CHRIS HORSFALL Taking opportunities
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COLIN BARRATT Taxing Christmas! Column - Page 5
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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees
Cooler kings who scoop the awards THEY’RE cool winners! Two ice cream parlours in Kirklees have proved hot properties in the Ice Cream Alliance’s national competition. Audrey Wraithmell – who runs Charlotte's Ice Cream Parlour at Whitley, between Huddersfield and Dewsbury with husband Geoffrey and their daughter Charlotte – won two awards in the artistic class for ice-cream cakes. And Yummy Yorkshire Ice Cream, based at Denby Dale, scooped three awards at the 2011 competition. Audrey’s ice-cream wedding cake, which featured Whitley Parish Church where her daughter married in September, was voted best in class. Audrey scooped the award for the second year running, winning the Dick Colleta Rose Bowl. “Winning this trophy is a highlight for me,” she said. “The rose bowl was donated more than 30 years ago by a Huddersfield company to commemor-
ate businessman Dick Colleta, so there is a real local link for me.” Audrey was also awarded the Silver Challenge Cup for her miniature ice cream cake with an Easter theme. “I am delighted to have been awarded both awards,” she said. “I like the challenge of making ice cream gateaux – they are very popular for parties at the moment.” Yummy Yorkshire’s trophy haul included a diploma for its Beetroot and Dandelion & Burdock ice cream as well as a diploma for its Vanilla flavour in the best artisan dairy ice cream category. It is the fourth year running that Yummy Yorkshire has achieved recognition by the ICA – bringing its total number of awards by the organisation to 14. Yummy Yorkshire has also been shortlisted as a regional finalist in the 2011 Countryside Alliance Awards in ■ ICING ON THE CAKE: Audrey, Charlotte and Geoff Wraithmell, of Charlotte’s Ice Cream Parlour, joined Yummy Yorkshire among the winners the enterprise category.
Companies urged to keep control of credit SMALL business owners in Kirklees are being urged to improve their credit control as the economic downturn continues to bite. Nick Brook, who runs TaxAssist Accountants at Lockwood, said: “We know this is a very sensitive issue for small businesses as customer relationships are critical, but when cashflow is being stretched to breaking point, they should seriously consider taking a firmer approach.”
The call comes as latest figures show that unpaid bills owed to small businesses by their customers are at an all-time high. Payments company Bacs said the national figure rose by 10% in the last 12 months to more than £33bn. Bacs said the worst offenders were large companies – with the retail and distribution sectors owed the most. Said Mr Brook: “Many small businesses will have to rely on their over-
draft to cope with late invoice payments and they may also be paying VAT on the debt – something they won’t be able to recoup for many months if the debt does eventually go bad. “And many businesses are forced to stall payments to other parties because they are waiting for payments from their customers. So late payments have lots of knock-on effects. “Of course, they will first need to
consider their relationship with the customer and look carefully at their own credit management system, but they do have a statutory right to charge interest on late payments – even if it isn’t in their terms and conditions.” The Government has announced plans to “name and shame” large companies that fail to pay small businesses promptly, via the Cabinet Office website.
INSIDE Blazing success A HOLME Valley company is blazing a trail. Holmfirth-based North Fire, the UK’s fastest growing supplier of fire fighting equipment has been awarded ISO 9001 accreditation. The company has quickly risen to prominence since its launch just three years ago.
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Market stabilises YORKSHIRE’S housing market stabilised during October, according to the latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Agents said sales levels remained muted during October.
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Solicitors for business inYorkshire www.chadwicklawrence.co.uk Huddersfield | Wakefield | Halifax | Leeds
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Centrica secures £13bn energy deal
■ HOT TOPIC: Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the agreement
BRITISH Gas owner Centrica has signed a supply deal that will secure sufficient gas to meet around 5% of the UK’s annual demand. The 10-year, £13bn agreement with Norway’s Statoil involves the supply of 50bn cubic metres of gas to the UK from 2015. Centrica said the deal highlighted the importance of the UK’s relationship with Norway for the country’s energy security. The move takes the value of future gas supplies secured by Centrica for the UK to more than £50bn. Centrica is also spending £965m on buying oil and gas assets from Statoil in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The deal will lift Centrica’s production by about 25% and means it will have operating facilities in Norway for the first time. Prime Minister David Cameron said the
announcement underlined the strength and depth of the ties between the UK and Norway. He said: “Gas plays a central role in powering our economy, and will continue to do so for decades to come. “Today’s agreement will help to ensure the continued security and competitiveness of gas supplies to Britain, from a trusted and reliable neighbour.”
The Statoil supply deal, which is valued at £13bn based on today's prices, replaces a previous 10-year deal that was signed in June, 2002, and started in 2005. The new agreement is enough for 3.5m UK households. Centrica’s shares have struggled this year amid fears that the group will struggle to recoup higher wholesale costs. It said last week that recent warmer weather and higher retail prices had impacted on demand, causing full-year earnings to miss hopes. Angelos Anastasiou, an analyst at Investec Securities, said the two deals with Statoil should underpin Centrica’s operations, adding: “Confidence still needs to be regained in the UK supply market for full confidence in the shares to be achieved. “However, we believe that the share price is now factoring in unreasonably pessimistic scenarios on the supply side.”
Watchdog vows to ‘get tough’
CBI boss defends banks
ENERGY watchdog Ofgem vowed to crack down on suppliers who frustrate businesses from switching to another provider. The regulator is also concerned that some firms are being rolled over on to new contracts lasting up to three years, often without their knowledge. As part of its reform of the energy market, Ofgem has set out new standards of conduct with financial penalties available. It is considering enforcement action against some suppliers after research found firms were prevented from switching because of a high number of objections from suppli-
AN industry leader urged bosses to act responsibly on pay – but called for an end to the “demonisation” of banks and other businesses. Sir Roger Carr, president of the Confederation of British Industry, said big business was not bad business, stressing the importance of private companies in the fight against the economic downturn. He told the annual conference of the CBI in London that the Government needed to build a mood of confidence to encourage investment from the private sector. “We need to encourage all those in positions of authority – government,
ers, including some that were later withdrawn. Ofgem said it wanted businesses to get clearer information about when their contracts are ending and what renewal options are open to them. Chief executive Alistair Buchanan said: “During our investigation into the energy market, businesses told us about a range of problems they were having with energy suppliers and also some energy brokers. “As we have demonstrated in the domestic market, we will also take a tough line on any suppliers we find systematically breaching rules designed to protect businesses.”
