the group exists as London’s Local Chambers and is far more outreaching. LLC’s eighteen members combine a membership of thousands, the number of businesses on Chamber databases in tens of thousands and twitter followers in excess of 55,000, for any London-wide business facing organisation, LCC provides a ready formed access to their target audience.

The umbrella grouping is a powerful body arguably representing more London businesses, smaller businesses, women in business, BAME business people and also arranging more business activities and networking events than any other body in the capital. We are working with London Councils, the Mayor’s office through the Growth Hub and the London Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) who have been involved from the very start. You may ask how this is benefitting you, the Chamber member? Through LLC your local chamber now has the ability keep you more up to date on new business initiatives; to call upon more expert business advice than ever before; to enhance the strength and work with LCCI in their representation of business interests with London regional and national government; work together regionally on local matters

such as roads and transport; arrange more multi-chamber events offering you greater networking opportunities and generally to make Chamber membership a must to any business wanting to realise its full potential. We have recently been working very closely with LCCI on a joined up response to the COVID-19 crisis and kept Chamber members well advised and informed during these difficult times. Discussions are in progress to further strengthen the alliance. LLC has ensured that without losing their autonomy chambers are no longer borough islands but are working together to help the chamber movement provide the best service possible to its membership. Stephen Nelson Chair, London’s Local Chambers

GCDA supporting local businesses During these unusual times, the people at GCDA have been doing some phenomenal work supporting our local food businesses.

B

ack in May 2019 they set up their Independent Food Business Network, a peer to peer network for food businesses aimed at empowering, informing, and connecting. The network has gone from strength to strength and has continued through lockdown as an invaluable resource for its members.

In addition to this, GCDA also runs the Royal Arsenal Farmers’ Market and have been supporting and promoting the market traders in their efforts to continue trading by bringing some delicious products together from the market to form their market bundles.

July 2020

The bundles include such delicacies as truffle salami, rhubarb, and rosemary shrubs, aubergine and plantain chutney to name a few. They are available to order online through Made In Greenwich (www.madeingreenwich.shop/ mig-food-packages), order by midnight on Tuesday for Friday delivery (and quote MIGBUNDLES at checkout for free delivery within Greenwich and Lewisham).

Saturday 27th June saw the reopening of Royal Arsenal Farmers’ Market with strict measures in place to protect both traders and customers. Despite the typical English summertime weather, the day was a roaring success with many of the traders quickly selling out. Christina Reynolds, Market Manager says: “we are so delighted that we were able to reopen, everyone had huge grins on their faces

for the entire time and we can’t wait to welcome people back at the next market on 11th July.”

The Royal Arsenal Farmers’ Market is open every second and last Saturday of the month on Royal Artillery Square, SE18 6ST from 10am until 3pm. For more information please email christina@gcda.org.uk

RARE - Gourmet Sausage CREDIT CATE CASTLETON


Chamber News 5

Tony Pidgley, CBE 1947-2020

Tony Pidgley CBE, Berkeley Group’s founder and Chairman, sadly died on June 26, 2020.

T

ony left school at 15 to form his own company in haulage and plant hire. At 19, he sold his business to Crest Homes and became a Building Director, before leaving to form Berkeley in 1976. Under his leadership the business grew to become a FTSE 100 company that builds thousands of homes each year. At Berkeley, Tony led some of the country’s most challenging and celebrated regeneration programmes, including the reinvention of the Royal Arsenal munitions site in Woolwich, and the revival of Hackney’s Woodberry Down estate. He was passionate about placemaking and working in partnership with local people to create welcoming communities where people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy a great quality of life.

Tony advised successive Governments on regeneration, placemaking, housing and developing public land. He was a member of Lord Heseltine’s Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel, the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission and the Mayor’s Outer London Commission. He was the longest serving President in the history of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was awarded a CBE in 2013 for “services to the housing sector and the community”.

20 years. He started by building one house and his vision grew Berkeley into a FTSE 100 company. He knew he would never retire so he ensured that his culture was embedded in the Company for when this sad day came.

Berkeley Group Chief Executive Rob Perrins said: “It is with the greatest sadness that we confirm the sudden death of Tony Pidgley. On behalf of everyone at Berkeley, I have extended our deepest sympathies to his wife Sarah and the children.

Glyn Barker, Berkeley Group Interim Chairman, said: “It has been an immense privilege to work with Tony. Tony created a unique company with a strong management team that has been led by Rob Perrins since 2009. Under Rob’s leadership, Tony’s values of ambition and quality will ensure the business continues to flourish.”

“Tony was a brilliant man who I have been fortunate to work closely with for

“Berkeley and I owe Tony a huge debt. With my team I will ensure this debt is honoured by continuing to position Berkeley as the leading placemaker and ensuring it continues to be a company of which he would be proud.”

An interview with Tony from 2018 can be read here https://issuu.com/benham/docs/1601_-_the_masthead_

July 2020


6

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Economy 7

Summaries of the new Border Operating Model - 16 July 2020

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£100bn boost for the UK economy The Bank of England will pump an extra £100bn into the UK economy to help fight the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

B

ank policymakers voted 8-1 to increase the size of its bond-buying programme. The extra monetary stimulus – known as quantitative easing (QE) – will raise the total size of the Bank’s asset purchase programme to £745bn. The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) also voted to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.1%. Policymakers said the jobs market was likely to remain weak for some time, with a risk of higher and more persistent unemployment. Millions of workers have already seen their pay packets shrink as a result of lower pay for furloughed staff. Commenting on the decision by the Bank of England’s MPC to keep interest rates on hold and expand quantitative easing, Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “The Bank of England’s decision to significantly expand quantitative easing reflects the unprecedented impact of coronavirus on the UK economy. It is vital that the bank works

with financial institutions to ensure that it translates into on-the-ground support for businesses. “With economic conditions likely to remain challenging in the near term, further easing remains likely. However, with interest rates already at an historical low, extra loosening of monetary policy is unlikely to provide a significant boost to the economy. The central bank has rightly decided against moving interest rates into the negative, which risks doing more harm than good. “The focus instead should be on delivering a fiscal environment that limits economic scarring and helps kick-start a recovery. This should include taking steps to close the remaining gaps in government support, including giving businesses with direct incentives to invest and hire, and stimulating consumer demand through a temporary but significant cut in VAT.” While some businesses have started trading again, others are continuing to take advantage of the government’s furlough scheme to retain staff on their books.

However, a new survey has revealed that some businesses are asking furloughed employees to work, despite this being in direct contravention of the job retention scheme’s rules. A poll of 2,000 furloughed workers across the UK found that 34% had been asked by their employer to commit furlough fraud by carrying out their normal duties despite their employers claiming from the job retention scheme. A further 18% said they had been asked to work for another company linked to their employer, and a similar number (19%) were asked to cover someone else’s job within their organisation. The research by Crossland Employment Solicitors also found that 29% of furloughed workers were asked to undertake more administrative tasks while on the scheme. Under the rules of the scheme, staff who have been furloughed cannot be asked by their employer to continue to work either for them or a company linked to them. The scheme has been extended until October to help firms hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

he Government has provided two summary documents which outline what businesses will need to prepare for. There is one for exports (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/ government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/901063/How_to_ export_goods_from_GB_into_the_EU_ from_January_2021.pdf) and one for imports (https://assets.publishing.service. gov.uk/government/uploads/system/ uploads/attachment_data/file/901061/ How_to_import_goods_from_the_EU_ into_GB_from_January_2021.pdf)

The Export and International Trade’s summary, flags up the key takeaways from the document. (https://www.export. org.uk/news/516880/Governments-posttransition-border-plan-published-today-13July-10-things-traders-need-to-know-.htm) Customs declarations are currently required by HMRC to be completed for all, or the majority of, UK imports and exports, except where the EU single market is concerned.

When the EU exit is completed, it is estimated that the number of annual declarations will rise from the current 55 or 60 million to 260-300 million. This number is irrespective of whether or not there is an EU trade deal (unless the trade deal is an extraordinary one). Companies most affected will be those who when they trade outside the UK only hitherto trade in the EU Single Market. Currently it is believed that the vast majority of those customs declarations (CD) are completed on behalf of traders by intermediaries such as customs brokers and freight forwarders. There is concern that the market will not be able to cope and there has been a suggestion that the government have raised those concerns with BCC which helped prompt them to investigate a role for CCIs. British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has been working on a scheme – ChamberCustoms – which is based on a company backed by i2i/SGS which has developed software and trained staff to gear them to assist UK importers and exporters to complete CD. We will be participating in the scheme and are working on a business plan on how we will roll it out.

July 2020


Welcome back to the high street! Royal Greenwich is open for business with measures in place to keep you safe while you shop. Look out for signs outside and inside shops and follow the instructions.


Focus on Greenwich

Reopening our high streets Monday 15 June was a big day for the retail sector. After eleven weeks of being unable to open their doors, many high street shops were back in business.

H

ere in Royal Greenwich we’ve been working hard to help businesses reopen safely. We’ve produced ‘Shop safe’ collateral packs containing things like floor graphics, posters, queueing tape and window clings to reassure shoppers that it’s safe to return to our high streets. The packs were given out at business advice surgeries held in our seven town centres the week of 8 June, and over 600 have been distributed since then. Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills visited town centres in the borough to build confidence and demonstrate to shoppers the new measures that are in place to keep them safe. Cllr Scott-McDonald said: “To see our high streets slowly coming back to life after such a long and worrisome time is inspiring. Our local retail economy has had a tough time – and for many the struggle still isn’t

over. I spoke to shop keepers and employees on my visits who were both excited and nervous about reopening because of the uncertain economy they’re coming back to. But I am encouraged to see the great effort made by all of them to make sure shopping in the ‘new normal’ will be a safe experience. Business owners are eager to welcome customers back and I would encourage residents now more than ever to support their local shops. As a borough we have done a lot to support the reopening of our non-essential retail businesses with the money allocated to us from the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, but we’ve got a long way to go still. The Business Discretionary Grand Fund scheme doesn’t go far enough, and we’ll be lobbying the government for more support.”

Beresford Square Market and our bid for the Future High Streets Fund

It wasn’t just our town centres that resumed business this month; on 8 June 18 market traders returned to Beresford Square Market to join the eight fresh produce and food sellers who remained open during the lockdown. Supported by our Street Trading team, traders can operate as long as they meet the NHS health guidelines and government COVID-19 secure guidelines, to protect both visitors and workers.

