Issue 33: April 2021
BIG INTERVIEW JENNIFER O’DONNELL MANAGING DIRECTOR SAFER SHARED SPACES
COVID crisis spawns new venture
• Southwark - Destination of
choice for businesses Page 8
• Technology - Business Mobile
Phones + Employees = License to Spend Page 16
• Remembering when... Street Markets in Southwark were organised and became a vital part of the local retail economy Page 28
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Southwark BUSINESS TODAY The Southwark Chamber of Commerce magazine for all businesses in Southwark. As I write, the sun is shining and though it is cold outside there are signs of spring all around; this is my metaphor for the business environment as we await more details of the unlocking of our economy. For many businesses it has been a long hard winter which began in March 2020 with spring tentatively scheduled for May 2021. I am painfully aware that some businesses will not have made it and that many others will have a long hard journey back to profitability. In this climate, determination and hard work are the basic tools for rebuilding individual businesses and from that base the economy as a whole. I know our members and the wider business community will do their part, but this has been a national disaster and the response has to be national too. Support from government to get the economy reopened must be matched by support for business to get open and to trade through the critical summer period. We also need to see enabling works such as the Bakerloo Line extension taken off the back burner. Well-targeted infrastructure works create the environment for business to flourish when complete and while being built, they generate confidence which has been in such short supply for the last year or so. I think it would be a major mistake for government to assume that getting back to the way things were will be enough. Things have changed, probably forever. Not everyone will go back to their office five days a week and not all online shopping will move back to the high street. This requires investment in telecommunications to design residential properties that have
home-working space and many other things which will become apparent as we move forward. Additionally, the lockdown has amplified problems which already existed, not the least of which is the national business rating system which is simply not fit for purpose. In my view, the current holiday for small businesses should be extended until replaced by a fairer system which does not penalise a business for being in London and having its own premises. That, however, is not enough; larger businesses pay eye-watering sums to be on the high street while very large businesses that trade only online contribute virtually nothing through the current rating system. Brand name retail are often known as anchor tenants, that’s because they create a fixed point around which smaller businesses can group – and those businesses are not just retail. If large businesses are forced to disperse and go online to save these costs, the high street will fall apart and we will all be worse off. Government must reform the rating system and take it back to what it was originally intended for – a local tax to provide local facilities. This will require honesty from government. The chancellor must be brave enough to set out the real tax rate and collect it in as few ways as possible instead of concentrating on headline rates and adding stealth taxes to make up the difference. I wish you all well and I look forward to seeing you at our events, both online and in person, going forward.
Peter Mantell Joint-Chairman Southwark Chamber of Commerce Limited
Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in publication are not necessarily those of Southwark Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission of the Editor. © 2021. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material
4 Legal 5-6 Up Front 8-10 Destination Southwark 11 Economy 14-15 British Land 16 Technology 18-19 Big Interview 20-22 Skills 23 News 25 Arts & Culture 27 Voice from Westminster 28-29 Remembering When… 39-31 Health & Wellbeing 32 Welcome to new members 33 Chamber Events 33 Last Word 34 Join Us
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Southwark BUSINESS TODAY 3
Can a periodic business tenant Uber Drivers are in occupation of premises obtain what aself-employed lease from their but landlord?
does it mean and what is the impact?
You are a commercial tenant running a business from premises and you now want your landlord to grant you a written lease for a fixed term.
a new lease, the tenant will be lease, perhaps in order to grow You may have been paying rent resolve the dispute which could be Employment Solicitor or sell your business, you will not monthly or quarterly for some unsatisfactory to both parties and able to obtain a new lease on be able to serve on the landlord years, but your landlord has still the uncertaintly of a court case terms to be agreed or if not a notice under section 26 of the not given you a fixed term lease. could be avoided by agreeing agreed as determined by the employed model to that which used. to even logging drivers upon off the appterms. for 1954 Act requesting a new lease. One can of the publicised Supreme What you most do to force the lease court. Accordingly the Uber landlord right to do only applies landlord’s hand? cannot simply any whether terms a this specific period of timeOne if they not the landlord Court decisions at the moment The is the These businesses shouldimpose consider way did in which to tenants whose tenancy was it wishes theemployees court will look regularise to truly intend Rights under periodicagainst Uber hit a term certain number of can fares in a setthe position isthey case that wasabrought forand their to granted for a fixed certain at the implied terms of the periodic serve aelement written notice under tenancy timeframe. There is even an to determine whether Uber drivers exceeding one year or for any be self-employed under Employment tenancy when considering what section 25 of the 1954 Act term and thereafter from by year It is likely that you are a periodic of control Uber with terminating regards to the thetenancy andlegislation and are considered workers or actually just be forinserted tax purposes. termsnot should in the to year. tenant and if you have been in whether communication that thestating drivers and or not the landlord self-employed as the company newislease. If the answer a resounding yes, so they occupation of business premises So what should the tenant have do? as to prevent is willing the to grant a new lease and passengers drivers believes. landlord is therefore likely to will need toThe look at their current processes paying rent for more than if so on what terms including rent Negotiate with your be agreeable to grant need a leasetotobe from forming a working relationship with 12 months, you will have become and see whether any changes and length of lease. a periodic tenant especially since a longbusiness legal battle this, thelandlord the passengers beyond that ride. aAfter protected tenanton with in order to ensure thatwithout the If the landlord opposes the implemented grant it cannot increase the rent the rights granted by the Landlord Supreme Court determined that Uber A periodic protected tenant should of a new lease, then it may independent only contractors are indeed given first terminating the lease under & Tenant Act 1954 Part 11. be in a strongIn position to this negotiate light of landmarkrefuse decision, manygrounds set out drivers are landlord considered workers which on certain As such the cannot thethat Act,isand the position will a new lease with the landlord who the freedom intended for those in the statute, most will inevitably realise that theycommonly meansterminate that Uber drivers to be keenbusinesses simply your lease are by entitledwould remain uncertain. to regularise the refusal on the grounds of self-employed individuals. giving one month’s notice. needa to consider similaryou benefits to employees, even position. if not Without lease, the their own workforce’s Taking legal advice persistent rent arrears, being able unilaterally status and whether any It to serve you with employment all.would This need includes Statutory sick pay,landlord paid cannot to demonstrate an intentionThere to is noItdoubt thislegal is a advice much first is bestthat to seek increase the rent, or regulate the aannual statutory notice under the 1954 changes need to be implemented – leave and national minimum wage. occupy the premises for its own before finalising termsbusinesses in principle use of the premises or prevent more complex area and many Act giving you not less than 6 nor use or an intention to redevelop. because with your landlord to ensure that the tenant from sharingan employer that believes that more than 12 months’ notice and are likely to be concerned by this decision, A main consideration thattothe Supreme the terms of the new lease are not The landlord its are self-employed, occupation or its assigning workforce formust demonstrate you will then have the right especially with over 5 million people the ability to do these things if onerous and reflect the termsinof tenancy. thatwould the not have budget for Courttolooked at, for anda which is important in It is unlikely apply the court new lease example, necessary by producing plans and your existing oral gig-economy. tenancy. Where landlord could easily sell its the UK working within the on terms to be agreed or decided employment law, is who has the control and sick pay which are crucial specifications and the necessary interest in theholiday propertypay while there is a dispute with upon by the court. Therefore, our expert team are the on landlord hand in the employer / employee relationship. entitlements and employees. permissions. This can a protected periodic tenant of workersplanning and the landlord is taking steps to Can you require the to to help support businesses and without individuals In this instance, the Supreme Courtcontiuues in occupation for an make it difficult for a landlord terminate the tenancy landlord grant new regainmade possession. through any transition periodnew whilst they offering acceptable lease The decision has now been and we concludedto that Uberahad significantindefinite period. lease? it will be important to seek If the tenant is a on protected ensure thatterms, With oral tenancy agreements if the parties are both content now need to consider the implications control over the drivers’ work – from legal advice as to your rights and business tenant If the time come that youto customers a dispute arises the court would with and understand the relationship. business that may utilise a similar self-and the landlord setting thehas fares charged how to protect your position. does not have grounds to oppose need the certainty of a fixed term need to hear evidence and try to
Our expert please employment solicitors be pleased to advise. If you need expert legal advice, contact Alan will Zeffertt by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or ask for him or aRabinovitz member ofif our Property Team, telephone 020 7940 4000. Please contact Inbar you Commercial would like assistance: email@example.com
Anthony Gold Solicitors specialise in many different areas of law Our solicitors are experts in their fields. We are negotiators and litigators,
committed to doing whatever is best for our clients.
T: 020 7940 4060
Southwark BUSINESSTODAY TODAY Southwark BUSINESS
Offices in London Bridge, Elephant & Castle and Streatham.
Tighter emissions standards for heavy vehicles
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a tightening of Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards for heavy vehicles across London.