Chief on the mend
opposition, regulators and commentators – to stop the demonisation of industry, banking, energy or defence. “Business large, medium and small is the engine of growth. They are interconnected, the creators of wealth, the heart of the economy. “If we are to fight our way out of this tough corner, business should be valued, not vilified. “By all means punish where appropriate, legislate or regulate where necessary, criticise the shortcomings when warranted, but base these actions on an objective assessment of the country’s long-term best interests, not short-term populism.”
LLOYDS boss Antonio Horta-Osorio is “making good progress” in his recovery from illness and should return at the end of the year, the bank said. Mr Horta-Osorio, who became Lloyds chief executive in March, is currently on sick leave after it emerged three weeks ago that he was suffering from fatigue due to overwork. While Mr Horta-Osorio is making progress, Lloyds said it had agreed that non-executive director David Roberts will assume the position of interim chief executive in the event that his return is delayed. Chairman Sir Win Bischoff said: “The board is pleased that Antonio is making good progress and we are looking forward to his return at the end of the year. “However, we recognise it is important that we formalise the contingency arrangements if Antonio’s return is delayed.” Meanwhile, Lloyds said a key executive from fellow state-backed player Royal Bank of Scotland will not be joining the group as announced in July. Nathan Bostock, who is presently head of restructuring and risk at RBS, has told Lloyds he no longer intends to join Lloyds. He was one of RBS chief executive Stephen Hester’s first appointments in February, 2009. It means Truett Tate will remain in his current role at Lloyds.
SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £29.26 -0.68 Gannett 687.01 -14.69 Hess Corp £36.90 -1.24 Microsoft 1597.18 -18.20 Motors Liquidation 47.89 Wal-Mart Stores £36.28 -0.26 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 315 +2 BAE Systems 2621/4 -63/8 Rolls-Royce 6771/2 -9 AIM Brady Plc 781/2 Dawson Intl 11/4 Man Brnze 35 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 1731/2 -77/8 BANKS Barclays 1571/2 -87/8 HSBC 469 -117/8 3 Lloyds Banking Gp 23 /8 -13/4 Ryl Scotland 191/2 -1 Stan Chart 1267 -29 BEVERAGES Diageo 1287 -29 SABMiller £203/4 -5/8 CHEMICALS Croda 1654 -17 Elementis 98 1301/2 -45/8 Johnsn Mat 1784 -63 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 2227/8 -81/4 Costain 180 -12 ELECTRICITY
Drax Gp 553 -151/2 Intl Power 3241/2 -73/4 SSE 1259 -21 ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 1361/2 -45/8 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 3251/2 -71/8 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 181 -51/8 Cable & Wireless 36 -1 Comm 5 -21/4 Cable & Wireless 17 /8 Wwide Colt Group 93 -3 KCOM 741/4 +1/2 Talktalk Telecom 134 -3 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 3093/8 -21/4 Sainsbury 2913/4 -63/4 Tesco 3911/8 -41/2 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 1070 -30 Tate Lyle 682 -1 Unilever £201/4 -1/8 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 2861/8 -23/4 National Grid 629 -13 1 Pennon Grp 697 /2 -17 Severn 1551 -20 -12 United Utils 6061/2 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 1807/8 -81/4 ICAP 3271/4 -171/4 London StockExch 789 -25 Man Group 137 -33/4
Provident Financial 1027 -16 Schroders 1241 -61 Schroders NV 1046 -38 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS Cooksn Grp 4451/8 -171/4 REXAM 329 -31/8 Smiths Grp 8701/2 -38 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 187/8 -3/4 Carphone Whse 3131/4 +31/4 Dixons Retail 101/2 -1/8 Home Retail 733/4 -7/8 1 Inchcape 302 /8 -93/4 Kingfisher 2455/8 -3 M&S 3115/8 -61/4 Mothercare 132 -1 Next £267/8 -3/4 WH Smith 5171/2 -2 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 5741/2 -4 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 631/2 -31/2 Barrat Dev 945/8 -33/4 1 Persimmon 476 /2 -181/2 Reckitt Benckiser £31 -5/8 Taylor Wimpey 371/8 -2 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING Charter 920 -71/2 IMI 708 -381/2 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 2421/4 -185/8 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 168 -3 LIFE INSURANCE
2821/8 997/8 1047/8 571 2301/4 1891/4 MEDIA BSkyB 710 D Mail Tst 3991/8 ITV 61 Johnston Press 41/2 Pearson 1094 Reed Elsevier 5101/2 STV Group 90 Trinity Mirror 523/4 Utd Business 4671/4 UTV 1097/8 WPP 6281/2 Yell Group 43/4 MINING Anglo American £223/8 Antofagasta 1009 BHP Billiton 1780 Eurasian Natural 600 Res Fresnillo 1593 Kazakhmys 8071/2 Lonmin 979 Rio Tinto £307/8 VEDANTA 9471/2 RESOURCES Xstrata 8881/8 MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 4033/8 Vodafone Group 1683/4 NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 8151/2 Aviva Lgl & Gen Old Mutual Prudential Resolution Standard Life
-93/4 -31/8 -25/8 -25 -183/4 -43/8 -15 -133/4 -31/4 -1/4 -9 -7 -7 -11/4 -111/4
Local shares Carclo Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp
3013/4 921/4 629 1715
+51/2 -21/2 -13 -68
FTSE closed at
5222.60 Down 140.39
-17 +1/8 1
-1 /8 -67 -90 -38 -118 -55 -42 -17/8 -621/2 -573/8 -161/8 -2 -5
RSA Insurance Gp 1051/4 -23/4 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BG 1268 -52 BP 440 -10 3 Cairn Energy 278 /4 -105/8 Royal Dutch Shell A £211/2 -1/2 Royal Dutch Shell B £221/4 -3/4 Total £311/8 -1 Tullow Oil 1260 -51 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 878 -221/2 Petrofac 1304 -88 Wood Gp(J) 599 -26 PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Gp 1182 -62 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £281/8 -1/2 Axis-Shield 469
GlaxoSmithK XD Shire £201/8 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 4541/8 Captl Shop Cent 2967/8 DTZ Hldgs 31/8 Hamrsn 354 Land Secs 6441/2 SEGRO 2095/8 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Invensys 1871/8 Logica 733/4 Misys 2771/8 Sage Group 2677/8 SUPPORT SERVICES Berendsen 4225/8 Bunzl 7781/2 Capita 6351/2 De La Rue 876 Electrocomp 1963/4 Experian 781 G4S 2331/4 Hays 721/8 Homeserve 2491/2 Menzies J 500 Rentokil 631/4 Smiths News 89 Wolseley 1800 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 568 Psion 531/4 Spirent Comms 1177/8 TOBACCO Br Am Tob £281/2 Imperial Tobacco £221/2 LEISURE & HOTELS
-151/8 -53/8 -1/8 -155/8 -161/2 -101/4 -101/8 -21/2 -21/8 -41/2 -87/8 -9 -41/2 -41/2 -43/8 -131/2 -23/8 -13/8 -101/2 -13 -2 -2 -34 -30 +3/4 +3/4 -3/8 -1/4
Bwin.Party Digital Carnival Compass Grp easyJet Enterprise Inns FirstGroup Go-Ahead Gp Greene King Intercontl Htls Intl Cons Airlines Gp Ladbrokes Mitchells & Butlers Natl Express Rank Org Stagecoach Group TUI Travel Whitbread
