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Health and Wellbeing Positive support in the workplace

Sector Focus Science and Innovation

Dreaming big in Margate

International Trade Vietnam -Ease of trading across borders


Welcome & Contents

Looking to a digital future


Jo James

Chief Executive

Welcome to the latest edition of Thinking Business, , which paints a positive picture for the future of Kent and the wider South-East when it comes to the potential offered by digital technology. Rather than focusing on one particular area as we usually do in our Spotlight feature on page 16, we look at a whole sector, digital technology and innovation. As the article says, digital technology represents major economic opportunities for the South East of England.

A recent Government-sponsored Science and Innovation Audit revealed that the South of England is the backbone of UK’s digital economy and our feature looks at what that means for ‘Innovation South’, an area stretching from Dorset to Kent and from Berkshire to the Isle of Wight. Maintaining the positive note, our big interview with Aiden de Brunner, Chairman, of Dreamland, on page 22, charts the revival of what has been described as the heartbeat of Margate. The amusement park has undergone some challenging times over the years but, building on Margate’s swiftly growing reputation as a new capital of British cool, Dreamland Margate reopened in June 2015 with a wealth of new and rejuvenated features.

Contents 4 5 6 7 9-10 11 12-15 16 -18

Chamber News Legal Update Members News Focus on Finance Members News Patron News Members News Sector Focus - Science & Innovation

Our Patrons

20 22-23 25-31 33 35 36-37 38-39

Our cover feature on page 25 takes a look at health and well-being. Health in the workplace has never been afforded a higher priority than today with more and more managers recognising that a healthy workplace means a healthy and productive workforce.


According to organisations like the Health and Safety Executive and the NHS, poor management of workplace health can lead to work-related ill health and high levels of sickness absence.

However, there a lot that companies can do to create workplaces where health, safety and wellbeing is protected and promoted.


This approach is high on the Government’s agenda with officials working with a range of public and private sector organisations to encourage good management of occupational health. Our feature looks at some of the organisations looking to provide vital support in Kent.

It is right that we all focus on health. Being in business can be stressful at times and companies need to know how to look after their staff. It is not a case of can we afford to but can we afford not to?

I hope that you enjoy the magazine.

Economy & US Big Interview Cover Feature Health & Wellbeing Ask the Expert The Person behind the Business Members News International Trade

40 41 42-43 44-45 46-47 48-49 50 50

Members Benefits 24 Hours with ... Chamber Events Chamber Exhibitions Business News New Members Movers & Shakers Last Word

Editorial and General Enquiries

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent. TN24 0LH Chief Executive: Jo James Tel: 01233 503 838 Fax: 01233 503 687

Published June 2018 © Benham Publishing




Benham Publishing Limited, Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Ian Fletcher Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440

Advertising and Features

Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Media No.1541

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Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141

Thinking Business is published for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Thinking Business are not necessarily those of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. © 2018. Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this journal, Benham Publishing and its agents can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.

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Chamber News

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Marketing Expert to speak at Kent B2B Ashford Millie Knight

Jae Hopkins

From a young, courageous sports star to an insightful and experienced business mentor, two fascinating Kent stories will take centre stage at Kent B2B.

Kent-born Paralympic skier Millie Knight will headline the show, which takes place at Ashford International Hotel on 7 June. With podium finishes at Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea still fresh in her mind, Millie will share the triumphs and challenges of competing. The 19-year old started skiing at six years old, the same time she began to lose her eyesight. With only five per cent peripheral vision, Millie has become one of the UK’s top sporting stars, representing ParalympicsGB alongside sighted guide Brett Wild from the Royal Navy. Bringing business insight to the line up is Jae Hopkins, the sales and marketing director responsible for getting Eurotunnel Le Shuttle noticed on both sides of the Channel. Jae is at the forefront of the company’s mission to embed Eurotunnel Le Shuttle firmly in the UK psyche as the go to brand for travel to and from the continent. From one of the UK’s top universities to the redcoats of Butlins, it’s been an exciting and varied career with many lessons along the way ready to be shared at Kent B2B. Kent B2B will be a great place to catch up on how the company is keeping on track for a successful 2018. Jae will share examples of good and bad marketing and her ongoing mission to get businesses to know their customers and know their market. Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is a headline sponsor of the 2018 event. Now in its 32nd year, Kent B2B is the county’s longest running networking event and a meeting place for businesses from all over the county to connect and celebrate the best of Kent. Digital strategy and social media skills will be the focus of two digital marketing workshops hosted by Giant Campus, who recently won a contract to produce content for the prestigious Google’s award-winning Digital Garage. Delegates will learn the secrets to authentic and effective social media marketing and hear why an integrated approach to marketing helps establish a firm presence online. Sleeping Giant Media’s digital experts Ben Hawks and Sean O'Donoghue will lead the free sessions. For those looking for even more networking, a Business Breakfast, sponsored by Caxtons, will take place an hour before the Expo opens. At the breakfast delegates and attendees will enjoy exclusive networking opportunities and hear from special guest Councillor Brad Bradford, Ashford Borough Council’s Cabinet Member with portfolio responsibility for Highways, Wellbeing and Safety. He will be talking about his journey from PC to politician and provide insight into one of the most forward-thinking borough councils in the UK. Spaces are limited, tickets available for £8.95. To register for a free B2B delegate place, go to or sign up via eventbrite.


Thinking Business

Scale Up Ashford proves to be a huge success for local businesses A pilot scheme funded by Ashford Borough Council to boost economic activity has been extended following the runaway success of the programme, the first to be launched in Kent.

The six pilot scheme companies are joined by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and Ashford Borough Council staff at the Scale Up Ashford event. Also making an appearance is cartoon character Ask Phil, who features in business support campaigns in Kent and Medway. Scale Up Ashford has been delivered in partnership with Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and Simon Teague from New Level Results, a business growth coaching specialist. The initiative identified six businesses in the borough that were assessed as having the potential and ambition to grow. A bespoke support programme was then created to supercharge’ them to exceed this potential to create jobs and boost the economy in a sustainable and long-lasting way. The results were so impressive that the decision has been taken to extend the scheme to benefit ten companies in the next phase of the Scale Up programme. The original six firms were joined by the new recruits at Kent Invicta Chamber for an event to celebrate the success of the first cohort and the launch of the next round.

The event heard that in six months the programme created 17 jobs, grew the turnover of the companies involved by 21% on average, and helped to facilitate half a million pounds worth of investment in plant and machinery. The full impact of the programme is still being assessed. The six firms involved in the first programme are Forza Industries, Red Alert Telecare, AES Precision Engineering, Directline Structures, Medash Signs and VISARC. From a philosophy pioneered by the Scale Up Institute in London, studies have shown that growth within these sorts of businesses has been proven to create more local jobs and provide better returns to the local economy than other kinds of business support. Andrew Osborne, economic development manager at

Ashford Borough Council, said: “Scale Up Ashford is a prime example of the authority’s continued commitment to develop growth and economic prosperity across the borough. “Following the success of the pilot scheme, we are now developing the next phase of the programme, which will expand the help and support available to even more businesses in the Ashford area.” The second phase of Scale Up Ashford will kick off with a workshop for the ten businesses selected, before a bespoke programme is created for each one. Meanwhile the original six companies will be able to access continued support from Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about the programme visit

For more information about membership and the full range of business support services offered by the Chamber visit

The Harvey Weinstein Effect

Legal Update

Paul McAleavey, a senior associate solicitor in Employment Law at Girlings, looks at Sexual Harassment claims in the workplace and how employers and employees can resolve such allegations.

n the wake of Weinstein, #MeToo and Isexual the misuse of settlement agreements, harassment in the workplace

is currently, quite rightly, receiving widespread media coverage. Sexual harassment in the workplace can cause significant stress and anxiety and often leads to physical or mental health issues.

However, the question of how employers and employees resolve allegations of sexual harassment is perennially difficult. There is much to be said for the finality of such matters being resolved in a settlement agreement or non-disclosure agreement, but employers should be aware of the limits to which they can prevent an employee complaining of sexual harassment from speaking out, even after an agreement has been signed by all parties.

The recent high-profile case involving a former personal assistant to the film director Harvey Weinstein has thrown this matter into sharp focus. Zelda Perkins, a London-based employee of Miramax, raised allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein which resulted in a settlement agreement being entered into. It has been reported that the agreement contained extremely unusual and onerous non-disclosure terms. Ms Perkins was: • prevented from seeing a doctor about the conduct alleged (unless she got that doctor to sign a confidentiality agreement); • required to limit any evidence that she gave in any criminal processes relating to Mr Weinstein “as far as possible”; and • not allowed to retain a copy of the agreement for her own use.

It is vital for any HR professional advising their business on the use of a settlement agreement or non-disclosure agreement to know how far such agreements can go to cover up employee misconduct. For example, any clause in such agreements that seeks to prevent an employee from making a protected disclosure/blowing the whistle will be void. A witness order from a court will override any confidentiality or non-disclosure term in a settlement agreement. Additionally, such agreements cannot stop an employee suing the employer for sexual harassment unless they have received independent legal advice.

Any clause in an employment contract which tries to prevent the employee enforcing their rights against the employer in the Employment Tribunal will be void.

Solicitors need to be wary of their professional obligations. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) issued a reminder to solicitors on 12 March 2018, stating that it will be improper for a settlement agreement to seek to prevent a person from reporting a matter to a law enforcement agency. With the Weinstein case firmly in its sights, the SRA has confirmed that any term preventing the employee from retaining a copy of the agreement (such as in Ms Perkins’ case) would be entirely inappropriate.

If you are worried that you may have entered into an agreement in the past that has gone too far, or would just like further advice on Settlement Agreements, please contact Paul for further advice.

‘The purpose of a settlement agreement is to ensure that, in return for whatever termination arrangements are being offered by the employer to the employee (including cash), the employer has the security of knowing that the employee has validly waived all claims arising from their employment or its termination. In other words there is a clean break between the parties.’

Paul McAleavey

Senior Associate, Employment Law T: 01233 664711


Thinking Business


Members News

Have you considered what life would have been like without passing your driving test? People in poverty are being prevented from applying for jobs as they are not able to fund a continuous driving course that allows them to access these positions. Not because they won’t do the jobs, but because they cannot afford driving lessons. Community Driving School C.I.C. is a unique back to work scheme in the UK that provides sponsored driving lessons in return for community based work experience. We provide support that includes CV writing, interview techniques, confidence building, maths and English and even smart clothes for interview if they are required. We can only do this through the support of the business community in Kent and their

Community spirit helps back to work scheme

How many of you reading this article would be able to do your job without a driving licence?

generosity to support us achieve our aims. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to County Garage Ford dealership in Herne Bay for the car we use. Simply, we couldn't do this without the team there. Kent has some of the wealthiest wards in the UK. It also has some of the poorest according to the depravation index of the UK. Thanet, Shepway and Swale all feature highly on the UK Depravation Index (Source: English Indices of Depravation September 2015 UK Government). These include areas such as Margate, Dover, Sheerness, Ayelsham, Cliftonville and parts of Medway. Corporate Social Responsibility differentiates many businesses and supporting the right causes makes a huge difference to clients. The many varied sponsors we have in place

Hotel undergoes expansion

One of the Chamber’s newest members is the 4 star Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa which is located on the seafront in Dover.

Dover is experiencing some major changes with the opening of the new St James Shopping Centre and the development of the Western Docks and Marina. In line with these developments, the Dover Marina Hotel & Spa has also just completed a major expansion of their Gym and Spa facilities and added four new luxury guest rooms.


Thinking Business

The next step being undertaken by the hotel is the upgrading of the existing 81 guest rooms, which is currently under way. The hotel brings to the centre of Dover a first class establishment offering in addition to the 4 star guest rooms, three function rooms which are suitable for meetings, a restaurant with an A la Carte menu, a lounge bar with entertainment on a Friday and Saturday evening and a coffee shop serving Starbucks coffee. There is also the Waterfront Spa & Health Club at the hotel, which is offering some of the best gym and spa facilities in East Kent. Full details can be found on

have chosen to support our cause because they know we carefully select those who are reputable and trustworthy.

Their support means that we have been able to support a young qualified photographer living in Thanet. Her words are below and I defy anyone to not feel moved after reading them:

“My name is Tayla and I am 22 years old. The past 6 months has been one huge rollercoaster for me. I have gone from living with my mother, to being homeless for almost 2 months. My whole life and routine has changed and whilst all of this has been happening, I have been struggling with my mental health.

I have always wanted to drive and sadly it became a huge fear just over 3 years ago through tragic personal circumstances.

I am now facing my fears which is a huge step for me and see a happy and successful future. I never ever saw myself in this position and am extremely lucky and grateful.

I would love to be freelance in photography, so a driving license will open all the doors for me. Thank you for helping John get this project off the ground and supporting people like me to have a brighter future and knowledge that someone believes in me. It is quite simply life changing.”

If you are interested in joining our scheme as a sponsor, please contact John Nicholson via email at

“Be Part of the Community”

Canterbury based building control firm achieves latest international quality standard

Harwood has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification after successfully completing the transition audit from ISO 9001:2008. As part of the transition to 9001:2015, certification body BSI, carried out a mandatory two-day thorough audit of Harwood’s Quality Management System. On completion, the auditor was able to recommend the upgrade to the new standard. This recommendation has now been fully approved by BSI and Harwood has received its new certificate well-ahead of the September 2018 deadline when the old version of the standard becomes obsolete. The scope of the certificate includes both Harwood Building Control Approved Inspectors Ltd and Harwood Construction Consultancy Services Ltd. Managing Director Paul Robinson said: “Harwood is extremely proud of its latest achievement, which provides

further evidence of its commitment to ensuring quality and providing the best possible professional service to our clients.” Fergus McManus, of SGR Consulting Services Ltd, said that the enhanced certification was the result of many months of enthusiastic effort by Paul Robinson and his team to adopt the new requirements of the standard. SGR forged a partnership with Harwood in 2009 when they worked together to establish the foundations of the original Harwood Quality Management System. More recently, Fergus met Paul in 2016 to discuss the new standard and was pleased to see that Harwood was already embracing many of the new requirements.