Markets in Woolwich are hoping for a further boost with the council’s bid for the Future High Streets Fund. The £675 million central government initiative aims to rejuvenate the UK’s high streets and, although it was launched before the COVID-19 crisis, is arguably now more important than ever. Royal Greenwich is one of 101 boroughs shortlisted to submit a bit and the council has put Woolwich forward to benefit from the fund, should we be successful. The aims of the bid are to make Woolwich an inviting place for people to locate their businesses, employing people and creating economic opportunity. The bid seeks to do this by investing in buying key buildings and developing new workspace with first class digital infrastructure. A repurposed market and trading area also form part of our proposals. You can read more about the bid, and tell us what you think about it on our website at: www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/ future-high-streets-fund

Streetspace transformation

The Mayor of London’s Streetspace plan aims to transform London’s streets to accommodate a potential ten-fold increase in cycling, and five-fold increase in walking as lockdown restrictions are eased. We’ve already taken steps to transform the streets of Royal Greenwich and we’ve got plans to do more. Our plans depend on funding allocations from Transport for London (TfL), and include: • widening footpaths in Greenwich, Eltham and Woolwich town centres to create space for social distancing

• strategic cycle routes to help the majority of our residents who don’t own a car to travel while avoiding public transport • school streets to support social distancing at the school gate • filtering more residential streets to reduce through traffic while maintaining access for cyclists, pedestrians and emergency vehicles, therefore creating low traffic routes and neighbourhoods We need to avoid a carled recovery and support the significant uptake in cycling and walking. This will not only help tackle the current health emergency, but will encourage active travel, bringing public health benefits, improvements to air quality and carbon emissions in the longer term.

As a borough we have done a lot to support the reopening of our non-essential retail businesses with the money allocated to us from the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, but we’ve got a long way to go still. The Business Discretionary Grand Fund scheme doesn’t go far enough, and we’ll be lobbying the government for more support.” July 2020

9


10 Focus on Lewisham

Restart-Recover-Renew The pandemic has been unprecedented in its scale and has touched all our lives. As businesses begin to trade once more we are all glad to see the economy start to pick up.

R

eopening has been a daunting prospect for businesses that have been forced to close for weeks and who now feel are stepping into an uncertain future. Lewisham is a borough with a high proportion of small, locally owned, independent businesses. We know that with over 11,000 local businesses, 91% of which are micro business with fewer than 10 employees many will be reliant on financial support to offer stability. To do this Lewisham Council has launched the Lewisham Backs Business Taskforce to oversee efforts to support the economic recovery. Over the past 10 weeks, the council has distributed over £38 million in emergency grants to small businesses that have been hit hard by the crisis. We have taken calls

July 2020

from hundreds of businesses and gathered insights via a business survey to build a picture of where the need is across Lewisham. Lewisham Council has also taken action to help residents, distributing £2.5m in emergency funding to support people through the crisis. Earlier this month, Lewisham Council announced a new £2 million fund to provide further support to local

charities and small businesses hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic, and to protect jobs and livelihoods. Working closely with the local business community to develop the scheme, the fund will help organisations which have experienced a significant decrease in income as a result of the pandemic, and which have fallen through the cracks of other government support measures.

“Over the past 10 weeks, the council has distributed over £38 million in emergency grants to small businesses that have been hit hard by the crisis. We have taken calls from hundreds of businesses and gathered insights via a business survey to build a picture of where the need is across Lewisham.”

Businesses in shared offices and flexible workspaces, businesses in the creative and cultural sector and the night time economy, and businesses that are crucial for local growth and regeneration have been prioritised. Supporting small businesses that are vital pillars in the local community to survive and thrive is crucial. We know from our own research that 41% businesses have reported they have furloughed staff and 43% said they expected there to be a decrease in turnover over the coming months. Cash flow, reduced footfall and supply chain and delivery disruption are amongst the biggest issues businesses are facing right now which is why, as we see government lockdown restrictions being lifted we will continue to do all we can to get our local economy back on its feet again.


Your Bromley 11

Bromley town centre, safer than ever to work and visit at various pinch points to make Bromley town centre a safer place to work in and visit. A warm welcome awaits customers to the town centre’s many retail and hospitality, hairdressers and cafes which are gradually reopening with increased safety measures. The return of gyms, beauty salons, The Pavilion Leisure

Y

our Bromley Business Improvement District (BID), the business partnership for Bromley town centre, has spent recent months lobbying for financial support for businesses, sharing information about business support including claiming grants, and providing guidance and resources to enable Bromley businesses to keep customers safe. Working alongside Bromley Council and other business leaders in a Business Task Force, temporary pavement widening has taken place

Centre and Churchill Theatre are eagerly awaited. Measures in place make Bromley town centre a particularly safe and welcoming place to work/visit in safety. Frances Forrest, BID Manager of Your Bromley, said “What lies ahead for town centres is likely to be less retail, more residential

“A warm welcome awaits customers to the town centre’s many retail and hospitality, hairdressers and cafes which are gradually reopening with increased safety measures.”

accommodation and community hubs in the town centre, and possibly more short term and shared workspace. It’s hard to predict in these unprecedented times. Challenging times are ahead for many businesses but Bromley town centre will bounce back with a safe retail, leisure and cultural offer to draw customers in. Bromley remains an excellent place to live, work and visit, with fantastic train routes. Bromley town centre is open for business.” Please keep in touch with Your Bromley by subscribing to regular e.shots via yourbromley.com. Follow Your Bromley on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram @Your Bromley

July 2020


12 Focus on Bromley

Bromley Council is undertaking public consultation on new planning guidance for Bromley and Orpington Town Centres July 2020


Focus on Bromley

13

Bromley Council is producing new Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) for Bromley and Orpington town centres and has begun a 12 week public consultation process to shape this guidance.

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n recent years, the general role of town centres has been shifting from largely retail-focused areas to more mixeduse retail, cultural and leisure areas, with a focus on creating functional and enjoyable civic spaces. This includes the introduction of residential uses into town centres and prioritising pedestrian use through improved sustainable transport links and public realm improvements. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we live and work, potentially in the longer term. These changes threaten to have significant impacts on the vitality and viability of town centres, hence the Council wants to utilise its planning function to plan ahead, and put in place guidance which will help the Borough evolve sustainably. Bromley and Orpington town centres are significant within the borough, as the largest and second largest town centres

respectively. Bromley town centre is the borough’s most prominent retail, culture, leisure and employment area and Orpington town centre, lying to the Southern end of the Cray Valley, is a major influence over a large part of the borough. It is therefore important that this new guidance enhances the vibrancy and character of the town centres and enables them to adapt and thrive in years to come. The consultation is seeking views from a broad range of individuals and organisations, representative of the community, on how the Council should guide the development of the town centres in line with the policies set out in the Bromley Local Plan. Consultation facilitated by the Council is taking place alongside a separate public engagement in Orpington by the developer Areli, which focuses on their plans for the Walnuts shopping centre. It should be noted that the Council is undertaking consultation on Orpington town centre to ensure a holistic and cohesive approach to transformation within and potentially beyond the town centre, which is distinct from the site-specific consultation being undertaken by Areli. Public consultation will be hosted on the online platform Commonplace, which allows users to pin their views of a particular location onto an interactive heatmap. This enables members of the public to comment on very specific areas of their local town centre. Users can give

their opinion on how this area makes them feel, why they feel this way and what could be done to improve the location that they have highlighted. This will allow the Council to collect detailed comments on issues that matter to the community. This method of consultation has been chosen as it is hoped it will reach a broad audience and encourage active participation in the planning process from a number of new people and groups. In addition to respondents pinning their views onto the interactive map, the Council is seeking further comments on a range of specific issues. These include but are not limited to retail, culture and leisure, public realm and transport, environmental issues, heritage and conservation and the recovery post COVID-19. The public will be able to give their views on how they would like their local town centres to develop in these areas and thereby shape the future of their communities.

“The consultation is seeking views from a broad range of individuals and organisations, representative of the community, on how the Council should guide the development of the town centres in line with the policies set out in the Bromley Local Plan.� To have your say on the content of the planning guidance for Bromley and Orpington town centres, visit https://bromleytowncentre.commonplace.is/ and

https://orpingtontowncentre.commonplace.is/ The consultation will run until October 2020.

The Council will consider the comments received and use these to inform preparation of draft SPDs. Consultation on the draft SPDs will likely be undertaken in early 2021.

July 2020


14 Focus on Bexley

One to One Business Information Sessions The One to One business information advice service offered by Bexley Libraries is available remotely via Skype to support start-ups.

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f you are you thinking of starting a new business or have an early stage business that you want to grow, one to one business information sessions can help you; • Identify business information needs and discover what support is available. • Create an action plan to help you progress in your goal of starting your business. • Receive help in researching your business idea. The sessions are part of the Startups in London Libraries programme and must be booked in advance. To find out more please visit https://arena.yourlondonlibrary. net/web/bexley/business-support

Bexley’s Business Newsletter

If you are a start-up or local business in Bexley sign up to receive our weekly Bexley for Business email newsletter and receive the latest information, support and guidance.

You can sign up at https://www.bexley.gov.uk/stayinformed-about-subjects-youchoose

July 2020

Creativity in the heart of Bexley Creativity, design, start-ups and new technology can all be found at The Engine House in Bexley. Following a significant refresh in 2020, The Engine House is a hub for start-ups, entrepreneurs and thriving businesses, with a range of flexible spaces and options to use them.

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s we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear that the real estate requirements of many businesses will have changed forever. Organisations whose workforces have adapted well to homeworking may now be seeking more flexible, cost effective solutions, such as that offered by The Engine House. The building, which is located within easy distance of Abbey Wood and Belvedere stations and a good road network, has had a complete overhaul and has over 120,000 square feet of flexible studio and office facilities. It has more than 50 modern studios, hot desks and fixed desk spaces as well as event space. It houses some of the latest technology for video conferencing and meeting rooms. Its in-house business development team offer services such as rapid

prototyping, AutoCAD courses, e-commerce support and training in social media marketing. There is also an on site café. It offers start-ups, entrepreneurs and small to medium enterprises flexible and modern workspace. The aim is to provide not just a desk, but the space, facilities and a network to develop and grow businesses. Over the last year, the creative team have been working closely with local companies on some exciting new projects and have led the way in developing new ways of manufacturing. These include converting 2D drawings of train components into reliable, costeffective 3D printed parts and laser cutting materials for the fashion industry. During the pandemic, The Engine House team,

used in-house technology such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and CAD design to produce a range of vital PPE visors and face masks. The team have adapted facilities so that they are COVID secure and are now working on ways to offer more online services for AutoCAD training and virtual viewings.

To find out more about The Engine House Bexley go to www.enginehousebexley.co.uk or call 020 8320 1000

‘Over the last year, the creative team have been working closely with local companies on some exciting new projects and have led the way in developing new ways of manufacturing.’


Sidcup Partners 15

British BID Accreditation We are delighted to share with you that we have been awarded British BID Accreditation!

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ommenting on their recent accreditation, Chief Executive of British BIDs Chris Turner said “Sidcup Partners have adopted some very good policies and procedures often evident in larger BIDs in their second terms. They should be congratulated on their achievements in such a short space of time and their commitment and energy to liaising with levy payers who have the opportunity to play an active part in the BID”.