1297/8 £203/4 558 3523/8 283/4 3253/8 1250 4457/8 1068 1391/4
-67/8 -1/8 -4 -85/8 -1 -73/4 -13 -85/8 -5 -33/4
1311/4 2163/4 2141/2 1455/8 2487/8 1505/8 1556
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TOURIST RATES Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia...................... 1.50 dollars Bangladesh................. 113.63 taka Brazil.............................. 2.51 reals Canada....................... 1.54 dollars China ............................. 8.94 yuan Czech Republic ...... 27.33 korunas Denmark....................... 8.26 krone Euro................................ 1.11 euro Hong Kong................ 11.63 dollars Hungary................... 318.84 forints India.......................... 71.71 rupees Japan........................... 115.02 yen Mexico ....................... 19.32 pesos New Zealand .............. 1.94 dollars Norway ......................... 8.70 krone Pakistan.................. 129.31 rupees Philippines ................. 58.32 pesos South Africa................. 12.13 rand South Korea.............. 1563.00 won Sri Lanka ................ 163.94 rupees Sweden....................... 10.19 krona Switzerland.................. 1.38 francs Taiwan ...................... 41.58 dollars Turkey....................... 2.71 new lira USA ............................ 1.50 dollars
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS FATE plays funny tricks – just ask Chris Horsfall. Chris, who was brought up in Oakes and attended Salendine Nook Secondary School was all set for a career as a graphic artist. However, he ended up in the army before embarking on a job in the construction industry which has taken him around the globe. “I got an unconditional offer from Huddersfield Polytechnic to do graphics arts,” he says. “Just before I was supposed to join, they shut the course down because of funding cuts. I had gone through the holidays expecting to go on the course and suddenly it wasn’t available.” Instead, Chris joined the army, spending several years with the 5th Regt Royal Artillery, which included a tour of duty in Londonderry during the 1970s. He returned to civilian life at the age of 21, admitting: “I left the army because I didn’t like it!” But he adds: “The schooling you get in the forces is tremendous. Without it, I would not have achieved what I have achieved in life – there’s no shadow of doubt about it.” Looking for a job, Chris successfully interviewed for a post at structural steelwork company Henry Brooke at Leeds Road, where he worked as assistant to the steel fabrications manager. He went on to work for Heywood WIliams’ architectural glazing and cladding business at Deighton before joining Red Architecture in Hyde, Cheshire. He helped build up that company into one of the UK’s biggest curtain walling businesses. He became commercial director before leaving after 12 years to join Winchester-based specialist construction contractor Lakesmere, where he is group business development director. During his nine years with the company, Lakesmere has increased turnover from £19m to £40m and its percentage profit from 1.5% to between 8 and 10%. It has offices at Winchester, Glasgow, Manchester, Abu Dhabi and Oman. It has also developed Thru-Wall, a new product which enables sections of buildings to be manufactured off-site before being brought to the construction site – a development which has been recognised with a clutch of awards. Lakesmere was named specialist contractor of the year by Construction News, who also awarded it the innovation prize. Building Magazine also named Lakesmere specialist contractor of the year across all construction sectors. The latest accolade came at the Orange Business Awards – which cover all business sectors. Chris was among representatives of the firm attending the awards ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Hotel, where the firm was shortlisted in the innovation category. Chris led the team putting together Lakesmere’s awards entry. “We were interviewed
When fate takes a hand by a panel of three judges at the office of Coutts’ Bank on floor 25 of the Gherkin building in London,” he recalls. “It was a little daunting. One of the judges was a billionaire software businesswoman. We had to give a 15-minute presentation, then they grilled us!” Innovation is a subject Chris takes very seriously, explaining that the development of Thru-Wall is what has put Lakesmere ahead of “the game”. He says: “About three years ago, I went out to the Middle East to set up operations there and where we attracted major infrastructure projects. After 12 months, I came back to concentrate on the UK because the construction sector was so much in decline. We had to be innovative. Now we like to think we are three years ahead of the competition.” Lakesmere has been involved in major projects such as Cross Rail and construction of the second terminal at Heathrow. Closer to home, it is working with
■ BUSY: Chris Horsfall has travelled widely for his firm
BAM Construction on the new Leeds Arena, which Chris describes as a “radical” piece of architecture. Chris says it’s “not the kind of project you expect to find up here” – which leads him to bemoan Yorkshire’s failure to attract major investment on a par with other parts of the UK and the impact that has had on Huddersfield, too. He says: “Leeds is the second financial capital in England, but we don’t have the infrastructure we need in the region, especially in terms of rail. We need a direct rail link from Huddersfield to London. We need high speed rail – and we need it to be built to Leeds and Manchester simultaneously. Without infrastructure investment, this region will lag behind,” The lack of an M1-M62 link road is also a bugbear, he says. Chris views the argument against making land available for development in the Huddersfield area as “scandalous”. Says Chris: “Everyone complains that there are no jobs, but as soon as someone wants to do something about it, people are up in arms. “Leeds has been moving forwards for 20 years. In Huddersfield, we have been dragging our heels. We have a fantastic shopping centre in Kingsgate and a great stadium – one of the best examples of really good construction. They are both a credit to the town and they have created jobs. “But when every £1 spent on building returns £1.89 to the economy, we seem to have this inability to build and create jobs. There has been a lack of investment over the years and we have allowed manufacturing to decline nationally. In Yorkshire, we have been very innovative in