Heavy goods vehicle (HGVs), buses and coaches must now meet Euro VI NOx (nitrogen oxides) and PM (particulate matter) emissions standards or pay a daily charge of up to £300. These new standards apply to heavy vehicles across most of Greater London and match the emissions standards of the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). The LEZ was established to encourage the most polluting heavy diesel vehicles driving in the capital to become cleaner. It covers most of Greater London and operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The tougher LEZ is already having an impact, with new data from City Hall showing that almost 90% of vehicles are complying with the new standards ahead of their introduction, compared to around 70% in May 2019. The introduction of tougher standards for the LEZ, alongside the expansion of the ULEZ later
this year, is expected to reduce NOx emissions from road transport by around 30% across London in 2021. Sadiq Khan said: “Toxic air pollution causes long-lasting harm and is a national public health crisis. I’ve moved fast in London to implement the most ambitious plans to tackle air pollution of any major city in the world – showing what we can achieve if we are brave enough.” The tighter LEZ restrictions have been welcomedby the London Assembly. Caroline Russell AM, chair of the assembly’s environment committee, said: “As our city continues to battle through the pandemic, the mayor must look at how Londoners live and if our way of life is impacting our own health and the health of others. Measures like tightening the emissions restrictions for heavy vehicles is one of many steps that will be needed to bring down the levels of air pollution on our streets.”
Triple signing at £2.5bn Elephant Park Three fitness brands will be amongst the first companies to take up space at Elephant Park. Property firm Lendlease has announced the trio of signings in the latest phase of the £2.5 billion scheme, which will include thousands of new homes and a diverse mix of shops and restaurants. The new tenants are Fight City Gym, MoreYoga and Tempo Pilates, with the three brands taking space across two buildings. Fight City Gym will take 5,459 sq ft of space on New Kent Road, specialising in boxing, mixed martial arts and other contact sports, while yoga specialist MoreYoga will open its 34th London studio, taking 1,329 sq ft of space on New Lion Way. Meanwhile, Tempo Pilates, which teaches Pilates to the speed of music, has signed up for 2,498 sq ft of space at Elephant Park’s Ash Avenue. Guy Thomas, head of retail at Lendlease, said: “The recent signing announcements for Fight City Gym, MoreYoga and Tempo Pilates add to our
offer for the local community and highlight our commitment to building a sustainable and balanced array of operators within Elephant Park.” Mani Johal, co-founder of Fight City Gym, said: “Elephant Park is an exciting new destination and stands as the perfect location within which to expand our offer in South London. We are very excited to have signed for a space here and look forward to seeing our combat training classes embraced by individuals of all fitness levels within this existing and emerging Elephant and Castle community.” When complete, Elephant Park is expected to deliver 3,000 new homes and space for more than 50 new shops, restaurant and cafes, including affordable retail space. It will also include the planting of more than 1,200 new trees, over 3,000 new cycle spaces and an energy hub that provides net-zero carbon heat and hot water to all homes on the site.
£1m resilience fund open for applications The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called on the capital’s innovators to help drive forward the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. His £1 million resilience fund, which will support innovative businesses in tech and other sectors to respond to key recovery challenges facing the capital, is now open to applicants. The mayor also revealed the partners that will work closely with his team to help applicants develop their ideas: Better Bankside and Kings College London; Ealing Council, Groundwork London, Lambeth Council, Hackney Wick and Fish Island Creative Enterprise Zone, Thrive LDN, Hackney Council, the Royal Docks Team, and the Living Wage Foundation. Each partner – along with the Greater London Authority – is in charge of one of ten challenges. These include diverting surplus food to community organisations helping those most in need, supporting high streets, integrating the latest COVID-19 data and travel information for Londoners, and making workspaces more flexible, affordable and responsive to the changing needs of businesses as a result of the pandemic. Partners will also consider the challenges facing workers in the gig economy and design solutions to tackle the inequalities faced by those who have provided vital services over the last year. Delivered in partnership with Nesta and funded by the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP), the fund will provide grants of up to £50,000 to develop solutions to help the city emerge stronger from COVID-19 – as well as ensuring it is more resilient to major challenges in the future. The mayor is also calling on public bodies, charities, businesses, social enterprises and educational institutions to take part in Designing London’s Recovery – a new initiative that will harness the capital’s design talent to make a vital contribution to the capital’s recovery from COVID-19. Sadiq Khan said: “I’m doing all I can to support our creative businesses and organisations. I’m calling on them to come forward with their ideas and take advantage of the funding and support on offer.”
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Council pledges £101m to tackle climate emergency
John Henry Wallington MBE JP 1938 -2021
Three generations of the Wallington family have been Stall holders in East Street Market Walworth since 1910. Johnny Wallington followed on from his father John who sold Salt and Vinegar and was known locally as ‘Salty’. Johnny was educated at St John’s Primary School and won a scholarship to Wilsons Grammar School where he got to know Michael Caine in the amateur dramatic society at the school.
Southwark Council has backed its commitment to tackling the climate emergency and improving environment sustainability with a funding pledge of £101 million. This investment will open the door to further creative and impactful measures to improve air quality and bring the council closer to hitting its target of carbon-neutrality by 2030.
and installing solar panels. It will also help to switch the council’s vehicles to electric alternatives and accelerate a ten-year programme to deliver electric vehicle charging points across the borough.
The council will build on recent milestones, such as achieving 100% renewable electricity for all council buildings and a 25% reduction in its own emissions to date.
Further details will be unveiled in the council’s new climate emergency strategy, which will show how the organisation hopes to transform Southwark into a carbon-neutral borough by 2030.
Plans for the £101 million programme include making all council buildings carbon-neutral by updating insulation and glazing, introducing air source heat pumps
Cllr Johnson Situ, cabinet member for climate emergency, planning and transport, said: “These investments will enable us to move at pace on
initiatives such as bringing council buildings to carbon-neutrality, as well as supporting the local economy with additional jobs. “A different kind of future is possible and we will be placing our response to the climate emergency at the heart of it. I look forward to developing strong links across the borough’s diverse and creative communities. We will also be working with schools, churches, businesses, developers and financiers because everybody has a role to play in protecting our planet and building a better future.”
They met again in 2000 at Buckingham Palace when they were both receiving their honours from the Queen. Johnny first worked at the Elephant and Castle Horse repository when he left school earning six old pennies a week. He eventually took over the family business and was known as Johnny the Toy man.
Southwark Council has appointed a team of architects who will design plans to transform the Currys PC World site on Old Kent Road into hundreds of new homes as part of one of London’s largest regeneration schemes.
He helped to set up the Southwark Association of Street Traders, to preserve and develop the Street Traders profession. Johnny became Secretary of the association and represented them on the Executive Committee of Southwark Chamber of Commerce for many years. They organised an annual old age trip to Brighton for 300 people.
The mixed-use development will include the delivery of around 500 new homes, half of which will be much-needed new council homes. This will form part of a programme to build 11,000 new council homes across the borough by 2042, with 2,500 of these started on site or delivered by 2022.
Johnny was renowned for his community spirit and helping those in need. He was a founding member and trustee of the Mayor of Southwark’s Common Good Trust.
Morris + Company, Weston Williamson + Partners and West Port have been chosen as the design team for the project – representing an exciting group of new and experienced designers who all have prior experience of working in Southwark.
Johnny is survived by his wife Pat, son Tony and daughter Kim.
Architects appointed for Old Kent Road scheme Public consultation on the Currys PC World scheme will begin next year and the first new homes could be delivered in 2024. Shaun Ihejetoh, director at West Port, said: “We are really excited to be part of an amazing design team and look forward to creating a new residential-led, mixed-use scheme on Old Kent Road. The next 10-15 years will see a lot of change in this part of Southwark. We look forward to helping to shape a scheme that is responsive to local needs, embodies sustainable development principles and fits with the wider regeneration masterplan of the area.”
David Storring, director from Morris + Company, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Southwark Council to establish Old Kent Road as a thriving destination, delivering a unique mix of commercial, workspace, residential and public realm spaces.” Beatrix Young, partner at Weston Williamson + Partners, said: “As a local Southwark-based practice, we always look for opportunities to support sustainable growth and development within the borough, building on our established links with local schools, business and residents.” For more information visit www.oldkentroad.org.uk
Direct Vision Standard comes into force
A road safety scheme that requires all freight operators to obtain free safety permits has now been enforced on all roads in London. Transport for London (TfL) has worked with the London boroughs to launch the pioneering Direct Vision Standard (DVS), which is designed to improve road safety in the capital, save lives and prevent serious injuries. The lorry safety scheme is now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is enforced on all roads in London, with standards set to tighten further in 2024. The DVS scheme reduces lethal blind spots by introducing a free permit system that assigns
6 Southwark BUSINESS TODAY
vehicles a star rating based on how much the driver can see directly through their cab window. TfL said more than 30,000 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) have been made safer as a result of the scheme. All owners of HGVs over 12 tonnes now need a valid permit to operate in London. Those without a permit face a fine of up to £550. To date, more than 90,000 permits have been issued, including more than 3,000 to five-star vehicles which provide the highest levels of direct vision. Christina Calderato, head of transport planning at TfL, said: “We know that the DVS will protect all
Londoners who walk and cycle by ensuring that the most dangerous vehicles on our roads have effective safety measures. This will prevent needless death and injury on our roads. “We are immensely proud that our DVS – a world-first for lorry safety – will not only save lives in London, but in the UK and all over Europe as operators upgrade their entire fleets, sometimes upgrading hundreds of vehicles. This vital step is core to our Vision Zero plan to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads.”