Cheryl Curr, BID Manager for Sidcup Partners

“We signed up to Accreditation to give businesses confidence that our BID is credible, has clear and robust management processes in place and as a company, we are open and transparent. The process was very rigorous and has made us think very carefully about every aspect of our work. It was really worthwhile and we are delighted to have achieved the award and to be recognised accordingly”.

Update from The Sidcup BID Chairman

It is with very mixed feelings I write this piece.

The year started in the typical way preparing to deliver our business plan however as we have heard so many times over the last months our financial year ended in unprecedented times.

We have all struggled to come to terms with Lockdown, not seeing friends and family but I like to believe every cloud has a silver lining and in some ways Covid–19 has bought the community closer together and we have seen lots of acts of kindness and we have all shown open appreciation for many of our essential service workers on a Thursday evening applauding those in the front line. One of the important lessons I think we have learned is how important our high streets are.

Many shops and businesses have had to remain closed, however we don’t want this to become the new normal and very much hope the local community will support the high street when they are fully able to and continue to shop locally. The ethos of Sidcup Partners is to do just that. At every opportunity we endeavour to support our community and to use local suppliers in the knowledge that this helps to sustain a viable local economy. There is no doubt that some businesses will not survive and vacant units will appear but Sidcup Partners will be looking to fill these creatively and find new uses for them. Sidcup Partners are looking to find innovative ways to support businesses and we feel we will come out of Covid -19 stronger than before. Susan Petty Chairman Sidcup Partners Ltd

July 2020


16 Strategic Members News

Helen McIntosh

Paul Scully MP

Strategic Partners Private Business Discussion with Paul Scully MP, Minister for London - June 2020 July 2020

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he Chamber seized an opportunity to introduce the Strategic Partners to the Minister for London, Paul Scully MP in June. The small private discussion took place via Zoom and the event was Sponsored and Distributed by Chamber member, Think Events. The Minister was pleased to answer questions under Chatham House Rules and the Chamber has been invited to keep him informed on matters taking place in our part of London. He has agreed to come and have a look at the area in the autumn.


Strategic Members News 17

Peabody is here to support businesses 100 days have now passed since the UK entered lockdown and the Peabody Economic Inclusion team has continued to provide information, advice, guidance and support to our business community.

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he team have been working remotely and communicating via a variety of online mediums to support each other, our communities and our network of businesses. Helping businesses to decimate a wealth of information being provided by the government in a rapidly changing and unknown environment, we have continued to work closely with our strategic partners and stakeholders to ensure that everyone is able to access the most relevant information to help their business survive. Within a week of lockdown we had converted our monthly Thamesmead Business Forum into an online forum and welcomed over thirty attendees whilst being supported by strategic partners at the South East London Chamber of Commerce, the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the London Borough of Bexley and the Federation of

Small Businesses, who were all on hand to answer a catalogue of questions from local business owners. Peabody have been working with our partner Mercato Metropolitano (MM) (www.mercatometropolitano.com), London’s first sustainable food market and were set to launch a Food Business Incubation Programme in April 2020 called DreaMM. Applicants would have an opportunity to pitch their idea or food business with a chance of winning a place in their indoor market based at one of MM’s London locations, a £4,000 prize to help them with start-up costs, food business training delivered by MM’s Executive Chef and a tailored business support package by an expert Business Advisor. Due to social distancing and closure of food and hospitality businesses, the project looked unlikely to take

place, but after reviewing alternatives and wanting to provide entrepreneurs with some hope, the project was launched in May 2020.

We know the Coronavirus crisis has created the most challenging environment ever for a number of businesses and at Peabody we want to do everything we can to help. If you are a Thamesmead or South-East London Business keep in regular contact with the team and up to date with the information from government, local authorities and the wider business community about the assistance available and where needed we will be available to assist you. We can support established and new businesses to secure finance, space and provide guidance which includes the monthly Thamesmead Business Forum and even supporting businesses to enter awards boosting their profile and reach.

For more information please contact madeinthamesmead@peabody.org.uk to arrange an appointment with one of the team.

Please also check the enterprise section of the Thamesmead Portal for updates www.thamesmeadnow.org.uk/portal/enterprise/

Adult Learning Lewisham

DAY, EVENING AND WEEKEND COURSES

30 YEARS 1990 | 91 2020 | 21

We will be reopening our centres in September. Enrol online now for courses running in the autumn term. Our full spring and summer 2021 programme will be available for enrolment at a later date. To keep you safe we have reduced class sizes and we will be offering a range of online courses. All photos are of our classes

Find out more at:

www.lewisham.gov.uk/adultlearning or call us on 020 8314 3300 Adult Learning Lewisham

ALL

TOGETHER WE FLOURISH

July 2020


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U+I 19

Morden Wharf: A new berth for Greenwich Peninsula A new Thames-side community creating 1,500 much-needed new homes, hundreds of new jobs and a new park - open to all of London

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egeneration specialist U+I is working with world-class architects, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), to create Morden Wharf - a thriving new community on Greenwich Peninsula that will preserve and enhance the site’s rich industrial and maritime heritage while delivering much-needed housing for Londoners and a brand new four-acre riverfront park. Our plans for Morden Wharf draw heavily on Greenwich Peninsula’s manufacturing past. Generations of industry have left their mark on the area; from soap and candle works, to the production of submarine cables and glucose. Although much of this has gone, nostalgic traces of the area’s past can be found across the site in the form of artefacts and other industrial structures — all of which have inspired our proposals. Designed by acclaimed Dutch architecture firm OMA, Morden Wharf will comprise 12 high-quality residential buildings that will deliver around 1,500 news homes - of which 35% will be classed as affordable. The housing will be a mix of private sale, social rent and shared ownership, all of which will be ‘tenure blind’, meaning there will be no differentiation between affordable and private sale homes in appearance or access to open space. A number of the residential buildings will also feature vertical green façades to provide natural screening and improve air quality. At the heart of our plans is a four-acre riverfront park that will offer breath-taking views of the Maritime Greenwich and Canary Wharf. This valuable new public space will be open for all Londoners to enjoy and, since our first public consultation. Including the public park, the scheme will deliver roughly three-and-a-half football pitches of new public realm and landscaping, which will help to address an existing deficit of open space in the area. Importantly, we will also provide

“Our plans for Morden Wharf will create around 1,100 new permanent jobs, encompassing commercial, retail and community-use as well as smaller, flexible spaces for SMEs and creative businesses.” a play and recreation area designed for all age groups. The public realm and park will stretch along more than 275m of the River Thames, leading directly off the Thames Path, which will be upgraded and widened to around 6m – 3m for pedestrians and 3m for cyclists. Like much of the peninsula, Morden Wharf was once marshland, so we have designed the park to serve as a more natural, ecologically diverse resource for the area. We are committed to ensuring that Morden Wharf prioritises walking and cycling and, as such, we will encourage more environmentally-friendly forms of transportation. To celebrate the site’s industrial heritage, we will preserve and extend the industrial uses already on the site, part of which sit within a designated Strategic Industrial Location (SIL). The redbrick warehouse that dates back to the 1950s will be retained and

refurbished, and a series of new ‘maker spaces’ and industrial units introduced. All of these will allow local businesses and makers to express their creativity, build new ideas and entrench Morden Wharf as a landmark destination in London. Key to creating a mixed, exciting new community will be the delivery of a variety of commercial and employment uses that will bring the area to life. Since the Morden Wharf site came into U+I’s ownership in 2012, we have helped nurture creative talent that has slowly started to take hold within the former sweetener refinery. Inside, giant sculpture creator MDM Props – the team behind the Warhorse horse and the famous Suffragette statue on Parliament Square – have let their creativity flourish. Our plans for Morden Wharf will create around 1,100 new permanent jobs, encompassing commercial, retail and community-

use as well as smaller, flexible spaces for SMEs and creative businesses. Furthermore, more than 2,400 construction jobs will be created over the course the scheme’s development. Morden Wharf will return a sense of community to the site after decades of erosion. Before the Second World War, the site was home to a close-knit community – centred around The Sea Witch Pub, which was sadly bombed during WWII. Our plans to include a new pub will celebrate this legacy and bring back a sense of community spirit. Other community-focused elements of the scheme include a new public square that will host seasonal events and markets, a boulevard through the site connecting the road to the river, a children’s nursery and other accessible facilities. Our plans also include a new permanent boat house on an existing jetty, designed by architects Carmody Groarke. The boathouse could provide a permanent home for the Gloriana, the Monarch’s Royal Rowbarge, which was expertly crafted to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Morden Wharf is located in the South Western corner of the Greenwich Peninsula around 15 minutes walking distance from North Greenwich Station on the Jubilee Line. Upon completion of the Silvertown Tunnel, Tunnel Avenue, which runs along the Eastern edge of the site, will become two-way and could allow for a new bus service that runs between Morden Wharf and North Greenwich Station – further improving the connectivity of this bustling part of the capital. Our proposals for Morden Wharf will transform this corner of Greenwich Peninsula – delivering real benefit to Londoners through sustainable, community-led and inventive regeneration. We can’t wait to get started.

July 2020


20 Digital Poverty

The digital DIVIDE Dr Sam Parrett OBE, principal of London South East Colleges

As the technological revolution gathers pace, it’s often taken for granted that people use a smart phone or have access to the internet. However, there’s a significant portion of the UK population that remains in digital poverty.

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ccording to the latest government statistics, there are still 5.3 million adults in the UK, or 10% of the adult UK population, who don’t use the internet. Millions more rely on pay-as-you-go services to make phone calls or access education or healthcare services online. The coronavirus pandemic has accentuated the digital divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots”. While those with internet access have been able to work from home and communicate with colleagues, friends and loved ones in the lockdown, those without have been left isolated. This has had a marked effect on the education of young people. Challenging the government on the devastating impact of lengthy school closures on poorer pupils, Robert Halfon, chairman of the education select committee, said that around 700,000 disadvantaged children were not doing homework and did not have proper access to computers or the internet – essential tools for online learning. It’s a problem that is particularly acute in South East London. Of the 8,000 students that attend London South East Colleges (LSEC), 36% don’t have easy access to online learning provision, such as a PC/ laptop and reliable internet connectivity. According to the research carried out by LSEC, while some students could use a shared PC/laptop within their household, 11% had zero access to such a device. In addition, some students did not have other critical facilities they needed to work effectively, such as good broadband connectivity.