replacing traditional industries with new industries, but other regions have seen much more investment because they have been more proactive in getting plans approved.” Chris is quick to stress that he is being positive in his criticism. “I see opportunities, not problems,” he says. “We have massive opportunities and if we wake up and get on with it, the future for Huddersfield and Yorkshire could be very bright.” Chris is a member of The Yorkshire Mafia, a collection of like-minded business people who first got together through online networking group LinkedIn. “It is a fantastic organisation and it is growing,” he says. Chris works all over the UK, but relishes time with family at his Netherton home and Saturdays watching
Huddersfield Town. “I have been watching Town since I was six,” he says. “Now we have a fantastic team with an enthusiastic and charismatic manager and a fantastic chairman in Dean Hoyle.” Chris also enjoys walking the family’s two dogs. He is also a member of Crosland Heath Golf Club, having taken up the famously infuriating game only four years ago. “I played football for years,” he says. “I was also into rock climbing for about 20 years. I got into it when I was single with a group of friends and I have travelled around the world to go climbing. Now I play golf, which is all about concentration.”
Role: Group business development director Age: 56 Family: Married to Janet with son Andrew, 20 Holidays: We have been to Tenerife for the past five years. Car: Audi Quattro First job: Aged 15 working at Fine fare on the Piazza Best thing about job: The people. Construction is full of extremely professional and positive people. They are never unapproachable Worst thing about job: If it wasn’t for the people, I wouldn’t do the job Business tip: Time management
Lakesmere Building Envelope Specialists Work: Specialist construction contractor Site: Winchester Phone: 01962 826500 Email: chrishorsfall @lakesmere.com Web:www. lakesmere.com
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Drive to boost apprenticeships A TRAINING company in Dewsbury is taking steps to help tackle youth unemployment. The Work Foundation think-tank has pinpointed Kirklees as one of those parts of the country with the highest proportion of NEETs – 16 to 24-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training. Now RTC Training is playing its part in tackling the situation by encouraging local employers to recruit apprentices in health and social care, customer service and business administration. Gordon Rozario, director of RTC, said the apprentice scheme provided youngsters with a great opportunity to get in to long-term gainful employment – while enabling employers to reduce staff cost and increase motivation and loyalty within their workforce. He said: “Apprentices deliver real return to your bottom line by improving performance and enabling you to be more competitive. They tend to be eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them. “Remember, an apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and a commitment to a specific career. “Employing apprentices is more cost-effective than hiring skilled staff and leads to lower overall costs as the minimum wage for an apprentice is £2.60 per hour.”
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Be wary about pension ‘scheme’ ECENTLY there has been R a spate of websites and newspaper advertisements
offering access to 50% of a person’s pension fund by way of a “loan” – even if the individual is under the age of 55. UK pension rules do not allow retirement savers under 55 to access pension funds except for in limited circumstances, such as having to give up work early due to a medical condition. These schemes are trying to exploit HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) rules to circumvent the restrictions via various differing methods. The key concern is that many of these schemes test the boundaries of what is legal and effective – before considering such schemes people should be aware of the risks and that the types of organisations who typically market schemes of this nature are often registered abroad and as such are not regulated by the FSA. Very recently, lawyers working for the Pension Regulators have frozen assets in the bank accounts of a firm advertising such a scheme. Judges at the High Court in
FINANCIAL FOCUS Karen Wynard
London ordered the firm to hand over control of the accounts to lawyers and trust administrators working for The Pensions Regulator. The scheme was labelled as a “fraud on the power of investment” – the Court was also told the firm invested monies in ‘dubious assets’. As mentioned above a person (the plan holder) cannot normally access funds in a registered pension scheme before the age of 55, although the plan can, as part of its investments, make loans of up to 50% of its assets to a third party, but NOT to the plan holder. The way this “firm” operated was (in a simplified manner) to bring together two plan holders (we will call them A and B) and facilitate it so that the pension plan
of plan holder A gave a loan to plan holder B and the pension plan of Plan holder B gave a reciprocal loan to Plan holder A. This effectively circumvented the rule preventing the pension plan making a loan to the plan holder but as you may expect HMRC do not deem such arrangements to be in the spirit of the rules. Those involved in this scheme are likely to find their funds are worth less than the cash paid in to the scheme, will need to repay any loans they have received and will undoubtedly receive tax penalties as well. As always, you should ensure you seek Independent Financial Advice on the merits and disadvantages of any scheme before you commit yourself to it.
Karen Wynard is head of corporate services at Eastwood & Partners (Financial Services) Ltd
Growth plans for firms BUSINESS advice firm Deloitte says there is a “clear and urgent need” to generate growth among Yorkshire’s private sector firms – particularly in manufacturing. While £143m has been earmarked to companies and organisations across Yorkshire in the second round of the regional growth fund – with Huddersfield-based David Brown Gear Systems and Severn Unival among those to benefit –Deloitte says more is needed. Martin Jenkins, head of corporate finance at Deloitte in Yorkshire said: “It is great news that 24 projects or programmes across Yorkshire look set to receive a significant financial boost from the Regional Growth Fund. There is a clear need to generate growth in the private sector, particularly in manufacturing, and so this investment into the regional economy is very welcome indeed. The key for successful RGF companies will be to ensure that the funds they receive are used effectively as part of a fully integrated, overall approach to expansion and growth. “We should also remember that many more businesses will need to look for alternative sources of funding and often the best place to start is with an internal review.
