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JILL HAGUE Ways of the web Column - Page 4

An EXAMINER publication

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees

Starring role from Proms to Presley SPONSORS and their guests have enjoyed some top-grade summer entertainment – thanks to the efforts of two Huddersfield businessmen. Andy Roebuck and Charles Webb have provided events management and corporate hospitality for a wide range of spectaculars this summer – including the BBC Proms in the Park, Formula One’s Silverstone Grand Prix and horse racing’s Cheltenham Festival. The business partners, who run separate companies, but are both based at Railway Street, have been involved with BBC Proms in the Park for the past 12 years – looking after the BBC’s own hospitality at the Hyde Park venue. This year, they rubbed shoulders with opera luminaries Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and tenor Jose Carreras as well as singer Neil Sedaka. Following the event, run in conjunction with the Promenade concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, the duo organised an Elvis Forever event at the park for BBC Radio 2, which was attended by The King’s ex-wife Priscilla Presley. “The Elvis event made use of the same marquee, but was aimed at Elvis fans and meant a change of decor to the Proms event,” said Charles. “Both events brought special challenges working in a royal park in terms of health and safety matters and construction on site.” The Hyde Park performances were among a series of summer spectaculars for Andy and Charles – who operate as AR Events Ltd and CPW Events respectively and have more than 30 years in the hospitality and events

industry. Other highlights included organising hospitality for highly-valued guests of sponsors when Formula One arrived at Silverstone. The famous race track has signed a 17-year deal to host the British Grand Prix and is re-developing the site to make it a venue that compares with the best anywhere in the world. Said Charles: “We have been involved with the Grand Prix for many years, originally providing temporary seating and marquees. We are now one of only a handful of official suppliers.” Among other events, Charles and Andy have been involved in organising authentic Oktober Fest events with oompah bands and frauleins serving steins of beer for corporate clients in Leeds and at Aintree racecourse. Charles and Andy will be also organise corporate hospitality for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. The televised event will be held on December 19 in front of a 12,000-strong audience at the LG Arena in Birmingham. The annual awards has been going for 50 years. For the last four years, the BBC has taken it out of the studio to hold it in cities including Liverpool and Sheffield. Charles said recession had not affected their businesses too badly. “In difficult times, it is even more important to look after your clients,” he said. “If you don’t invite them to events, your competitors will. It is all about building relationships with customers outside work.”

“Cash businesses across West Yorkshire such as private taxi firms, pubs, corner shops and takeaways are particularly vulnerable and should ensure they have all their books in order and answers ready.” He said investigation insurance company CCH had seen an explosion in new cases, with new claims up 82% compared to the previous year – a figure expected to rise even further in

Breaking barriers A SOCIAL housing provider has beaten tough competition to win a top award. Edgerton-based Sadeh Lok landed a prestigious Northern Silver Screen Award, which is run by the Northern Housing Consortium. Sadeh Lok was recognised for its innovative employment programme, UP & Working, which helps residents overcome barriers to work, develop new skills and get back into employment.

● Full story - Page 6 ■ STARSTRUCK: Andy Roebuck (above left) and Charles Walls (above right) with Priscilla Presley at the Elvis Presley Forever concert held at Hyde Park in London. Below (from left) Neil Sedaka, Jose Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who performed at the BBC Proms in the Park, where Andy and Charles were responsible for organising corporate hospitality

Tax inspectors ‘targeting smaller companies’ KIRKLEES firms are urged to get ready for a visit by the tax inspector. The call comes as HM Revenue & Customs targets business owners in a bid to close the tax gap – the difference between tax raised and what is thought to be owed – by £4bn at the end of this financial year. Nick Brook who runs small business tax and accountancy firm TaxAssist Accountants in Lockwood, said:

INSIDE

the next few months. But Mr Brook added: “Business owners should not take this attack on their legitimate earnings and hard work lying down. “If they ensure they have all the right procedures, records and proof of income and expenditure in place, they can show the tax inspector the door. “They should also ask their accountant for fee protection insurance to

cover the costs which could be run up in fighting any claims from HMRC.” Mr Brook said firms should be ready to challenge any part of the tax assessment they know to be wrong – and ensure their tax adviser is experienced in negotiating with HMRC. Businesses under investigation can see any documents held on them by calling the HMRC data protection unit on 0191 2257575.

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Water winner A COMPANY has been recognised for its liquid assets. Bronte Water Coolers Ltd was named Business of the Month in the competition run by Huddersfield law firm Eaton Smith. The award was presented at a ceremony at the law firm’s Huddersfield offices.

● Full story - Page 8


KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

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French rival in bid for banknotes firm AMBATTLED British-banknote printer De La Rue could fall into foreign hands after a rival firm from France revealed it wants to buy the company. Paris-based Oberthur said it made an offer of 905p per share on November 10, but De La Rue’s management refused to enter into talks as they did not believe the offer recognised the true value of the company. De La Rue’s share price has plummeted by more than a third in recent months following production problems that caused its chief executive James Hussey to resign and cost the group £35m. Oberthur brought its offer out in the open with a statement which is likely to put pressure on De La Rue to engage in talks. It said: “Oberthur very much hopes that the board of De La Rue will agree to enter

into substantive discussions, possibly leading to an offer which would benefit the company’s customers, its staff and its shareholders and could provide the catalyst for restoring the company’s reputation.” Its offer was a 64% increase on De La Rue’s share price when it slumped to 550p following a trading update on November 23 in which the company revealed the cost of the blunder. Oberthur would deduct the 14.1p dividend announced in November and any future dividend payments from its offer, it added. Shares in De La Rue soared by 32% yesterday following the announcements. In a statement released earlier, De La Rue said the potential offer was “highly preliminary and opportunistic” and did not reveal the identity of the bidder.