July 2020

In the current climate in which the coronavirus is forcing more people to work and study online, this means that around 800 LSEC students are struggling to learn the skills they need to either further their education, progress their career or get a job. Dr Sam Parrett OBE, principal of LSEC, says: “Lockdown has exacerbated the gap between those who can operate online and those who can’t. This affects many aspects of life, not just studying – paying bills or shopping online, for example. “It also has major implications for someone’s employability, earnings potential and social mobility. In this day and age,

people shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on the table or having broadband so they can apply for a job online.” LSEC has reduced the problem for some disadvantaged students, procuring 425 laptops for those who do not currently have one. However, the lack of a PC/ laptop is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tackling barriers to digital mobility. Sam says: “There are three main problems: the availability and affordability of devices, the availability and affordability of connectivity, and the prevalent lack of digital skills, especially among older people. A lot of older people don’t have the confidence

“There are three main problems: the availability and affordability of devices, the availability and affordability of connectivity, and the prevalent lack of digital skills, especially among older people.”

to go online to acquire digital skills even if they have the means to do so. Younger people, in contrast, go on You Tube to learn how to do coding or digital marketing.” While colleges can do their bit to tackle the digital divide, Sam believes it will take a coordinated approach at policy level to start significantly narrowing that gap. “It needs a shock tactic from government to highlight this incredibly important issue, to find ways of increasing digital access and skills for all parts of society,” she says. “Failure to do so will damage the competitiveness of local businesses and prevent social mobility. “Businesses also need to consider how they can help tackle the issue. Many employers post job vacancies on Indeed or LinkedIn but they may be missing out on suitable candidates who can’t get online. Perhaps they could also partner with Jobcentre Plus to host more job fairs, for example, or encourage staff to refer potential candidates from their local community? “Everyone has to adapt to the inevitable move towards digital and online learning: education providers, government, students, employers and workers. It’s essential that people don’t get left behind on this journey. “Digital is fast becoming the third basic essential skill along with literacy and numeracy. Virtually all jobs now require some level of digital capability, even in sectors such as engineering and manufacturing. It’s therefore essential that we all try to close this digital gap for the good of society and the economy.”


Education & Skills 21

College recognised as a ‘Great Inspiration’ for Coronavirus response London South East Colleges has received national recognition for its response to the Coronavirus pandemic by being named as one of the faces of the UK government’s ‘GREAT Inspirations’ campaign launched today (Wednesday 1 July 2020).

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s businesses across the UK reopen and adjust to operating under social distancing guidance, the ‘GREAT Inspirations’ campaign celebrates those who have gone above and beyond for their communities by innovatively adapting to a new way of working. The College is one of the ‘local heroes’ chosen for the work it did to launch FE Foodbank Friday – a virtual giving programme to raise money for local foodbanks. Over 30 colleges nationwide signed up and over £40,000 has been raised collectively so far. This is being donated by the individual colleges to foodbank programmes around the country. Dr Sam Parrett OBE, CEO and Principal of London South East Colleges, says: “As a communityfocused organisation, we have a responsibility to support people in

need. The Covid-19 pandemic has bought with it many challenges and we wanted to do our best to create some good out of the crisis. “We were delighted that so many other colleges joined our FE Foodbank Friday initiative. We intend to continue our fundraising and will be collecting food items on our sites, once we have all returned to college in September. “We are hugely proud of the way our staff and students have come together to support FE Foodbank Friday and it is wonderful to have these efforts recognised by the GREAT Inspirations campaign.” Over 80 companies from a wide range of industries across the UK have been selected for the campaign, representing just a small proportion of the businesses that have adapted and delivered for their customers over the past few months.

Dan Ramsay, Director of the GREAT Campaign, said: “The UK is an incredibly innovative nation and the businesses selected for the GREAT Inspirations epitomise this. In an incredibly difficult period they have adapted and found new markets, new customers and new ways of operating as well as helping their communities and keeping them safe.”

‘GREAT Inspirations’ has been delivered by the GREAT Britain campaign, the UK Government’s international marketing campaign, showcasing the best of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, encouraging the world to visit, study and do business with the UK.

The GREAT Inspirations can be viewed in full at https://www.greatbritaincampaign.com/inspirations

“We were delighted that so many other colleges joined our FE Foodbank Friday initiative. We intend to continue our fundraising and will be collecting food items on our sites, once we |have all returned to college in September.” July 2020


Warwick Business School offers a range of postgraduate and executive level courses suited to London professionals. ■

Warwick Executive Diplomas

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Legal 23

Protection for Commercial Tenants Extended until 30th September On the 19th June 2020 the Government announced that the protection from forfeiture for non-payment of rent granted to business tenants under the Coronavirus Act 2020 will be extended until the end of September. The measure which was introduced on the 26th March 2020 was due to expire on the 30th June 2020.

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emporary changes to the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery procedure will equally be extended until the 30th September and landlords will be prevented from utilising this process unless at least 189 days of rent is in arrears. The moratorium on the statutory demand/winding-up route is also expected to be extended until the 30th September per the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill (CIGB) which is currently being progressed.

Although the CIGB is still making its way through Parliament, the moratorium is in effect already being implemented by the courts in advance of the bill becoming law given that the Bill is expected to be passed shortly. This approach was confirmed in the recent High Court case of Re: A Company (Injunction to Restrain Presentation of Petition) [2020] EWHC 1406 (Ch). The Government has also now published a voluntary Code of Practice for commercial landlords and tenants which encourages transparency and

collaboration as both parties deal with the financial pressures created by tenants being forced to close doors during lockdown. The code encourages tenants to pay in full where they can but also recognises that landlords should provide support to those tenants unable to do so. Omari Elcock Solicitor – Commercial Property omari.elcock@cwj.co.uk 01689 887875

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-practice-for-the-commercial-property-sector

Helping you to find a way forward Our team are able to assist you with: • commercial disputes • insolvency advice • landlord and tenant legislation • workforce restructuring and the Job Retention Scheme.

www.cwj.co.uk

Call us now on 01689 887887 July 2020


24 Ask the Expert

Why Mental Health Matters By Bronwyn Rich BSc, THIS WAY UP WELLBEING

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he statistics don’t make for good reading. Sixty-one per cent of UK employees have experienced a mental health issue due to work or where work was a contributing factor. This accounted for 57% of working days lost in the UK in 2017-18. In addition, more than 15.8 million days of sickness absenteeism are caused by mental health issues including stress and anxiety in the UK. The cost to companies is a staggering £34.9 billion each year, with a further £3.1 billion spent on replacing staff due to mental health issues.

It’s therefore in employers’ best interests to ensure that their employees are happy and healthy in mind and body. We help employers tackle these vital issues by training and helping managers and key employees to make the workplace a safer place. Sometimes a few simple measures are all it takes; a healthy staff walk, for example. We also run laughter yoga workshops, which are a great stress-buster.

How can company owner-managers create a workplace environment where positive health and wellbeing can flourish in the workplace? But employers need to know how to deal with more serious problems, such as when a member of staff feels suicidal. Suicide is the leading cause of death in men under 50 in the UK. That’s why we’ve launched our new Suicide First Aid Through Understanding Suicide Intervention course, to give employers the skills and knowledge to identify someone who may be thinking about suicide and to take practical measures to reduce the likelihood of this happening. While staff absenteeism leads to lost productivity for companies, presenteeism is also a big problem in the workplace. Many staff come to work even though they are suffering with poor mental health because they feel they’ll be letting their manager or team down if they take time off, or they’re worried about not getting paid. If they’re not in the right frame of mind, their productivity levels will inevitably drop. Companies should therefore take steps to mitigate this, but it seems as though

the message is not getting through. Although statistics show that more than 85% of managers feel that employee wellbeing is their responsibly, only 30% have taken part in mental health training and 30% report no workplace facilities or services that could help with mental health and wellbeing. Only 16% of employees feel able to disclose a mental health issue to a manager. It’s time to raise awareness of workplace wellbeing for if it is not addressed it could have devastating consequences – for employees and companies.

For more information visit www.this-way-up-well-being.co.uk Bronwyn Rich is a director of This Way Up Wellbeing, which aims to promote positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. An accredited trainer from Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), Bronwyn and her team have delivered training to personnel at many prestigious companies and organisations, schools, colleges and the armed forces.

Trainings are now available online to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic via Teams and Zoom

July 2020


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26 Big Interview

Breaking down barriers to success July 2020


Big Interview 27

Carol Massay has spent much of her 30-year career changing perceptions. As a woman working in a traditionally male-dominated construction industry, she has had to fight harder than her male counterparts to be recognised and respected.

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ut recognised and respected she is, having worked her way up the career ladder and transformed a construction software specialist into a thriving, awardwinning company. Since Carol took over the reins at Borehamwood-based EasyBuild UK, the company has doubled staff numbers, increased revenues and become a much slicker, more efficient operation. New systems have been put in place, marketing campaigns have attracted new customers, and people with the right skills have been recruited into key positions. This year, seven new customers came on board before the coronavirus hit UK shores, and although there was an understandable lull in business during March and April, activity has picked up once again. The plan now is to grow the company’s presence across London and the South East, as well as further field in the North of England and Scotland. It’s an ambitious target in what undoubtedly will be a volatile post-COVID, post-Brexit trading environment, but taking on tough challenges seems to be in Carol’s DNA. She says: “As a woman, I enjoyed the challenge of trying to make my way in the construction industry. I’ve always just concentrated on the job in hand, rather than other people’s opinions on me or on how things should be done. Even when I took on the job at EasyBuild, I read one or two comments on social media basically suggesting that I might fail. That made me more determined to succeed.” She has done just that. EasyBuild is now one of the most recognised providers of ERP (enterprise resource planning) software to the construction industry. The awardwinning software addresses all of the operational needs of a modern construction business, covering finance, commercial, project management and compliance. It is customisable with easy-to-use applications providing all trades within the industry – including main contractors, civil engineers, demolition, interior fit-out, roofing and cladding, joinery, rail and utilities – with the tools needed to manage projects in a timely and efficient manner. Carol says: “Previously, it was mainly the larger construction firms that had adopted the software, whereas smaller players tended to stick with tried and trusted methods. This is

now changing; more SMEs are realising the value that this type of software can bring to their business. It helps the industry to identify and manage risk on construction projects and track spend against the whole lifecycle of the project on a day-to-day basis.” These insights have been gleaned during a 30-year career in the industry, which started when Carol took a job as an office junior, collecting large tenders for construction firm Laing Management and copying and binding them ready for submission. She studied accountancy at night school and joined Barratt Homes in the company’s busy accounts department, managing cost on various projects. She then got the opportunity to work for an established Irish contractor as financial controller, managing project cost reporting, before joining Causeway Technologies where she helped several top 100 contractors implement financial and cost management software into their businesses. Carol enjoyed the nomadic experience of travelling around the country, building and nurturing client relationships, before she was promoted to head of services, responsible for customer support and professional services teams based in offices around the UK. In January 2011 she was promoted again, this time to the position of strategic relationship manager, a role which showcased her aptitude for understanding customers and unearthing opportunities to upsell to clients. “I was the most successful sales person in the business yet I didn’t have a sales background,” she recalls. After leaving Causeway in 2015, the opportunity to apply for the CEO position at EasyBuild arose and she took it with both hands. “I’d never been a CEO before but I understood construction software and the art of managing people,” she says. “I thought, why not give it a go?” Five years on, she’s glad she did. She’s keen to encourage other aspiring females into the industry and has set a goal of touring schools and colleges to talk to girls about the benefits of a career in construction. “If I can do it, they can,” she says with conviction. “It’s great to see companies offering opportunities to young women through apprenticeships and work placements. The industry would benefit from more diversity and I think that companies are starting to recognise this.”