■ CONTROL: Martin Jenkins, of Deloitte in Yorkshire “Cost control and cash retention remain key priorities of many businesses in our region. “Cost cutting should not simply be a tactical action to maintain cash flow, but should be part of an approach to create more flexible and efficient operating models for future growth and should therefore be an integral element of long term strategic planning. “Additional liquidity to support growth can often emerge from an in depth review of working capital practices, going beyond simple debtor and creditor terms, to a full review of the business model, supply chain and logistics, invoice
processing times and taxation efficiency. “Improving financial controls often provides a business with the platform for improved performance and cash generation.” Mr Jenkins said private equity firms offered significant funding for investment in the form of development capital and could provide a driver for growth. “Many of the region’s most successful companies have benefited from the finance and expertise available from these organisations.” he said. “The key is to ensure that companies have a full and clear understanding of their requirements, the different forms of funding that is available to meet them and how best to access it. “That is likely to mean examining a range of funding options. “Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Green Investment and Big Society banks and other business growth funds will have an important role to play in the future as smaller businesses continue to find securing finance from mainstream banks is challenging. “Having a credible and realistic business plan will be vital to achieve funding in what is an extremely challenging market.”
Company that’s hot on quality!
A HOLME Valley company is blazing a trail. Holmfirth-based North Fire, the UK’s fastest growing supplier of fire fighting equipment has been awarded ISO 9001 accreditation. The company, led by managing director Oliver North (pictured), ha quickly risen to prominence since its launch just three years ago. It is now a leading name in the UK fire fighting industry, supplying market leading equipment and apparatus to municipal, industrial and airport fire and rescue service Mr North said: “As the sole UK distributor of the internationally acclaimed Rosenbauer brand, it w a natural progression for North Fir to mirror the manufacturer’s high quality maintenance and efficiency standards and decided to work towards ISO 9001 in recognition o this. “North Fire has aggressive growth plans for the coming year and the accreditation is acknowledgement of its quality management systems and evidence that the company is ready for this growth.” He added: “Achieving ISO 9001 is testament to everyone’s dedication to consistently improving working practices within the company. “Its also made us review all of our systems and processes, which ha given me full confidence that we’re ready and able to achieve the growth planned for next year.” Earlier this year, the company, whi Mr North set up after a career in th army, was named Business of the Year in the award scheme run by Huddersfield law firm Eaton Smith in conjunction with the Lockwood-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Business Link.
Ben named the top franchisee
THE owner of the Cash Converters store on Market Street in Huddersfield has been named Franchisee of the Year at the company’s national conference. Ben Cox was chosen from almost 70 franchisees who operate Cash Converters’ network of more than 200 stores in the UK. He said: “I was delighted and a bit surprised to win the award. There are so many hard working franchisees around the country, I’m honoured to be in such great company.” Cash Converters offers a place to shop for pre-owned bargains or se unwanted goods for instant cash and provides a range of financial services including pawnbroking, cheque cashing, laybys and buyback.
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Tax pitfalls for party animals! S the festive season is approachA ing, it is a time that employers consider ways of how they can fill the
Christmas stockings of their staff. Cash bonuses, gift vouchers or food hampers are popular ways of rewarding employees but all are chargeable to income tax. The cash and vouchers exchangeable for both cash and goods are also subject to employers and employees national insurance and the hamper will be chargeable to national insurance. Minor benefits such as a turkey or an ordinary bottle of wine should not be charged to tax or NIC, although anything more extravagant will be. Some other tax-free alternatives worth considering are as follows. For those having a Christmas or New Year party, which is open to the staff generally, there will be no taxable benefit or NIC where the expenditure is less than £150 per head. The figure includes the total cost of the function, including VAT and any transport or accommodation provided by the employer, divided by the number of people attending. If each member of staff takes a guest the £150 limit will apply to each individual attending, not just to the employee.
TAX TALK Colin Barratt
The beneficial tax treatment only applies to a function available to the staff generally and would not apply if, for example, one department were excluded. As long as it is available, it does not matter if they don’t attend. If the cost per head exceeds £150, the whole amount will become taxable, not just the excess, so be careful if you are being particularly generous. Also remember that if there is more than one function in the tax year the £150 per head limit applies to the total cost of all functions. In that case only functions, which total less than the £150 per head, will escape tax and NIC. Where an employer gives cash to employees in lieu of a party, then the cash will be subject to PAYE and NIC. Low or interest free loans made to employees are tax free if the amount bor-
rowed does not exceed £5,000 at any time in the tax year. The loan can be used for any purpose and the exemption will still apply. There are other tax consequences of such loans where they are made to a shareholder who owns (with certain close relatives) more than 5% of the shares in the company. The provision of a car parking space for an employee at or near their place of work is not a taxable benefit. This can include reimbursing the employee’s cost of paying for a car parking space or buying a parking season ticket on their behalf. For those who over-indulge in the Christmas period, HMRC will not seek to collect tax and NICs in respect of health screening and /or medical check ups provided by employers to their workers.
Colin Barratt is tax partner at Wheawill and Sudworth chartered accountants, Huddersfield
IoD ambassador to grill MPs THE former chairman of Yorkshire Forward will be among those debating how the Government can best help business in the region at a parliamentary panel on Friday. Politicians remain divided about what business wants and what the Government can do to help them best – but Terry Hodgkinson aims to get some answers when a group of MPs face members of the Institute of Directors at noon on Friday at the Mint Hotel in Leeds. Mr Hodgkinson, who has been appointed an ambassador for the IoD’s Chartered Forum, said he welcomed the opportunity to meet business leaders and see what the parliamentarians would offer them. “It is a challenging time at the moment,” he said. “Business will help us recover, but business leaders need to know they have the Government on their side not against them. “This round table discussion presents an opportunity for parliamentarians to listen and discuss the concerns of business people and also allow them to give their views on how government can contribute to creating the right environment
■ QUESTION TIME: Terry Hodgkinson leads the debate for business to grow and prosper.” Tory Stuart Andrew, MP for Horsforth, Pudsey and Guiseley; Lib Dem coalition colleague Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West; and Labour MP Fabian Hamilton, who represents Leeds North East will face IoD members to hear what they want and offer their answers to solving the crisis. Mr Mulholland said that his biggest concern was the North/South divide and the need to attract new business to Yorkshire with support from central Government through investment for initiatives such as the Green Bank.