WELCOME TO CASTLE SQUARE Castle Square, which opened last year, sits at the heart of the wider retail and leisure offer coming to Elephant and Castle and includes Ash Avenue and Elephant Park. It’s home to a variety of local traders with a wide range of products and services including fashion, textiles and electricals and some of the most delicious cafes and restaurants available locally. Easily accessible, Castle Square is located just 5 minutes walk from Elephant and Castle tube station and directly opposite Elephant and Castle train station.
Meet Muhamed Sejdovic, owner of Raw Fashion, to find out more on his experience as a trader in Castle Square. Tell me about yourself and your work? How did you end up running your own business? I worked in a market growing up in South Serbia in a trading city called Novi Pazar before I came to England. It was always my dream to build something for myself, and my aim is to create something bigger than what I started in the market. However, I am not in a rush, and it is not all about profit for me. What do you sell at Raw Fashion? We sell men’s clothing. My main target audience is anyone between the ages of 18 and 50, but you are never too old to wear urban, stylish clothing. I make a lot of jeans for the younger generation, they are my best selling products. How has your move to Castle Square been? Moving into Castle Square was great, and lots of people were coming in at first, thanks to good promotion. But sadly we had to close for the November lockdown, and again for the winter lockdown, which has been very difficult for business. What is the best thing about your products? You never hear any complaints from people wearing my clothes. We combine quality, price and style. They do not break your bank,
you look good, and you don’t have to throw them away after two or three times wearing them. My clothes also come from limited sources, so not everyone gets to wear them. What do you think of Elephant and Castle? Elephant and Castle is an interesting place, and it looks like a lot of amazing things are coming to the area, including shops and restaurants. It is exciting and hopefully will bring in lots of new people. The area is extremely well connected which helps, with the underground, overground and buses. How have you found the year so far? Are you looking forward to opening up again? I am excited but frustrated by lockdown, and want to go back to work. I will reopen on 12 April and will be offering 20% discounts. We hope to see you soon and you can follow us on Instagram @raw.fashion1.
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT 15 TH – 18 TH APRIL Pop by Castle Square between 15th and 18th April to enjoy live entertainment every day and discover what our local traders have in store. Find out more at
Destination Southwark Southwark benefits from being a part of London, a global city and international destination of choice for dozens of businesses across a wide range of sectors – particularly culture and the arts. It is home to world-famous attractions including the Tate Modern, Borough Market, Tower Bridge and Dulwich Picture Gallery, as well the Shard which is considered by many to be an architectural jewel in London’s crown. Bankside is one of London’s leading cultural quarters, having evolved from a rich, diverse and authentic heritage. Kate Poulter of Better Bankside Business Improvement District (BID) says: “This is a place where people have come to experience culture for more than one thousand years. It’s now home to some of London’s most visited and renowned cultural institutions. “With five of London’s bridges leading to the area, and various major transport hubs within easy reach, Bankside is a very connected neighbourhood. It’s a well-known but ever-evolving part of the city. Ghost signs are a visible insight into Bankside’s commercial heritage and the architecture of the neighbourhood reveals layers of industrial history, from Victorian warehousing to The Hop Exchange, Bankside Power Station and mighty railway arches. Today, talent in Bankside powers the new economy – from architects and designers to Borough Market’s artisan producers.”
“This is a place where
Destination of choice for businesses The borough of Southwark is a hive of activity and opportunity. Boasting a rich and proud history, it has a strong sense of community and a fantastic ability to transform the lives of the people who work and live there. 8 Southwark BUSINESS TODAY
people have come to experience culture for more than one thousand years. It’s now home to some of London’s most visited and renowned cultural institutions.”
“The BID leads positive economic, environmental and social action in the neighbourhood, empowering participation within the community, delivering imaginative solutions to urban challenges and celebrating the distinct character of the area. The emphasis now is on economic renewal and recovery.” The BID leads positive economic, environmental and social action in the neighbourhood, empowering participation within the community, delivering imaginative solutions to urban challenges and celebrating the distinct character of the area. The emphasis now is on economic renewal and recovery. Kate says: “After an extraordinary year, we’re looking forward to seeing the energy returning to Bankside as people filter back into workplaces, reigniting the buzz that makes our neighbourhood so special and vibrant. City districts globally have experienced rapid change, and we anticipate more to come. “We’ve brought forward various new projects and services to support businesses, whether they’re working remotely or continuing to operate in the area. We’ve developed a Roadmap to Return for Bankside’s businesses to support them through the transition back to the area and to incentivise local employees to rediscover the
neighbourhood. Just some of the practical initiatives we have in place include deep cleans to the external entrances of buildings, a new secure cycle park, Bankside bike trains, and a host of online events focused on wellbeing and new business challenges.” The Dixon Hotel, too, is looking forward to the future with a healthy degree of optimism. Hasham Soliman, General Manager of the boutique venue, says: “Southwark is such a great destination for tourists, residents and businesses. It has fantastic transport links and an abundance of great venues and attractions to explore. In addition to the history of Tower Bridge and the cornucopia of options at Borough Market, all of the theatres, galleries and leisure entertainment on the Southbank is amazing and a must-try experience.” The Dixon Hotel has several exciting plans once it’s allowed to reopen again. The main one is the repositioning of Provisioners restaurant with a new Italianfocused cuisine made with British produce. Hasham says: “To encourage more business visitors to The Dixon, the number one priority is to ensure we are COVID-safe, AA-certified and the team appropriately trained. Furthermore, we have a flexible cancellation policy, offer attractive rates and our meeting rooms and social shared working space offer strong Wi-Fi and state-of-the-art technology for our guests.”
The popular Borough Market remained open for business throughout lockdown, providing essential produce to the local community with social distancing measures in place. The venue’s restaurants will start serving outdoors again in April, making use of the ample space on site for al fresco dining. Darren Henaghan, Managing Director at the market, says: “It’ll be great to have that buzz back in the evenings: selling produce is at the core of what we do, but the communal experience of sharing good food is also a fundamental part of life at the market. “We’re also continuing to develop our digital offering. When the pandemic first hit, we rapidly increased the scale and reach of our Borough Market Online delivery service, taking it beyond London for the first time. While we remain convinced of the social benefits of coming together to shop at a market, we also see the value in our traders’ exceptional, sustainably produced food getting to people who can’t make it here in person. Our events and publications also moved online, meaning that our conversations about food production and cookery reached new audiences. We can’t wait to be able to once again host in-person events, but that wider digital engagement will definitely carry on.”
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“The cultural offer is immense, with an abundance of things to do and see throughout the borough.” Artists impression of the new High Street layout Some exciting new plans for the market are in the pipeline. Borough Market Online is launching a new seasonal produce subscription service, while the new Friends of Borough Market scheme will give regular customers a chance to support the venue’s charitable activities and improvements to public spaces while enjoying a wide range of membership benefits. These initiatives are playing a part in promoting Southwark as a great place in which to live and do business.
Darren’s view that the borough has much to offer is shared by Russell Dryden, Manager of Blue Bermondsey BID which was established in 2014.
Darren says: “Southwark has a large, settled and highly diverse residential community and a wealth of small, innovative businesses. This diversity is a big part of the area’s dynamism.
Russell says: “The cultural offer is immense, with an abundance of things to do and see throughout the borough. If you venture into the heartlands beyond the obvious hotspots close to the river, you can really explore the local communities and fascinating heritage.
“Southwark also has an incredible heritage when it comes to the production, importation and sale of food, of which Borough Market is just a small part: this has been London’s larder for hundreds of years and it remains a real haven for people who love to eat.”
“Since 2014 we’ve worked on countless inspiring initiatives, including major improvement works to the market place and high street after our BID and other partners secured £2 million from the Mayor of London’s LEAP Good Growth Fund.”
“It’ll be great to have that buzz back in the evenings: selling produce is at the core of what we do, but the communal experience of sharing good food is also a fundamental part of life at the market.”
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Blue Bermondsey has managed to maintain most of its services throughout the pandemic and supported the business community as much as possible. Russell says: “When the initial lockdown kicked in, we launched an online business directory and cargo bike delivery service for those essentials that were able to keep operating. We worked closely with our neighbouring BIDs and the council to feed into the process of ensuring that the grants, support and crucial information available to businesses was communicated as effectively as possible. During the recovery phase we’ll be flexible and responsive to what our businesses require from us as an organisation elected to represent them.”