The world’s biggest banknote printer said in its half-year results in November that volumes are set to drop 20% this year following the crisis, which suspended production and a shipment of the affected banknote for two months. The group posted a 57% rise in pre-tax profits to £69.4m in the six months to September 25 after the hit from the production issues was offset by the sale of assets and the closure of a pension scheme. It is unclear how the problems will affect its full-year accounts. De La Rue has claimed the production issues were caused by some employees deliberately falsifying paper specification test certificates for some banknote customers. The firm has carried out its own inquiry and passed a file to the Serious Fraud Office for investigation.

HSBC in law suit

■ CASH CALL: De La Rue targeted for takeover

Mouchel targeted for takeover

Bebgies profits set to slip

EMBATTLED outsourcing firm Mouchel said it faced potential hostile takeover bids after financial fears sent its shares plunging. The group, which develops infrastructure for councils and Government agencies, said it had received several approaches, but that they did not “reflect the true value of the company”. Mouchel has been hit by falling demand as Government departments rein in spending and postpone or scaled down projects. Its shares have slumped to below 60p in recent weeks from a year high of 268p as investors headed for the exit in the face of Govern-

INSOLVENCY specialist Begbies Traynor issued a profits warning – after a fall in the number of companies going to the wall. The professional services consultancy said adjusted pre-tax profits for the six months to October 31 were expected to be 16% lower than a year earlier – down by £700,000 to £3.6m. The Manchester-based company was hit by a 9% decline in insolvency revenues as the economic recovery meant fewer firms went bust. Begbies also took a £800,000 hit as a result of restructuring costs. Government statistics show an 18% fall in the number of UK insolvencies

ment spending cuts and as Mouchel holds crucial talks over the refinancing of its debt pile. Shares in Mouchel soared as much as 34% after news of the approaches. However, the group stressed it was making progress with self-help measures to get the business back on track. It is considering selling non-core parts of the business and is looking at a possible fundraising to shore up its balance sheet. The group axed its final dividend in October after posting losses of £14.7m and a 15% fall in revenues to £632.6m for the year to July 31.

during the third quarter of 2010 compared with the same period last year. Begbies Traynor, which claims to be the UK’s biggest administrator by the number of cases handled, said company failures remained lower than expected in the fourth quarter of the year because of temporary Government support initiatives and lenient creditors. However, it expects insolvencies to rise in 2011 as the Government’s Budget cuts start to bite. It said the reduction in revenues from administration work had been offset by a better performance in its non-insolvency operations.

THE lawyer in charge of recovering losses for victims of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff is suing British banking giant HSBC for £5.7bn. Court-appointed trustee Irving Picard has accused HSBC of helping Madoff’s scheme by creating a dozen so-called feeder funds across the world. Mr Picard has also accused the bank of ignoring warnings from its own accountants that Madoff’s huge investment record was suspicious. Madoff is serving a 150-year term for a £41bn fraud. He admitted deceiving thousands of investors through a Ponzi scheme, which paid out using new investors’ money rather than from any profits. The lawsuit, which contains 24 counts of alleged financial fraud and misconduct by HSBC, was filed at the US Bankruptcy Court in New York. Mr Picard named other defendants in the filing, including the management companies and providers of the feeder funds – a fund that conducts most of its investing through another fund. Mr Picard alleges that the defendants were well aware of the signs of fraud that were already circulating around Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities (BLMIS). He claimed that HSBC had twice asked accountants KPMG to identify concerns with BLMIS, and KPMG twice reported serious risks already known to HSBC.

SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £28.54 -0.08 Gannett 940.63 +6.38 Hess Corp £46.96 -0.42 Microsoft 1709.07 -14.03 Motors Liquidation 47.83 Wal-Mart Stores £34.83 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE Avon Rbbr 210 BAE Systems 3251/2 -3/4 Rolls-Royce Gp 6401/2 +13 AIM Brady Plc 621/2 -11/2 Dawson Intl 11/2 3 Man Brnze 56 /4 -63/4 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 2063/8 -21/2 BANKS Barclays 263 -5 HSBC 6663/4 +7/8 Lloyds Banking Gp 661/8 -1/4 Ryl Scotland 411/8 -3/8 Stan Chart 18371/2 -1/2 BEVERAGES Diageo 1142 -4 SABMiller £211/2 +1/8 CHEMICALS Croda 1588 +19 Elementis 98 125 +3 Johnsn Mat 1945 +19 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Balfour Beatty 2873/4 +3 Costain 201 +1 ELECTRICITY

Drax Gp 3733/8 +41/4 Intl Power 4197/8 +13/8 Scottish & Sthrn 1120 -5 Energy ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Laird 1543/4 -31/4 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 3625/8 +31/8 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 1773/8 +21/4 Cable & Wireless 48 +11/8 Comm 1 Cable & Wireless 65 /4 +3/4 Wwide Colt Group 129 +3/4 KCOM 541/2 -1/4 3 Talktalk Telecom 161 /4 +3/4 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 2701/4 -3/4 Sainsbury 3571/2 -41/2 Tesco 420 -67/8 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 1110 +16 Nth Foods 661/2 +43/4 Tate Lyle 541 +11 Unilever 1853 -2 Uniq 65/8 -1/8 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 3163/8 -15/8 National Grid 5521/2 -11/2 1 Pennon Grp 633 /2 +1/2 Severn 1433 +6 United Utils 590 -1/2 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 3191/2 -1/4