Ins and outs of IHT

Focus on Finance

Alison Turner

Tax Director, Southern Region

01622 690666

The amount of money paid to the Exchequer by way of Inheritance Tax (IHT) is rising year on year – since 2014 receipts have increased by more than 30%. Careful planning could help you maximise any tax relief available to you and your family.

Know your limits The current threshold for IHT is £325,000 per person and £650,000 for a married couple – as long as the first person to die leaves their estate not covered by any other IHT reliefs to their spouse. This means that when all your assets, known as your “estate”, add up to more than £325,000, IHT may be payable on anything above that threshold at 40%.

In April 2017 an enhanced IHT Nil Rate Band was introduced for residences, known as the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB). It will be phased in over 4 years so that by 2020/21, each individual will have an additional £175,000 to add to the existing Nil Rate Band of £325,000. For married couples, this may allow up to £1 million of IHT relief to be available once we reach 2020/21, where the main home is passed to ‘direct descendants’.

More on RNRB Direct descendants include children, grandchildren or adopted children. Estates valued at more than £2 million will not benefit from the full allowance as a tapering will apply. For every £2 that the net value exceeds £2m the additional nil rate band is tapered by £1 so by 2020/21 if your combined estate is valued at more than £2.7 million, the RNRB will be zero. Tapering does not affect the standard IHT nil rate band of £325,000.

Do you run a business or own shares in an unquoted company? What if you own a business or shares in a trading company and you would like these to pass to your children? With forethought, IHT reliefs can be claimed, in particular Business Property Relief which can lead to considerable saving on the full IHT rate of 40%. A business asset attracts Business Property Relief at a rate of 50% on death whereas a trading business or shares would attract 100% relief. Certain conditions apply - one of these being that you must have owned the business or shares for at least two years to qualify for the relief. You can begin to see why specialist advice is highly recommended. It is important to note that Inheritance Tax relief should be available if assets are gifted before death, as long as the donor held the assets for two years before the point of gifting and the asset has retained its qualifying status in the hands of the donee. Gift giving

More commonly, people like to gift assets during lifetime in an IHT-efficient manner, while maximising reliefs and allowances available to your estate on death. HMRC recognises genuine gifts out of normal income, such as birthday or Christmas presents, as exempted gifts. This means there is no IHT to pay, as long as the gifts come from your income and do not affect your

standard of living, regardless of your relationship with the receiver. What sort of gifts are included under this exemption? HMRC define ‘a gift’ as: • Anything that has a value, such as money, property or possessions • A loss in value when something’s transferred, for example, if you sell your house to your child for less than it is worth, the difference in value counts as a gift. If you do give a gift from your capital each tax year, it must be less than £3,000 for it to be exempt from Inheritance Tax straight away. This is an annual exemption so if you give more than £3,000 and you die within 7 years of giving that gift, it will still count towards the value of your estate and maybe subject to Inheritance Tax. You can carry forward an unused annual exemption but only for one year. You can also give up to £250 a year to any number of people, provided another exemption isn’t also being claimed for gifts to the same person. The marriage of family members is another good opportunity to reduce your

estate by making wedding gifts. Each parent can give up to £5,000, grandparents can each give £2,500 and anyone else can give £1,000.

Saving that skips a generation You may wish to make gifts to your family to enable them to make the most of their own personal annual allowances. For example, every individual, no matter what age, has their own personal allowance and for 2018/19 income of up to £11,850 can be received tax free. Contributions can also be made to another person’s pension scheme to enable even someone with no earnings to receive tax relief on a gross pension contribution of up to £3,600 per year. Even small pension contributions made early enough could provide for a substantial amount of savings later on. Alternatively, you may want to encourage your children and grandchildren to utilise their annual ISA allowances to make tax free investments. For further information, please contact Wilkins Kennedy’s offices in Ashford, Canterbury, Maidstone, Orpington and Sandwich.

“Contributions can also be made to another person’s pension scheme to enable even someone with no earnings to receive tax relief on a gross pension contribution of up to £3,600 per year.”

Thinking Business


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* Terms and Conditions Apply. Please quote TBM

So why not talk to Cripps? 01892 515 121 @crippslaw


Thinking Business

Making Tax Digital (MTD) (at least slightly!) MTD was announced in the March 2015 Budget setting out the government’s vision of a transformed tax system for the ‘new’ digital age.

At the end of April 2018, rather unsurprisingly, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) announced delays to their digitalisation plans, as they needed to “release project capability to EU Exit work”, as part of their ‘Brexit’ plans.


The only MTD plans still on track are those focusing on VAT. VAT registered businesses with turnovers above the VAT registration threshold will be required to keep digital accounting

records and submit VAT returns to HMRC using MTD compliant software for returns commencing on or after 1 April 2019. This means the days of a handwritten cashbook and manually submitting VAT figures to HMRC are coming to an end. You can continue to record your accounting information manually but, from this date, you will need to enter your information into accounting software in order to submit your VAT return digitally to HMRC.

Members News

Unfortunately, the detail and guidance currently offered by HMRC is rather vague, but our advice is to act now so that you’re well prepared for next year’s changes. There are several accounting software products on the market to make bookkeeping easier. Sales invoices can be raised and sent directly via your software. If you do not want to record purchase invoices on your system you can, instead, use Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

software that will enable you to scan purchase invoices and import these into your accounting system. Finally, your accounting software can link to your online banking to import transactions direct from your bank. Do not hesitate to contact McCabe Ford Williams for more details on MTD for VAT and accounting software advice.

Jonathan Fullarton, ACA Partner, MFW Dover 01304 204006

Offering a world of experience

Shorthouse Hospitality International (SHI) is a luxury management consultancy headquartered in London with operations across Europe, Asia, the South Pacific Islands, the Indian Ocean and the Middle East. SHI provides services for boutique hotels and resorts, cruise lines and private member clubs, yachts and residential estates as well as colleges and universities.

Working from an individual project basis to full retained consultancy, SHI assists in identifying “who you are”, “where you want to be” and “how to get there”. SHI was founded by Neil Shorthouse, FIH in 2014 following more than two

decades of experience in creating industry-leading, revenue driving platforms for a wide range of companies.

Neil has launched business endeavours for multi-national corporations and led worldclass teams of hospitality professionals. His portfolio includes The Walt Disney Company, Disney Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, The Soneva Group, The World, Six Senses Hotels & Resorts and

Cheval Blanc Randheli by LVMH-Hotel Management.

A Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and a member of Society Human Resource Management he also provides mentoring, as well as working with companies that include SAGA Cruises, Huvafen Fushi – Maldives, Mid-Kent College and most recently with a health and wellness concept in London, Supernatural Living UK Ltd.

For further information visit

Thinking Business


Members News

Landlords face fines, loss of rental income and reduced property value by not reacting to new standards

One of Kent's leading property law specialists has warned that many landlords are unaware of the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations, which came into force on April 1.

Under the new regulations, where a property requires an EPC, domestic and commercial rental properties are required to meet at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) level E or above. Liz Brady, Partner at leading Kent law firm Furley Page, said: "As a result of the new regulations, landlords are no longer able to grant leases to new tenants if the property has an EPC band rating of F or G. "However, there are still many landlords out there who are either unaware of the changes to the law, or who are aware but are not sure how to address the issue. "It is important that landlords comply with the new regulations, as failure to achieve the minimum EPC rating will require alterations to the property to improve its energy performance, which may take months to rectify. "This could lead to lost income, as the property cannot be let until the works have been completed. The investment value of the property would also be affected until the necessary alterations have been carried out." Landlords face fines of £4,000 if a leased residential property is found to have a rating below the new standard, and up to £150,000 for leased commercial property. An EPC is a report issued following an inspection by a qualified energy assessor, which sets out the energy rating for a building.


Thinking Business

Champion sausage helps raise funds for Battle of Britain Memorial

One of the country’s best bangers has helped support an award-winning tribute to the men of the Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain Memorial Sausage created by master butcher Andrew Rook from Ramsgate turned out to be a sizzling success with this year’s UK Sausage Week judges. Andrew, who created the sausage using Shepherd Neame’s Spitfire Ale and Kentish hops, then decided to pay his own tribute to the heroes of 1940 by donating 50p to the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust for every pound of the top flight bangers sold by J C Rook and Sons’ 11 shops across Kent. As a result, he was able to present Trust secretary Patrick Tootal and site manager Jules Gomez with a cheque for an impressive £1,000.

The recipe won the UK Supreme Champion Sausage category and Andrew said: “I plucked my inspiration, quite literally, from the air while walking on the White Cliffs near Dover. A Spitfire, with that unmistakable noise, flew past and reminded me of the last family day out I had enjoyed with my parents and sister when we watched my dad Peter fly in a two-seater Spitfire from Duxford for his 65th birthday. “Sadly, a year later my sister Helen succumbed to cancer. As part of our family recovery we planted an oak tree as a Memorial to her. After seeing the Spitfire on my walk, my thoughts turned to the Battle of Britain Memorial just along the

The importance of apprentices

Jascom Electrical Contractors is a family-run business that has been established for 32 years and has supported many apprentices.

It understands the importance of apprenticeships and has regularly invested in supporting apprentices through their training to become approved electricians. Working with JTL Training, Jascom finds dedicated students that are eager to learn the electrical trade. With the support of an electrical company to help master the trade, it can be rewarding, not just for the apprentice but for the company as well. Fourteen years ago, Jascom Electrical Contractors took on Aaron Jordan as an apprentice and now he has just achieved Technician Status. Tony Broad, a South East regional winner and national

finalist, has just completed his latest qualifications and is now an approved electrician. Jascom Electrical Contractors currently has three apprentices at various stages of their apprenticeship and they are progressing well. One has just passed his final practical exams and is in the final stages of becoming an electrician.

coast at Capel-le-Ferne and how important it was to so many people.

“Winning the award was a great feeling, but it was just as important to use that success to help raise funds for the charity that does so much to honour the Few – the men who fought the Battle of Britain.”

Patrick Tootal said: “The Trust receives no public funding and relies for its existence on the generosity of visitors and supporters. We were delighted when Andrew offered to donate some of the proceeds from his award-winning bangers to the cause and thrilled to receive such a handsome donation.”

Offering advice to key business people

JCM Advisors is a boutique advisory firm with global capabilities and we work with a small carefully-selected client roster to ensure that we don't have conflicts of interest.

Recent clients who our team have worked with include the leadership teams of Global Top Five Professional Services firms through to the leaders of companies of all sizes and maturity in the B2B, B2C and services industries. We also work extensively with start-up companies, and more established boutiques who are embarking on a period of growth. Services include from Business Strategy / Organisational Design to Mentoring and Company Workshops. Co-Founder James Crawley has just published a book, “Fuel Your Employer Brand”, which is available in paperback and Kindle at Kent Invicta Chamber members receive a completely complimentary initial consultation.

Kent Business Leaders Dinner

Patron News

Held at Eastwell Manor, a Champneys Hotel & Spa, Ashford

In April, Kent Invicta Chamber Patrons attended the latest Kent Business Leaders Dinner along with invited guests. Staged at the recently renovated Eastwell Manor, itself a Patron, diners were welcomed by William Simmonds, Group Operations Director of Champneys who outlined the further developments planned for the hotel over coming months. After dinner speaker Steve Wolfe, CEO of the Kent Sports Trust spoke passionately about his

personal journey from couch potato to fitness champion after suffering a heart attack at the age of 38. This spurred the launch of the Kent Sports Trust, a charitable organisation devoted to changing lives in Kent through sport.

Colin Mills, MHA MacIntyre Hudson

Jo James, Chief Executive of KICC with speaker Steve Wolfe, CEO, Kent Sports Trust

Details of the next Kent Business Leaders Dinner on July 3 are available from

Michael Oatham, Brachers Photography by Ali Kittermaster

Marcus Wright, University of Kent in deep converstaion

Jo James, Chief Executive of KICC opening address

Carol Ford, AC Goatham & Son

David Gurton, Caxtons Chartered Surveyors

Simon James, KIMS Hospital

Joanna Worby (Brachers) and Alexandra Meaders (Five Acre Wood)

William Simmonds, Eastwell Manor

Brachers donates over £5000 to local special needs school David Armstrong (right) Towergate talking to Richard Lavendar, Chairman KICC, Ian Savage, Chartway Group and Ricky Hemmings, Ardula

Tracey Kerly, Ashford Borough Council

Brachers has celebrated its fundraising efforts over the past 12 months by presenting a cheque for £5,300 to their charity of the year, Maidstone based Five Acre Wood School.

Five Acre Wood is an outstanding all age (2-19) day District Special School for children and young people with profound, severe and complex learning difficulties. The donation from Brachers will go towards the school’s current capital campaign ‘Create a ripple…MAKE A SPLASH!’ which will raise £250,000 towards the cost of a new hydrotherapy pool over the next two years.

calendar; from quiz nights and bingo to a staff car wash, fantasy football league and various cake sales and raffles.

Staff at Brachers raised funds by dedicating their time to organising and taking part in various activities across the firm’s fundraising

Alexandra Meaders, Fundraiser at Five Acre Wood School, said: “The children and staff are so thrilled to have the support of

Brachers will continue to raise funds for the school over the next financial year. The firm is committed to investing in the local communities it works with and has already raised over £16,500 for local charities in the past five years.

Brachers. The cheque for £5,300 is an amazing contribution towards the total sum required to fund a much needed new hydrotherapy pool. Brachers is a true community company and we look forward to working with them at various events throughout the year.” Joanna Worby, Managing Partner at Brachers said: “Five Acre Wood is a wonderful school that makes a huge difference to many children’s lives. As a firm we are committed to supporting good causes in the local community and we are delighted to be able

to support the school in improving their facilities. We are looking forward to working with them over the next 12 months and continuing to raise much needed funds that will help the school continue to expand the fantastic care and support they provide to their children.” For more information on Brachers, please visit

For further information on Five Acre Wood, please visit Thinking Business


Members News

KIMS Hospital sponsorship and partnership with Kent County Cricket Club 2018

We are delighted to let you know that KIMS Hospital is an official sponsor and the Private Hospital Partner of Kent County Cricket Club for the 2018 season.