Critical questions remain on plan for reopening The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is urging the government to give businesses much greater clarity on its roadmap out of lockdown as firms continue to suffer. The business organisation, which represents tens of thousands of companies across the UK, has written to the government seeking updates on a number of vital issues. In particular, it says firms need to know how the government is assessing its four tests to determine if the roadmap will be followed. This includes providing regular updates on progress against the tests so that businesses can plan ahead. The BCC said firms also need more detail on the practicalities of reopening and the government’s various reviews so they can make concrete plans on how they will operate – for example, what social distancing rules will be in place at each stage of the roadmap and beyond. Companies are also looking to the government for clarity on potential legal issues surrounding vaccinations. Finally, businesses which operate across the UK need the government and devolved administrations to work together on synchronising their differing routes out of lockdown. The BCC’s comments follow a survey which revealed that many firms were struggling due to the continued COVID restrictions. More than a quarter (26%) of firms surveyed by the BCC described their current level of debt as either “unmanageable” or “high and manageable”. This rose to 32% for consumer-facing firms such as those in the hospitality and retail sectors.
The survey also showed that 32% of respondents saw write-offs relating to COVID-19 lockdowns or restrictions in the last twelve months. Commenting on the lack of roadmap clarity, Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, president of the BCC, said: “The route back to a full reopening of the economy is still a long way off, with continued uncertainty about whether, and when, the roadmap steps will be met. “Far too little has been revealed about how the government is assessing its four tests on the roadmap for businesses to accurately judge whether it will happen as planned. “The timescales for some firms to get ready are already short. Others will be holding out for decisions to be made around issues like international travel and tourism to finally give them hope for the future. “The UK government must also find a way to work much more closely with the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on a collective route out of lockdown. A lot of businesses operate across these borders, in both directions, which makes planning their restart even more complex. “Many companies appear reluctant to invest, buy in new stock or make plans for how they will operate when so much is still unknown. They have built up huge levels of debt throughout a year of continued restrictions, seen their cashflow reduced to a trickle in some sectors, while others have been forced to absorb large write-offs due to sudden lockdowns.”
“The route back to a full reopening of the economy is still a long way off, with continued uncertainty about whether, and when, the roadmap steps will be met. Far too little has been revealed about how the government is assessing its four tests on the roadmap for businesses to accurately judge whether it will happen as planned.”
Southwark BUSINESS TODAY 11
The Blue Bermondsey BID was set up in 2014 and has been at the forefront of countless inspiring initiatives locally. It’s origins are inspiring for any small local area.
constituted as the Blue Bermondsey Business Association (BBBA) and took a more pro-active role, most notably securing £700,000 funding into the High Street. The BBBA led on the project, forming steering groups, engaging the wider business sector and local residents. The improvements included the iconic Bermondsey Lion artwork, that now symbolises the area.
The journey began in 1997, when a small group of business owners, centred around the Blue Market and High St began campaigning on behalf of local business. Their pioneering efforts led to funding for the Market place to get a makeover and many small community initiatives in the area. In 2008 the group formally
In the following years, the BBBA began to broaden its scope and networking activities and conducted a feasibility study to develop the concept of a ‘BID for the Blue’. Three years of extensive business consultation and engagement followed and in July 2014 local businesses supported the proposals at ballot and Blue Bermondsey BID was founded. After a first term of delivering services to businesses, building the profile of the area, and seeking longer term solution to the lack of investment locally, £2m capital funding was secured from the Mayor of London’s LEAP Good Growth Fund,
for major improvements to the Market Place and High St in early 2019. This was followed by a successful re-ballot for a further five-year term.
The most inspiring and ambitious part of the regeneration is the potential to empower and encourage local residents, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders to harness the economic and social opportunities the market brings.
12 Southwark BUSINESS TODAY
Blue Bermondsey worked closely with local community partners and were supported by Southwark Council to develop and submit the funding application. Locally based Turner prize winning design collective Assemble + Hayatsu Architects were appointed after their impressive tender proposal entitled ‘Made In Bermondsey’ was successful. After an extensive consultation exercise the works began in January 2021 and are on schedule to be completed in July. The funding is being used to totally regenerate the market infrastructure, improvements to shopfronts and the creation of better connections to the town centre. The most inspiring and ambitious part of the regeneration is the potential to empower and encourage local residents, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders to harness the economic and social opportunities the market brings. A thriving and authentic local market enhances sustainable supply chains, local procurement, jobs, and enterprise, whilst improving the environment and supporting the wider local economy. Post covid and the expected upturn in unemployment, the Blue Market can be a place that unites the local community and gives local entrepreneurs and start-ups a tangible opportunity to test trade their businesses ideas in a supportive and affordable environment. When enterprises thrive, society thrives and in this cusp of significant change the market represent a prime opportunity for local people to be involved in shaping the uses and play a significant role in the longerterm vision and economic recovery.
Jack Shah, Blue Bermondsey Chair, has been running his gentlemen’s clothing shop ‘Blu 1’ on the High St for 15 years and acknowledges that the challenges businesses face as a result of the pandemic are unprecedented. “As a representative organisation our profile and connections place us in an unrivalled position to help bring the Blue Bermondsey back to life in a safe way as quickly as possible when restrictions are lifted and our businesses are allowed to resume trading with a reasonable level of normality. We were able to act decisively during the first lockdown to promptly deliver a package of support for those essential businesses that remained open and disseminate crucial information through hard copy, our website, and well supported social media platforms. Through the ongoing uncertainty we have maintained operations and services to the best of our abilities and have worked with our neighbouring Southwark BID’s, the Council and business groups to share knowledge and expertise to lobby the Government, the GLA, and a wide range of strategic bodies. This allowed us to give direct input into a range of campaigns and practical support, including assisting businesses that had difficulty obtaining payment of business support/grants. This collective voice ensured that any decision-making resulted in the best possible support programmes and the most up to date information for our businesses”.
When enterprises thrive, society thrives and in this cusp of significant change the market represent a prime opportunity for local people to be involved in shaping the uses and play a significant role in the longer-term vision and economic recovery. Blue Bermondsey BID exists to support and promote local businesses, attract new businesses and investment, with the longterm aim of generating a prosperous local economy alongside actively advocating the area’s individuality and unique character. The legacy of the Made in Bermondsey regeneration programme will be a key principle in helping to transform the Blue into a thriving area, once more recognised and celebrated as Bermondsey’s historic town centre and is the first major step towards a wider holistic vision for the area by the BID, local partners and stakeholders.
www.bluebermondsey.co.uk Southwark BUSINESS TODAY 13
Working with the Southwark Council to create a vibrant, inclusive, mixed-use development at Canada Water
Find out more at: www.canadawatermasterplan.com www.britishland.com
An UPDATE from the Canada Water Masterplan Team Construction is now underway and the first building is nearing completion. To reflect this exciting stage we are delighted to be sharing our latest initiative #OurCanadaWater with local residents and businesses. In our last issue, we announced the exciting news that Higher Education provider, TEDI - London, will be moving to a new home in Canada Water. We are now delighted to say that we have reached a significant milestone with the modular buildings for the new campus having been delivered at the end of March.
n Illustrative View of the TEDI-London modular buildings
You can find out more information about the construction works and other updates about the Masterplan on our website www.canadawatermasterplan.com
You’ll find entries on our Canada Water Masterplan social channels, and you’ll be able to see a selection in the windows of Time and Talents 2 opposite Tesco in Surrey Quays Shopping Centre throughout April. Keep an eye out too for the first view of a bright new look for Canada Water Masterplan.
Enabling the first phase of delivery and modular buildings for TEDI-London arrive on site
If you haven’t sent in anything yet, we’d love to hear from you – and also your colleagues, customers or friends living in or around the area, so spread the news. Photos, stories, poetry arts & crafts or recipes can be posted online using the #OurCanadaWater hashtag or sent via a direct message on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
The preparatory construction works underway on parts of the masterplan site continue to progress well. Work is now taking place in six areas across the Masterplan site, including at the former Dock Offices, the former Rotherhithe Police Station and Surrey Quays Shopping Centre. This week, we saw the installation of the TEDI-London campus modular buildings commence on site at the Printworks. Some of you may have seen these buildings arrive on Wednesday morning, which were lifted by a crane into their new home. This is an exciting milestone in the construction programme which will deliver this sustainable, bespoke, and modular design that will house a variety of spaces to support students and staff to contribute to a high-quality project-based learning experience. The campus will be ready to welcome its first cohort of students in September this year. To find out more information and to watch a virtual tour of the new campus, please visit TEDI-London’s website www.tedi-london.ac.uk/about/location/
#OurCanadaWater: send us yours! You may already have spotted March’s launch of #OurCanadaWater. It’s a call to everyone who lives, works, goes to school, shops or visits SE16 to share what you love about Canada Water, Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks. Stories, music, pictures, memories, or anything that sums up the area for you – even recipes!
Entries are open until the end of April. Please visit the Latest News page of our website to view the Terms and Conditions.