ICAP 528 +91/2 London StockExch 7861/2 -3 -21/4 Man Group 2763/4 Provident Financial 8061/2 -31/2 Schroders 1748 +3 Schroders NV 1382 +4 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS Cooksn Grp 599 +31/2 REXAM 3087/8 -21/4 Smiths Grp 1217 +5 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 17 -1/4 Carphone Whse 4001/4 +21/4 Dixons Retail 251/2 -1/4 Home Retail 2051/4 +1/4 1 Inchcape 352 /4 +55/8 Kingfisher 2541/8 -3/4 M&S 3843/4 -1/4 Mothercare 6001/2 -61/2 5 Next £20 /8 WH Smith 5081/2 +41/2 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 596 -1 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 811/2 -11/2 Barrat Dev 783/4 +3/4 Persimmon 3823/4 +43/8 5 Reckitt Benckiser £34 /8 Taylor Wimpey 271/4 +7/8 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING Charter 7571/2 +6 IMI 914 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 3681/4 -23/8 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION

BBA Aviation 2023/4 Forth Ports 1374 LIFE INSURANCE Aviva 3803/8 Lgl & Gen 971/2 Old Mutual 1187/8 Prudential 6081/2 Resolution 215 Standard Life 2041/4 MEDIA BSkyB 7291/2 Chrysalis 1583/4 D Mail Tst 5311/2 ITV 681/2 Johnston Press 10 Pearson 9781/2 Reed Elsevier 516 STV Group 941/4 Trinity Mirror 751/2 Utd Business 6481/2 UTV 1263/4 WPP 750 Yell Group 121/8 MINING Anglo American £305/8 Antofagasta 1457 BHP Billiton £243/8 Eurasian Natural 914 Res Fresnillo 1574 Kazakhmys 1524 Lonmin 1825 Rio Tinto £445/8 VEDANTA £213/8 RESOURCES Xstrata 1437 MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES

+1/4 +38 +7/8 -3/4 -11/4 +8 +31/4 -13/4 +21/2 +1/4 -71/2 -21/4 +7/8 -16 -81/2 -3/4 +21/2 -71/2 -31/4 -5 -1/4 +1/8 +21 +1/8 -19 +6 +13 +3 +3/8 -1/2 +47

Local shares Carclo Chapelthorpe Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp

2171/2 231/2 1081/2 5521/2 1842

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FTSE closed at

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Inmarsat 666 +13 Vodafone Group 165 +1 NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 1610 +4 RSA Insurance Gp 1227/8 -2 OIL & GAS PRODUCERS BG 1267 +321/2 BP 450 +143/4 Cairn Energy 408 +101/4 Royal Dutch Shell A £201/4 Royal Dutch Shell B £20 Total £321/2 +3/8 Tullow Oil 1197 +19 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 1139 +17

Petrofac 1500 Wood Group 503 +5 PERSONAL GOODS Burberry Gp 1109 +30 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £303/8 -1/8 Axis-Shield 270 +10 GlaxoSmithK XD 41/2 Shire 1488 -17 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 507 +2 Captl Shop Cent 4111/2 +31/8 DTZ Hldgs 45 +3 Hamrsn 4181/8 -31/4 1 Land Secs 647 /2 -4 SEGRO 2883/4 -31/8 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Autonomy Corp 1351 +7 Dimension Data 119 -33/4 Invensys 3371/2 -31/4 Logica 1207/8 +11/4 Misys 2997/8 +23/8 Sage Group 2791/4 -1/2 SUPPORT SERVICES Bunzl 728 +6 +34 Capita 6691/2 Davis Service 4063/4 +13/4 Group De La Rue 841 +1931/2 Electrocomp 2771/2 +41/2 1 Experian 782 /2 -21/2 3 G4S 238 /4 +1/4 Hays 114 -1/8 3 Homeserve 462 /4 +65/8 1 Menzies J 471 /4 +11/4 Rentokil 911/8 1 Smiths News 104 /4 -3/4

Wolseley

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IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs Psion Spirent Comms

3981/2 931/2 155

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TOBACCO Br Am Tob Imperial Tobacco

£235/8 1900

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LEISURE & HOTELS Brit Airways Carnival Compass Grp easyJet Enterprise Inns FirstGroup Go-Ahead Gp Greene King Intercontl Htls Ladbrokes Mitchells & Butlers Natl Express PartyGaming Rank Org Stagecoach Group TUI Travel Whitbread

2721/2 £267/8 5851/2 4345/8 115 3833/8 1300 4721/4 1224 1263/4 3551/4 2335/8 2541/4 127 2081/2 2305/8 1784

+7/8 -1/8 +12 +7 +21/4 +61/4 +55 +61/4 +12 +1 +21/4 +4 -33/8 -2 +41/4 +15/8 +2

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INDEX 5770.28

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TOURIST RATES Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia...................... 1.51 dollars Bangladesh................. 104.76 taka Brazil.............................. 2.37 reals Canada....................... 1.50 dollars China ............................. 9.35 yuan Czech Republic ...... 27.07 korunas Denmark....................... 8.35 krone Euro............................... 1.12 euro Hong Kong................ 11.60 dollars Hungary................... 294.03 forints India.......................... 62.20 rupees Japan........................... 124.11 yen Mexico ....................... 17.34 pesos New Zealand .............. 1.92 dollars Norway ......................... 8.95 krone Pakistan.................. 127.33 rupees Philippines ................. 58.99 pesos South Africa................. 10.07 rand South Korea.............. 1554.00 won Sri Lanka ................ 165.05 rupees Sweden....................... 10.23 krona Switzerland.................. 1.46 francs Taiwan ...................... 41.44 dollars Turkey....................... 2.19 new lira USA ............................ 1.50 dollars


KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS CRICKET lover Nick Ledgard knows there’s a lot to be said for teamwork. As managing partner at Huddersfield chartered accountancy firm Walker & Sutcliffe, he helps foster a spirit of teamwork among the staff at its Greenhead Road offices. And he encourages clients to take a team approach when it comes to strategic planning for the future – both in dealing with directors and employees as well as accountants, bankers and solicitors. “That is what I enjoy,” he says. “Asking companies: ‘Where do you want to be in three years’ time?’ – and helping them achieve their business goals. “You have a team of directors running the company, but you need an external team – accountants, bankers and solicitors – who are a team of advisers and who are there to help. “Typically, the members on a board of directors have roughly the same ideas, but they are pulling in slightly different directions because they are not focused. We aim to help them focus on where they want to be and how they intend to get there – putting interim goals and targets in place. “It is also about saying it’s okay to fail to hit those targets. Getting close to those targets is a lot better that if we had set no targets at all.” Nick draws a timely analogy to explain the importance of planning in business. “You can’t sit in your car ready to drive away with your front windscreen frosted over – but a lot of people are potentially driving their businesses without being able to see clearly the way ahead.” Having professionals in the team gives businesses an advantage, says Nick. “Many of the issues and problems are the same for all firms. We can help companies sort them out because other clients have had the same issues. “We are also a sounding board – someone removed from the day-to-day issues, who can offer support and encouragement.” Says Nick: “Companies face more and more regulation and there are more areas where you can be caught out. As the boss you should be working on the business – not in the business, but it is extremely difficult for small firms to devote time to strategic planning. “We advise that business bosses take time during the week to look at strategy, instead of getting too involved in the nitty-gritty.” Nick believes in teamwork to help raise his own game – and in so doing benefit his clients. He is a member of Vistage, an organisation for managing directors and managing partners which holds monthly meetings for its members in the

profile

Time for a team talk! Huddersfield, Halifax and Harrogate areas to listen to expert speakers and discuss common concerns. “Vistage has helped me and it has helped Walker & Sutcliffe,” says Nick. “Members are not allowed to trade with each other, so we are entirely objective about our businesses. The advice and information I get from being a member of Vistage, I can pass on to the rest of the team and our clients.” At school, Nick says his ambition was to be a civil engineer, joking: “But my father said I was not very civil! In the event, my brother was training to be an accountant and I thought that was for me. I was always good at maths.” Nick, who hails from Mirfield, was also good at cricket. He was captain of the cricket team in his final year at Woodhouse Grove School, Applerley Bridge. Originally an all-rounder – until losing his bowling action during his teenage years – Nick has kept faith with the game. He has

played for the same club for 35 years – Mirfield Parish Cavaliers and its forerunner Dewsbury Cavaliers – and has won prizes at all levels from under-13s upwards. Although Nick no longer plays regularly, he still turns out when the team’s a player short. “One day, my wife Debbie and I were making the teas when I was asked to play,” he says. “I opened the batting so I could get the teas ready, then after tea took two wickets to win the match. One of the opposing players was complaining that they had lost the game to 10 men and a tea lady!” Now Nick swings a golf club at Huddersfield Golf Club and has set a target of reducing his handicap of 22 by the end of 2011. “If you have played ball games, there’s no feeling like timing a shot to perfection,” he says. “You get a lot of camaraderie at golf and it’s also good for your health. The way I play, it’s a five-mile walk even when the course is only three miles!” One of Nick’s proudest moments didn’t involve a

■ TEAM PLAYER: Nick Ledgard of Walker Sutcliffe, Chartered Accountants, says teamwork achieve more than dictatorships

Page 3 Nick Ledgard Role: Managing partner Age: 44 Family: Married to Debbie Holidays: Scotland and Minorca Car: Saab 94 First job: Holiday job as a lab assistant at Mitchell Cotts in Mirfield Best thing about job: Meeting people and helping them achieve their goals Worst thing about job: Bureaucracy Business tip: Set goals, so you have something to drive at – and go for it!

cricket bat or a golf club. “I played the violin when I was young, which led to me going on a tour of West Germany with the National Scouts and Guides Symphony Orchestra in 1985,” he recalls. “On our return, we played Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance No 1 in the Royal Albert Hall. I have not played a note since I left school, but I will never forget that experience.” Nick graduated with a BA in accountancy at Liverpool Polytechnic and began work for a firm in Headingley, Leeds, where he received a good grounding in general accountancy practice. He later joined Bell Moorby in Huddersfield – where he met Debbie. They married in 1994 – the same year Nick qualified as a chartered accountant. In 1997, he joined Walker & Sutcliffe, a general practice covering everything from personal tax, corporate tax and inheritance tax to accounts, book-keeping and audit. He became a partner in 2000. In recent months, the well-established firm has had a change of image, introducing a new logo and a new look as well as upgrading its website. It has also established a joint venture with wealth management specialist Robertson Baxter as well as referring clients to Eastwood and Partners for some matters. “It means we can offer everything,” says Nick. “Our mission statement is all about the client and getting the client to where they want to be. I think we can now say we fulfil our mission statement.” Nick is keen for the firm’s new-look website to provide a forum for client firms to help each other. “The idea is for them to form a ‘peer group’ in the clients’ area of the

website where they can pose questions and get answers from other clients and professionals. “I am optimistic about the next five or 10 years – for Walker & Sutcliffe and for Huddersfield and its businesses. It can really drive forward. I am enthusiastic about that and about being a part of helping people achieve what they want.”