Mr Andrew said that while Government help was invaluable – with incentives such as Enterprise Zones and NI breaks – it was also important to listen to what business wanted. Mr Hamilton said that he wasn’t sure the Government’s commitment to cutting public sector jobs was welcomed by all businesses, adding: “I am not convinced that the business community really welcomes the Government’s commitment to slash public spending in order to repay the deficit. Many companies depend on government or local authority contracts and are being badly affected by the current sharp
reduction in government expenditure.” Charlotte Britton, who chairs West Yorkshire IoD, said it was imperative to bring together the decision makers and the wealth creators. “The topic of the economy has been headline news over the past few months.” she said. “Getting our local MPs to hear and understand the issues facing business in Yorkshire is key. “There hasn't been another event in the area, were we've had direct debate with the MPs. I'm hoping they hear the key issues facing businesses in the North and take that back down to London”.
Law firm shares in the celebrations A LAW firm in Huddersfield is celebrating success – as part of a specialist organisation. Chadwick Lawrence, which has offices at Railway Street, is a member of the Brain Injury Group, which has received an award from the United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum. The UKABIF Awards are held annually – and this year, the trophy for UKABIF Lawyer Innovator of the Year went to Francis Lacy Scott, co-founder of the Brain Injury Group and a specialist in catastrophic injury cases. Chadwick Lawrence was one of the founding members when the Brain Injury Group was formed in April this year. Howard Willis, partner in charge of the personal injury department at Chadwick Lawrence, said: “We are delighted to see the Brain Injury Group gain recognition for its innovation. “We joined the Group in the belief it can bring about significant benefits in the way brain injury claims and rehabilitation are carried out and it’s good to see this inspirational group has won professional praise and an award.” The Brain Injury Group is a national network of specialist brain injury lawyers working in tandem with a range of other professionals involved in welfare, financial and family services to support people with acquired brain injuries. Bringing all these elements together under the Brain Injury Group banner creates a clear route for brain injured clients and their families to access the support they need from accident through rehabilitation and on to compensation. By having members across the country, the Brain Injury Group ensures its clients and their families can find specialist brain injury advice and a full range of support services close to home.”
Pride in Yorkshire ACCOUNTANCY firm Grant Thornton has become the latest company to support Welcome to Yorkshire’s Y30 initiative – a scheme launched by the tourist agency to enlist the support of 30 key businesses which will work with them to champion the region. Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Our Y30 Corporate Members’ Club is a group of Yorkshire-based businesses that are ambitious, innovative and passionate about Yorkshire. “We are looking to work with 30 businesses whose core values closely reflect our own to continue to improve the image and develop the economy in Yorkshire.”
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Knight Frank in property deal PROPERTY agency Knight Frank has advised on the purchase of a prestigious office building in West Yorkshire. TP Orthodontics Europe, formerly tenants at the 18,000sq ft Fountain Court in Bruntcliffe Way, Morley, have bought the building from Berkshire Asset Management. Ed Harrowsmith, of Knight Frank in Leeds, who advised TP Orthodontics, said: “This is a very significant acquisition for TP Orthodontics, underlining their growth within the orthodontic industry. Overall, it is an excellent deal in challenging times for the Yorkshire property market.” Deborah Lindsay, general manager at TPO Europe, said: “These are exciting times. Fountain Court has been our home for over 20 years and it feels great to finally own it. “In spite of the current economic landscape, we have seen tremendous market growth, investing in own facilities will help us expand further.”
Gloomy outlook UNCERTAINTY about the UK’s economic prospects and the eurozone crisis continue to constrain capital investment and consumer spending, according to a survey by property experts Colliers International. Investment volumes remain low, the survey said, with activity outside London limited to smaller assets across commercial segments. The retail sector is suffering from great uncertainty over consumer spending. Outside London, rental declines continue and high void rates continue to plague many high streets. In the office sector, regional markets continue to improve. But recovery continued to be a “slow, uncertain process” for the industrial sector.
Stability returns to Yorks market YORKSHIRE’S housing market stabilised during October – as demand for property fell back and sales levels remained muted – according to the latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. New buyer enquiries, which are a good indicator of buyer demand, fell during the month –with 5% more surveyors reporting that demand for property fell rather than rose. Meanwhile, new instructions which highlight supply levels, remained negative at a net balance of minus 4%. This is in contrast to a rise in activity nationally in October where new buyer enquiries edged up to a net balance of plus 7% from plus 4% in September and new instructions moved from a net balance of minus 4% to plus 3%. During October, 23% more chartered surveyors in Yorkshire and Humberside reported that newly agreed sales fell rather than rose – the lowest reading in the UK. Meanwhile, prices in Yorkshire and Humberside also stay in negative territory – with 37% more surveyors reporting that prices fell
rather than rose. Expectations for prices over the coming three months were also downbeat at minus 29%. Surveyors in Yorkshire and Humberside noted that uncertainty in Europe spilling over to the UK economy and restricted mortgage availability are still impacting on the market. Respondents noted that if buyers are able to access finance, banks are taking a long time to agree lending terms, which is slowing down the purchase process. RICS Yorkshire & Humberside housing market spokesman Jon Charters-Reid said that although the region overall is behind the national market, in the high density areas the picture is different. Mr Charters-Reid said: “It is important to remember that especially in the golden triangle of York, Leeds and Harrogate there has been a steady raft of buyers and sellers with some of them at first time buyer level. ■ REALISTIC: Alex McNeil says “Based on this level of activity the market is holding up well with more mortgage deals around the news looks positive.” Some figures in the region are region stayed at an average of 16 holding up. In the three months to per surveyor. While still at muted levels, this is October, completed sales in the
higher than the national average of 15. National RICS housing spokesman Ian Perry said: “With the chaotic events in the euro area threatening to spill over to the UK and banks still imposing tough conditions on loans to first time buyers, any recovery in sales in Yorkshire & Humberside is still likely to be relatively modest. “This will inevitably leave many people who would like to own a home unable to access the market.” Alex McNeil, of estate agency Bramleys in Huddersfield, said: “Considering the world debt crises, increasing local and national unemployment, increased inflation and the lack of mortgage funding, the market is holding up rather well. “There remains a market for competitively and realistically priced housing, particularly in the more popular areas. “There are too many properties still for sale at yesterday’s price and not enough differential between good areas and the average.”