THE INSIDE TRACK: Carol Massay Favourite food: Jamaican traditional fried chicken, rice and peas, coleslaw and avocado salad. I’m also partial to chicken caesar salad and ackee and saltfish with breadfruit. Favourite tipple: Gin and tonic and a good quality brand of champagne Favourite holiday? Definitely Jamaica, with Mexico and Cyprus not too far behind. Describe your family life? I’m married to Ray and have two children: a son, Courtney, 28, and daughter Cherrise, 23. I’m a hardworking grandma to two beautiful grandsons, Jessiah-Ocean and Reuben. How do you spend your downtime? Spending time with my grandsons and husband, going for bike rides and holidays, gardening and growing my own vegetables. What are your key strengths as a manager? Being able to build relationships with staff and customers, communicating and my desire to keep up-to-date with developments in the sector (e.g. by joining discussion groups). And your limitations? Sometimes I take on too much rather than delegating to others. Best thing about doing business in the borough? Meeting a wide range of business leaders, sharing their business experiences and seeing how we can help each other. Famous person you’d most like to spend dinner with? The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Harry and Megan). Most interesting fact about yourself? Although I’m from an ethnic origin and work in a male-dominated sector, I’ve never allowed this to distract me from what I want to achieve.

July 2020


28 Past Chamber Events

Making the right connections

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

Virtual Business Event in Association with

the Royal Borough of Greenwich March 2020

Speakers: Leader - Cllr Danny Thorpe & Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Economy & Skills – Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald

The Chamber wasted no time in getting to grips with new technology – Zoom and holding our events virtually for the first time as many of you will have done too. We wanted to ensure our Members still felt connected and that we had not forgotten you in the midst of all the uncertainty, that Covid-19 had sprung on us. We joined forces with local authority – The Royal Borough of Greenwich. Leader, Cllr Danny Thorpe & team were at hand

to deliver a reassuring message to local businesses as well as sign post our members to various tools for support including providing the latest information on business grants and funds available to struggling businesses. We were joined by over 60 participants who had the opportunity to submit questions prior to the event which were asked during the virtual meeting.

The first virtual meeting with RBG went so well another was organised very quickly. In April we invited a panel of experts to join the meeting so we could provide professional advice.

• Claire Pritchard - GCDA

• Mike Finlay - Greenwich Enterprise Board • RBG - Business Rates • RBG - Business Engagement • RBG - Regeneration and Commercial Property • RBG Community Safety • RBG - Skills and Employment • Business Support partners – East London Business Placer/ South East Enterprise/GCDA

The panel included:

• London Growth Hub/Start Up in London Libraries

• Ray Crudgington, Michael Pope Grant Saw Solicitors

There have been three events in total with RBG, the latest one was in June and again well attended.

• Raff Gallo, Handelsbanken

Bexley Virtual Breakfast Meeting May 2020 Speaker: Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE

Lewisham Virtual Breakfast Meeting May 2020 Speaker: Mayor Damien Egan In May we held our Lewisham Breakfast Meeting with Mayor – Damien Egan. Again, participants were invited to submit questions prior to the event. These questions were presented to the Mayor who gave insightful answers and updated us on what Lewisham is doing to support the local business community.

July 2020

Topic: Recovery & the New Normal It was lovely to have Cllr O’Neill as our guest speaker once again, it had been a while since we last heard from her. Cllr O’Neill gave us an update on how Bexley are managing the Covid-19 crisis.


Past Chamber Events 29

Business Continuity Planning

‘Building Resilience into Your Business’ Workshop Virtual Workshop May 2020

Thank you to Chamber Member Green Robin Solutions, who provided an online workshop with the very timely subject of building resilience into your business. The workshop was led by Director Rob Walker.

Greenwich Breakfast Meeting

with Clive Efford MP for Eltham July 2020 With over 50 attendees at our early morning Virtual Breakfast meeting, Clive Efford MP spoke to us about the mini budget which had taken place on Wednesday 8th July. We also had an update on food growing and distribution from GCDA’s Claire Pritchard who is also Chair of the London Food Board. Claire has agreed to be the guest speaker at a future meeting.

Exclusive Virtual Business Meeting with the Bank of England - Thursday 16th July 2020 The Chamber’s annual meeting with

the Bank of England’s Agent for Greater London, Rob Elder was held via Zoom and members whose images were captured during the meeting were

invited to submit questions in advance. The event was sponsored and

Bank of England, Agent for Greater London - Rob Elder

SE London Chamber of Commerce, President - Helen McIntosh

University of Greenwich, Head of Commercialisation and Enterprise Rosemary Nunn

Peabody, Economic Inclusion Manager - Christofi Christou

BPTW, Founder / Partner - Alan Wright

Lewisham College, Principal Asfa Sohail

distributed by Think Events who

professionally managed the technology. Unfortunately, the Bank of England’s

security would not allow Rob to use his background, but as he has agreed to

speak with us again later this year, we’ll find a way to ensure this happens.

It was very good to hear that we are

on the path to recovery. As a Chamber

we always publish the Bank’s Quarterly Summaries in Masthead Light and we look forward to Q3 in August.

Thackray Williams, Partner - Yildiz Betez

Sponsored and Distributed by Think Events

July 2020


30 Annual General Meeting 2020

July 2020


Annual General Meeting 2020 31

Annual General Meeting 2020

CALLING NOTICE Notice is hereby given that the 15th annual general meeting of the South East London Chamber of Commerce will be held Via Zoom Wednesday 23rd September 2020

at 14.00 – 15.00

A copy of the financial statements for accounts as at 31st March 2020 are available upon request

Please look out for new events to be announced soon in Masthead Light and on our events page on the Chamber website - www.selondonchamber.org July 2020


32 Visit Greenwich

Royal Greenwich - It’s Time! New recovery campaign for the summer

Visit Greenwich is working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and South East London Chamber of Commerce to deliver ‘Royal Greenwich - It’s Time!’, a recovery plan for the local economy. The core of the plan includes a summer series of leisure, learning, culture, events and offers to boost local tourism in August and September. July 2020

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ovid-19 has had an immense detrimental impact on tourism globally. For Greenwich, 2019 was a record year in terms of the value and volume of visits. 20 million tourists spent £1.56bn in the local economy last year. For 2020, since the lockdown in March, the visitor economy has been in freefall. The recovery plan sets out priorities for action to re-boot tourism for the benefit of local businesses that need to re-open and recover when lockdown starts to ease. It includes activities that Visit Greenwich, key stakeholders, partners and businesses related to the visitor economy should work together to deliver. This ranges from business support, signposting to funding, delivery of business-related webinars and collaborating on a joint recovery campaign in August and September. Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of Royal Borough of Greenwich, has kick-started the local recovery campaign by asking businesses to take part by providing special activities, events and offers for local people to enjoy. The programme of offers will serve as a thank you to local residents and businesses and as a celebration of all things Greenwich – an opportunity for locals to experience


Visit Greenwich 33

in the future will return time and time again, spread the word and bring family and friends. We want to remind residents that they live in a wonderful place, one that millions of people travel to from all over the world. Without the tourists, locals can enjoy the whole Borough of Greenwich like never before!”. The next step is working with London & Partners and we have signed up to the new London Alliance to be part of the London-wide recovery campaign, targeting Londoners and, in time, SE England. Further down the line, the domestic market is the next target group working with London & Partners and VisitEngland. Marketing to international audiences such as USA, France and Germany will take place next year.”

activities and places that they might not have thought of before and to support local businesses. It will all be planned and programmed in a safe and socially distanced way as per the new Visit England “Good to Go” standard. Cllr Danny Thorpe, stated, “COVID-19 has affected our borough in ways we could never have imagined. Greenwich businesses have reacted with generosity and innovation, but inevitably many have been forced to cease trading, have furloughed staff and face the anxious wait for the end of lockdown. It has not been easy, but I thank them all unreservedly for following the rules and protecting themselves, their staff and the residents of Royal Greenwich.

Now that the Government has laid out a timetable to ease lockdown, the Council has joined with Visit Greenwich and the South East London Chamber of Commerce to do everything we can to speed up the recovery of our local economy. The residents of our borough have pulled together throughout the pandemic to support each other and their communities, now we will be asking them to support our businesses.” Barrie Kelly, CEO, Visit Greenwich, added, “This is an opportunity to restart our visitor economy with our local audiences knowing they will be more confident to visit places on their doorstep. This is a great opportunity to create a stronger local, loyal, visitor market who

The programme of special offers and activities is timed to complement the number of great events that are planned to take place including Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, Greenwich Comedy Festival, Open House London and Totally Thames. Royal Greenwich - It’s Time! will be open to Greenwich local residents, key workers, employees working in the borough and students attending a College/University in the borough. Businesses have been able to register to take part online and have submitted their offers at www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/localtime (deadline for submissions has now past, 13 July. Any queries can be emailed to localtime@visitgreenwich.org.uk)

Offers include special events, tickets, discounts and experiences relating to retail, creative, learning, leisure, tourism, hospitality and entertainment.

“COVID-19 has affected our borough in ways we could never have imagined. Greenwich businesses have reacted with generosity and innovation, but inevitably many have been forced to cease trading, have furloughed staff and face the anxious wait for the end of lockdown. It has not been easy, but I thank them all unreservedly for following the rules and protecting themselves, their staff and the residents of Royal Greenwich.”

July 2020


34 Business Recovery

The road to recovery

As we approach the halfway point of what already seems like a long year, the world is moving cautiously from lockdown to recovery mode. July 2020

Royal Arsenal Riverside, by Berkeley Homes


Business Recovery 35

Southmere public realm planting and paving

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any businesses have begun trading again after a prolonged period of inactivity, staff are getting back to work and the government has set out plans to gradually reduce its financial support for workers and companies. The next few months promise to be anything but business as usual. Strict social distancing rules are still in force and, with scientists confirming that COVID-19 is still very much in circulation, many consumers are concerned about returning to shops and offices. The longterm economic impact of the pandemic is, at this stage, difficult to quantify and there are widespread fears that the road to recovery will be a long, arduous one. However, recent easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK mean that the first, tentative steps forward on this journey can begin. Locally, in South East London, preparations are underway to ensure that work environments are as safe as possible for staff and customers.