HENRYK ZIENTEK

Walker & Sutcliffe Work: Chartered accountants Site: Greenhead Road, Huddersfield Employees: 16 Phone: 01484 542878 Email: nick.ledgard @walker-sutcliffe.co.uk Website: www. walker-sutcliffe.co.uk

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local

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Following those footprints online our online footprint is the Y sum of every move your business makes online –

whether through your website, online advertising, PR or social media activity. It also includes the trail left by your customers in blogs and forums. How can you ensure you're creating the best online impression of your business? Moulding the imprint you leave online presents a challenge to any business. You may be able to control how you present your brand on your website, for example, but you can't tell people what to say in blogs, on forums or on social media. “Ten years ago, if someone had a problem, it might end up on Watchdog or in a newspaper,” explains Wayne Smallman, blogger and director of internet marketing agency Octane Interactive. “Nowadays, these things can go viral if somebody finds a clever way of complaining about a product. “Some people will go to great lengths to damage your brand if you don’t deal with their complaint. When musician David Carroll's guitar was broken during a United Airlines flight, he recorded the satirical ‘United breaks guitars’ put it on YouTube and attracted over 9m views. “Something like this can happen to any business, and it's possible that someone is talking about your business somewhere. But they may not be simply complaining – the internet also offers many opportunities to generate positive comment and

BANKER’S BLOG Jill Hague

improve your company's image.” A clear and helpful website provides the foundation, but your online presence extends far beyond your own site. It is possible to survey your reach with tools such as SurveyMonkey, which will pick up any mentions of your firm.With the information this gives you, you can find out exactly where people talk about you and why. It can give you good information about how your marketing is perceived and the quality of your customer service. If you failed to deal with a complaint, for instance, the unhappy customer may well have told others. Google Alerts will keep watch for mentions of your firm in news, blogs and social media sites like Twitter, as well as phrases related to your business. By seeing how people are reacting to your campaigns, for example, you can alter them on the fly. Tools such as these can give you insight into the state of your company's reputation and the effectiveness of your sales and marketing

operations. But they also give you a means to enter and influence conversations among customers that used to happen out of earshot. “Find those people who are not happy with you and repair their problems so that when people search for your company on the internet the top listing on the first page is not ‘XYZ Ltd is rubbish because they sold me a widget that broke’,” said Mr Smallman. “Stay on your toes, engage, and this is what you will see – three or four messages into the conversation will be a member of staff from XYZ Ltd saying, 'Hi, I noticed you had a problem with your green widget. What can I do to help you?” Matt Anderson, commercial director of Montage Communications, s a i d : “ Wh e n s o m e o n e s ay s something positive about your brand, it's important to notice that and thank them. “A simple thank you increases the likelihood of people publicly complimenting you again. “Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are proving essential tools for many businesses

Jill Hague is HSBC area commercial director for Calderdale and Kirklees

to speak directly with customers, suppliers and peers. “With an open and friendly approach, they can create positive conversations about your company, stimulate word-of-mouth marketing and open up sales opportunities. “If you are using social media, however, don’t view them merely as an addition to your existing marketing and customer service activity. Using them as marketing and customer service tools in their own right will help to orientate you as an approachable, customer-focused business. “Using sites like Alexa and SurveyMonkey, you can also see how your online impact compares with your competitors’ and make an assessment of what works and what doesn't in your sector. “While this benchmarking provides a snapshot of your performance against a competitor, your key performance indicators are more effective at encouraging and improving performance,” said Mr Anderson. “Your overriding aim should be to improve your business online all the time. “The opportunities for creative online marketing increase simultaneously – particularly if yours is a business where engagement is critical to your reputation. “There are lots of opportunities out there by having your online brand where you want it to be. Make it happen.”

Beware perils of the office party HRISTMAS is almost upon C us – and this means the “works Christmas do”.

For many employers, this is a time to fear – misconduct ranging from general banter gone wrong to allegations of serious sexual assault and rape have been experienced in the past, so it is important that the employer takes a firm line and prepares fully in advance of these events. With employees in high spirits at such events, it is not uncommon for there to be allegations of banter taking place which has been misconstrued, arguments or indeed physical violence and fighting. This is a rather common occurrence on which we are often asked to advise. Nowadays, there is an added risk as a result of the rise of social networking websites. The latest warning is for businesses to be aware of the risks of allowing employees to take photographs at these events. A “merry” employee with a mobile phone may now, in many

EMPLOYER’S BRIEF Neil Wilson

cases, quickly upload a photograph they have taken onto the internet, for potentially millions of people to see. Often, if an employee has consumed alcohol, their judgement will be somewhat impaired, and they will not think about the consequences of putting the photos in the public domain. This can have serious consequences on a number of fronts, depending on the nature of the images that are taken. Fellow employees may well object to them, which could lead to allegations of a breach of privacy, or even defama-

tion. Much ill-feeling within the business generally may also be one ramification of such actions. Employers therefore need to take care when providing festive celebrations for their staff and think particularly carefully about free bar facilities which often are the trigger for many of the problems. All manner of other issues can result from the Christmas party celebrations. Often at such events equal opportunities policies are breached or things go on which lead to the breach of those types of policies and harassment of staff in the future.

Neil Wilson is an employment lawyer at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors

Here are a few rules that should be followed: ● Prepare a policy and place it on the intranet or notice boards or circulate by email to make employees aware of the standards of behaviour expected of them – and the fact that disciplinary action may be taken if the rules are breached ● Consider providing alternative transport for attendees, especially for those who intend making the most of the bar facility ● Consider whether you will be providing a free bar. If employees have to pay they may well limit the amount they consume ● Consider the age of your employees – do not allow the 16-year-old trainee to kick back tequila slammers all night ● Consider the menu that you will offer – religious beliefs impact on the menu choice and drinks available ● If you are holding a party in the office, DO NOT make the photocopier accessible!