Suma expands its frozen assets ELLAND-based wholefoods wholesaler Suma has completed construction of a new 130sq ft freezer. The move effectively doubles both the capacity and the stock holding of its Lowfields Business Park operation. The award-winning company has invested almost £100,000 on the new facility (right) – despite the fear of a return to recession – as figures from the British Frozen Food Federation show that frozen food sales in the UK have grown for the third successive quarter. “It’s symptomatic of consumer behaviour in a recession,” said Andrew Mackintosh, Suma’s public relations manager. “Rather than the ‘grazing’ culture we have seen grow in the
last 10 years – where people were going grocery shopping on a daily basis – the price-conscious consumer today has returned to the ‘weekly big shop’ and realises the economies of scale this can bring. “Filling your freezer is part of that new consumer mind-set, so the decision was actually very logical and based on changes we’ve seen in the market and our own customers behaviour.” The new freezer will allow Suma to hold as many as 400 frozen lines, from national brands like Quorn, Linda McCartney and Green & Blacks to smaller artisan producers of unique product like gluten-free garlic bread and burgers made with English watercress.
Strong results for outsourcing firm OUTSOURCING specialist MITIE hailed a “transformational” half-year after it won a series of contracts, including a deal to maintain court buildings and two prisons. The Bristol-based group, whose services include office cleaning and maintenance, airport baggage screening and shop design, said half-year underlying profits rose by 7% to £51.6m on revenues up by 6% to £971.7m. With more businesses and Government
departments looking to use outsourcers that can provide a wider range of services, the company’s order book rose by £1.2bn over the period to £8bn. Its pipeline of potential bid activity currently stands at £11.7bn with sales from the justice sector expected to represent £1bn. The group, one of the UK’s largest private sector employers with 61,000 staff, recently announced a contract with the Ministry of
Justice that will see it maintain courts and tribunal buildings in the south of England and prisons at Brixton and Thamesmead in London. MITIE - which stands for Management Incentive Through Investment Equity - also expects to see more demand through its energy division as organisations look to make cost savings to offset the soaring price of fuel.
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS
Housing plan is ‘not enough’ HOUSEBUILDERS have criticised the Government’s new housing strategy as “far from radical” and claim it only takes a small step towards tackling “the worst housing crisis we have seen for many years”. The Federation of Master Builders said the Government’s Housing White Paper did little to help small and medium-sized housebuilders who have the potential to deliver the homes that are required if the right policies and incentives were put in place. Brian Berry, FMB director of external affairs, said: “The scale of the housing problem is now so enormous that we need to increase the supply of new homes by at least 500,000, the equivalent size of Birmingham, by 2015, if we are to meet rising demand. “If the Government was s e r i o u s ly c o m m i t t e d t o increasing the supply, it would reintroduce housing targets for communities that failed in their obligation to meet local demand.” He said: “The Government’s proposed mortgage indemnity insurance scheme is a welcome step as availability of mortgage finance is a key issue killing off housing demand. “Typically a mortgage now requires a 20% to 25% deposit with the result that the average first time buyer is now aged 37. “Last year, only 15% of mortgages required a 10% deposit as compared to 40% before 2008. Mr Berry said: “The Government has committed to reducing the burdens on the house building sector over the lifetime of the parliament, but it is continuing with expensive and complicated policies conceived by the last government
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■ GOING UP: The Federation of Master Builders is unimpressed with Government proposals for housing
during the housing boom. “The Community Infrastructure Levy which would add £6,370 to the cost of an average sized house, and the zero carbon policy which significantly gold plates EU standards will add around £10,000 to the build cost of a home.” Mr Berry said: “The rising cost of building new homes that people want to live in is also a key issue and impacts on the Government’s localism agenda. “In the late 1980s, SME house builders built around two thirds of our nation’s housing, but now they only build about a third. “Since then, the number of SME house builders has decreased by 69% and annual housing delivery has roughly halved. “If the Government wants people to have choice about the types of homes built in their communities then help
for SME house builders has to be a major part of the housing solution.” Mr Berry said research from the London School of Economics last year suggested that there were sufficient micro-sites within existing towns and cities to satisfy housing need. However, to exploit these, a healthy SME house building sector was required. However, FMB research suggests that these sites are about 70% more expensive to build on than larger developments. He added: “We shouldn’t forget that there are over 700,000 empty homes in England that could be brought back into use. “Cutting the rate of VAT from 20% to 5% would help boost the renovation of these properties and help increase the housing supply within a very short time.”
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Thursday 26 January 2012 Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top
A real cottage industry THE owners of three holiday cottages in Holmfirth have joined forces with one of the UK’s leading holiday letting companies. The Coach House, Carr Dene and Cobblestone Cottage are to partner cottages4you and join its 2012 portfolio of over 10,000 cottages in the UK. The three businesses will now benefit from the business and marketing support as well as the significant exposure that cottages4you is able to provide across the country.
The website is a leading specialist in providing luxury holiday cottage breaks in some of the most beautiful locations across the country. The company has expanded its portfolio of properties for 2012 in response to increased demand from holidaymakers wanting a cottage break around Yorkshire. Simon Law, spokesperson for cottages4you, said: “We’re delighted to welcome these new properties in the Huddersfield area as they are
of an extremely high calibre and greatly boost our national portfolio. “We’re looking forward to working closely with their owners and providing the support necessary to help them attract visitors and increase bookings in what we feel will be an extremely busy year for the UK tourism industry.” Cottages4you is part of The Hoseasons Group, a leading supplier of self-catering holiday accommodation.