Disputes Conflicts, failure to agree Not all business runs smoothly – disputes inevitably occur. These can be costly, sour long term relationships and impact future profitability. So it’s important to resolve them as effectively as possible. Whitehead Monckton’s Dispute Resolution team can provide you with expert advice and strategies to resolve your business disputes. Ranked in Chambers and Legal 500, we have an enviable track record - achieving excellent agreements whilst preserving future relationships. Take the first important step before the gloves really come off – contact us today on

Tel: 01622 698047 E-mail Whitehead Monckton Limited (no. 08366029), registered in England & Wales. Registered office 72 King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1BL. Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under no. 608279.

TB 5/18


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As the Private Hospital Partner for the club, we can provide the club’s professional players and staff rapid access to treatment at the hospital including diagnostics and imaging. As the largest independent hospital in Kent, we have an important role to play in supporting the health and wellbeing needs of our local community. This includes our sportsmen and women. By providing access to our services and facilities in the heart of the county, we can support Kent County Cricket Club maintain the fitness and health of their teams and academy players throughout the season.

We will be holding a Sport Medicine educational event for GPs and AHPs at the Spitfire Ground, Canterbury, during the summer with our consultants. With match day promotions throughout the season where you will be able to meet the KIMS Hospital team and talk to them directly about our services. We will circulate more details about these events nearer the time and we look forward to seeing many of you over the coming months. We are sure you will join us in wishing the county club every success for the coming season.

“With match day promotions throughout the season where you will be able to meet the KIMS Hospital team and talk to them directly about our services.”

LEPs work to meet energy supply challenge

With the UK facing the need to achieve secure, sustainable and affordable energy, businesses, charities, third sector organisations and communities from across the South East are helping three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) develop a strategy to make sure the region is well-placed to address the challenge. The South East LEP is leading a tri-LEP collaboration with Coast to Capital and Enterprise M3 LEPs to create the South2East Energy Strategy and Action Plan. At its heart is the need to ensure there is competitively priced energy for businesses and households to support economic growth and that energy generation employs new technology and reduces carbon emissions. Christian Brodie, Chairman, South East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The trilemma of achieving energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability is a hugely complex

issue and requires us to focus on how we generate and use energy for power, heat and transport. “The energy network involves public and private sectors, government departments and regulators. When combined with economic and social factors, national resources, environmental concerns, and individual behaviours, it’s clear that we needed to engage with energy experts in the business community. “Thanks to the insight of more than 100 businesses, organisations and individuals we are now well placed to develop a strategy for the

Excellence pays off for restaurant

Cinnamon Spice opened in June 2009, serving fine Bangladeshi/Indian food and catering for all dietary requirements. We are located just minutes away from Junction 9 off the M20 with free car parking facilities. Our chefs cook with passion and pride themselves on achieving nothing but perfection using all fresh ingredients.

We have won various awards; most recently we were awarded a ‘food hygiene and customer excellence’ award in honour of our most outstanding achievement of a 5* food hygiene rating that we have retained for nine consecutive years, awarded to us by the Ashford Borough Council.

We have also won the Trip Advisor certificate of excellence every year since 2013 and look set to win it for 2018 also.

We are a community-focused restaurant. We regularly have charity fundraising events held at the restaurant. And if anyone needs any help raising funds please don’t hesitate to get in contact as we are always happy to help out any local charity events. We also support local schools in training and educating

South East based on a detailed understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the region. “It will consider energy and low carbon priorities, as well as tackling emissions and how best to fund our low carbon projects of the future.” Workshops will be held across the three LEP areas to engage businesses, charities, third sector organisations and communities to find the energy projects that will benefit the South East. Further information on how businesses can get involved in the project is available at

them in Indian culture and cuisine. Indian food is very popular in the UK but this is not taught in schools as part of the curriculum.

Our next venture is to extend our Indian masterclasses to businesses looking to spice up their teambuilding exercises. Teams would learn how to make and eat everything from starters, mains, breads, sides and even deserts whilst enjoying a fun day away from the office.

Members News

Vooservers launches new ‘Vinters’ Enterprise brand

IT infrastructure company VooServers has launched a new enterprise brand to support the company’s growth as it continues to expand its services.

The new ‘Vinters’ brand will form the company’s managed I.T services division and allow businesses of any size to gain access to high-end technologies that will accelerate their business processes. Having invested more than £1 million into their server and network infrastructure, the services that Vinters offer will primarily include I.T support, design and consultancy. Clients will benefit from a five minute response time, 24 hour service desk all year round, and the expertise of a company with more than 1,000 live servers. Vinters will also offer managed cloud services, and high availability and failover infrastructure. The company will provide a bespoke service and solution for each customer, meaning that budgets can be tailored to fit any size of business, giving companies the freedom to grow and upgrade their service as required. Meanwhile, VooServers will continue as the established cloud infrastructure specialist that it has become well-known for over the past thirteen years. This will allow VooServers to develop more specialised services within their current infrastructure and software offerings, including expanding their hybrid solutions with Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. Matt Parkinson, of the company, said: “We feel that now is the right time to form a separate, dedicated brand for our managed service division which reflects the premium services that Vinters will provide. “We are really excited to finally be able to share the news about this launch, as it’s something we’ve been leading up to for a long time.” The launch of the Vinters brand is the next chapter in Vooservers’ success story, Last year, the Maidstone-based company launched the latest stage of its expansion strategy in the United States, joining one of the country’s biggest internet connectivity hubs and launching a new eight-strong support team for customers across the Atlantic.

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Members News

Lawyer warns that whiplash law reform is an assault on innocent victims

The Government's proposals to change compensation for whiplash injuries amount to an assault on innocent victims, warns Neille Ryan, Head of Personal Injury at law firm Furley Page. The recently-published Civil Liability Bill sets out plans to reform the way that whiplash claims are calculated and will come into force in April 2019. The Bill will introduce fixed amounts of compensation for whiplash claims and changes to the way the personal injury discount rate is calculated, with the introduction of a tariff system for whiplash claims. The small claims limit for road traffic accident cases will also be raised from £1,000 to £5,000, pushing most whiplash cases to

the small claims track, where claimants are not entitled to claim for their legal costs.

return offering only hollow promises of slightly reduced premiums.

Neille Ryan, Partner and Head of Personal Injury at Furley Page, said: "The Government and Insurers continue their assault on innocent victims injured in road traffic accidents.

"More changes are imminent so that whiplash awards will be slashed to a few hundred pounds and almost no legal costs will be recoverable by most claimants, who will have to pay lawyers themselves out of their damages, or take on the Insurer and their solicitors alone.

“Insurers continue to influence Government to make it harder and more expensive for the injured to claim compensation, whilst also reducing the amount they receive in damages, in

"The Government's own impact assessment predicts that these latest changes will produce an

annual £150 million additional profit for the insurance industry, yet the innocent injured motorist gets a fraction of their true damages entitlement – on what possible basis is that fair?” Neille is a Member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, a fellow of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and a member of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society.

For more information and advice contact Neille Ryan by email at

The return of the Ashford Civic Awards!

In every corner of the Ashford borough there are people who are quietly remarkable. There are people who possess great strength of character, who make a substantial contribution to their community and who enrich the lives of others. There are also people who have made great personal sacrifice in order to achieve something outstanding. These people are often unrecognised and unknown – except by the people they are helping.

Ashford Borough Council held its first Civic Awards ceremony in 2012, as a fitting tribute to Her Majesty the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year, celebrating dedication to public service, while acclaiming the London Olympics. Now, six years later, the council has decided to host the Civic Awards again to find out who today’s community ‘heroes and heroines’ are and to make sure that they, equally, are


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acknowledged and get the civic recognition they deserve.

The Civic Awards are sponsored by local companies, as well as Ashford Borough Council working together with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. The sponsors are: MJ Allen Castings & Machining, Peter Brett Associates, Chart Hills Resort, Facts & Figures Financial Planners, Hadlow College, HR GO Recruitment, ITL Group, Pillory Barn Creative, Quinn Estates, Red Alert, RIFT Group, Stanhope plc, and Wilkins Kennedy. So, do you know someone whose actions have made a positive impact in the community, or to the borough as a whole? If so, nominate them and they could be heralded at the Ashford Borough Council Civic Awards in July.

Civic Awards Sponsors

Anyone aged 16 or over, who is either a resident or who serves Ashford’s communities but lives outside the borough can be nominated. Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said

“We want to honour community champions, those who give their time to improve the lives of others, and those who can take pride in an immense personal achievement.”

More information can be found at:

Members News

A driving force Formed in 1946, The British Racing & Sports Car Club is one of the most influential clubs and main driving forces in domestic motor racing. Brands Hatch and is supported by six regional centres who run race meetings at circuits across the UK.

Today, the Club runs more than 50 race meetings and 25 championships annually, playing a leading role in the British Motor Racing scene, organising Club Race Meetings and FIA sanctioned international events, such as the prestigious British GT/F3 in association with SRO, the FIA World Endurance Championship & the Le Mans European Series.

The BRSCC covers an extensive spectrum of motorsport activities, catering for all tastes, budgets and ages and are committed to offering the motorsport competitor or fan the widest choice of championships.

The Club’s Head Office in Borough Green is close to

We’ve accumulated a wealth of experience running

efficient, cost-effective race meetings, so our expertise is much in demand by organisations planning celebratory events, too. Our wide-ranging event management capabilities see us frequently contracted by major companies and circuits to run specific motorsport events and projects, offering a comprehensive package of marketing opportunities specifically tailored to the

Getting the right advice on fire safety

client's brief, utilising a combination of print, venue and social media. Looking for a unique way to entertain? Then our fullyequipped hospitality suites, offering views of the Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch, may well be the perfect way to entertain clients or reward staff in an exhilarating environment.

To find out more about BRSCC visit

The terrible blaze at Grenfell Tower, which cost so many lives, changed everything for those people involved with fire safety.

Organisations involved in running tower blocks, or providing services to them, have been forced to take a long, hard look at every aspect of safety in the wake of the inferno that ingulfed the tower.

The consequences have been wide-ranging, including more intense scrutiny than ever before by council building officers, more involvement from Fire and Rescue service fire

prevention experts and issues with concerned insurance providers.

One result has been a greater call for expert advice from specialist companies who can offer reliable and impartial guidance to building owners and contractors. Among the companies offering such guidance is Veritas, whose team provide services ranging from risk assessments to advice on

sprinkler systems, as well as advice on the changing legislation governing high-rise buildings.

The result of the work done by companies in the field should be a greater level of safety which reduces the risk of another incident like the Grenfell Tower disaster.

To find out how Veritas can assist your business email Steve Dilloway at

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Focus on Science and Innovation

Digital sector that offers great promise

Digital technology has dramatically changed the world in which we live and represents major economic opportunities for the South East of England.

That was the conclusion of a recent Governmentsponsored Science and Innovation Audit, which revealed that the South of England is the backbone of UK’s digital economy.

Stretching from Dorset to Kent and from Berkshire to the Isle of Wight, the ‘Innovation South’ region covers eight counties across southern England with a total economic output of £225.3 billion, accounting for 13.7% of UK’s economic output.


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The audit report released by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, presented evidence to illustrate that the Innovation South area is at the forefront of advances in digital innovations across a wide range of industrial sectors from augmented reality devices which help train surgeons doing knee replacements to robotic submarines that are helping to combat global warming, from driverless shuttle buses

to some of the fastest growing creative digital communities.

Launching the report, Dr Mike Short CBE, former Vice President Telefonica, Europe and Chairman of the Innovation South Strategic Steering Group said: “The Science & Innovation Audits are very important to uncover underlying sector strengths in our huge region and to identify opportunities for better collaboration and sustainable growth across the UK.

“Now that our Audit is complete, our primary focus is on following up with pragmatic steps to progress our partnership and implement the recommendations of the Audit. We are confident that with the great support we have had from industry, universities, and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), we can build on the Audit to maximise opportunities for our region in the future.”

The audit demonstrates that Innovation South stands

Focus on Science and Innovation According to the report the region’s advantages include:

out in the UK for its expertise across a range of digital enabling technologies, including 5G, Cyber security, Big Data, Photonics and Quantum. It says that the region’s strengths are commercially applied across four sectors, which include Connected Digital, Marine and Maritime, Bioscience and Advanced Engineering. The result is a high growth, high value and a highly successful knowledge-based regional economy, with outstanding potential for further innovation and growth. Audits were carried out in other regions and Business Minister Lord Prior said: “The Science and Innovation Audits highlight the innovative strengths in regions across the UK and the significant growth and investment opportunities they present. “Together with our record investment of an additional

£4.7 billion for research and development to 2020/21, we are working closely with regional businesses and partners to ensure the ambitions set out in these reports are delivered to maintain our status as a science powerhouse.” The Southern report concluded that “The UK has a world-leading digital economy and a proud history of digital innovation. Innovation South is key to that – a globalised region, with high value, digitallyenabled innovation; a powerhouse of research strengths; a strong

commercialisation culture; and dynamic businesses and industries to match. In the story of the UK’s digital success, a significant chapter belongs to Innovation South.” The Innovation South Consortium – which has completed the Audit – embraces well over one hundred organisations spanning the region’s eight counties and its private (both corporate and SME) and public sectors. All are committed to using the findings from the SIA and advancing the opportunities that are identified.

“The audit demonstrates that Innovation South stands out in the UK for its expertise across a range of digital enabling technologies, including 5G, Cyber security, Big Data, Photonics and Quantum.”