KIRKLEES BUSIN

Companies can put it all down to experience

SMALL and medium-sized firm in Kirklees can now get recognition for providing work experience. The National Council for Work Experience has extended its Quality Mark accreditation to cover businesses with fewer than 250 staff. Until now, the NCWE Quality Mark seal of approval has only been available to large organisations. The launch of a national standard for work experience provision specifically for SMEs will recognise those companies offering quality internships – helping them to attract and compete for some of the best graduate talent. Jo Denye, quality advisor at the NCWE, said: “The employability of graduates is hugely topical as businesses increasingly expect them to have some understanding of the world of work. “As a result, the demand for internships has risen and we’ve particularly seen more interest from smaller companies, either wanting to start schemes or be recognised as providing a quality experience.” To achieve accreditation, a company must demonstrate that it meets specific criteria – that it enables companies to reduce recruitment and training costs by viewing interns as potential hires without commitment; enhances productivity by knowledge transfer on specific projects; benchmarks existing programmes; maintains the company’s reputation via student recommendations; and brings new ideas and fresh perspectives into the business. The NCWE Quality Mark was established in 2005. Current accredited organisations include IBM, BP and Marks and Spencer. Go to www.work-experience.org

Recognising Chinese links COMPANIES trading with China have been urged to enter a regional award. The Yorkshire and Humber China Business Awards will be presented before an audience of hundreds during the Yorkshire and Humber Chinese New Year Dinner on February 10, 2011. Judges will pick a winner in each of three categories – Best China Business, Best China Newcomer and Best China Education Links. The awards, sponsored by DLA Piper UK and run by Batley-based Connect China Ltd, are open to individuals, firms and organisations making a significant contribution to developing business and networking links with China during 2010. Email info@connectchina.co.uk to request an application form. The closing date for entries is Thursday, December 23.


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Exact science that is paying dividends HUDDERSFIELD is at the heart of efforts to ensure Europe leads the world in providing machine tools capable of astonishing accuracy. The University of Huddersfield’s Centre for Precision Technologies has landed a string of grants through the European Commission for work aimed at making the continent’s knowledge-based economy the most dynamic in the world. The CPT’s Engineering Control and Machine Performance Research Group has been awarded more than 1m Euros so far to contribute to research that will produce massive gains in machine tool accuracy. The latest grant named, HARCO, is a three-year project worth 338,000 Euros. Senior research fellow and Dr Andrew Longstaff takes day-to-day charge of the project, which will develop smart actuators that can be fitted to machine tools and enable them to eliminate all but the most minute errors when producing

components. The margin of accuracy aimed at is up to half a micron – a micron is a millionth of a metre – which will constitute “incredible performance”. The technology that emerges – the result of developments in both hardware and software – will consist of modules that can be incorporated into new machines or retro-fitted to existing ones. The ECMPG at Huddersfield is one of a group of leading European fir ms and universities working on different aspects of the project. A n o t h e r i s G e r m a n y ’s Fraunhofer Institute, the largest research organisation in Europe. All of the research partners contribute special areas of expertise. The latest project will see the Huddersfield team of up to six researchers concentrating on methods of controlling various modules that will be fitted to machine tools in pursuit of greater accuracy. Said Dr Longstaff: “The

■ ACCURATE: Dr Andrew Longstaff (left) and Dr Simon Fletcher, of the Engineering Control and Machine Performance Research Group

other two funded projects are well underway. The first project, named ADAMOD, which I am managing, is into its final year while the second project, SOMMACT, is being technic-

ally managed by my colleague Dr Simon Fletcher and this has just begun its second year. “These projects are drawing on the extensive metrology expertise of the CPT.”

In addition to European Commission projects, the ECMPG has forged partnerships with many leading UK firms and there are new collaborations in the pipeline.

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Iceland warming to agency’s offer SO that’s why Iceland goes to Huddersfield. The food retailer – whose TV ads explain “That’s Why Mums go to Iceland – turned to a Huddersfield advertising agency to design and produce Iceland’s online advertising to support its sponsorship of ITV reality show “I’m A Celebrity”. George & Co, based at the Media Centre in Northumberland Street, won a four-way pitch to handle the work. The ads are now appearing on ITV.com plus other affiliated sites such as Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women. Mr Carter launched George and Co earlier this year – since when the agency has produced advertising for major names, including Argos, Carphone Warehouse, Allied Carpets, T K Maxx, Discover Ireland and Bovis Homes. Before launching his own business, Mr Carter was employed by Guardian Media Group as national sales manager for its regional division and later as client services director.

Commenting on the Iceland work, Ninka Hulme, broadcast advertising and PR co-ordinator for the retailer, said: “This is a highly successful promotion and brings heightened awareness in the crucial pre-Christmas season. “George and Co's understanding of our brand and proposition and the creative quality of their ideas and designs really impressed.” Simon Pailin, creative director of George and Co, said "We were delighted to win the opportunity to work on this high profile campaign and are very proud of the work that we delivered. “The beauty of online advertising is that click-through rates give an accurate measure of response. The web analytic reports from ITV.com show that our design work is generating higher interaction than previous campaigns so the client is very pleased.” George Carter, managing partner of George and Co added "We founded the agency with the simple aim of provid-

■ BRAND LEADER: George Carte,r of George & Co

ing local and national clients with the highest possible levels of service, creativity and accountability. This win comes on the back of a number of

projects undertaken for major brands during the year and means that we look forward to 2011 with confidence and optimism.”


KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Deadline nears for industry awards BUILDERS across Kirklees have just a few days to put their health and safety record to the test by entering the Health and Safety Awards 2011. They have until Friday to submit entries. “Health and safety should be top of the agenda for every builder, particularly as history has shown that incident rates typically rise as construction activity picks up after a recession,” said Simon Mantle, health and safety manager for the National Housebuilding Council. “NHBC wants to recognise and reward the vast amount of excellent health and safety practice that is being implemented throughout the country by small and large builders alike. “As well as promoting health and safety awareness across the industry, the NHBC Awards are a fantastic accolade for winning

companies – driving commercial success and boosting employee morale.” All NHBC-registered house builders are invited to compete in categories including best site and best company. A number of special awards will also recognise excellence in occupational health, worker engagement and health and safety leadership. The closing date for those categories is January 24, 2011. Entrants will be subject to a rigorous judging process, including site inspections for site entries. Small, medium and large companies will be judged against their peers in separate classes. A shortlist of finalists will be announced on April 1, 2011, before the awards ceremony is held at the ICC in Birmingham on May 20.