Contact: Richard Smith MRICS, Paul Andrew MRICS, or Doug West email@example.com 01484 477600
KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS David Noton & Chris Boyes
Barclays Corporate BARCLAYS Corporate has made two senior appointments to its northern debt finance team. Wayne Hiley, who heads the northern team, announced the appointments of David Noton (pictured) as director and Chris Boyes as associate director. Mr Noton will move from his present role as relationship director in the North Yorkshire team at Barclays Corporate later this year. He will lead the Yorkshire and North East Debt Finance team alongside Jamie Farrell and Wayne Hiley. Mr Noton has almost 15 years experience in the Yorkshire corporate finance market having started his career at Arthur Andersen before moving to Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance. He joined Barclays in 2008. Mr Boyes joins the team from RBS Structured Finance after six years with the bank when he was involved in a number of key event driven debt financings over the years across a wide range of sectors.
Code Blue Design Code Blue Design, part of the Huddersfield-based Code Blue Group of companies, has appointed Lee Clapham as head of customer service and new business development. Mr Clapham, 33, is a former pupil at Colne Valley High School where he was studying when he landed his first job in sales at the age of 16 at Carnography Plc. He spent his formative years in sales and customer service positions across the region, working with a number of key retail businesses before developing his interests in the print, design and web build sector. “Lee brings to us a wide knowledge of the business sector,” said director Chris O’Brien. “He has terrific contacts who have stayed with him throughout his career and we are delighted to have him involved in our ever-growing team.” Code Blue Design specialises in branding, design, print and web development.
Movers and shakers
Growth plan of a different kind THE search is on for best moustaches in town – and charity will be the winner. Huddersfield’s businesses have been invited to show off their finest – and worst – moustaches at an awards evening on Thursday, December 1, to raise money for men’s charities. The event is being hosted by the Code Blue Group, based at the Old Church, Old Leeds Road, Huddersfield, in partnership with neighbouring business Atlas Display and supported by a number of business leaders and networking groups. During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. “We thought it would be a great excuse for us to party with our friends in business from across the town as well as raise much needed awareness for men’s health,” said Nadio Granata, chief executive of Code Blue Marketing. “We are inviting anybody from Huddersfield who is taking part in the Movember movement to enter the judging competition as well as their colleagues and supporters.
■ CLEAN CUT: Nadio Granata is hoping for a Movember event to remember
“We have had lots of interest from companies in the Media Centre such as The Engine Room where the guys there
Come and join the party!
Eaton Smith HUDDERSFIELD law firm Eaton Smith Solicitors has appointed solicitor Belinda Norcliffe to deal with clinical negligence and personal injury claims. Ms Norcliffe (pictured) has more than 20 years’ experience. She previously worked at Norcliffe and Co dealing with claimant personal injury work and at Hammond Suddards where she spent much of her time working on the multi-party Hillsborough Stadium disaster litigation. Attending the Taylor Inquiry and the “mini inquests” associated with the disaster, she assisted on a large number of test cases which proceeded to the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords. She has been a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Accreditation Scheme since 1995.
■ PARTY LINE: Paul Fletcher (centre), of Doyle Consulting Engineers, with Mark Turner (left) and Peter Stienlet, of Patrick Parsons IT was party time at Huddersfield’s Cafe Ollo – when VIPs celebrated a new business partnership. Staff from Edgerton-based Doyle Consulting Engineers and Newcastle-based Patrick Parsons Limited mixed with clients past, present – and prospective. Having recently acquired Doyle Consulting Engineers, PPL was delighted to mark the occasion with a social gathering. The acquisition is a strategic move by PPL to improve the geographic reach of the company within the UK and add to the company’s complement of services which are rolled out on both a national and international level.
Doyle Consulting Engineers specialises in timber engineering. It has recently completed a huge project on the new BMX stadium in Manchester. Peter Stienlet, managing director of PPL said: “it was great to officially welcome Doyle Consulting Engineers into the Patrick Parsons Group. With the wealth of experience they bring to the group, we are looking forward to a very strong year ahead in 2012.” The evening included a presentation by Mr Stienlet, showcasing some PPL’s current projects as well as reviewing the group’s impressive heritage.
have taken the moustache challenge very seriously. “We’re also inviting Huddersfield members of The Yorkshire Mafia, Huddersfield Town Enterprise Academy and the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.” The evening will include refreshments donated by Gringos Restaurant. There will be prizes for the Best Moustache, Best Team Moustache and Worst Moustache. There will also be a grand “Shave Off ” sponsored by The Australian Botanics Company. “We are currently on the hunt for lady judges,” added Nadio. “Preferably, they need to know a good moustache when they see one.” Confirmed judges include journalist and copywriter Michelle Hodgson and popular fundraiser Mandy Barwick. Code Blue are also keen to hear from any companies who are willing to sponsor the awards. To book on the event, which starts at 6pm and runs through to about 9pm, sign up via the booking site at h t t p : / / m ove m b e reve n t 2 0 1 1 . eve n t brite.co.uk. Judges should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s a bicycle made for two TWO partners at a Huddersfield accountancy firm are counting the miles – after agreeing to take part in a fundraising cycle ride. Revell Ward’s Jennifer Davies and Karen Borowski have not only decided to take up Huddersfield Town’s next Pedal 4 Pounds challenge – but they have decided to ride together on a tandem. The daredevil duo train on a Saturday morning and hope to be ready for any number of miles, inclines and declines that are put in front of them! They are determined to increase the number of “Town’s Tandemettes”. About 14 females are ready to take up the challenge. More details are available by emailing email@example.com. Town’s third sponsored cycle ride in aid of the Keep It Up campaign, backing the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, will take place on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, when the riders will travel from Yeovil to the Galpharm Stadium for the last match of the season – a game in which the club hope to be celebrating promotion to the Championship. The two previous rides have seen cyclists travel firstly to Southend and then, last April, to Brighton. The 2012 ride will be open to previous riders from today, with others able to sign up from Thursday November 17. Club officials hope the fundraising ride will push the Keep It Up tally to a staggering £500,000. Club chairman Dean Hoyle will be among the Yeovil riders. So, too, will the club’s commercial director Sean Jarvis