To find out more about the Canada Water Masterplan please check our website - www.canadawatermasterplan.com You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to get regular updates on the project. Should you have any questions or would like to be added to the mailing list to receive direct updates about the project, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Southwark BUSINESS TODAY 15
Business Mobile Phones + Employees = License to Spend? Not with the ultimate connectivity platform providing you with control over the content and spend! Mobile phones have come a long way. Far from being the ultimate status symbol of wealth and success for city traders, in today’s connected business world a mobile phone is essential. But with the Covid-19 pandemic leading to an increased reliance on a mobile workforce, how do you, as a business owner, ensure that you are getting value for money from your mobile phone fleet? And how can you be sure that they are being used as effective work tools, enabling productivity, and not just as a way for employees to play, chat and browse? Businesses today need a connectivity platform that is second to none when it comes to keeping control of their mobile phone service. They need to know how much they are spending, on what, and why. Then businesses can take control with the power and flexibility to manage access, security and minimise overspend, either on an individual or total workforce basis. Matt Dunn, Support Director at Labyrinth Technology explains more: Q: Matt, what exactly do you mean by “connectivity platform”? A: Everything a business needs to monitor, review, manage and control the way your employees utilise your mobile phone fleet needs to be available in an easy to use app accessible through desktop, tablet or mobile. It must be centrally managed with simple, easy navigation. Q: Why is it important to have this sort of platform? A: There are 3 main reasons. Firstly, because people have become used to mobile phones being “all-inclusive”, which of course they aren’t. There are several additional cost elements that can drive your bill up if care isn’t taken to a) identify them, and b) manage them. Secondly, all of the information needed to manage a mobile phone fleet is currently available but can be spread across different sources.
020 3790 7500
It can be time consuming to gather the data and then interrogate it, whereas the modern connectivity platform makes it available with a few clicks. And then of course there is productivity. Q: Productivity? A: That’s right. Today’s mobile phones are literally entertainment hubs, with the internet, social media, Netflix, Amazon, and apps galore. Having the simple and easy ability to restrict access to certain functionality, and if necessary, interrogate the use and cost breakdown of the mobile phone fleet has never been more important. Q: So it’s just “big brother” then? A: No, it’s much more than that. It’s a management information system which, as part of its functionality, allows the identification of mis-use. But if used properly as a “pro-active” tool, it sets the framework for your business, if necessary on a user by user basis, to facilitate a cost-effective and highly productive mobile communications function. Q: So flagging up issues is just part of what is on offer then? A: Yes. A modern connectivity platform is designed to allow pro-active management of the contract and phone fleet, and not merely be a tool to catch out abusers.
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For instance, by simple toggling of certain controls you can switch off the functionality that isn’t required on a user-by-user basis. Then, if required the detail of use and spend can be examined to identify specific issues that need attention, such as whether the company mobiles might be used to browse or access unsuitable content. Q: But having this level of functionality must come at a cost? A: I wouldn’t want to speak for any other providers, but the connectivity platform offered by Labyrinth Technology is part of the overall package at no extra cost, and we lay this out very clearly so our clients can see, with total transparency how we stack up against competitors. They pay for the sim and (if taken also) the phone. Q: What would your advice be to any business with a need for a new mobile phone service? A: Be in control. With PC and laptop devices it is easy to restrict access to certain things, and to stop apps from being downloaded, simply by using an admin rights setup. There is no reason why a mobile phone shouldn’t be the same. A good connectivity platform, used correctly, simply removes the element of temptation from people’s hands, and makes the phone a powerful device that benefits a business without being a license to spend!
Tackling 3 vectors of virus
Surface | Air | Contact
Safer Shared Spaces provide science-based solutions that minimise the risk of bacterial and viral transmissions through people sharing spaces. Make sure that anyone using your premises, leaves as healthy as they arrived. Please contact our sales team on :
02038 759786 email@example.com www.safersharedspaces.com
Jennifer O’Donnell is a fine example of an entrepreneur who can adapt quickly to changing circumstances and spot new business opportunities well before the competition. The MD and founder of a successful commercial contract cleaning company, Jane Jefferson Cleaning (JJC), she’s now diversifying with the launch of a new venture that will help companies to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in their work premises.
Jennifer O’Donnell Managing Director, Safer Shared Spaces
COVID crisis spawns new venture for Jennifer 18 Southwark BUSINESS TODAY
The new venture, Safer Shared Spaces (SSS), is a joint venture with Quills Group Ltd. and a direct response to the COVID-19 crisis, which has led to multiple lockdowns and the temporary closure of many non-essential businesses over the last year. Quills Group, established over 20 years ago, provide office products and services to businesses throughout the UK. Jennifer says: “I’ve been working on this project since April last year, when clients started to investigate enhanced cleaning and hygiene regimes to help reduce the risk of infection transmission in the spaces that people share. I was curious to discover the best ways to help our clients at JJC, so I embarked on a journey to find costeffective measures that could help stop the spread of infectious diseases across the three main vectors of potential transmission: surfaces, through the air and via human contact.” After much research and several discussions, Jennifer is now in a position to tackle this problem. SSS will act as a distributor of a leading UK manufacturer of laboratory-tested antimicrobial surface coating products, including a clear spray-on coat which is professionally applied by trained technicians
The Inside Story
“The company is a proud recipient of the Living Wage Champions Award and has been previously shortlisted for an Evening Standards Award and a Barclays Responsible Business Award. Jennifer herself has been recognised three times in the Southwark Business Awards and has been referenced in the House of Commons as a shining example of how to run a growing business ethically.”
Jennifer O’Donnell Managing Director Safer Shared Spaces u Favourite food?
Everything that’s bad for you! Chips are probably my favourite; the best ones I’ve ever tasted are from our local chip shop, Silver Fish Bar near Nunhead Station.
u Favourite tipple?
and provides round-the-clock protection against bacteria and viruses. Creating a protective layer that stays on the surface to tackle infection and antimicrobial resistance, it’s resistant to abrasion and typically lasts for its entire lifetime, in contrast to standard disinfectants that need to be reapplied frequently. Recent tests of this innovative product show that it cut SARS-CoV-2 reproduction rates by 99.8%, MRSA rates by 99.991% and E. coli and Salmonella rates by 99.999%. SSS will also be the distributor of a revolutionary no-alcohol active sanitiser which can be used on hands (active up to 8 hours) and surfaces (active in laboratory tests for up to 28 days) and will offer a range of air purification units to address poor air quality and the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses. Jennifer says: “Over the last eight years we’ve grown a significant commercial client base. Listening to these clients it has become very clear that the requirement for cleaning services and products that can demonstrate robust scientific scrutiny has become business-critical, not an optional add-on. Our ambition for SSS is to be a trusted provider of products and services to combat the spread of viral and bacterial infections, and a hub for research and development in this unfolding field.” If early signs are anything to go by, there’s every chance that these goals will be met. Safer Shared Spaces recently struck a partnership with the Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering at Imperial College London and Manchester Met University (MMU), Crowd Science Department to understand how these products and services can help reduce the risk of spreading infectious diseases in shared spaces and give confidence to those using them. Their first package of work will be a case study at a leading event space to map the journey of a visitor and draw on the expertise of MMU and Imperial to provide
guidance on how crowd safety can be managed. The aim of this study is to give confidence to those entering the space that significant steps – such as the use of antimicrobial surface coatings, for example – have been taken to minimise risk of the spread of infection. If this study is successful, there’s huge potential for SSS to offer its expertise to improve the customer experience in multiple public and private sectors and venues around the world.”
u Favourite holiday?
The company is a proud recipient of the Living Wage Champions Award and has been previously shortlisted for an Evening Standards Award and a Barclays Responsible Business Award. Jennifer herself has been recognised three times in the Southwark Business Awards and has been referenced in the House of Commons as a shining example of how to run a growing business ethically. She has also provided input into the Matthew Taylor report on modern day working practices and Sir David Metcalfe’s review into workplace exploitation.
Busy. I have two teenage daughters who keep me on my toes. I also have a Sprocker spaniel, Bertie, who’s the love of my life and has won me over in a way that nobody else can.
u How do you spend your
Lots of dog-walking, playing the piano, running, meditating and, when there’s no lockdown, having fun with friends.
u What are your key strengths
as a manager?
I’d like to think I look after our workers by remunerating them fairly, allowing them to exercise their employment rights and creating a positive environment in which to learn.
u And your limitations?
I never seem to have enough time to get everything done.
u Best thing about doing business
in the borough?
It’s clear that a strong sense of fairness is central to Jennifer’s business ethos – and this has underpinned her company’s success to date.
“It’s something that my grandmother taught me. I’ve really bought into these values and so have my 75 staff, and this has been appreciated greatly by our customers.”
A small seaside resort called Calella de Palafrugell, not far from Barcelona. It’s an incredibly beautiful coastline and I have happy memories of cycling through forests to get to our favourite beach, Castell.
u Describe your family life?