Agency finds new tenant THE industrial team, at CB Richard Ellis in West Yorkshire has let a 6,093sq ft unit at Newmillerdam Industrial Estate in Wakefield to HM &Sons Salvage Trading Ltd. The agency was acting on behalf of DCT Developments Ltd. Following the letting. there is just one 15,000sq ft unit remaining available for immediate occupancy. Daniel Austin, senior surveyor

of industrial agency at CB Richard Ellis in Leeds, said: “Unit 5.3 at Newmillerdam Industrial Estate ideally suited HM & Sons’ requirement for a well-located industrial facility close to Leeds and Sheffield with incorporated office accommodation. “The unit has excellent links to all major motorway networks via the M1 in addition to providing on-site security, private parking and full facilities.”

Town continues partnership HUDDERSFIELD Town fans can now get into the transfer market – when it comes to selling or renting out a property. The club has announced it is continuing its partnership with Marsh-based property agents Oxley Property. Mark Davies, business development manager at the club, said: “We’re delighted to continue the partnership. “They’ve been fantastic to us over the last year and with their reputation growing throughout the region we are really happy that they want to continue their involvement

with the club. “They’ve also gone that extra mile and made a bespoke offering for Town supporters who are looking to sell or rent out a property.” The company will also give a signed away shirt away to every person who uses them to sell their property. In an exclusive offer to Town fans, Oxley Property will charge a fixed fee of £850 for handling the sale of a property valued at about £125,000. If it is valued at more than £125,000 the fee is 0.75% of the sale price of the property.

Four new appointments PROPERTY agency CB Richard Ellis has announced four new appointments in Yorkshire. The firm’s lease consultancy and rating division has recruited Chris Ward from Carter Towler and Nick Marsden from Cooke & Arkwright. Jamie Gellert, formerly of Colliers CRE, has joined the valuation team and

Michelle Lefton has joined the office agency. The move follows the recent appointment of Richard Sunderland as managing director. Mr Sunderland said: ““We always strive to create opportunities for bright, new talent to join our experienced teams working on our local and national client base.”

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Stars of the silver screen

A SOCIAL housing provider has beaten tough competition to win a top award. Edgerton-based Sadeh Lok landed a prestigious Northern Silver Screen Award, which is run by the Northern Housing Consortium. Sadeh Lok was recognised for its innovative employment programme, UP & Working, which helps residents overcome barriers, develop new skills and get back in to employment. The Northern Silver Screen awards a re d e s i g n e d t o d e m o n s t r at e examples of excellent housing and community initiatives within the social housing sector. The UP & Working project won the Big Society category, competing against a variety of housing associations including North East Homes in Leeds, Stockport Homes and Guinness Northern Counties. The award ceremony was held at York Races as part of the Northern Housing Consortium Annual Conference, where a five-minute video about the UP & Working project was showcased to all delegates. A judging panel, made up of industry professionals and housing experts selected the UP & Working project from a category that included projects surrounding key Big Society issues such as anti-social behaviour and youth offending. Sadeh Lok acting chief executive Paul Dolan said: “We are pleased to receive such a prestigious award and appreciate that our hard work has been recognised by our peers. # “We offer our residents a holistic approach to employment providing them with support packages tailored to their individual needs with the ultimate goal of getting them back

■ ON FILM: Brenda Elson (left), Sadeh Lok employment support manager, and Zara Brook, employment adviser, with the award

into work. “With new housing benefit legislation coming into effect in 2012, it is now more important than ever that housing associations provide their residents with the necessary support, advice and guidance to ensure they are fully prepared for the changes ahead.”

The Sadeh Lok Group was established in 1988 to respond effectively to disadvantage, discrimination and exclusion by opening up opportunity for all. The organisation provides several services focusing on improving the lives of their residents and the communities within which they live.

Tenants ‘left in the dark’ LANDLORDS are failing to keep tenants up to date with “green” issues, it is claimed. A survey by property consultant GVA Grimley showed that 89% of occupiers were dissatisfied with their landlords’ interaction with them on sustainability issues. More than 40% of occupiers said their landlords hadn’t contacted them over the last year about the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. But John Anderson, of GVA Grimley’s building consultancy team, said it would only take some simple initiatives from landlords to address the issue. He said: “In 12 months, landlords’ interactions with occupiers on environmental issues seem to have remained unchanged. “But concern among occupiers about such issues is up by nearly half – with particular concern coming from the office sector. “In fact, an impressive three-quarters of all occupiers surveyed said that environmental and sustainability issues are important to their business. “There could be many reasons for greater occupier concern – from higher fuel costs to corporate social responsibility, greater media focus on sustainability and

tighter regulation. “What’s clear is that occupiers feel that landlords could be doing more. The good news for landlords is that there are easy ways for them to change existing perceptions and be seen to be doing more.” GVA Grimley said measures could include: implementing green leases, including a performance agreement about how the building is to be improved, managed and occupied in a sustainable way; creating a memorandum of understanding where both parties agree to work together to improve the building’s environmental performance; regularly reporting on energy use and setting targets; and setting up building management committees to discuss environmental performance measures.