• Compared to the national average, Innovation South’s workforce is, in general, more highly qualified; the proportion of those working in science, research, engineering and technology is higher; average earnings are greater; and in parts of the region, productivity levels are much higher. • It is a dynamic region for business growth. Across most of the area, the concentration of start-up enterprises and the incidence of high growth firms are well above England’s average. • International connections are excellent, with access to airports and international rail as well as ports (including Dover and Southampton) and Eurotunnel via Folkestone. • Proximity to London is important. • The South’s economy has an international focus. International corporations have chosen to locate their UK and European headquarters here and export performance is strong. • Innovation South has 16 universities involved in research - according to analysis of publicly-funded research and innovation activity involving business and universities, the South ‘punches above its weight’ in winning backing for Digital Enabling Technologies innovation projects. • Businesses are emerging from the region’s universities and research institutions to commercialise research. • Business expenditure on research and development in the Innovation South area is high. According to 2015 figures, the wider South East, including most of Innovation South, enjoyed the highest corporate research investment of any nation or region in the UK. • There is a concentration of photonics research expertise at several Innovation South universities – the Universities of Surrey, Kent and Sussex also have significant research strengths in photonics. • A strong digital sector is developing bioscience technologies – bioscience in the wider South East is seeing strong growth. The South East boasts one fifth of the UK workforce (compared to 6% for London and 11% in the Midlands). About 500 businesses across Innovation South are in Med Tech and Biopharmaceuticals, in disciplines ranging from medical imaging to oncology. • The South has high-value, innovationintensive, engineering. Its advanced engineering capabilities are at the centre of the UK’s defence and aerospace sector, where the UK has a strong comparative advantage.

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Focus on Science and Innovation

University of Kent partnership helps the Port of Dover cut queues and boost efficiency

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Kent and the Dover Harbour Board has achieved the highest possible rating from Innovate UK, the UK’s technology strategy agency, after it helped reduce traffic congestion, boost efficiency and cut costs for the Port.

The project started in 2016 when the Port of Dover, which handles £122bn-worth of UK trade annually, appointed a graduate of the Kent Business School (KBS), Dr Cliff Preston, to work within the organisation to help it use data modelling and simulation software to operate more effectively. The work focused on several strands, the most notable of which has been improving how the Port predicts likely traffic volumes to ensure it has enough staff on hand to process vehicles through

the port and so minimise the risk of queues forming in and around Dover.

By improving its use of data from various sources, such as live traffic data on the motorways and past traffic levels at similar times, it has drastically reduced the use of Traffic Assessment Project (TAP) that sees freight traffic held outside Dover by a series of traffic lights. This has not only reduced the impact that freight traffic has on Dover and its residents, but it also means one of the UK’s key

The rise of foodtech At last there’s recognition that the term “FoodTech” does have a definition and that this exciting UK sector is full of innovation and ground-breaking products and services.

It embraces food analytics, ‘free from’ production, food logistics, food packaging, food rescue and taste science. According to CB Insights, $4.8 billion was invested in foodtech companies last year. But it’s not just investors that think this emerging sector is significant. Consumers are expecting technology to make consuming, ordering and delivering food as healthy and efficient as possible. They want a wider choice of food that caters to their health or religious preferences. They don’t just want gluten-free or lactose-free options, they expect it. They prefer producers that can prove the provenance of their ingredients, the authenticity of their recipes and a commitment to recycling and minimising the use of plastics. Plant-based and vegan options are a big new trend. It doesn’t mean that consumers are committed to this full-time. Many are opting for vegan and plant-based options intermittently or are just generally


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trying to eat less meat and fish. Imaginative menus or products that cater for this trend will increase sales, particularly in areas where there is a high concentration of young people. Delivery and online ordering are completely changing the way restaurants and shops operate. Increasingly customers are comfortable cutting out the server or checkout person, using technology in-store or at home. All of these developments mean that organisations in the sector have to be quick to embrace change. They need to ditch as much plastic as possible, be aware of the trends in plant-based and ‘free from’, prove their provenance and environmental credentials and work out how to leverage online technologies. If they do, there are huge opportunities for high growth and diversification because consumers always vote with their feet. Sue Nelson, author of FoodTech UK and CEO of the Breakthrough Group.

import-export hubs is able to ensure goods can move into the UK, or over to Europe, more efficiently.

The quantitative methods used in the Knowledge Transfer Partnership have also been applied in part of the port’s substantive Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) project, in analysing the space and plant requirements of the new Cargo terminal and helping the port increase its efficiency and effectiveness. These successes have seen the project awarded a grade

of ‘Outstanding’ by the KTP Grading Panel. Only 10% of KTP projects achieve this grade, underlining the impact the project has had.

The KTP between the University and Dover Harbour Board was set up by Kent Innovation and Enterprise (KIE). Spurred on by the success of the partnership, the Port has sponsored an MSc graduate in the School of Physical Sciences to work for their organisation over the next 12 months.

Too Busy For IT? Running a business is hard enough as it is, without having to worry about your IT needs. Why not make life a bit easier by giving TMB a call? We provide a wide range of IT services, including: • • • • • • •

24-hour support Cyber security Software licensing Network setups Technical consultancy Bespoke applications Accounting and payroll solutions

To see our full range of services, head to

TMB provides high-quality IT support and services to businesses and public sector bodies across the whole of the South East and London. Call us on 0333 900 9050 to nd out how we can help you.

The Economy & Us

Nick Rowell

Director of Policy Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Direct line: 01622 753568 Email: Do you ever find yourself noticing a pattern in events, wondering what it may mean – and then light dawns and you say “Of course, why didn’t I realise that before”?

In three unconnected organisations, I’ve recently known young people aged 18-25 show self-defeating hostility towards grown-ups trying to help them. To me they appeared lost.

And the dawning insight? Well, it’s over two years since I told a Brexit canvasser: “I can see why people are so angry. I just don’t think coming out of Europe would help”. I’m not necessarily for (or against) EU membership. What concerns me is the impact on public life since a few well-off populists pretended that the NHS would be £350,000,000 a week better off, blaming underfunded public services on (mainly tax-paying!) foreigners; asserted “Britain has had enough of experts”, to rubbish evidence-based planning; and persuaded half of us to defy government advice and “take back control”. The problem all along has been Tories’ priority of enriching the already-rich, at the expense of decent public services and SME profitability. If you or I had grown up with ever-diminishing prospects for secure paid employment, housing, or a decent


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The Economy & Us:

Greed is the issue, not Brexit

“Why did nobody see it coming?”

retirement, we’d be angry, too. Especially now that university education @ £50k x 6.1%pa has become the preserve of the rich or the rash.

What we need is a national refocus, led by the example of those in power, on truthfulness and public service. Greed is not good, it is self-defeating: Charles Darwin acknowledged that ‘survival of the fittest’ meant survival of the species/ family that cooperated most effectively and sustainably. Our Prime Minister made it clear on the steps of Downing Street that she understood it was being “left behind” that prompted so many to vote ‘out’. But she has been deflected from renewing Britain’s social contract, jostled by dominant Tories’ sound and fury about “Brexit”. This ongoing sideshow is a distraction: for reasons of their own some are even trying to assert that, in take-backcontrol Britain, Parliament must not be allowed to debate and (dis)/approve the available Brexit. “Too many Conservative ministers are taking positions based on political ambition rather than economic principle” (Financial Times editorial, 18/5/2018). My own sympathy is with the millennials, however self-defeating their behaviour. They are our future, and they are abused. In their lifetime, someone conned a Labour

HM the Queen, November 2008

Prime Minister into asserting “we have banished boom and bust”, a City lie that led to the crash; government has imposed ‘austerity’ on committed public servants; and our current PM has now been conned that “there is no magic money tree” when £435bn in QE has been magicked to reward irresponsible lending. Evidently the unprincipled are

as happy to deceive a Conservative Prime Minister as a Labour one.

So, vote for leaders you trust. If you see them in the photo above, vote for such. If not, choose others. Let go of the greedy, debt-fuelled capitalism that promotes inequality and wastes the planet. Do we want our children to ask “Why did nobody see it coming”?

“If you or I had grown up with ever-diminishing prospects for secure paid employment, housing, or a decent retirement, we’d be angry, too.”

Dreaming big in Margate

Big Interview

For as long as anyone can remember, amusement parks have been an integral part of a visit to the seaside and one of the best known has been Dreamland in Margate.

Today, Dreamland is playing its part in the restoration of Margate as one of the South East’s pre-eminent coastal resorts.

It is the latest chapter in the story of an amusement park that has known both glorious times – at one time, it was listed in the UK’s top ten visitor attractions – as well as challenges including administration. Today, its future looks optimistic and current Chairman Aidan de Brunner believes that the area’s historical popularity will stand Dreamland in good stead. Aidan, who assumed the role as the park emerged from administration in 2017, said: “There is a long-term vision for Dreamland. This is not just a case of putting it back to what it was two years ago. “Margate resonates. A lot of people have a Margate story and a lot of people have a Dreamland story.” “Looking back over the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, Dreamland was very popular as was Margate and all the ingredients are there for them to be so again.” Considered to be the oldestsurviving amusement park in Great Britain, the site of Dreamland, as it was re-named in 1920, dates back to the British railway boom of the early 1870s when, in its original form, the ‘Hall by the Sea’, it was operated by circus impresario ‘Lord’ George Sanger.


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For many decades, Dreamland benefited from Margate’s status as a popular holiday destination for Londoners drawn to its sandy beaches. However, that began to change with the advent of cheap holiday packages to destinations abroad that threatened the prosperity of many of the UK’s seaside resorts.

Margate was not immune to the winds of change and in 2003, a plan to close the park and build housing on the site triggered a ‘Save Dreamland’ campaign by local people and amusement park enthusiasts. Their successful campaigning led to securing £18m public funding to restore Dreamland and its jewels, the Grade II*listed Scenic Railway, Grade II*- listed cinema complex and Grade II-listed menagerie cages. Thanet District Council compulsorily-purchased the site in September 2013 and work began in 2014 to restore the Scenic Railway, as well as breathing new life into the lower ground floor of the cinema building. Capitalising on Margate’s swiftly growing reputation as a new capital of British cool, Dreamland Margate reopened in June 2015 but once again fell on harsh times and the administrators were called in 2016. Today, the situation looks rosier as the park plays its part in the regeneration of Margate and Aidan believes that Margate and Dreamland have great potential.

He said: “The challenge for UK coastal resorts like Margate has been that they suffered from the impact of low-cost holiday packages.

welcomed the sold-out Demon Dayz Festival headlined by Gorillaz, putting Dreamland firmly on the music venue map. The space operates alongside the legendary 1000-capacity Hall By The Sea, that once famously played host to The Rolling Stones and The Who. On the seafront, the original 1930s Cinque Ports pub has been brought back to life, offering modern pub fare with a front row view of the beach and Ziggy’s Rooftop Bar also launched in June 2017 bringing Margate’s only rooftop bar offering unparalleled vistas over the iconic ‘JMW Turner’ skyline. Aidan expects that the move towards holidays at home will help the investment bear fruit.

“However, all the ingredients for success are still there. Everyone knows about the golden beaches, the Art Deco architecture and the amusement park. What we need to do is reactivate and make the experience contemporary.”

He said: “It is too early to say what the long-term effect of the staycation movement will be on places like Margate but what we can say is that Brexit is having an effect on exchange rates, which is making it more expensive to go abroad on holiday.

After emerging from administration and following significant additional investment in 2017, the amusement park was re-landscaped to bring together lovingly restored vintage rides set against a backdrop of art installations, including an interactive mirrored spinning top, street food, bars and a diverse programme of live events.

“2017 was an important year for us. We invested a lot of money into the park and our vision is to develop it further.

A new garden boardwalk gives everyone the opportunity to admire the antique menagerie cages from the 1800s, capturing part of the site’s unique history. The ride line-up features some old favourites alongside some new additions including the Wedgwood Tea Cups and The Waltzer which has been painstakingly restored to its 1940s glory’. New rides are also being introduced in 2018 including thrill rides. Also new for 2017 was an outdoor event space which can accommodate 15,000 people and has already

“We are not reinventing the wheel. We know what made it a success in the past – lovely landscaping, great entertainment and delicious food and drink in a safe and secure environment. And this is what will make it a success going forward too – Margate’s timeless magic.” “Music has always been a big part of Dreamland and we are bringing this back to life. Our recent event with Craig Charles, for example, was very popular. “It is all here. Margate is amazing, Dreamland is amazing, but Dreamland can only do well if Margate does well and vice versa and we want to help join up the dots. “Our big message to other organisations in the town is that we all have to work together. Collaboration, I think, is vital.”

Big Interview

“We are not reinventing the wheel. We know what made it a success in the past – lovely landscaping, great entertainment and delicious food and drink in a safe and secure environment. And this is what will make it a success going forward too – Margate’s timeless magic.”

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health & wellbeing

Promoting health in the workplace

Health in the workplace has never been afforded a higher priority than today with more and more managers recognising that a healthy workplace means a healthy workforce and that a healthy workforce is happier and more productive. According to organisations like the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the NHS, poor management of workplace health can lead to work-related ill health and high levels of sickness absence. This has to be a concern for managers because of the costs involved, the impact on service delivery and the consequences for staff. According to the HSE, managers must strive to: • create workplaces where health, safety and wellbeing is protected and promoted • ensure that staff have access to occupational health advice and support • improve access to preventative care and treatment for common health problems • enable people to remain in work while health problems are investigated and treated and support staff on return-to-work issues. This approach is high on the Government’s agenda with officials working with a range of public and private sector organisations to encourage good management of occupational health. They acknowledge that this may seem like a difficult challenge but argue that

Kent is well supplied with private facilities which can offer help for individuals and provide corporate packages for companies running health schemes.

Carry out health checks Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death of working age people in the UK and costs the economy £3.1 billion a year due to days lost to death, illness and the care of people with the disease. Check with your local surgery or hospital about health checks which can be carried out to reduce the risk to your staff. Lose weight It’s all too easy to put on weight with a hectic modern life but you can change things. By making simple swaps, you can lose weight without giving up the things you love. For example, you can swap your high calorie coffee drinks like whole-milk lattes and frappe for drinks made with skimmed milk. Swap your high sugar or fat snacks biscuits and crisps for a healthier food like fruit. Be physically active Being active is good for your mind and body. Employees who are physically active take 27% less days of sick.

Here are a few tips to head of health problems before they occur.