In this part of the country – a hotbed of regeneration – projects are making good progress despite the inevitable impact of COVID-19. Peabody Group, which is responsible for 66,000 homes in London and the South East, is overseeing the capital’s biggest project in Thamesmead – a 30-year programme designed to create as many as 20,000 new homes and 9,000 jobs. John Lewis, Peabody’s executive director, Thamesmead, says: “Fortunately, a significant part of the regeneration

work Peabody is currently undertaking in Thamesmead is outdoors, meaning we were able to continue key projects safely following a short pause. “In Parkview and Southmere, the first phase of public realm improvements is due to finish soon, transforming courtyards and walkways for local people. New lighting, seating, planting and improved paving has created spaces where residents feel safer and can spend more time, helping to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing during lockdown.

“In Parkview and Southmere, the first phase of public realm improvements is due to finish soon, transforming courtyards and walkways for local people. New lighting, seating, planting and improved paving has created spaces where residents feel safer and can spend more time, helping to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing during lockdown.” July 2020


36 Business Recovery

“There’s no denying that the coronavirus has posed very difficult problems for us but by being flexible and working closely with contractors we’ve been able to ensure work has not ground to a halt. Now, as we emerge from lockdown, the challenge is to get our developments back on schedule and deliver the vision for a new Thamesmead that we have promised residents.” “Major renovation work continued at Southmere Lake with an island, reed bed and fishing platforms being installed, as well as colourful new seating by the lakeside.” Peabody has already refurbished the formerly derelict Lakeside Centre there, creating studio spaces for more than 40 artists and a new nursery; a new café is also in the pipeline. Meanwhile, improvement work has continued on Thamesmead’s iconic towers overlooking the lake. They have undergone a programme of window replacement, concrete repairs and ventilation improvements, providing hundreds of residents with warmer and more secure homes. Although work had to pause temporarily on the Southmere Village development, activity is underway again. The scheme will create more than 1,600 new homes across four sites. The first phase, which will consist of 130 new homes ranging from one-bedroom apartments to fourbedroom townhouses, is expected to complete early next year. The next phase is also under construction and will create 404 new high-quality homes around a lakeside square with shops, cafes, leisure facilities, a new library and a civic building. John Lewis says: “We worked together with our contractor Durkan to ensure that when work did recommence it was done safely and within the guidelines set out by the government. Elsewhere, demolition work was completed on Binsey Walk and has commenced on Coralline Walk in South Thamesmead.

Kidbrooke Village, by Berkeley Homes Another organisation that has been adapting to the coronavirus crisis is Berkeley Group, which has built more than 19,600 homes in the last five years across London, Birmingham and the south of England. Publicly-owned and listed on the London Stock Exchange

“There’s no denying that the coronavirus has posed very difficult problems for us but by being flexible and working closely with contractors we’ve been able to ensure work has not ground to a halt. Now, as we emerge from lockdown, the challenge is to get our developments back on schedule and deliver the vision for a new Thamesmead that we have promised residents.”

July 2020

as a FTSE 100 company, the group is made up of six autonomous companies: Berkeley Homes, St Edward, St George, St James, St Joseph and St William. During the coronavirus crisis Berkeley has been working closely with its partners to ensure that two of its most ambitious regeneration programmes – Royal Arsenal Riverside and Kidbrooke Village, both in the Royal Borough of Greenwich – continue to make good progress. Karl Whiteman, divisional managing director, Berkeley East Thames, says: “Both projects are working at around 80 per cent capacity following the

Seating at Southmere Lake


Business Recovery 37 Berkeley’s Kidbrooke Village project continues to make good progress as the company looks to deliver a significant number of new affordable homes for L&Q over the next year. The opening of the new station building in the village is also part of the plans. In addition, Berkeley hopes to start a new project with Peabody to transform the West Thamesmead Industrial Estate into 1,750 mixed-tenure homes, a new park and a range of new amenities for local people. Karl Whiteman says: “There will be further challenges ahead as COVID-19 continues to impact the economy, but large-scale regeneration is about creating social, environmental and economic value over the long term. At Berkeley, we specialise in long-term placemaking and community building, so we are looking beyond the short-term volatility and remain firmly committed to delivering the quality homes and amenities local people need, while helping to make our own contribution to local economic recovery. “We believe the fundamental strengths of this South East London region are firmly intact and local people still need highquality, low-carbon homes of all tenures. That basic need has to be met. “We also have very compelling reasons to remain confident in this region. The completion of the Elizabeth Line will breathe new life into places like Woolwich, Abbey Wood and Plumstead, and the planned river crossings will better connect the economies on both sides of the Thames Estuary. These are big, long-term opportunities by any standards.

introduction of robust working practices that keep everyone safe and comply with the latest government and public health advice. Adapting the way we work has been an extraordinary challenge but the support and expertise of the local authority and our supply chain has enabled us to make this transition effectively and avoid complete site shut downs, which could have done lasting damage to our trade partners, their supply chains and potentially the local economy. “At Royal Arsenal Riverside we recently opened a significant new public space, Maribor Park, which links the high street

to the river. Looking ahead, we would hope to open new commercial space that complements the existing offering and the council’s cultural hub, despite the challenges we have all had to face.”

“But most importantly, South East London continues to have the strong leadership and ambitious vision that drives growth and strengthens communities. Berkeley is very proud to be part of the region and its future success.” For more information visit https://www.peabody.org.uk/ and https://www.berkeleygroup.co.uk/

“There will be further challenges ahead as COVID-19 continues to impact the economy, but large-scale regeneration is about creating social, environmental and economic value over the long term.” July 2020


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Coronavirus accelerates move to the cloud T

Technology

39

While the coronavirus pandemic has halted operations at dozens of businesses across South East London, it has very much been business as usual at cloud communications specialist Glemnet.

he Beckenham-based firm has been helping firms embrace digital communications in this new age of social distancing, which has seen a surge in home-working and video conferencing as offices temporarily shut down. Although people are now starting to return to work, Glemnet believes the coronavirus has forced many companies to consider adopting cloud-based communications solutions on a longer-term basis. Managing director Neil Linter says: “The pandemic seems to have quickened the shift towards the cloud. In recent weeks we’ve received multiple requests from companies looking to move away

from traditional telephone lines and physical on-premise servers to cloud-based solutions that can help people work from home effectively. “The new normal post-COVID is likely to lead to more flexible working and less demand for physical office space, so it’s vital that companies are set up to cope with this. The roll-out of full fibre, which will create a superfast broadband network, will increase the speed and reliability of broadband services as traditional phone lines are gradually phased out. “This provides an opportunity for businesses as they recover from the impact of COVID and deal with the uncertainly of

Brexit. In this challenging trading environment, full fibre will help them to become more agile, efficient and competitive.� In the short-term, however, many companies are simply focused on getting by. Neil and his team have been as helpful as possible, arranging line rental payment holidays for customers in sectors hit hardest by the pandemic, such as hospitality and leisure firms. Others have required assistance to tackle vulnerabilities caused by chinks in their cyber armoury – something Glemnet is well-placed to do having recently acquired a cyber security business. The move has allowed the company to grow its team of staff to 22 and beef up its

IT security provision at a time when cyber awareness is high on the economic and political agendas. Neil says: “Security challenges will become more commonplace in future as cyber criminals become more sophisticated. Moving to a cloud-based solution such as Microsoft 365 can counter this far better than relying on an outdated physical server, which is more vulnerable to cyberattacks. “Businesses are now beginning to recognise the true value of the cloud. This is likely to continue in a post-COVID era in which slick, secure digital communications will be vital for business efficiency and productivity.�

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July 2020


40 News

FSB and councils call on landlords to “do the right thing” London councils and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) are urging commercial landlords to “do the right thing” for struggling tenants to support London’s economy.

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he FSB and London councils are asking landlords to ensure business tenants get a fair deal on their rental payment that works for both parties and enables businesses to continue operating. Although some property-owners are under financial pressure too, boroughs and the FSB are urging them to explore with their leaseholders how they can structure rents to ensure businesses can successfully reopen. An FSB survey of its London members showed that for small businesses paying a mortgage or lease on their premises in London, nearly a third (32%) have failed to make, or faced severe difficulties in making, rent or mortgage repayments as a result of the coronavirus lockdown’s economic impact. As London begins to emerge from lockdown and businesses start to reopen, many will face cashflow problems as they restock and put in place additional safety measures, such as screens and queuing systems, to keep their staff and customers safe. In addition, customer confidence will take time to grow and cashflow may well remain restricted for a significant period. Commercial landlords that do offer immediate support to their business tenants are likely to benefit from a steady income and avoid the costs associated with finding a new tenant. They will also be supporting London’s economy by saving jobs, enabling businesses to rebuild and contributing to the growth of their area. Cllr Clare Coghill, London Councils executive member for business, Europe and good growth, said: “As we cautiously look to reopen and celebrate London’s diverse and wonderful high streets, we are calling on commercial landlords to support their business tenants and play their part in kickstarting the economy. To ensure the survival of much-loved businesses, we urge landlords to negotiate with their tenants about setting realistic rents during this uncertain and challenging time.” Michael Lassman, FSB London regional chair, said: “Small firms in London are struggling, with many self-employed individuals omitted from government schemes and many sectors missing out on vital grants, rent and rates support. We are calling on London landlords to support our tenants. “The negative impact of losing businesses would be more people unemployed and empty units that will be difficult to fill. Very few companies are seeking to take on leases and as such we need to see landlords working side by side with their tenants at this crucial time.”

July 2020

Lewisham retailers receive COVID support Hundreds of shops that have been under lockdown in Lewisham are celebrating after reopening their doors.

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he borough’s outdoor markets and car showrooms had already reopened on June 1, provided they were able to meet COVIDsecure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books and electronics, as well as tailors, auction houses, photography studios and indoor markets, were told they could reopen on June 15. Cllr Joe Dromey, cabinet member for culture, jobs and skills at Lewisham Council, said: “This is great news for Lewisham businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Re-opening will help many local businesses get back on their feet; but it must be done in a way which is safe for workers and customers. “Lewisham Council is committed to supporting local small businesses during these

tough times. In the last ten weeks, we’ve distributed more than £36 million in grants to small firms. We will continue to work with local employers so that we can build back better after this crisis.”

Lewisham Council officers will be checking that safe systems are in place and supporting businesses to achieve this. Government advice recommends that businesses should demonstrate compliance by:

• placing a poster in their windows to demonstrate awareness of the guidance and commitment to safety measures

• storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shop floor • placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public, such as beds or sofas

• frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines and betting terminals

Hairdressers, pubs and restaurants are due to open on July 4 but nail bars, indoor gyms and beauty salons must remain closed until further notice.

College launches fund to help tackle inequality London South East Colleges is setting up a community grant fund to promote diversity and reduce inequality.