Industrial

Industrial

Albert Works, Albert Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield 915 m2 (9,854 sq ft)

PRELIMINARY ANNOUNCEMENT

Calder Bank, Dewsbury 12,000 - 77,200 sq ft

Mainly single storey engineering works with offices only short distance from town centre. Could be available with large yard

High quality modern industrial/ warehouse units with excellent on site loading

TO LET

from early 2011

Industrial

TO LET

www.michaelsteel.co.uk

TO LET

(whole complex could be available for sale)

Commercial/leisure

Springwood Business Park, Holywell Green, Halifax 972 m2 (10,466 sq ft)

Former Sin Nightclub, Huddersfield Road, Mirfield 357 m2 (3,841 sq ft)

Last remaining unit on popular estate well located for J24 M62. High quality warehouse/industrial unit with offices & parking

Former nightclub/commercial premises well located in town centre suitable for a variety of use(stp)

immediately available

TO LET

immediately available

For more information contact Alec Michael on 07717 870 320 or email alec@michaelsteel.co.uk


KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS Louise Scott

Yorkshire BS YORKSHIRE Building Society has appointed Louise Scott as media relations manager. Ms Scott (pictured), 29, previously worked for the Northern Ireland Assembly as senior press officer for the Ulster Unionist Party and as a journalist for a number of local newspapers. In her role at the assembly, she worked closely with Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) as well as Government Ministers providing key news stories, briefings and policy updates to political and current affairs journalists. She said: “The transition from politics to the financial sector is one which I am hugely excited about and one that is much related. “The Yorkshire Building Society plays an important role within our communities across the UK and this is not simply focused on the financial products we offer. “The Yorkshire is fully committed to ensuring that we give back to the communities we represent through our various charitable programmes and volunteering initiatives. In her now role, Ms Scott will be responsible for media matters across the Yorkshire Building Society, Chelsea Building Society and Barnsley Building Society brands.

Missy Shutt-Vine

Blacksmith Design A DESIGN consultancy in Huddersfield has added a new member to its expanding team. Lepton-based Blacksmith Design Consultancy has recruited Missy Shutt-Vine as an account executive. Ms Shutt-Vine (pictured), who graduated in the summer, will be responsible for managing client accounts as well as the company’s online offering. Neil Smith, managing director of Blacksmith Design Consultancy, said: “Missy is a great addition to the team at Blacksmith. With a degree in marketing, she will be concentrating on client management and strengthening our online presence.” Ms Shutt-Vine graduated from Newcastle University in July with a degree in marketing. During her study, she also spent one year abroad at the EDHEC Business School in Nice, France.

Julian Garlick

Waxman A COMPANY supplying ceramics has announced a senior appointment. Julian Garlick (pictured) has been promoted to the position of overall sales director for Elland-based Waxman Ceramics. Mr Garlick joined the company about 20 years ago and progressed to become retail sales director in 2002 when he helped formulate Waxman’s retail expansion. In his new post, Mr Garlick will also have responsibilities for the contract division of the company. Waxman Ceramics is part of the Waxman Group, which is also involved in the distribution of synthetic fibres from Japan and solar photovoltaic panels.

Movers and shakers

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A commercial break for Dean TOWN chairman Dean Hoyle was the guest of honour at the opening of new offices for HSBC’s commercial banking team in Huddersfield. The new premises at Chancery Lane in Huddersfield town centre will house a team of 35 – providing services for commercial customers throughout the area – reflecting the steady growth of HSBC’s commercial business in Yorkshire and an ongoing expansion of its commercial team. Mark Vines, HSBC regional commercial director for Yorkshire, said: “The facilities on offer to customers in the new premises will enable us to further enhance our support to commercial customers new and old. “This move to larger offices demonstrates our commitment to the Yorkshire business community and will enable us to be better connected to clients and fellow professionals, both locally and globally. “The improved video conferencing facilities will enhance our communication with colleagues in the 85 countries in which HSBC operates to ensure that we consistently deliver as the world’s local bank.” About 120 customers attended the official opening, which included a business question and answer session hosted by

SNOW’S no problem for this team of Siberian huskies. The dogs made a noisy appearance with their sled at West Riding Toyota in Huddersfield. The visit – which came despite the freezing temperatures – was to entice customers to take advantage of the dealership’s VAT free offers. The huskies, which can work in temperatures as low as -40°C, were brought by their owner and amateur sled racer, Darren Oxley. Mr Oxley, 44, of Rotherham, is one of a few hundred husky sled racers in the UK. But Darren, who owns seven racing huskies, says the sport is on the increase in the UK. Mr Oxley, a former Crufts winner, said: “They’re work dogs but you can have them as pets. They’re great with everyone including children. “Everybody asks me if I can give them a lift to work with the dogs but you can’t use them on a public highway!” Showroom marketing manager Danny Holden added: “It was just an idea we had. We thought we’d do something different.”

■ OPENING DAY: Town chairman Dean Hoyle and HSBC area commercial director Jill Hague cut the ribbon to open the new centre at Chancery Lane

Wayne Bowser, HSBC’s business development director for the North East, and Mr

Snow? No problem!

■ MUSH: James and Emily Taylor with Leeds Road Toyota director Jared Griffin and the huskies

Hoyle, who recently sold his successful business card company, Card Factory.

One in a hundred AN insurance broker and risk management specialist with clients across Kirklees is celebrating national recognition. Wilby Ltd is among the top 100 independent brokers in the UK, according to a survey published by Insurance Age Magazine. The company, founded in 1984 in Halifax, said the accolade was recognition for the efforts of its 54 employees. Managing director Richard Blackburn said: “It’s a great achievement for the company to be recognised in the UK top 100 independent insurance brokers. “Our commitment to remaining an independent insurance broker and ensuring our clients receive a high level of customer service has been crucial to our success. “We are dedicated to upholding our company values as we look to grow stronger and develop further as a business.” Mr Blackburn said the accolade also showed Wilby’s ability to compete with the biggest in the industry to provide businesses of all sizes across the region with a local, independent source of advice for all insurance and risk management needs.


Kirklees Business News December 7th 2010