You don’t have to join a gym or set up a rigid exercise programme.

companies can achieve success by: • The lead given by managers at the top level. Without it, an organisation will not be motivated to take action • Good occupational health programmes • Support for those who are absent due to sickness, which can have a major impact on an individual’s motivation to get back to work According to health experts, prevention is better than cure and it is far better if the problem is prevented from occurring in the first place. Work-related ill-health accounts for 28 million working days lost a year in Great Britain but, increasingly, there is support available for employees requiring time off work for medical consultations or treatment of complaints like back problems and minor operations.

Cover Feature

Walking and cycling to work are good low-cost ways to increase your physical activity and can be fitted into you daily routine. Many companies encourage their staff to walk and cycle to work. At work, you can swap the lift for the stairs and rather than eating at your desk get up and move about. However, a visit to the gym is a good idea as well and some enlightened companies provide gym membership as part of employment packages for their staff, recognising that healthy workforces benefit everyone.

Eat well Poor nutrition can affect your energy levels, concentration and health and make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. With almost two thirds of adults overweight or obese in England it is important to ensure that you eat a range of food and cut down on foods high in salt, sugar and fat. Stop smoking If you are a smoker, stopping is probably the single biggest thing you can do to improve your health. Smokers tend to take more days off in sickness absence than non-smokers. Stopping smoking will improve your health and fitness.

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Cover Feature

health & wellbeing


‘a significant problem in the workplace’

New research has suggested that British employees are under significant workplace strain, with more than 1 in 3 (36%) confessing that they think about quitting their position on a regular basis. The study by CABA, the charity that supports chartered accountants and their families, revealed that 13% of employees have resorted to taking a sick day to cope with stress, with the same number admitting to feeling stressed at least once a day. The findings revealed that 94% of HR staff believe that depression or anxiety is an adequate reason to call in sick and more than (80%) believe that workplace stress is also a legitimate reason for a sick day.

In contrast, employees were reticent to admit taking time off due to workplace pressures and believed it was not an acceptable reason to call in sick.

The research showed that only 13% of employees had called in sick due to feelings of stress, with 10% admitting that they did not want to face up to their workload. CABA is calling for anyone who is struggling with stress or concerned about a family member or friends to seek advice. Laura Little, Learning and Development Manager at CABA, said: “One in four people experience a mental


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health issue every year, so it is reassuring to learn that HRs agree stress, depression and anxiety are all valid reasons for employees to call in sick. “It’s extremely important for businesses to promote a supportive, non-judgmental ethos to encourage employees to take time off if they need it, and most importantly encouraging conversation if people are struggling.

“Our research shows that 80% of HRs agree that physical symptoms such as back or joint pain is an acceptable reason to call in sick, so it is a step in the right direction that mental ill health is being recognised in the same way.’ The research showed that more than half of working people (57%) would tell someone at work if they thought they were suffering from stress, anxiety or depression, with their line manager or supervisor (25%) the most likely go-to person.

However, nearly a third (32%) would keep quiet, preferring not to let anyone know. Over 55s (40%) were the most likely not to tell anyone, compared to 18% of 25-34year-olds, highlighting that millennials are more open

to discussions about their emotional wellbeing. Laura Little said: “Mental ill health can have a profound

effect on an employee’s ability to do their job. It can affect motivation, performance and relationships at work.

“The impact can be lessened by taking preventive measures to mitigate the risk of triggering such feelings and by putting support systems into place such as team meetings or one-to-ones. “Setting an example from the top gives a clear message that mental health is an integral part of everyone’s wellbeing. “We often take physical illness symptoms seriously so it is great to see mental ill health being treated equally.

“However, if employees continue to keep quiet about their worries we will find ourselves in a vicious cycle. Therefore, action is needed to spread the supportive message, to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to stress.’ The research was conducted across a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults in a minimum of part time work.

health & wellbeing

Cover Feature

Agency tops mental health index

The Environment Agency has topped the mental health charity Mind’s annual Workplace Wellbeing Index Awards for the second year in a row. The accolade was awarded in recognition of achieving excellence when it comes to promoting good mental health at work following a series of assessments, including a staff survey, carried out by Mind. The organisation was one of 74 employers taking part in this year’s Index, a benchmark of best policy and practice, celebrating the good work employers are doing to promote and support positive mental health. The Awards event took place at BMA House, the headquarters of the British Medical Association, in Central London. The ceremony was hosted by

Mind Ambassador, Alastair Campbell, a writer, communicator and strategist who is best known for his role as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy, who has talked

extensively about his own experiences of depression. The Environment Agency received the highest score of all Index participants, closely followed by eight other organisations which also had their efforts acknowledged with a Gold Award.

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health & wellbeing

The agency is leading the way in terms of mental health support, with a network by staff, for staff where people can speak openly, connect and be signposted to helpful resources.

Awareness-raising and special training is also available to help Environment Agency staff and line managers spot the warning signs and know where to find support. Environment Agency Chief Executive James Bevan said: “I'm delighted that the Environment Agency has won this award. A healthy workforce means a more productive workforce and an inclusive culture makes work more life-enhancing.

“The fact that we're number one in the index again shows just how much work is going on across the Environment Agency to ensure all of us feel free to talk openly about mental health issues and know where to get help and support if we need it. “Our staff-led Mental Health Network is doing a tremendous job, backed up by tools and information provided through our Wellbeing Team. I'm proud of the real difference this is making.”


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Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, said: “We want to congratulate the Environment Agency for topping the board at this year’s Workplace Wellbeing Index Awards, for the second year running. The Environment Agency has once again demonstrated that they are at the forefront of creating mentally healthy workplaces, which involves tackling stress and supporting the mental wellbeing of the entire workforce, including employees that might be struggling with their mental health. “This year, we’ve been overwhelmed to see so much good practice right across the board, from each and

every one of the 74 diverse employers that took part. The Awards event provided an opportunity to recognise forward-thinking employers like the Environment Agency, who are at the cutting edge when it comes to investing in their staff wellbeing, and in turn getting the best outcomes for their business.” • To register your interest in taking part in next year’s Workplace Wellbeing Index, visit • To see a list of all the Index participants recognised with a Gold, Silver or Bronze Award in 2017/18, visit workplace-wellbeingindex/index-awards-201718/

Employers ‘could reduce sick leave by keeping premises clean’

Employers could reduce the amount and cost of sick leave by keeping their premises clean, according to cleaning company Purity First. The company says that sick leave has been shown to cost British businesses £29 billion annually. Adriana Brigova, Co-Director of Purity First Ltd, believes that employers can help to mitigate this by keeping their premises clean, safe and well-maintained. She said: "The health and well-being of employees and any customers that come onto business premises is of paramount importance. Most businesses will buy in regular cleaning services for shared co-working spaces, collective offices, toilets, meeting spaces, hallways and other business areas. For others, it's also worth buying in a periodic deep clean as an additional intensive service, and spring is the best time to do this.”

health & wellbeing

Cover Feature

Health and Wellbeing Toolkits supporting Business Suicide is not something that immediately springs to mind in the business community, unless your organisation has been affected by it.

The sad and startling statistic “Suicide is a difficult is that in the UK someone dies subject to talk about. by suicide every 107 minutes, Taking positive and with many more attempts practical steps to support taking place. Each person employees is important and is someone’s relative, and in many cases a colleague. can make a real difference The devastating impact in saving lives.” Dr Steve Boorman, Director of Employee Health, Empactis

of such a loss is felt by family, the community and in the workplace. Suicide is the

biggest killer of men “It is important that employers under 50, and claims work with their workforce and more lives in the UK union representatives to take than road traffic forward the suggestions in this accidents. According to the charity CALM, toolkit. There is a lot that 4 in every 10 men have employers can do to support contemplated taking their workers who are going own life at some point. through difficult times and we will be encouraging unions to ensure that they are raising the issue of suicide prevention with employers.” Frances O’Grady, General Secretary,TUC

Public Health England and Business in the Community are working in partnership and have produced a series of toolkits for workplaces on a range of health and wellbeing, including suicide prevention.

The toolkit written in conjunction with business leaders, for business looks at how the workplace can help to prevent suicide through tackling mental health stigma. It covers developing key strategies for suicide prevention, how to identify and support employees at risk and responding to warning signs. The toolkit comes highly recommended by a number of senior business leaders and includes case studies from those sharing personal stories.

You can download the full toolkit at

There are five other toolkits in this series developed in partnership with Public Health England which the Medway Healthy Workplaces programme recommend as a great resource for businesses wanting to address issues around health and wellbeing: • The mental health toolkit for employers • Musculoskeletal health in the workplace • Crisis management in the event of a suicide • Sleep and Recovery Toolkit • Physical Activity, Healthy Eating & Healthier Weight

The toolkits are designed to be easy to navigate, written directly for a business audience and are supported by insights, quotes and case studies from a range of employers.

Further toolkits are in development and due to be released in 2018/19.

Visit for a full list of toolkits available to support your business. The Release the Pressure helpline is available across Kent and Medway for those feeling anxious, depressed or suicidal. The 24 hours a day, 7 day a week help line is staffed by trained counsellors.

0800 1070160

The Medway Healthy Workplaces programme offers free support for staff health and wellbeing to businesses based in Medway.

Email or call 01634 334307

to find out more about the programme and for an informal discussion to see how we can help your business.

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health & wellbeing

Prostate Cancer What you need to know Cover Feature

Every year over 45,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK and around 10,000 men will die from the disease. It is the most common solid organ cancer in the male population and around 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime.

For the first time, more patients are now dying from prostate cancer than breast cancer. Like many cancers though, if picked up early it is treatable and the prognosis for the disease that hasn’t spread out of the prostate remains very good. The prostate is a small organ around the size of a walnut, situated deep in the pelvis below the bladder and it naturally increases in size with age. It is an organ of fertility and also plays a role protecting mens continence. Men with prostate cancer can present with difficulty in urinating, frequency of urination, slow urinary flow or getting up at night to urinate, along with blood in the urine, although these symptoms are also very common with benign and non-cancerous growths of the prostate or other bladder conditions. The majority of men who are diagnosed have no symptoms at all. Men are first screened to see if they could be at risk of prostate cancer with a simple rectal examination to feel the prostate and a blood test called PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen). These tests can be performed simply by their GP. Any man can ask to be tested but it is important that men at increased risk of the disease are targeted. These include men with a positive family history of the disease, afroCaribbean men, obesity and symptomatic men. If the PSA or rectal examination are abnormal then we at One Ashford would investigate men with a MRI scan using our state


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of the art diagnostic suite, usually within a day or two of referral. This can take away the worry of long waits and offers appointments at a time to suit the patient, whether that be morning, afternoon or evening. A prostate biopsy would also be performed as biopsies are key to telling us how aggressive the disease is. Over the last 10 years the natural history of the disease has become better understood and we now know that a lot of the lower grade tumours are very indolent, they do not grow rapidly and may not be harmful. These tumours pose little threat to a man’s life, therefore we choose not to treat a lot of prostate cancers diagnosed but just opt to observe them and only treat if they show signs of growing. For those men with more aggressive or more advanced disease or who have a much longer life expectancy, we may choose to offer treatments at One Ashford. Again over the last 10 years there have been major advances in treating prostate cancer with new forms of treatments introduced and refining of other established

forms of treatment to lessen the side effects of these treatments. Many of these new forms are available to our East Kent population. With all these options available, we are able to provide more individualised care for our patients taking into account their own treatment goals and quality of life issues. The treatment of all stages of prostate cancer continues to improve. Research into prostate cancer, which has traditionally been underfunded, is now welcoming more support globally, leading to major advancements into understanding the disease, where current treatments are best used, minimising their impact and discovering tomorrow’s treatments today. If you have any concerns please discuss them with your GP or Urologist, or call One Ashford direct on 01233 423000. Based in the heart of the local and medical community, One Ashford is perfectly placed to serve all its communities and patients, including some NHS funded patients.

Our relationship with the NHS is key to providing a wider choice for patients and helping to provide additional capacity at times of greatest pressure on the NHS.

One Ashford recognises the importance of keeping small businesses thriving as part of the vibrant local economy and recognises all major private medical insurers to ensure diagnosis and treatment can be carried out quickly – whether just an X-ray or a more complex procedure – by our team of accredited Consultants and specialists. Our aim is to provide a tailored service that keeps local business local, and supports the wider economy, and our occupational health service, launched earlier this year, will provide continuing support for employee health and wellbeing.

One Ashford was recently rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following inspection in 2017. Of note was their observation that staff in all departments treated patients with kindness and compassion, and involved patients in decisions about their care.

“Patients received care and treatment that reflected best practice guidance from competent staff.”

“Patients spoke positively about the care they received from staff. During our inspection, we saw thank you cards, letters and comment cards from patients who were grateful for the care and treatment they had received.” CQC September 2017

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We Built This City, Here I Go Again, The Final Countdown, Can’t Fight this Feeling & I Want To Know What Love Is

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Are you compliant with GDPR? Do you need some help with putting together your required documents for the new GDPR regulations. We are working with SME’s to help them produce their Policies and Procedures and to save them time and give them piece of mind. Please contact us if we can be of service to you and your business, we would be very happy to work with you. CDDL can offer a full secure chain for your confidential

paper work. We can offer all types and sizes of containers or bags to securely hold the paper work and we offer scheduled or ad hoc collections to keep your security risk to a minimum. CDDL can handle all your I.T. secure destruction, we can collect, process and certify computers and hard drives to your requirements.

CDDL can offer one off archive collection and destruction, we can clear your office of the clutter you may have, and can offer support to organise and get ready all collections. CDDL can also offer archive storage to remove the pain of blocked cupboards and rooms with boxes of information poorly stored within your business.