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taff and students across the organisation are being invited to bid for funding to set up communitybased projects that will help to tackle all kinds of inequality. Ideas include sports events, industry placements, speaker programmes, arts and cultural activities and much more. The bids will be assessed by the College’s new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Grant Fund Committee, which is currently being set up. Staff have been invited to put themselves forward for this committee, which will represent the organisation’s diverse community. The new committee will also help make positive changes throughout the organisation in relation to racial equality. Following two initial all staff consultations, suggestions have included ensuring a

more diverse range of literature is offered, featuring black history more significantly in the curricula and inviting more mentors and speakers from BAME backgrounds to engage with students. In addition, the College is looking to partner an organisation to help monitor and look at the impact of the work being done, ensuring that it is moving at a fast enough pace and effectively addressing the issue of systemic and structural racism. CEO and Principal of London South East Colleges, Dr Sam Parrett OBE says: “FE is a fantastic sector when it comes to creating opportunity for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Our College represents a diverse community and we are very much aware of the need to move this important agenda forward.

“Actions speak louder the words and our new grants programme will allow our staff and students to make a real and impactful difference. The response so far has been fantastic and it’s clear that many people want to be part of the solution to address inequality.

“This is not a short-term project, it’s a long-term strategy for our organisation. As a social enterprise, we are committed to supporting our communities and we will not stop until we achieve the change that is needed.” By 2030 the College plans to have funded 300 community projects via its grants programme, 20 of which will be in the first year. For more information about the programme or to get involved, visit www.LSEC.ac.uk


News 41

New measures to support social distancing

Mayor calls for mandatory face coverings in shops The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has urged the government to make the wearing of face coverings mandatory for customers in shops and other confined public spaces.

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he Mayor has written to the Prime Minister, urging him to extend the range of places where face coverings must be worn to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19. In his letter, Sadiq Khan said the wide use of face coverings is increasingly important as lockdown restrictions are eased, with scientific evidence showing they can help slow the spread of the coronavirus. He said Londoners had already shown they are willing to take action to help each other, with a high proportion of passengers wearing face

coverings on public transport. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has updated its guidance to recommend the use of face coverings in a wide range of public settings. Several European countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain, have already mandated their use in shops and other public spaces. Sadiq Khan said: “Thanks to the monumental efforts of Londoners we have significantly reduced the number of COVID-19 cases in the capital. However, the virus is still out there and as restrictions are

eased it is vital that we do not become complacent and that we all continue to do everything we can to prevent a devastating second wave.

“It is increasingly clear that face coverings will play a key role in our efforts to stop the further spread of the virus and they need to become a more regular part of our day-to-day life. The high level of use on our public transport network has again shown that Londoners are willing to act to protect their community, but the government’s current rules are lagging behind other countries.”

Bromley Charter Market reopens

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Bromley’s historic Charter Market has opened again with social distancing measures in place.

limited number of stallholders opened in June, with the same operating hours being adopted as previously, and social distancing and other measures in place in line with government guidelines. The market has been running since 1205, when King John granted a charter allowing a weekly market. It will also be in operation on Fridays and Saturdays in line with the recent opening pattern.

Cllr Peter Morgan, executive councillor for renewal, recreation and housing at Bromley Council, said: “We are really pleased to be able to reopen the Charter Market again, which is another step in that path of returning to normal or a “new normal” as has been said elsewhere. “As well as continuing to observe social distancing measures, I would encourage residents and shoppers to back their local businesses, not just

because the economic impact of this dreadful coronavirus has been stark but also because we have a full range of businesses that are worth supporting.” Maxine Stonebridge, a ladies’ fashions stall holder, hailed the return of the market as “fantastic news”. She said: “Charter Market is one of the friendliest markets I’ve ever worked in. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the traders and customers again.”

Residents are being encouraged to support their high street and local businesses as the economic recovery from COVID-19 begins.

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series of measures, including “keep your distance” signs in town centres, are being installed to support the local recovery phase as high street shops reopen. A summer planting programme is also underway to bring the colours of summer to the borough. This work is designed to support residents and businesses with a safe return to work, shops, leisure and schools, by helping them use alternatives to public transport and maintain social distancing whilst travelling, visiting town centres and schools. Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, portfolio holder for environment and community services at Bromley Council, said: “The need for social distancing is widely understood and supported but in places where lots of people will pass through – in busy high street areas, for example – we are installing signage to remind pedestrians of the importance of this message. “We have also been looking at practical, physical measures which we might install, such as some widened footways. Whilst the installation of signage is progressing relatively quickly, the engineering schemes will take longer to install.” Measures to help with social distancing in the borough include: • Providing additional space for people to access goods, services and public transport while socially distancing; this includes space for queuing at shops, stations and bus stops and for those passing these queues on foot. Additional crossing points or space around crossing points may also be required • Supporting businesses in town centres by maintaining local delivery and servicing • Helping schools adhere to social distancing on the streets in their vicinity • Enabling people to walk or cycle to town centres and stations, or even into central London, by linking temporary and permanent cycle networks

July 2020


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44 Finance Update

Clarity over corporation tax repayments and anticipated losses HMRC has updated its company tax manual outlining when companies can make claims for repayments of corporation tax based on anticipated losses.

U

pdated guidance published by HMRC recognises the exceptional circumstances that many industries are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic and provides additional support. Hospitality, tourism and aviation are among the worst affected, with unprecedented losses accumulating in their current accounting periods. HMRC has now acknowledged that, in exceptional circumstances, claims for repayments of corporation tax for prior periods based on anticipated losses before the current accounting period has concluded will be considered. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) Tax Faculty has welcomed the new guidance having previously raised this issue with HMRC. Angela Clegg, technical manager in the ICAEW Tax Faculty, said: “The changes to the guidance are helpful and it will be interesting to see how this translates into practice. It will involve a careful balance between getting cash to affected businesses in a reasonable timeframe and appropriate due diligence by HMRC.” Repayment of quarterly instalment payments (QIPs) Although it was clear that the QIPs regime allowed for repayment of excessive

July 2020

instalments in the current accounting period, the position in respect of excessive QIPs paid in respect of the prior period (where the current period had not concluded) was less certain. The updates to HMRC guidance, therefore, offer welcome support for businesses. Companies will be required to provide evidence to substantiate claims and support the quantum of any losses expected to accumulate. They will need to demonstrate that the losses are so substantial that they will comfortably shelter any income of the current period and the taxable profits of the prior period relevant to the claim. The guidance indicates that: “It will be extremely difficult for a company to provide adequate evidence during the earlier part of its accounting period.” This is because when the date of the claim is further into the accounting period, there is less reliance on forecasts and the smaller the chance of any upturn or recovery of losses.

Repayment of corporation tax (paid on the normal due date for payment)

HMRC has provided similar guidance in respect of repayment of corporation tax made on the normal due date for payment (usually nine months and one day after the accounting period ends). Similar principles apply whereby a company can make a claim to repay corporation tax paid based on an anticipated loss in the current accounting period which has not concluded, subject to evidence being produced. What types of information should be included in any claim?

It is clear that each case will be reviewed by HMRC based on its own facts and circumstances and there will not be any hard and fast rules. However, the more information that claimants can provide to substantiate the losses, the better.

“The changes to the guidance are helpful and it will be interesting to see how this translates into practice. It will involve a careful balance between getting cash to affected businesses in a reasonable timeframe and appropriate due diligence by HMRC.”

The types of information which would be useful to provide as part of any claim include: • Revised profit and loss forecasts • Management accounts and draft tax computations • Detailed reasoning and assumptions behind any figures submitted • Reports from the board of directors and any public statements made concerning the company’s trading position • Documents that have been shared with regulatory or financial institutions or confirm that these are the same forecasts used for internal planning purposes • Confirmation that the company is not expecting any exceptional income or gains in the existing accounting period • External evidence which supports the fact that the issues involved are unlikely to be resolved in the short term – this could include sector or industry commentary


45

Call them ‘sneeze guards’, ‘safety screens’ or ‘hygiene screens’ even ‘social distancing screens’ These protective barriers are now commonplace in supermarkets, shops, offices, bars, and restaurants and will likely be here for the foreseeable future.

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creens are being recommended by the Government and Public Health England as part of overall control solutions to help enforce social distancing in workplaces and prevent the spread of infection by having surfaces that are easy to keep clean. Where workstations or interaction with the public cannot be two metres apart screens can provide a physical barrier to provide protection for both employees and customers and a means to stop transmission of viruses.

As the lock-down eases and more businesses begin to consider long term measures to mitigate any future resurgence of the virus, these protective screens are likely to become an everyday requirement. There was a need for rapid installation of screens and the plastic based versions you can see have helped provide physical barriers against COVID-19; however these screens are not all designed for permanence and they are susceptible to scratching from day to day use as well as discolouration from disinfectants; when the plastic surfaces degrade and become more porous they can become more of a risk in transmitting viruses if they are not kept clean. Glass Hygiene Screens offer a more robust and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic screens. Unlike plastic, glass is inherently scratch resistant, and non-porous, so it helps to control the spread of infection as it is easily disinfected. It can also be treated with anti-microbial treatments to make the glass even easier to keep clean.

Glass can also be recycled at the end of its life cycle, which if well maintained could be decades away, as well as being more environmentally friendly than plastic. For those businesses who need something quickly, but would also like something that will last, basic toughened float glass will be the most costeffective option, and this can be paired with freestanding desktop or countertop systems using combinations of channels and clamps. The fact that it is toughened also means it is stronger that standard glass and would break safely.

For advice or information on glass hygiene screens please call Gx Glass on 01233 642 220

Where businesses also have slightly more time to plan their return to work, they could take advantage of the fact that they do not have to buy a hygiene screen that serves one purpose. Glass screens can be used as whiteboards with dry wipe markers, painted in corporate colours, they can be made into magnetic whiteboards – so they can provide the necessary function in the short term, but also provide use in the future.