It’s an exciting time for Jennifer, who is also busy keeping her company’s core cleaning business in good shape as the UK gradually emerges from lockdown. She launched JJC in 2013 with the clear aim of providing a better service than any other cleaning firm could offer, whilst looking after her staff with fair pay and rights.
“Our brand legacy is based on old-fashioned values of hard work and commitment and the desire to get a job done well,” she says.
As a special treat it would be pink Laurent Perrier champagne – with chips, of course!
Southwark’s vibrant culture and its interesting history. From a business perspective, I’ve been impressed by the constructive, helpful support of networking groups such as Southwark Chamber of Commerce and Cooking with Scissors, where members are genuinely there to support and help each other.
u Famous person you’d most like
to spend dinner with?
The actor Regé-Jean PageI, who plays the dashing Duke of Hastings in the TV series Bridgerton.
u Most interesting fact about
I won my school’s disco dancing championships in 1982!
Southwark BUSINESS TODAY 19
WE’RE EXPANDING: a new campus and fresh opportunities We’re proud to be a university focused on supporting our local communities, as well as the development of our 18,000 students from over 130 countries. 20 Southwark BUSINESS TODAY
Skills With our business community in mind, we’re delighted that the recent Knowledge Exchange Network 2021 from Research England shows LSBU are now the leading provider in London of SME business support and our business incubation programme has been ranked second amongst all UK universities. Staffing solutions: skilled students
New campus in Croydon In addition to our current Southwark and Havering campuses, LSBU is excited to be launching a new campus in Croydon. Opening in September 2021, the Croydon facilities, courses and campus itself are all designed to respond to the needs of the local community, providing ambitious, business-minded Londoners with a brand new business hub; a shared space brimming with entrepreneurial spirit, where students and businesses alike gather to share knowledge and ideas. As well as Undergraduate programs in Business and Healthcare, LSBU Croydon will also offer CPD and upskilling short courses, designed to support the local community with their career development. Our new campus will also become home to our second Business Solution Centre, additional to the first in Southwark. Staffed by students of LSBU Business School and overseen by staff supervisors, this Centre will also offer a free drop-in service to local businesses. Find out more at: lsbu.ac.uk/croydon
Across our courses, we offer placements and internships to our students studying accounting, finance, business, marketing and economics, which means our students are actively seeking work experience. These digitalsavvy, skilled students learn theory with a focus on practical application, and they can bring these skills to your business – with many students also having additional language skills. At a time when you may be more cautious about taking on long-term staff, shorter student placements ranging from 1 month to 1 year can be a perfect solution, benefitting both your business and our students’ experience. We also have recent graduates who are looking for work opportunities, with many more students graduating in summer later this year. There are also plenty of other ways to work with our students including guest speaking, hosting a workshop and mentoring. To discuss your business needs and to find out more about our talent pool, please contact LSBU Business School Commercial Student Experience Business Partner Lyn Hamblin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Courses and talks Applications for undergraduate and postgraduate courses for September entry are open. If you’re considering upskilling or changing careers, our courses in accounting, finance, business, economics, marketing, HRM and project management set you on the path to success. We’re also continuing our Professional Lecture Series, with topics including ‘Economic crises, recessions, and the employee experience in SMEs: Why should employers care and what can they do about it?’ and ‘Data in funny places’. Find out these and more at: lsbu.ac.uk
Case Study: Finance Placement Financial company, AskIf, took on LSBU Business School student Claudia Ullah during the pandemic. Claudia says “It’s been brilliant working in such a diverse company over the past year. It’s great to feel part of the solution to the pandemic because we are helping small, credit worthy businesses to secure the funding they need. Due to pandemic restrictions, I’ve been working from home. I thought working remotely would make getting to know my colleagues and forming bonds difficult, but it was much easier than I’d imagined. I have gained so much knowledge and I feel my work is appreciated, which has motivated me to keep doing better. In my experience, internships are highly valuable for students. They help you identify your skills and knowledge and the areas in which you require improvement. You get to explore the field of work that you wish to build a career in”.
Are we connected? Stay in touch with what’s going on at LSBU by following LSBU Business School’s LinkedIn page, where we share the latest news, events and activities.
Southwark BUSINESS TODAY 21
Why leading the self is vital for leaders in the COVID era “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day-to-day to lead himself.” So said Thomas Watson, legendary CEO of IBM, who oversaw the rise of its global empire from 1914 to his death in 1956. (Today, obviously, it should be great women, because there are outstanding women just as frequently as there are outstanding men). Watson was a great leader and he understood that to be effective means developing self-awareness. That is awareness of your strengths and weaknesses, so a leader should surround themselves with people to compensate for those weaknesses. Leaders are incomplete people, but they can be made complete by a team. In fact, the number one skill required by leaders is the ability to lead the self. Leaders need to change how they think and how they practice. First, they need to learn how they can change themselves before they help change others. And that means taking care of their mental and physical health, creating a good work-life balance that can be seen as an exemplar for others. Leaders need to take care of themselves before they help others. Developing self-awareness and taking time out for reflection on your leadership DNA and brand are important skills in evolving the soft skills and emotional engagement needed to lead others effectively. Humanity is more important for leaders than any technical knowledge today as people have to deal with stressful situations, such as working from home and dealing with the pandemic. Leaders need to be honest about their emotions and anxiety to create a culture of being committed to take care of each other. It is extremely difficult, but it differentiates effective leaders from the rest. It means leaders have to be ready to observe and reflect on their impact, how they come across and talk with others on how they can improve. It requires critical thinking, an examination of a leader’s assumptions; what do you assume about the future? What might you be able to test? What do you assume about what you are able to do yourself? What do you assume about your job, your organisation and your industry?
More importantly, if somebody in your team starts to think differently what is it that you’re assuming about that person? This is the starting point and an opportunity to challenge your assumptions, to start thinking differently. And, this is what lies at the heart of strategy, of being a strategic leader. It requires you to understand what it is that you assume – you need your beliefs challenging. What do we assume about our customer needs and about our competitors, including non-traditional competitors? The global pandemic has brought great uncertainty. Before it arrived change was already escalating thanks to rapidly evolving technology, but more than ever we are living in a VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) world on steroids. This rapidly changing world will challenge our assumptions, so it is important leaders do it first, then they can help their staff develop and do the same. In such uncertain times strategic leadership is essential and this means leaders need to be able to do two things at once; carry on with business as usual and delivering results and also business as unusual. This needs leaders to stop and think about what this post-pandemic future might imply and reviewing the validity of the value systems their company has. To cope with this heightened uncertainty about the future, strategising in the usual way won’t work. To plan for business as unusual means the problem-solving techniques usually used by leaders are not fit for purpose any more. Leaders need to challenge the way they think and act in this new global environment. This crisis requires leaders to change the way they think about their teams. Long gone are the days to tell people what to do, clever leaders employ people to tell them what to do. A strategic leader needs to cultivate an environment where people are willing and able to contribute ideas and challenge the leadership.
Strategic leadership means thinking about the future and creating an environment that focuses people’s minds on development and growth. It is about developing the organisational capacity for ongoing change, for constantly questioning and reinventing; about creating an organisation that is able to learn in an ongoing fashion in order to challenge what the leadership thinks and believes. And this needs to be done while coping with the short-term pressure of delivering results and meeting targets. Unilever did this by developing a very clear purpose around sustainability and lessening its impact on the environment. It was a mission that was bigger than the leader, the organisation and beyond the corporate shortterm goals to satisfy shareholders. This is the paradox that leaders have to embrace today. Many businesses are struggling to survive and cope with the pandemic, but they must also look to the future and reimagine a new operating model. Amidst the crisis they have to build hope and a new opportunity for their organisation. This requires strategic leadership and the conviction to challenge assumptions, encourage questions from your staff and build a learning ecosystem that will learn to adapt and reimagine the future.
“This rapidly changing world will challenge our assumptions, so it is important leaders do it first, then they can help their staff develop and do the same.”
This article originally appeared on the Warwick Business School (WBS) website. For more information on WBS at The Shard, please visit wbs.ac.uk/go/london
22 Southwark BUSINESS TODAY
Female job opportunities hit by pandemic
The b2 Crew
Bermondsey Square Hotel is delighted to be opening its doors and welcoming guests on 17 May 2021. Emma Castaldo, General Manager told us, “To have been part of the opening of the hotel in 2009, little did I think that 11 years later I would be closing its doors 3 times in one year! We are extremely proud that as part of the hospitality industry, which arguably has suffered the most during lockdown, we were able to avoid any redundancies”. The hotel has maintained and supported 40 employees, fondly referred to as the ‘b2 Crew’, through the pandemic with the assistance of the hotel owners and Government Furlough. Despite a drop in business from over 85% occupancy to less than 15 % has had a dramatic effect on the business that has only been able to operate for approximately 6 months of the past year.