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Ask the Expert

Tony Smith

Chief Executive, Right Guard Security, Canterbury

To provide a security and a crowd management plan to a large outdoor event, as an example a standing concert, requires specific details and strategic planning. I see it far too often; small security operators that approach an event as if it was like staffing a town centre nightclub. I spend large amounts of time planning our security deployments, ensuring that we don't leave anything to chance. Each and every assignment is risk-assessed, ensuring that the security and stewarding deployment and staffing levels are adequate and fit for purpose. To support our security and stewarding deployments, we have our very own Tactical Aid unit. These officers have received additional training in public order, rapid intervention, handcuffing,

Ask the Expert

What do I need to consider when it comes to security at outdoor events?

first aid, fire training and crime scene preservation. In today’s challenging world of increasing terror attacks accompanied with health and safety legislation and increasing costs, planning security at an event can be a lengthy process. To satisfy the police licensing and the local authorities, numerous items have to be in place. The safety of all attendees is obviously the primary importance and plans must adhere to capacity limits and particular safety criteria, including evacuation and invacuation plans. All of our plans and deployments now include hostile vehicle mitigation measures and Counter Terror awareness; these items are key to the success of our strategic planning. Our Traffic Management department provides detailed traffic plans to address the potential impact of large outdoor events. Right Guard traffic management services have CSAS-accredited traffic

officers who have the authority to dynamically control traffic on the highway, reducing congestion with our interventions. With our immense experience and multiple approaches of our professional services, we provide crowd safety for several hundreds of thousands of people each year. Not all of our security measures are seen by the public. On some of our assignments we deploy covert teams to combat drug trafficking and organised crime.

Right Guard Security is scheduled to provide our specialist security and crowd safety teams for multiple music concerts and a variety of large outdoor events during 2018. Tony Smith, Chief Executive, Right Guard Security, Canterbury. Tony formed Right Guard Security 28 years ago. Right Guard Security is professionally recognised nationally for Crowd Management and Special Events services.

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Finding the right person for the job

The Person behind the Business

Anthony Phillips is a man with strong views on how to recruit skilled professionals, views that he says challenges the way a lot of recruitment companies operate.

Having spent many years in roles in which he recruited IT staff, Anthony became increasingly frustrated at the quality of service that he was receiving from some recruiters.

He spent, he says, far too much time reading through the CVs of candidates who were either unsuitable for the roles for which they had been proposed or which gave him too little sense of what they were like as people. The result was the launch in 2017 of his own recruitment company, Contract Match, which deals exclusively with candidates for specialist IT roles and of which he is Managing Director. At the heart of what Anthony does is the nature of the person, rather than a CV based largely on qualifications. He said: “I had recruited plenty of people down the years and I was frustrated at the quality of candidates that I was being offered. “In one case, I was even asked by someone from a recruitment company ‘what words do you want to see on the CVs we send you?’ “The result was that I was being sent CVs for candidates who were not really suitable for the roles that I wanted to fill. “My approach is less about the CV and more about the person. It is not enough to provide a CV with a few lines of qualifications, there is much more to it than that. “A lot of candidates leave a lot of things about themselves

off their CVs but I am as interested in the personality of a candidate as much as I am about their qualifications.

“Another thing I will do is go to see the people who are seeking to hire candidates so that I can get a sense of what they need. “That may mean suggesting that they are advertising the wrong type of job and by talking to them face to face, I can help them get that right. “The result of going through this process is that the company receives two CVs for people who I can virtually guarantee they will wish to hire rather than six for people they won’t. “The problems I had when I was recruiting was nothing to do with a lack of talent. The talented people are out there, it was just that I was not being offered enough good candidates. “I do not just have people on my books who are looking for jobs. I also have people on my books who do not even know they are looking for a job. “People like to stay in their existing jobs and find the idea of moving scary but I tell them that they will not know what they want to do until the right job comes along. “For me, it is not just about providing a set number of CVs when a job becomes available but rather providing a quality service by suggesting someone with the right qualifications and the right personality for a role. The old saying is true, quality is better than quantity.” Thinking Business


Members News

Flutterbee Me Events spreads its wings into corporate sector

Chamber member and leading event management company Flutterbee Me Events is launching a new corporate service to complement its successful hospitality business. Founded in 2014 by business professional Samantha Beadle, Rainham-based Flutterbee Me Events originally began life as a luxury wedding and children’s party planning management company.

Kent, a little piece of heaven…

Now, in response to increasing demand from the corporate sector, Samantha and her team at Flutterbee Me Events are expanding their event management offering to the business community in the form of bespoke corporate hospitality events. These include corporate away days, awards ceremonies, team building events, general and shareholder meetings, corporate

Top 20 UK accountancy firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson, which has offices in Canterbury and Maidstone, has appointed Alyson Howard as a partner.

The Garden of England was a welcome relief during ten hectic years of commuting to the City of London as a corporate lawyer.

Recent success included the funding for a new cargo terminal in Dover, as well as company sales for a number of owner managers. Her past experience includes European and international transactions.

In addition to her thriving legal business, she is a motivational speaker for Little Peace of Heaven Retreats, which she co-owns with a friend. Both busy business owners, they were inspired to put together beautiful retreats to give people like themselves the opportunity to rest and relax and create renewed energy to bring even more success into their lives.

Aly said: “I have always loved Kent and have found my home here amongst the entrepreneurs and grafters, that make the Kent market such a brilliant place to work. As a business owner myself, I understand the hard work and passion that is needed to build and maintain a thriving company. I share this journey with amazing people who make it a complete pleasure to go to work every day.”


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Samantha said: “We’ve already hosted quite a few corporate events, including a successful Women in Business day for SMEs in Kent. We are also in the late planning stages of a live event for social media pioneer Zoe Cairns from ZC Social Media.”

MHA MacIntyre Hudson strengthens Kent team

Our wonderful county has always represented a haven for Aly Young, ‘The Legal Angel’.

Six years ago, she made the leap to self-employment and The Legal Angel went on a mission to bring her unique brand of high quality technical, but also practical, legal advice to Kent.

hospitality and events within the MICE market (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions).

Alyson specialises in the education and not-for-profit sectors and joins MHA MacIntyre Hudson as part of the firm’s strategy to grow its specialist sector teams.

their transition to academy status. She previously founded and headed the academies team at William Giles, where she advised the first converter academy in Kent and worked with the county’s first pupil referral unit to gain academy status.

Alyson said: “MHA MacIntyre Hudson is one of the leading firms nationally in the not-for-profit and academy sectors and joining the team is an exciting opportunity to build on my work in these areas.”

Bowden PR announces new client - The Taxi Charity for Military veterans

She has been at the cutting edge of helping many schools manage

Bowden PR recently celebrated its first-year anniversary and what a great first year it has been.

My name is Christina Bowden and I founded Bowden PR in February 2017 and I am delighted to announce my latest client, The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans. For seventy years, The Taxi charity, whose patrons are Dame Vera Lynn and Joanna Lumley, have helped veterans by providing entertainment, outings and specialised equipment. The charity contacted me initially because I offered “experienced PR support whether you need an hour’s advice, a day’s work, or someone to handle your entire project.” And this more flexible

approach combined with over twenty years PR experience has been the key to attracting new clients to my business.

Based in Dartford, Bowden PR is now into its second year and I feel so privileged to be working with amazing clients across corporate, charity, consumer and lifestyle businesses. Many of my clients are Kent based businesses and entrepreneurs who not only contract me for PR support but also call on me for event management, marketing, social media strategy, copywriting and proof reading help.

Duncan Cochrane-Dyet, audit and assurance partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson said, “Alyson is a well-known and respected adviser and auditor in the education and not-for-profit sectors. We welcome her to the team with an exciting remit to expand our reputation and offering. Her appointment is part of our strategic plan to bring exceptionally high-quality advice and service to organisations both in Kent and across the country as a whole.’’

I am sometimes asked how PR works. It’s not paid for advertising but about giving a great story to the right print, broadcast or online media, experts and influencers.

The story might be about your product, your business, your results, your growth plans or about the amazing people who work or volunteer for you.

If you are interested in how PR can help your business, please visit and let’s work together to find your “story”.

Mayor’s Surprise for Charity-Activist

Restaurateur and charity activist Ash Miah was pleasantly surprised when The Mayor of Ashford revealed a hidden agenda for their family’s invite to the Mayor’s Parlour for afternoon tea.

The Mayor highly praised Mr Miah’s contributions in the local community, including feeding the homeless, providing food for community events and raising thousands of pounds for charitable causes.

Councillor Winston Michael told him: “Having witnessed your incredible generosity with many deserving causes, helping those less fortunate in our society, and providing the most delicious food, I am pleased to commend your compassion by presenting The Mayor of Ashford’s Award: Certificate of Achievement”. Mr Miah said: “I am really touched by The Mayor’s speech and this award it has inspired me to work even harder.

The Mayor celebrated Mr Miah and his family’s efforts stating, “it is evident that you are always thinking about what you can do for others, and not purely for yourself”.

“Since 2006, with the continuous support of my kind-hearted wife, we have focused on helping the local community; raising more than £20,000 for charitable

Cripps wins at the LexisNexis awards

causes and supporting those that are vulnerable and needy. I truly believe we all have a moral duty and obligation to help each other in this world.”

Law firm Cripps has been recognised nationally for its GDPR campaign at the LexisNexis Legal Awards 2018.

The awards (formerly known as the Halsbury Legal Awards) celebrate the achievements of individuals and firms across the legal sector in 16 different categories. In a ceremony held at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel, Cripps collected the Award for Business Development which recognises those responsible for pioneering and implementing exceptional business development and marketing programmes. The GDPR campaign, which launched in September 2017, was designed to assist clients and contacts with their preparations. Irfan Baluch, a partner in the commercial team who is leading the initiative, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and we are delighted to pick up this award. Our approach to the campaign has been focused on our clients’ needs, cutting through the complexity of GDPR and telling them what they really need to know.

“This has been a true team effort and we are delighted with the success of the campaign so far, and this award reaffirms that we are getting it right”. The other finalists in the category were Barrister-Direct, CMS and Womble Bond Dickinson. Cripps has offices in Tunbridge Wells, London and Kings Hill.

Brachers announces ten promotions across firm

Members News

Law firm Brachers has recognised the expertise, skill and dedication of its staff with ten promotions as the firm starts its new financial year.

Antonio Fletcher of the Employment team, who joined the firm as Senior Associate in 2017, has been promoted to Partner. Four members of staff have been promoted to the role of Senior Associate, a position introduced to the firm last year to recognise the increased level of responsibility held by lawyers in this role. They are: Mark Gore of the Personal Injury team, Sophie Read of the Family team, Emma Harris of the Private Client team and Emma Andersen of the Commercial Property team. In addition, four lawyers from the Corporate, Family, Private Client and Commercial Litigation teams have been promoted to Associate: Tim Turner, Dan King, Rhia Davis, Kim Harrington and Lacie Kerner. Joanna Worby, Managing Partner, said: “These promotions are testament to the dedication and professionalism shown by our staff.”

The View Hotel & Cliffe Restaurant

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Wake up to stunning views of the English Channel from any of our 44 modern, stylish and comfortable bedrooms. If you are looking for corporate accommodation, we provide tailor-made corporate rates to suit you and your business and we do our utmost to ensure your stay with us is seamless and hassle-free. Dine with us at The Cliffe Restaurant & sample our carefully designed menus to showcase the Best of British food, using local sustainable suppliers and fresh Kentish produce. With our modern and newly decorated function room, we can accommodate all kinds of corporate events, providing a meeting space and in-house catering.

The View Hotel, 30-32 Clifton Road, Folkestone, Kent CT20 2EF

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Chamber Spreads its Wings and Heads to Asia International Trade

With continued uncertainty around our future trading relationship with the EU it makes sense to look beyond the EU’s borders to see what other markets may be open to UK business. Last month the Chamber hosted a very successful event that brought together representatives from the British Chambers of Commerce in Southeast Asia and businesses in Kent.

Countries represented in person were Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam with Skype connection to Cambodia and Myanmar. More than fifty businesses from across Kent and Medway spent several hours learning about the culture and business opportunities as well as discussing their own specific needs during 1-2-1 appointments. All attendees reported a positive outcome with many now looking to develop their market research and progress their ambitions. This successful event has encouraged the Chamber to partner with Tunbridge Wells based travel firm, Pathfinder Trade & Invest, to support a trade mission to Vietnam in October 2018 thereby capitalising on the connections made and the support available on the ground. The mission in October will provide delegates with the chance to connect not just in Vietnam but also other contacts in the Region. The mission will include; • Three one-to-one prearranged meetings per mission member company, with highly relevant contacts in Hanoi. These will be


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researched in advance to ensure that they meet your own needs and objectives and will be with key decision makers.

• A sector-focussed briefing session comprising of presentations from the BBGV and the British Embassy, including a market overview, highlights of the business environment, addressing opportunities and challenges, case studies and a Q&A session. • A site visit per sector pre-arranged with one of the key players in Hanoi. • Day three will remain free for your own appointments and follow up meetings. • Additional menu options are available such as extra oneto-ones, pre-researched contact lists, translators and in-market transportation which can be arranged on request at cost price. • A Mission brochure will be produced to promote your company, product and/or service in advance of and during the Mission. • You can take advantage of an optional negotiated travel package. The UK brand is still strong in many developing countries and whilst competition will undoubtably exist in any given market, the kudos and brand collateral attached to UK products and service will guarantee interest.

If you would like to join us in October please visit for more information

Kent Invicta Chamber Members will receive a £100 discount

Exclusive opportunity to participate in a fully funded national growth programme

Goldman Sachs in collaboration with the British Chambers of Commerce are offering a select number of high growth businesses in Kent, the chance to participate in a unique national high growth programme. Working alongside representatives from the Astor Business School, the Said Business School and Leeds University, Kent based business owners will join a national cohort of likeminded people and undergo an intensive programme of development and growth. Successful participants receive: • Unique curriculum designed for high growth businesses; • Specialist workshops • Access to professional experts • A network of 10,000 Small Business graduates worldwide • 7 residential days and 7 online learning weeks • 6 hours of one-to-one coaching and 6 hours of small group coaching This programme is being fully funded by the Goldman Sachs Citizenship Trust and competition for places is fierce. (Selection criteria applies) Register now for our information event on the 12th July in Ashford


International Trade

Ease of trading across borders Importing a standard container of goods into Vietnam requires: 8 documents • 21days • £370

Introduction Vietnam is predicted to be the fastest growing of the world’s emerging economies by 2025, with a potential growth rate of almost 10% per annum. The country has slowly been transforming itself into a more market-oriented economy. Reforms include partial privatisation of state-owned enterprises and modernisation of the trade regime. Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization in January 2007, which has promoted more competitive, export-driven industries. Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate) GDP Export of goods and services Import of goods and services Inflation Current account balance (% of GDP) Population (millions)

2016 6.2

2017 2018-21 6.5

















Source: Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook Database, April 201

Economic outlook Gross domestic product grew 4.9% in the first half of the year, according to preliminary data released by the General Statistics Office. Corporate difficulties, a banking system weighed down with bad debts and high interest rates were among the main factors contributing to the weak economic climate. GDP growth in 2013 is close to last year’s 5% as a result of subdued exports and persistently high real interest. But a pick-up is in prospect from 2014, as the past year’s strong rise in inward investment starts to boost exports to faster-recovering markets. Trade outlook Vietnam’s exports grew by an estimated 20% in 2012. China is forecasted to overtake the US as Vietnam’s largest trading partner. Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia will also become fast growing export partners for Vietnam. Plans to expand the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement to zero tariffs on all goods by 2015 will also drive Vietnam’s trade with other economies in the region over the medium term. The US and Japan will remain key sources of demand for Vietnam and will remain among Vietnam’s top export markets.