July 2020


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July 2020


Health and Wellbeing 47

Job quality is key to good wellbeing The CIPD has called on employers to ensure job quality doesn’t take a backseat in the quest to protect jobs and rebuild the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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he CIPD Good Work Index has revealed a worrying decline in health and wellbeing over the past two years and highlights that some jobs are undeniably better than others – not just in terms of essentials such as pay and contracts, but also in terms of our day-to-day experiences of work and its impact on our lives. While some differences in job quality are inherent to the nature of work and the structure of the labour market, the report finds that changes in people management and employment practices could significantly improve job quality in many cases. In particular, it finds that two often over-looked dimensions of job quality – job design and relationships at work – could make a big difference to working lives and performance at work. The report highlights occupations that lead to particularly poor experiences for workers and those where there are trade-offs to be made between different aspects of job quality, such as pay and wellbeing. For example, while managerial and professional occupations tend to score well across most aspects of job quality, those working in highly paid jobs in legal services,

healthcare and conservation report the poorest work-life balance and overall health and wellbeing scores. Meanwhile, those working in low-paid jobs in animal care, housekeeping, cleaning and sports and fitness report better wellbeing, work-life balance and relationships at work. Jonny Gifford, senior research adviser at the CIPD, said: “In the current context, it’s important to consider the dynamics of job quality as we assess the impact of COVID-19 on jobs – not just in terms of insecurity and redundancies but also in terms of pressure, stress, work-life balance and pay. “We need to understand how the short and long-term impacts of the pandemic might differ across occupations and

how we can protect the most vulnerable. This crisis is an opportunity to re-imagine what good work means to all of us and our Good Work Index provides a wealth of evidence to inform that debate.” Good work is fundamental to individual wellbeing, supports a strong, fair society, and creates motivated workers, productive organisations and a strong economy. The CIPD’s purpose is therefore to champion better work and working lives by improving practices in people and organisation development for the benefit of individuals, the economy and society. Peter Cheese, CIPD chief executive, said: “Job creation and protecting jobs from redundancy are crucial, but it’s not enough to look at the bare numbers of people in work. Now as much as at any time,

“We need to understand how the short and long-term impacts of the pandemic might differ across occupations and how we can protect the most vulnerable. This crisis is an opportunity to re-imagine what good work means to all of us and our Good Work Index provides a wealth of evidence to inform that debate.”

government, employers, the people profession, trade unions and other actors also need to understand the quality of the jobs people do and find ways to improve them.” While some job quality issues may be inherent to the nature of the jobs in question, the Good Work Index shows that some low-quality jobs could be improved relatively easily by changing people management and employment practices. The report suggests that a better line manager could do more to improve a person’s job satisfaction than giving him/her a pay rise. The CIPD recommends that people professionals, at a minimum, should be encouraging and supporting line managers to: • discuss workload with their team members and ensure no-one is under excessive pressure • have supportive and sensitive discussions with their teams • promote existing health and wellbeing benefits • give workers more autonomy or control over how, when and where they work

July 2020


Pathways to Apprenticeships LEWISHAM COLLEGE works with a range of businesses and organisations to deliver employer-led pre-employability courses,which lead to job interviews and work. The College is currently working with several employers, including ISS, Caremark and Greggs. Contact us to find out more about how we can support you!

Let us match you with the perfect Apprentice Make the most of new Government incentives. The Government recently announced new financial Incentives for Employers in England. There will now be additional payments for each new apprentice you hire. These payments are on top of the existing £1,000 for new 16-18-year-old apprentices. This is a limited offer only available from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021 » £2000 payment for each new apprentice aged under 25 » £1,500 payment for each new apprentice aged 25 and over If your business is looking to hire an apprentice under this scheme then contact Lewisham College today! We offer Apprenticeships starting between September 2020 and January 2021 in: » Construction & Engineering » Catering & Hospitality » Health & Social Care » Teaching Assistant

Contact us lewisham.ac.uk/apprenticeships sham.ac.uk/apprenticeships apprenticeships@lewisham.ac.uk 020 3757 3050

Lewisham College Lewisham Way Campus, Lewisham Way, London, SE4 1UT

Lewisham College (Deptford Campus) Deptford Bridge Campus, 1 Deptford Bridge London, SE8 4HH


Lewisham College 49

Pathways to Apprenticeships through Lewisham College Lewisham College is a Further Education College which places the community at the heart of everything it does.

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rom full-time courses to community partnerships it looks at the impact it can have on the people it serves. And now, more than ever, it is striving to connect with and build relationships with other like-minded organisations to support life-changing education. The academic landscape has changed dramatically in the last few years. The employer is now inextricably linked with education. The reforms in both areas are designed to provide recruitment pathways for the future which has allowed the employer to have a huge say in how its future employees are trained.

Post-Covid the need for retraining is more important than ever and Apprenticeships, traineeships and pre-apprenticeship training are a vital tool to revitalise economic growth. Apprenticeships today are delivered through standards. These are real job-related apprenticeships designed by employers. They can cover every stage of a person’s career from a vocational entry point through a Level 2 qualification to a master’s degree. Myths surrounding apprenticeships are now being well and truly smashed. It’s not for only school leavers; You can’t have a degree; I’m too old; It’s only for the trades. These myths all no longer apply. Indeed, more and more employees are up-skilling in the work place to a higher and degree level through new apprenticeship programmes. There is however an evident need to work with employers in helping them understand the advantages of the new educational landscape. The Apprenticeship Levy, which is central to the new system is currently

under-utilised. The levy applies to any employer who spends more than £3m annually on wages. They have to put in 0.5% of their payroll above the £3m threshold. This money is then topped up with an extra 10% from government funds and kept in a digital account for that employer to deploy on its own training arrangements for apprentices. The scheme operates on a “use it or lose it” basis. Funds that are not allocated by the employer within 24 months expire and get passed to the government.

It was reported by the BBC earlier in 2020 that from May to December 2019, 4,991 employer accounts gave up a total of £401m which they could have used to train apprentices. The sums returned unspent have been increasing on a monthly basis, reaching £82m in December 2019, the latest figure available. This however could be beneficial to small-to-medium enterprises or even small levy-payers as the government is now making those funds available to them. Lewisham College can assist SMEs in exploring ways to access unspent Apprenticeship Levy and is already working with the London Progression Collaboration. This is a GLA-supported enterprise which aims to revitalise support for apprenticeships by utilising un-used

levy and passing to SMEs to use. Their latest initiative is Reskilling the Recovery whereby they aim to support 1,000 apprenticeship roles in Construction, Hospitality and Retail across the capital. Lewisham College is already working with the LPC and has already put 20+ Lewisham employers in touch with the organisation. The College is also proud to support the “100 apprentices in 100 days initiative” and is working closely with the Lewisham Deal to this affect. The pathway to apprenticeships has also changed. The college offers the ability to work together with employers on finding the right recruitment method, be it direct recruitment with College learners, traditional recruitment through advertisement or innovative work-based sector academies and vocational preapprenticeship programmes.

Key to all of the College’s work for apprenticeships is developing good strong relationships with employers in its community. Relationships based on communication, trust and respect. We are intent on building those relationships with the members of the South London Chamber of Commerce and welcome the opportunity of opening discussions to see how we can support you in what is both the changing face of education and business in the UK.

To find out more, visit www.lewisham.ac.uk/apprenticeships or contact apprenticeships@lewisham.ac.uk

‘Post-Covid the need for retraining is more important than ever and Apprenticeships, traineeships and pre-apprenticeship training are a vital tool to revitalise economic growth. Apprenticeships today are delivered through standards. These are real job-related apprenticeships designed by employers.’ July 2020


50 New Members

and finally... Lee Pepper Managing Director LP Networks Ltd

I

Welcome to our new members AMH Pianos Services London

LP Networks Ltd

Email: andy@tuningpianos.co.uk

Email: lee.pepper@lpnetworks.com

Tel: 07500 661581

Tel: 020 8859 9580

Contact: Andrew Howard

Contact: Lee Pepper

Kika Training Limited

SIDIC Accountants Ltd

Email: katrin@kikatraining.com

Email: jide.obarotimi@sidicaccountants.co.uk

Tel: 07880 360645

Contact: Katrin Kircheis

Love The Beat Radio Tel: 07930 820578

Email: info@lovethebeatradio.com Contact: Edmond Chirstie

Tel: 020 8316 4800

Contact: Jide Obarotimi

The Gold Portfolio Tel: 07429 379777

Email: contact@thegoldportfolio.com Contact: Abbiih Oloyede

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

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

“As a member you’re well connected with access to our range of benefits and services, including our directory of local member businesses.” July 2020

started my career as an office junior, moved into IT and worked my way up from Helpdesk to UK Operations Manager. After working for a large IT company based around the paper industry, I realised that digital technology was going to have a significant impact on that industry, so I decided to make the leap and go it alone. It became apparent to me that the strategies and standards I’d learnt could be overlaid on smaller businesses to make them efficiently utilise IT. Our apprenticeship scheme is my proudest achievement in work and a great source of motivation.

What was your first job, and what was the pay packet?

Working as an office junior in London, £4500 a year + £40 Luncheon vouchers (regularly blown on day one in the local pizza restaurant).

What would you do with your last pound?

Knowing my DISC profile, I’d probably spend a year analysing what the best course of action to take would be, I’ve just spent over an hour failing to answer this!

What is the biggest challenge facing your business?

Striking a balance between ensuring clients have the best security products in-place whilst being sensitive to the current financial situation. We still need to inform them but be empathetic.

If you were Prime Minister, what would be your first decision?

Ban ‘spin doctors’ and allow individual opinions on policies, I think politicians should be allowed to express an opinion in public even if it contradicts their party policy.

If you could do another job, what would it be?

I love what I do working in the technical world – so I think it would be something around science or animals, maybe research work as I enjoy problem-solving.

What book are you currently reading?

I used to be a prolific reader on my daily commute, reading lots of horror (Stephen King, James Herbert) recently I started ‘Full Throttle’ by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son).


SEE A BIGGER PICTURE

LEXUS UX SELF-CHARGING HYBRID P11D £29,730 - £39,930

BIK 22% - 23%

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MPG 49.5 - 53.2

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Contract hire/leasing/finance options available. Contact us today for a personalised quote. Derek Palmer 07468 861109 derek.palmer@jemca.co.uk

LEXUS SIDCUP Ruxley Corner, Sidcup, DA14 5HS 020 8269 8218 www.lexus.co.uk/sidcup

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Models shown for illustrative purposes only and may not be to UK specification. UX model range in mpg (l/100km) official fuel consumption figures: combined 49.5 (5.7) – 53.2 (5.3). Combined CO2 94 - 97g/km. BIK 22% - 23%. Figures are provided for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results. Fuel consumption and CO2 produced varies significantly depending on a number of factors, including the accessories fitted (post-registration), driving style, conditions, speed and vehicle load. All models and grades are certified according to the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which replaces the New European Driving Cycle test procedure (NEDC). All CO2 figures quoted are NEDC equivalent. This means the CO2 figures are based on the new WLTP test procedure but calculated (using a standard European calculation method) to allow comparison with the NEDC test procedure and will be used to calculate vehicle tax on first registration. All mpg figures quoted are full WLTP figures. More information can be found by visiting: www.vehicle-certification-agency.gov.uk/fcb/wltp.asp. All information contained in this advertisement was correct at the time of going to print. Please note that while every effort is made to reproduce accurate information, we reserve the right to change specification, equipment and availability without prior notice.


STAND OUT Recruit an Apprentice

Finding people with the right skills is not always easy. Employing an apprentice can be a great solution as they learn on the job and bring new skills to your business. We can: » » »

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Get in touch today apprenticeships@lsec.ac.uk | 020 3954 4965 LSEC.ac.uk

GREENWICH ADULT AND COMMUNITY LEARNING We have a wide range of affordable short courses that will help you progress at work, start your own business or transform your leisure time. Learning also improves your well-being and helps you to make new friends. It also lets you be creative, discover new interests and keeps you active. Get in touch today to find out more.

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