Despite this all of this, the b2 Crew are pleased to announce that the hotel has achieved several awards during the pandemic form customer reviews which is an amazing achievement for the team and lifted everyone’s spirits. The hotel is taking reservations from 17 May 2021 onwards and will continue to take all the necessary precautions to ensure the hotel is a safe place to work and stay.
www.bermondseysquarehotel.co.uk @Bermondseysquarehotel @B2Hotel @bermondseysquarehotel
Government safeguards Bakerloo line extension route Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has pledged to safeguard the route of the Bakerloo line extension from Lambeth North to Lewisham. The move is designed to protect the land required for the tunnels, alongside new stations along the Old Kent Road, at New Cross Gate and Lewisham, as well as key operational infrastructure and construction sites.
“This is a major milestone for the Bakerloo line extension. The safeguarding directions will prevent premature development on sites required for the project and enable us to deliver this vital project when the time is right.
The safeguarding directions follow on from a public consultation which showed that the extension had the support of nearly nine in 10 respondents, as well as businesses and local authorities along the proposed route.
“Extending the Bakerloo line and upgrading the existing line will connect an historically underserved part of London to the tube network, while unlocking thousands of new homes that London desperately needs and supporting new jobs.
Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport; Kieron Williams, leader of Southwark Council; and Damien Egan, mayor of Lewisham, said in a joint statement:
“We will continue to work with the government and others on options for funding so this scheme can be delivered and its many benefits realised.”
Women in London are more likely than men to be unemployed or economically inactive, and were more likely to have had their working hours reduced or been placed on furlough earlier in the pandemic. That was the key conclusion from a City Hall analysis of data produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The data shows that the unemployment rate for women in London was higher than for men in the last three months of 2020 (7.2% for women compared to 6.7% for men). Unemployment among women in London increased by 3.5 percentage points over the last year, compared to two percentage points for men – suggesting that more women who were previously on furlough have subsequently lost their jobs and become unemployed than men. The research also indicated that economic inactivity was more prevalent among women than men, both in London and nationally. The female economic inactivity rate was 23.2% in London compared with 24.5% across the entire UK, while the male rate was 16.1% and 17.3% nationally. The publication of this data follows a study – commissioned by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan last year – which revealed that women have experienced disproportionate economic, social and psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mothers were 47% more likely than fathers to have lost their jobs or resigned from their jobs, and 14% more likely to have been furloughed. Sadiq Khan said: “I am committed to ensuring our city’s recovery from this pandemic works for women. Through my London Recovery Board, we will address the pattern of rising unemployment and economic inequalities, and ensure our city is a safe place where all women can thrive.”
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A myriad of shapes and colours dancing together Annie Phillips - batik artist extraordinaire at the Fashion and Textile Museum By Susan Isaacs Arts and Culture Correspondent “I was hooked. I loved the combination of applying wax to material and playing with pattern and colour…. my batiks are a myriad of shapes and colours dancing together.” The search to perfect her art has taken her all over the world. She visited Indonesia and Ghana, learning techniques from the people who lived there. I asked how batik is different there and her eyes light up.
A pixie-like figure with an enormous grin, hair tied back in a blonde ponytail, skips across the zoom room to show me her work. She is in overalls that she has dyed to a vivid orange, a lime green shirt, and carries in one hand, a tjanting, the essential tool of her trade. Meet Annie Phillips, batik artist and designer. Her batiks, wonderful bursts of rainbow colours, are appearing at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey Street, as part of an exhibition called Chintz; Cotton in Bloom from 18th May - 15th August. Her long love affair with batik began many years ago, standing in a queue, waiting to attend a life drawing class. When the class was cancelled, in a life changing moment, a friend suggested trying batik instead.
“Well, there the tradition is passed down from family to family, and it is a huge part of the culture. Years gone by it was the main way that clothes were made.” Her work has evolved over the years. She started by teaching batik both to schoolchildren and adults. What really transformed her business was the digital revolution in the nineties. At the touch of a button, she could resize her pieces and change colours.
‘If my work is bought for a private home, a designer has to take into account everything that is there already. The work has to fit in with the scheme of the whole room.’ She loves her work, but years of earning a living at it have made her pragmatic. “You can’t be too precious. I once went along to see my work hanging in an office space, only to discover that a piece had been hung upside down. I bit my tongue and said how lovely it looked.... When you sell a piece, you cannot dictate how its displayed. You don’t own the rights to how other people see your work.” Her designs have been used by hotels and restaurants right around the world. Her very first success was with Pizza Express, who took many of her colourful pieces for a restaurant in Marlow. Since then, she has worked with companies such as Prezzo, Fortnum and Masons, Selfridges, Harrods, Stella Macartney, and the London Bridge Hotel in Southwark. Liberty’s have
sold hand woven rugs replicating her original artworks. Her latest extraordinary success has been her ‘How to videos’ on the social media platform TikTok. Viewers are enthralled by her soothing voice and are hungry to learn. She has a vast following. “It’s incredible. When I first made the videos, I was not expecting to have 900,000 people in a class.” Once you have met her, you can see why immediately.
Do not miss her exhibition as part of
CHINTZ; COTTON IN BLOOM from 18th May - 15th August at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Southwark
Southwark BUSINESS TODAY 25
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Voice from Westminster
VOICE from WESTMINSTER NEIL COYLE MP
Recovery is underway More than a year has now passed since the UK went into our first national lockdown. I want to thank Southwark’s business community for the huge sacrifices made to help tackle the pandemic and protect public health and our NHS. This past year has been the most difficult in living memory, and the damage and disruption to business has made lives exceptionally tough. The UK has seen the worst damage to any major economy and locally, unemployment has doubled in the last year with youth unemployment tripling in the north of our borough. The latest figures show that unemployment has continued to rise in 2021 and over 1,200 people aged under 25 are now out of work compared to this time last year. The Government’s flagship ‘Kickstart’ programme is meant to help these young people but here in Southwark less than 1% have been helped into work. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Jobcentre staff told me they have supported only 11 young people into positions but astonishingly that includes work experience placements
from secondary schools to inflate the figure. I will be working with DWP, local Jobcentres and employers to try and improve this dire situation. I have been given assurances that if any local businesses want to take part in Kickstart as the economy opens back up, then placements will be fast tracked. If you would like to participate in the scheme or need any help registering, please email me at: Neil.Coyle.MP@parliament.uk Southwark businesses have also faced immense, avoidable disruption as a result of the Government’s trade deal with the EU. Most local firms are excluded from coverage at all, but even those who were told trade would remain easy have experienced large costs and delays. Since January it is estimated that exports from the UK to the EU dropped 41% and the annual cost of the new trading arrangement is expected to exceed £7.5 billion, a cost British business cannot afford. I have met local firms affected, including one employer who had a shipment held up by UPS with customs issues for nearly two months, despite ‘fast-track’ duties being paid in advance. This one business was unable to fulfil orders and has lost over £10,000 in revenue already.
The Government could help boost the economy through infrastructure funding and I was pleased to help secure the legal safeguards for the land affected by the Bakerloo Line extension from the Elephant and Castle to Lewisham. The project would bring up to 10,000 jobs and 20,000 homes to the Old Kent Road area, but funding is now crucial to deliver this project. I led a debate in Parliament on this issue and have invited Ministers to Southwark to see how the investment would help our area but also boost the national economy, even providing jobs in Goole, Yorkshire building the new tube train carriages. I hope they take up this offer and provide the resources needed to start making tracks, literally!
“The latest figures show that unemployment has continued to rise in 2021 and over 1,200 people aged under 25 are now out of work compared to this time last year.”
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Remembering when... Street Markets in Southwark were organised and became a vital part of the local retail economy By Ken Hayes - Honorary Membership Secretary The City of London set up and managed and controlled the wholesale markets for food, Smithfield for Meat, Covent Garden for Flowers, Fruit and Vegetables and Billingsgate for Fish.
The oldest Southwark market is the Borough Market, which has existed for over 1,000 years. It was originally a wholesale market controlled by the City of London corporation, but was turned into a Charitable Trust under a 1754 Act of Parliament. It is now a retail specialist food market.
Shopkeepers and street traders would purchase their supplies from these wholesale markets. They would then sell them on to the public from their shops or barrows.
A new Street Market has opened in Maltby Street off Tower Bridge Road win recent years.
In I880 street trading became organised and licensed by the London County Council and were moved off the main roads into side streets to avoid traffic congestion.
Street Markets have suffered during the current Covid -19 pandemic and will hopefully bounce back to life.
The pitches were allotted on a daily basis and at 8.00am on Market days a police constable would blow a whistle and the traders would rush to get the best pitches which often led to fighting. In 1927 market control was passed to the Metropolitan Borough councils and market traders were granted licences and given their pitches by market staff. Not all of the markets in Southwark have survived until today. Gone are the Cut Market, off Blackfriars Road, Tower Bridge Road Market and Westmoreland Road Market. East Street Market in Walworth and the Borough Market are still operating. All the markets suffered badly in the aftermath of WWII and took time to recover from both the bomb damage and the loss of life due to the war.