Cultural tips • Many business contacts are made from personal referrals • Seniority is valued, especially in dealings with government or state-owned bodies • Vietnamese society is influenced by Confucianism, which emphasises duty, loyalty, and honour.

Essential Customs Tips De-minimis value (duty free allowance): 1,000,000 VND (approx £34GBP). VAT and Special Sales Tax may still apply. All gifts must have a full description of goods, including the quantity. Goods descriptions must be specific; if descriptions are ambiguous such as gift, present, sample, textile, garment, or parts, they will not be accepted. All publications which refer to the ‘south China sea’ are prohibited.

SWOT analysis Strengths • Strong interest in Western lifestyles • Large young population • Expanding middle class with strong purchasing power Weaknesses • Slow structural reforms Opportunities • Reduction in trade barriers following international commitments Threats • Fiscal situation deteriorating • Import slowdown

Sector segmentation growth Sectors to watch: • Food • Utilities • Metal products • Manufacturing • pulp & paper • other manufacturing n.e.c. • beverages.

Fastest-growing exporters into Vietnam Rank 2012 1 India 2 Korea 3 Brazil 4 Hong Kong 5 China 6 Poland 7 Indonesia 8 Canada 9 Bangladesh 10 France Total merchandise trade Leading import partners

Vietnam's trade with the UK Label


Food, beverages & tobacco


Crude materials & fuel


Chemicals & related products


Manufactured goods


Machinery and transport equipment




Opportunities for UK businesses Key sectors include education, healthcare, food & drink, technology, chemicals and lifestyle. Both the public and private sectors in Vietnam have a strong interest in UK business expertise and brand reputation.

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Accredited by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), as a MEMBER you can gain access to a number of additional services. The BCC has negotiated EXCLUSIVE services with leading organisations to bring you support and help save you money. We are here to help you maximise your business potential.

Make the most of these features... Blogs and News Articles




AA Roadside Assistance AXA PPP Healthcare

Have you written or produced a blog or news article that you feel would be of benefit for other businesses to read?

Advertising and Promotion

Member 2 Member Offers

Chamber Energy Solutions

Did you know that you can benefit from exclusive special offers made available by other members? Take a look at what’s on offer in the members area of the website.

A3 Poster and Business Card Advertising

Here at the Chamber offices in Ashford, we have 25,000 visitors through the door each year so why not consider an A3 poster and your business cards being displayed in our Atrium area. The Atrium is the central hub for all visitors to the building where tea, coffee and lunch breaks are served so your poster is bound to grab lots of attention.

Cargo Insurance

Chamber Health & Safety Chamber HR Services Chamber Legal Chamber Tax Events Export Documentation Facilities

For all of these, please email for further details.

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Daniel Sangiuseppe Burlington Hotel

Two years ago, the iconic Burlington Hotel in Folkestone was in decline, its future uncertain amid a rapidly changing market place. Today, two years and £2 million later, it has been reborn and is thriving as a 4-star hotel following a major refurbishment. Behind the transformation is the Castlewood Hotel Group, the family-run company that has owned the Burlington in Earls Avenue since 1994. Director Daniel Sangiuseppe said: “The problem with the Burlington was that it was looking a bit tired and dated and the market was changing. “With the impact of HS1 and the regeneration in Folkestone, more and more people were coming to the town but they did not want to stay in dated 3-star hotels any more. “The Burlington was dying a slow death and it was getting bad reviews. We have turned the situation around.”

£2 million refurbishment breathes new life into hotel

The family started by refurbishing the rooms that received the worst reviews then moved onto the others and upgraded the restaurant.

All of this meant that the Burlington achieved 4-star status, making it the town’s only 4-star hotel, and also became a Best Western Plus hotel. The result is a new lease of life for the charming Victorian building, which is in the West End of Folkestone and is set in tranquil surroundings overlooking the English Channel. The family-friendly hotel is housed in a building that dates back to the 1890s and which still holds its Victorian charm, whilst offering all the mod cons you'd expect of a contemporary hotel. The 60-bedroom hotel is a tenminute walk from Folkestone town centre and a 15-minute walk from Folkestone Harbour. Each room has freeview TV, a private bathroom, free WiFi and tea and coffee making facilities, while some have spa baths and sea views of the English Channel.

The refurbishment programme covered bedrooms, public areas, conference and banqueting facilities and included a £500,000 modernisation and relaunch of the Bay Tree Bar & Grill, which serves modern British cuisine inspired by local ingredients from Kent.

Vegetables and apples come from a farm close to Leeds Castle, half an hour away. Sussex beef and Romney Marsh lamb come from a local butcher. Seafood comes from a local fishmonger, with a small fleet of boats, which goes out daily. Gin and beer come from a Kentbased distillery and brewery, and wine comes from a Kent vineyard. Daniel said: “We were witnessing an explosion in dining out in Folkestone with a particular interest in places that used local ingredients. “For years, our restaurant had been a typical hotel restaurant which none of the locals really used but now the new-look Bay Tree Bar and Grill, in addition to hotel guests, is seeing local

people coming back and the feedback has been good.

“Overall, the refurbishment of the hotel has worked, business is going well and the reviews are good.” Best Western Great Britain’s Managing Director Les Asplen said: “We are delighted to welcome the Burlington as a Best Western Plus. There’s an exciting regeneration story unfolding in Folkestone now, and following recent investment, the Burlington is at the heart of this, with a fantastic proposition for both leisure and corporate guests.“ The Burlington is one of three hotels owned by the company, which has now started work on the refurbishment of the 3-star Best Western Abbots Barton in Canterbury. Work will include refurbishing existing rooms and creating new ones, plus new meeting and event areas as well as a spa, after which the company will apply for 4-star status. The third hotel in the chain is the Best Western York House in Eastbourne.

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Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce East Kent Roadshow Your business can benefit from over 30 FREE and discounted business services. Be part of the Ultimate Business Support Network in Kent. Accredited to the British Chamber of Commerce we give you the best of both worlds, local, county and national support & representation. Are you making the most of your Membership, or looking for the many reasons why you should join or whether or not to renew, then come along and meet our Service Partners to ensure you are aware of all benefits available to you and your employees:Westfield Health: Healthcare Cash Plan Packages AXA PPP: FREE access to 24 hour Healthcare

AA breakdown: Up to 63% discount Cargo Insurance: Referral Service QDOS: FREE – Tax, H&S, Legal & HR Assistance, up to £1 million in legal expenses Export Documents: 50% discount on all documentation Utilitywise: Chamber energy savings advice and free bill analysis Conference Facilities: 20% Members Discount Foreign Exchange: Reduced transfer fee – £5 per transfer compared to £30 for High Street banks

The Fuel Card People: Up to 5p a litre off pump prices

There are more ways your business can benefit, here are just a few:

Member to Member offers, Membership Directory, Blogs, Advertising Opportunities, Networking, Sector Specific Events, Annual Business Awards, Thinking Business Magazine, Business Support, Start Up Workshops, Initiative & Local Funding Opportunities

Chamber Special: Summer Evening Cruise Swans, Cormorants, Geese and Ducks, so remember to keep a watchful eye out!

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce have hired ‘The Kentish Lady’ and are delighted to offer this social summer evening event. It is an ideal opportunity to network and connect with fellow businesses in a relaxed environment.

Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or bottle of beer whilst we cruise upriver through Farleigh Lock and onwards under Farleigh, Barming and Teston bridges. At Teston Lock the countryside opens up to reveal wildlife of all varieties including Kingfishers, Herons,

We really look forward to welcoming you to this exciting & informative Membership event, please register your attendance now to avoid disappointment. Networking and a light breakfast from 8.00am followed by a short presentation and further networking. Wednesday 11th July 2018, 8.00am – 10.30am Venue: G Casino, Westwood Cross, Margate, CT10 2BF

On the return enjoy a Fish & Chips supper while cruising along the river watching the sun go down. There is a fully licenced bar on board, excellent facilities and easy access for wheelchairs. There are limited places available so early booking is advisable.

The nearest car park is Lockmeadow, Medway Footpath, Maidstone ME16 8LW free of charge from 6.30pm.

Wednesday 25th July 2018

6.00pm – 9.00pm Venue: The Kenntish Lady Hire Cruisers Ltd, Undercliffe Boathouse, Bishops Way, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 6XG

For further information on all events please contact 01233 503838 Thinking Business


ASHFORD 2018 Network like a pro at Kent B2B Ashford 7 June, 2018 | 8.30am – 4pm | Ashford International Hotel

With podium finishes at Paralympic Games fresh in her mind, Kent born Winter Paralympian and Downhill World Champion Millie Knight will share her story of determination, adaptability and drive.

Jae Hopkins is responsible for getting Eurotunnel Le Shuttle noticed on both sides of the Channel. After years in marketing, it’s been an exciting and varied career with insight and many lessons along the way ready to be shared at Kent B2B.

Free digital talks with Giant Campus



Ben Halks: Are you a social animal?

Sean O’Donoghue: Optimising your digital presence

Do you struggle to justify the time you spend on social media? Is it just your friends and family that like your posts? Social Media is a great tool for engaging with potential customers, but you must have a plan in place.

Writing posts on Twitter or Facebook doesn’t mean you ‘do’ digital. To really embrace digital you have to review how each channel works with one another and how you can push people into and through each stage of the buying funnel.

Attend for free! Register today at or on eventbrite @Kent_B2B #KentB2B #Ashford

Thursday 4th October 2018 Kent Event Centre, Detling

Fresh Insights into Current Construction Industry Challenges, Opportunities and Innovations

The Kent Construction Expo is the largest gathering of construction industry professionals, contractors and suppliers in the south east. Produced by the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, the Expo delivers a multi-track conference programme, a wide range of exhibitors and a unique opportunity for the construction sector to come together for an invaluable day of networking and innovation.

Register now for your free ticket at Fully inclusive stand packages start from just ÂŁ695, get in touch for the latest floorplan: Email or call Nick Litton - | 01892 820930 Produced by

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Business News

TEDxFolkestone unveils its speakers TEDxFolkestone has secured 11 thought-provoking speakers for its 2018 event ‘Courage to step beyond’.

Kent Crisps launches new flavour with heritage imagery

Kent Crisps’ new flavour, Ham and Mustard, was launched at Pork & Co on Sun Street in Canterbury.

The launch location tied in with the image of the iconic Canterbury Cathedral on the packet, reflecting Kent Crisps ethos to drive tourism and promote Kent. Canterbury visitors experienced a giant wall of Ham and Mustard boxes, covering the front three shop windows of Pork & Co, and were showered with sample packs. This is the seventh flavour to join the range of Kent Crisps. Laura Bounds, who took over as Owner and Managing Director in April last year, went to the experts when it came to deciding on the perfect blend to get the flavour spot on. She worked alongside Sam Deeson, pork enthusiast and owner of the restaurant Pork & Co. Sam, Owner of Pork & Co said: “It was a privilege to host the launch event and great to see the final product after working with Laura and her team on developing the flavour.” Laura, Owner and Managing Director of Kent Crisp and Kentish Oils, said: "This flavour was developed as a result of listening to our consumers and research showing us that whilst other producers are coming up with weird and wonderful flavours, our customers enjoy a more traditional flavour.”


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Following its call for applications from potential speakers, the organisers received nearly 50 approaches and selected 11 national and local people who will take to the stage at the Quarterhouse in Folkestone on Saturday 23 June.

They include Lucy Beresford, writer, psychotherapist and broadcaster on LBC Radio; Britt Whyatt, baker and author of the SheWhoBakes blog, and Cathy Sugden, the horseback heroine.

The event is designed to champion inspiration, innovation, collaboration and leadership across the community and Kent businesses.

TEDxFolkestone is being organised by Liú Batchelor, the Folkestone-based coach and project leader, and a committee of like-minded professionals as part of the global TEDx event programme that highlights ideas worth spreading.

Liú Batchelor, said: “The response from potential speakers was excellent and

we have been able to pull together what will be a thoughtprovoking, challenging and diverse programme covering a wide variety of couragerelated issues.” Themes for the talks include how individuals deal with situations requiring personal and collective courage, whether it’s saving a life, surviving infidelity, and

broader issues such as globalisation, education, and the next big idea.

Tickets for TEDxFolkestone 2018 are on sale Sunday 1st April from the Folkestone Quarterhouse booking office or via

Further information on the event can be found at

SELEP supports conversion of key building at Chatham Historic Dockyard

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has approved an £800,000 loan towards an £8.4million project to convert of a Grade I listed building at Chatham Historic Dockyard, a scheme that will help retain 300 jobs in Medway.

The Growing Places Fund investment in the project will go towards the conversion of the Fitted Rigging House into 3,473m2 of office space for use by three growing businesses. Two of those businesses are already located at the Historic Dockyard but need room to expand. Without the new space being created it is likely they would have moved out of the Medway area, taking 300 jobs with them. The Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust will relocate its own offices to the refurbished building,

freeing up space in its current home to enable the University of Kent’s Business School to expand and create a postgraduate study centre. Geoff Miles, Chairman of SELEP’s Accountability Board, said: “This project forms a critical element of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust’s corporate plan based on a strategy of preservation through re-use that generates income to maintain the 80 acre heritage site. “The investment will help the wider Historic Dockyard

Chatham become financially self-sustainable. This helps secure the site for the 170,000 visitors a year.” The remainder of the project cost is being funded through charitable trusts and foundations and other statutory bodies. Geoff Miles added: “The Fitted Rigging House is a great example of the type of project the Growing Places Fund is designed to support. It will help grow the Historic Dockyard’s contribution to Medway’s local visitor economy, which already stands at around £16m a year.”

Minister praises Ashford’s innovative town centre

High Street Minister Jake Berry MP has praised Ashford’s innovative approach to boosting the town centre and said other towns could learn a lot from its commitment to achieving success through strong partnerships.

Minsiter visit L-R Cllr Graham Galpin, Minister Jake Berry MP, Ashford MP Damian Green Mr Berry’s responsibilities at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government include high streets and he was in Ashford to find out how the town – led by Ashford Borough Council – has revitalised its town centre, increased footfall and is investing in new leisure and retail facilities. After meeting retailers and shop owners during his 90 minute tour, he said: “It’s great to have seen a town centre that is thriving and is enjoying an increase in the number of people visiting. “It is a tribute to Ashford Borough Council and the traders involved. I have met

some fantastic and passionate champions for the town centre and it’s obvious to me that this success comes from a strong partnership approach.” Asked how other UK towns could learn from Ashford, he said: “What is unusual about the Ashford approach is the absolute dedication to creating a partnership between the local council and new and existing traders to drive the town centre forward.” The tour took in Park Mall shopping centre – which the borough council bought in 2015 – the high street and County Square shopping centre, which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary

and which attracted over six million visitors a year for the first time in 2017. He also visited Elwick Place, a new 100,000 sq ft town centre cinema, hotel and restaurant complex due to open later this year. Ashford MP Damian Green, who joined the tour, said: “Most town centres in the UK are struggling and asking for help but here in Ashford we recognised that the key to success is forging a powerful partnership between business, the local council and others.” During his tour the minister met Park Mall shop owner Melissa Dawkins of Aye Aye Clothing, who told him: “We are constantly trying out new things, last year we cleared away the window displays and had crafts people sitting in the window producing their goods, with shoppers stopping to watch.” Cllr Graham Galpin, Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for the town centres and business, said: “We have gone from being a Portas Pilot town with much untapped promise to having a town centre with a quality and varied retail offer.”

Who can help you win more tenders? David Munn can

For small businesses and subcontractors in the construction sector, the idea of winning a tender contract from a larger organisation or the public sector may seem impossible. One man looking to change that is new Chamber member David Munn.

David is looking to distil his 30 years’ experience in the construction industry into the David Munn Construction Business Academy, giving businesses, no matter what size, the knowledge and tools to help them competitively bid for tenders.

David said: “During my career, I have found out what works and what doesn’t in business. I have built a 10 million business from nothing, but I’ve also faced overwhelming challenges. “The Academy will bridge the gap between the practical business

knowledge and systems with a positive mindset psychology so business owners have all the tools needed to realise their full potential.” David will be holding an Academy Taster Session at the Bridgewood Manor Hotel on June 6th.

For further information visit

Business News


COMMUNICATIONS LTD Direct Marketing Specialists

Direct 2 Communications provides a comprehensive range of services to help organisations effectively communicate their message direct to relevant decision makers and influencers.

We provide high quality marketing lists covering every vertical market. Combine our lists with cost effective print solutions, traditional direct mail handling facilities and state of the art email broadcast services. We are a one stop shop for all things Direct Marketing related, with many years’ experience in delivering successful campaigns.

We recently joined Kent Invicta Chamber and would like to say a big HELLO to all its members. As a ‘get to know you’ we would like to give you a free marketing consultation and a test of 1000 records from any of our in-house marketing lists. These services are offered gratis to Chamber members, who make contact with us in June or July 2018. Please call or email for more details, we look forward to assisting you. • • • • • •

Services Offered

GDPR Compliant Marketing Data List Brokers Direct Mail Services Email Broadcasting Printing Direct Marketing Consultancy

Direct 2 Communications Ltd

D4 Laser Quay, Culpeper Close, Medway City Estate, Rochester, Kent ME2 4HU 01634 263626 Thinking Business


Welcome to our new members New Members

Advance FM Ltd

Maidstone 01622 720888 Facilities Management

Anno Distillers Limited

Tonbridge 01622 833278 Distillery producing Artisan Spirits

BDC South East Limited

Rochester 0333 577 3699 Freelance Consultant / Business Academy


Snodland 07908 231258 AI, Manufacturing Consulting, Software development

BR Partners

Gravesend 01474 357091 Immigration Lawyer

Bradfields Academy

Chatham 01634 683990 Education (special needs)

Broome Park Countrywide Hotels Canterbury 01227 831701 Hotel, Hospitality

Burns Guthrie and Partners Pembury 01892 824193 Architects


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CDRM Services Ltd

Rochester 07852 579863 Construction & Design Health & Safety Consultancy

CH Accountancy Ltd

Ashford 01233 329545 Accountancy

Cinnamon Spice

GCL Building Technologies Ltd

Paddock Wood 020 3906 6070 Electrical Installation

Hendy Group Ltd

Eastleigh 0845 608 0413 Motor dealer

Infotech Solutions (UK) Ltd

Ashford 01233 668731 Licensed Restaurant

Rochester 01634 525252 IT Solutions Provider

Herne Bay 07764 940967 Driving instruction & Back to Work Programme

Gravesend 07873 918545 Brewery

Community Driving School CIC

Dr Mobile Tech

Sittingbourne 07879 550551 Phone and Laptop Support

FFF Catering Ltd

Ashford 01233 800141 Outside Catering Services

Financial & Credit Insurance Services

Iron Pier Brewery Ltd

JCM Advisors Ltd

London 020 3287 6850 Business Consultants

Kineteco International Ltd

Ashford 01233 811500 Design & Manufacture of Hand Wound Spring Starters

Kuflink Ltd

Sevenoaks 01732 749750 Insurance Broker

Gravesend 01474 334488 Peer to peer Investment

Aylesford 01622 716080 Training and Consultancy Services

Dover 01304 831319 Aluminium Composite Material Manufacturer

G W Training and Consultancy Ltd

Multipanel UK

New Members

Mountfield Consultancy Ltd

Process Serving Ltd

Dartford 01322 312126 Estimating/Quantity Surveying Practice

Chatham 01634 650850 Process Serving

Southborough 01892 807001 Accountancy Services

Rochester 0330 223 3923 Online & Trade Sales of Sports Nutrition Supplements/Health Foods

Naylor Accountancy Services

Newcroft Training & Recruitment Ltd

Leigh-on-Sea 01708 891111 Provider of Training including HGV, Forklift, HIAB, Adr & First Aid

New Horizons Childrens Academy PTFA Chatham 07961 268212

Protein Dynamix Ltd

Raclette Melt Ltd

Strood 07545 185580 Large & Corporate Events

Enfield 020 8351 6135 Executive Search & Business Consultancy

Play GR

Maidstone 07707 643276 Gaming Industry

Social Brand Time Ltd

Renovize Homes

Parkers Design and Print Ltd

PJS Consultants

Longfield 07951 683589 Print Management

Crowborough 01892 578666 IT, Telecoms, Cloud

Sandwich 01304 251439 Leadership and Team Development Training

Sevenoaks 07769 658133 Building Surveying / Project Managers

Canterbury 01227 766555 Graphic Design and Printing

Silver Rocket Media Ltd

RedApple Thinking

P&W Water Hygiene Ltd

Chatham 01634 722175 Water Hygiene

Maidstone 01622 673086 Estate Agents, Surveyors & Property Services

Herne Bay 07454 668333 Marketing, Business Strategy, Social Responsibility

Ashford 0330 606 0609 Home Renovation / Restoration / Extension Projects

School PTA

Sibley Pares Chartered Surveyors

RPT Consultants

Salubritas Consultant Ltd

Chatham 07715 221643 Health & Safety in Construction (Design & Management)

Shorthouse Hospitality International

Rochester 07946 050625 Hospitality Consultancy & Management


The Marketing Solution Tonbridge 01892 832952

Print/Design/Promotional Merchandise/Mailing

The Peacock Rooms

Sevenoaks 01732 666056 Hair and Makeup Salon

Total Supplies Ltd

Margate 01843 223000 Cleaning Supplies

TPA Supported Living Ltd

Gillingham 07749 956563 Supported Living Homes

Thinking Business


The Last Word Name: James Gransby Company: MHA MacIntyre Hudson Job title: Partner

James started his career as a trainee chartered accountant in 1997, progressing through the ranks to become partner in 2009. He is now head of the healthcare sector for the firm and is a director of AISMA, an association of medical accountants whose members act for almost half of all GPs in the country. MHA MacIntyre Hudson is a top 20 firm with over 700 staff across 12 offices with Kent offices in Maidstone and Canterbury. 1. What was your first job and what was the pay packet? Delivering leaflets door to door for 1 pence each when I was 12. 2. What do you always carry with you to work? A “to do” list written when I finish work the day before which helps me to clear my thoughts and wind down in the evenings without feeling guilty. 3. What is the biggest challenge facing your business? Automated bookkeeping software will change accountancy as we know it but will also be our biggest opportunity when used as a tool to provide business consultancy. 4. If you were Prime Minister, what one thing would you change to help business? Work with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to simplify the UK tax code which is the longest in the world at over 20,000 pages long and over 10 million words. 5. What can you see from your office window? Lots of new cars at the Ford car dealership across the road, including a very nice red Mustang that I have my eye on. 6. If you could do another job what would it be? Golf course green keeper. Plenty of fresh air and exercise and still being able to look back on a satisfying days work at the end of the day. 7. As a business person, what are your three main qualities? Listening – Everyone is driven by different motives and these need to be understood. Authenticity – Speaking the truth, even if it will be uncomfortable to hear, is always the best course of action. Grit - When I start something, I see it through. 8. What was your biggest mistake in business? Thinking that I had to know the answer to everything. Much better to know your limits and introduce specialists (see length of tax code above!) 9. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? Take time to think about long-term goals and set short-term milestones to aim for that are consistent with the long-term aim. 10. Who do you most admire in business? All of the hardworking GPs that have extremely demanding clinical workloads but also have to run their surgeries as businesses.


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Tax expert joins Breakthrough Group

Movers and Shakers

One of the UK’s leading authorities on corporate tax matters has joined the advisory board of Ashford-based tax and innovation specialists Breakthrough Group. Margaret Connolly MA, FCA, CTA is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Advisor who trained at Coopers & Lybrand in London. She went on to become Head of UK Taxation for Unilever plc, Senior Tax Manager at both Deloittes and KPMG, and a Partner and Head of Taxation Services at a top 30 firm of UK accountants.

Having set up her own specialist tax consultancy in 2015, Margaret has joined Breakthrough Group as a

Jonathan Lee joins the firm as a Senior Planning Consultant with almost 30 years of experience, including working in the public and private sector. For the last six years he has been based in Provence, France. He said: “I really enjoy the variety of work involved in planning, in particular having the ability to get out and about

strategic advisor on their R&D tax relief work.

Margaret was among the first accountants/tax advisors to file an R&D tax credit claim when the scheme was introduced in 2000 and is a supporter of innovation investment.

She said: “By working to raise the profile of the still under-used R&D tax credits, we can ensure that no innovative businesses miss out on the Government help that they so richly deserve.”

Breakthrough Group’s CEO and founder Sue Nelson said: “We have always had the utmost respect for Margaret’s experience and knowledge. She’s truly inspirational and has a professional tax background that’s almost impossible to beat.”

Senior planning expert joins the Hobbs Parker team

A planning expert with international experience has been welcomed into the Hobbs Parker Property Consultants team. within Kent, which is something I particularly enjoyed when I previously worked at Hobbs Parker and am happy to have returned to. We’ve got a friendly, multidisciplinary team which covers an interesting range of topics so there is always something to get stuck into.”

Jonathan is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute

Cripps boosts real estate team with new legal director

and studied for a degree and postgraduate diploma at Southbank University. Previous roles have included Head of Planning Services for a private architecture firm and Senior Planning Officer for a borough council. Before heading to France, Jonathan had also worked at Hobbs Parker Property Consultants.

Law firm Cripps has strengthened its real estate team further with the appointment of Victoria Murray as a legal director. Victoria joins from Shoosmiths and has nearly 20 years’ experience specialising in real estate investment, asset management and development transactions advising property companies, funds and inward investors. She also has particular expertise in project managing large transactions from start to finish.

Mike Scott, head of the real estate team at Cripps, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Victoria to the firm. She is a highly experienced investment lawyer, acting on many high value and complex investment portfolio acquisitions and disposals. Her depth of knowledge and level of experience will further strengthen the team.” Victoria said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining the firm as it continues to grow its already enviable client list and I am looking forward to working

with the team to further enhance its reputation.” Victoria’s appointment follows several other new recruits into the team, including senior associates Sophie Ogilvie and Kate Kennedy and associate Emma Robbins. Cripps has offices in Tunbridge Wells, London and Kings Hill.

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

How to find us. StarView film – see your service through the eyes of our technician Mercedes-Benz GenuineParts for quality and reassurance Mercedes-Benz highly trained technicians and Customer Service Consultants Complimentary 40-point safety check

We are located off the A224 Sevenoaks Way behind Sports Direct, and are just 10 minutes from junction 3 on the M25. Our manufacturer-trained technicians are ready and waiting to provide all the necessary care and help your car needs.

Complimentary Mercedes-Benz wash and vacuum To book your next service or repair visit or call us on 01689 888 400.

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

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

Mercedes-Benz Orpington, Brook Industrial Park, Mill Brook Road, St Mary Cray, Orpington BR5 3TX, Tel 01689 888 400.

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Thinking Business May 18  

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

Thinking Business May 18  

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