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Adapting to the new normal to support your Companies best asset So, homeworking is here to stay!
Overall, this is a very good thing. However, we’ve been doing this for a year and a majority of people at all levels of the organisational structure are precariously negotiating the ‘Agile-Working’ path. For homeworking to be a viable and sustainable working practice, there will need to be an adjustment in the mindset of business owners, management and employees to ensure this is a positive move.
Simon Garcia owner of Freedom Wellbeing Inc
For that percentage of the working week, a dining table & chair, though not really suitable and definitely not ideal, was sufficient as an isolated workstation. When suddenly using it for five days straight, the musculoskeletal disorders began to rise.
Hopefully, you will find it a smooth transition into new business practices, but don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start. Here are five steps for employers to adopt to help ensure everyone stays physically healthy, mentally strong and at their most productive.
For the following six months, the pendulum swung back toward mental health. The novelty factor of rolling out of bed 10 minutes before you start work had now began to wane, the psycho-social impact of no physical interaction with colleagues, or staring at the same four walls, plus the added stress of increased restrictions, home-schooling and winter weather all piled pressure on our mental states.
With en masse homeworking being imposed on us all, organisations whether proactively encouraging agile-working or very much running away from it, were pretty much left to “like it, or lump it” as my mum would say, if young me had any doubts about the dinner she’d put in front of me. Thankfully, in the most part, there has not been much of an argument against how well it’s worked overall from a business perspective. To ensure that it remains a positive development, there needs to be a progressive approach to workplace wellbeing from both employers and employees, with equal focus given to mental wellbeing and physical health. Freedom Wellbeing Inc have completed over a thousand homeworking assessments since the beginning of the first lockdown in March last year. What we found was that over the first six months, the emphasis of discomfort was pretty much all on the physical side. The lions share of those assessed had some experience of homeworking prepandemic, maybe a day or so a week.
Anyone that has experienced stress will know that it also impacts us physically. Think back to a stressful day at work you may have had. Without realising it, you’re hunched over, your shoulders are pulled in tight, your jaw is locked. This is thousands of years of instinct kicking in, putting you into fight or flight mode, whenever you are distressed. Useless if you’re sitting at a desk! Moving forward with the new ways of working, there will be a good mix of office and home, but with this there needs to be a stronger understanding of mental health in the workplace and an acceptance that additional support will be needed for homeworkers, as physical disorders will increase.
• Workplace Assessments, whether for home or office, are an essential element of any organisations wellbeing programme. These ensure your staff have everything they need to perform their role as safely as possible and remaining as productive as possible. • If you have any form of EAP (Employee Assist Programme), usually through your Occupational Health provider, promote it constantly. If you do not have EAP, look into ad-hoc stress & anxiety counselling. • With mental health awareness growing in workplace, it stands to reason that training managers in Mental Health First Aid will be a benefit. This will help to recognise warning signs within their teams, so that help can be provided as early as possible. • A lot of companies do annual wellbeing surveys. Under the current circumstances, consider sending out the survey quarterly to gauge how people are coping with the new ways of working. This will be incredibly beneficial for forward planning, whether that’s for budgets, recruiting, or training. • Initiate shorter video meetings. Video technology has been an overwhelming plus to keeping business connected & moving. However, back-to-back meetings are one of the key contributing factors to musculoskeletal disorders through the lockdown. This is easily remedied, but it has to come from the top, down. If you book 60min meetings as standard, make it mandatory that they are 50mins. That 10mins between meetings are vital for movement, increasing circulation and activating muscles impacted by sedentary periods. This will help prevent musculoskeletal disorders that could lead to expenditure through ergonomic equipment.
For support with Homeworking Assessments, Counselling, MHFA Training or implementing a suitable Wellbeing Program for your organisation, contact Freedom Wellbeing Inc today.
0203 560 7287
Southwark BUSINESS TODAY 31
Reasons to Join Us
GROW YOUR BUSINESS
THROUGH QUALITY NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES Our broad range of members share advice, experience and peer support for business owners who want to take their business to the next level.
demographic of Southwark. We help our members build strong commercial connections within London. We support them in being part of the Capital’s community and economy. Membership is great for networking and building your business.
Whether you are a sole trader, micro-business, a mid-sized firm or part of a global organisation, our members reflect the diverse business
1 Networking events
4 Southwark Business Today
Develop new business relationships
Find trusted suppliers and meet new customers
Free bi-monthly copy of Southwark Business Today
Regular mailings on news & up-coming events in the Borough Social events
Discounts for advertising in Southwark Business Today
Members can submit articles about their business sector
2 Advice and Support •
Seminars on new developments, local policy, and key business issues
Access to peer-to-peer advice
Engagement with Local councillors
3 Affiliate benefits from
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Access to selected LCCI events as advertised by SCC
5 Discounts & Promotions •
Discounts at local establishments.
Member to member discounts
JOIN TODAY Tel : 07477 581977
Email : email@example.com
Southwark Chamber of Commerce welcomes its latest member companies Bluepatch.org
38 Beckwith Road, London, SE24 9LG Jane Langley Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get Living – Elephant Central 31 New Kent Road, London, SE1 6TJ Jane Reeves Email: email@example.com
32 Southwark BUSINESS TODAY
National Interim Bed Service 51 Lawrie Park Avenue, Sydenham, London, SE26 6HA Roderick Lynch Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Last Word
The Last Word
PLANNED EVENTS April 2021 to January 2022
We’ve designed our events to help you broaden your network, learn something new or get involved with key topical issues for businesses in Southwark. Our networking events are great for regular members to make and maintain useful contacts, and we always welcome first-timers.
Jo Palmer VCS Communications Manager Community Southwark Community Southwark is the local Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) - the umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in Southwark. We support charities, community groups and individuals through capacity building, volunteering and social action. Q1. What was your first job, and
what was the pay packet?
DATE April May June July August September October November December January 2022
EVENT Winning business in a diverse area Business and Education: The advantages of working together Southwark’s changing landscape Wellbeing in a challenging business environment Procurement Mayflower river boat trip
My first job was as a waitress at Pizza Hut back in Wiltshire where I grew up, the pay was something small per hour!
Subject to Covid-19 guidelines
One of the biggest challenges we face is resource, there is always a lot of support needed by the voluntary and community sector and there is a limit to our capacity. The sector is doing such vital work, even more so due to the pandemic.
Apprenticeships: understanding the benefits to businesses Current Business Topics SBA Awards Networking: Making the most of it at the Palace of Westminster Social Media: Which platform(s) should your business be using?
Speakers and times for these events to be announced. For further details on all forthcoming events Email : email@example.com www.southwarkcommerce.com
Q2. If you were prime minister, what would be your first decision? My first decision would be to reduce the use of huge fishing trawlers and nets, these account for the largest loss of life in our oceans, and to work with leaders across the world to do the same. Q3. What is the biggest challenge in your business?
Q4. If you could do another job, what would it be? I would love to work with animals, I am not sure in what capacity – even just some dog walking would be brilliant. I am a big fan of dogs. Q5. What’s your favourite London building? I honestly have never thought about it, but the Shard is very impressive. •••• If your business would like to work with local charities, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org www.communitysouthwark.org
Southwark BUSINESS TODAY 33
Join Us The Chamber is made up of active and successful business people from a wide range of sectors, who are based in Southwark, believe in Southwark and wish Southwark to prosper.
Making the most of your SCC membership Successfully helping Southwark Businesses for 95 Years
Our Committee Interim Chairman Peter Mantell and Richard Kalmar
Once you’ve joined us you have access to the opportunities we provide to help support you and your business. Whether you simply want to attend our networking events, run a seminar or sponsor or run an event, we’d love you to get involved. We like our members to make the most of their membership and get as involved as much as they can.
President Neil Coyle MP
• • • • •
(MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
Vice President Lord Roy Kennedy (House of Lords)
Sole trader £100 per annum Small/Medium sized companies 2 to 50 employees £150 per annum Large companies - 51 employees plus £300 per annum Corporate/PLC’s by agreement. All new members pay a one off administration fee of £25 Company:
Vice President Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP
(MP for Camberwell and Peckham)
Patron The Worshipful Mayor of Southwark
Patron Sir Simon Hughes
Number of Employees:
Vice Chair/Legal Advisor Peter Mantell Vice Chair/Events
Honorary Membership Secretary
Full Name: Position:
Diversity and Inclusion Shade Abdul
Payment Details: BANK DETAILS: Handelsbanken SORT CODE: 40-51-62 ACCOUNT NO: 76489843
Corporate Membership Edward Cree Membership
Katharine Glass / Claire Shore
Tourism and Leisure
To join, please send your details to:
34 Southwark BUSINESS TODAY
Southwark Chamber of Commerce 169 Walworth Road, London SE17 1RW Tel : 07477 581977 Email : email@example.com www.SouthwarkCommerce.com Twitter : @southwarkcomm Facebook : southwarkcommerce
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