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ACES The official magazine for the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex

THE GREAT TRAIN FIASCO The view from Southern & the RMT


Issue 5. 2017

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THE BUSINESS JET ENGINE Prepare to take-off ROLLING THUNDER Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé




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from Christina Ewbank

Along with The Week and Private Eye, Platinum and ACES Magazine are the only printed publications I read. Each month I really enjoy settling down with ACES Magazine and Platinum to catch PUBLISHERS Maarten Hoffmann Ian Trevett THE PLATINUM PUBLISHING GROUP Tel: 07966 244046 Tel: 07989 970804 Mail: Web: ADVERTISING and SPONSORSHIP Lesley Alcock Business Development Director Tel: 07767 613707 Mail:

up with the news about my friends and business contacts across Sussex and I hope you do too.





Don’t forget to email your news stories if you are a member of a town chamber. We want to hear from you about your people, your successes, new contracts, business awards and charitable activity.   




Legal - Rix & Kay


Recruitment - RSE


Interview - Martin Riley


The Big Rail Debate

And don’t forget to attend one of the many events our chambers run so you can develop new business contacts and share best practice with successful business people.


Clearwater - Health & Safety


Astec Computing Moving to the Cloud


Interview - Richard Soan


Sussex Skills Solutions


Plumpton College


Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers


Barclays Eagle Labs


Smart Monkey - SEO


Profile - Jeff Bezos


Lewes Business Awards


Women in Business Awards


Sussex Economic Forum

Head Designer: Amanda Harrington Travel Editor: Rose Dykins Sub Editor: Kate Morton Food Editor: Amanda Menahem Photographer: Sarah Walker-Bennett Accounts: Julia Trevett


Hydro Hotel


W Bruford - Rolex & Tudor


Business Travel - Oakland


Gatwick Airport


Mailing Expert

All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. The publisher reserves the right to change or amend any competitions or prizes offered. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited materials or the return of these materials whilst in transit. ACESussex Magazine is published by The Platinum Publishing Group.


Chestnut Tree House


Motoring - Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe


Business East Sussex


Emma Pearce


Business Jet Engine


Fizz on Foot


Association of Carers


Anger Management


ACES Events


ACES Chambers


Institute of Directors

Christina Ewbank On behalf of the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex



Each month I am pleased to see that copies of ACES Magazine and Platinum Business Magazine are snapped up by our members at the various events we run. Although regional press is under pressure from online news channels it is gratifying to see there is still demand for an intelligent regional press that discusses local and national news along with encouraging networking and building relationships between successful business people. 




In this edition you will see responses to our rail campaign from both Southern Rail and the RMT Union. Progress is slow but we are still campaigning hard to get all the protagonists together in the same room to thrash out a resolution.










A Growth Engine for the UK






Local News

ACES NEWS Golf day raises £2000

Developing skills

Decorators merchant, Trade Paints recently held a Golf Day at Sedlescombe Golf Club, raising £2,000 for Chestnut Tree children’s hospice. The 13th annual event, organised by Managing Director Peter May, took place on Friday 23rd June and was attended by just over 50 employees, customers and suppliers. They were all competing for the coveted Trade Paints Cup, which was won by the team from the New Inn, Westfield. The company, whose head office and largest branch is in St Leonards, always selects a charity to benefit from their golf day and this year they chose Chestnut Tree. Peter explains: “A few years ago we realised the same charity has always benefitted from the ever increasing funds raised by this well supported day, so we decided to let reigning champions pick the charity for the following year. Last year’s champions, Colour Decorating Ltd heard about Chestnut Tree on Heart FM. And what a great cause!”

Anybody interested in putting their Hands Up! to support Chestnut Tree can find out more at or by ringing 01323 725095.

Fair Play at Gala Dinner Eastbourne Rugby Football Club (ERFC) raised more than £6,000 at its summer Gala Dinner, organised by Rix & Kay, which featured international referee Nigel Owens MBE as guest speaker.

Companies in East Sussex have been recognised for the role they play in helping young people develop skills to equip them for the world of work. Two county businesses picked up awards at a skills showcase event organised by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP). Hastings-based cable management firm Marshall Tufflex was named best small to medium enterprise in the south east region while East Sussex Highways, which maintains the county’s roads, won the skills award for East Sussex. Both companies were praised for their role in the East Sussex County Councilrun enterprise adviser scheme, which matches schools with local businesses in order to improve careers education, and were also commended for accommodating school visits and for their commitment to apprenticeships.

During the evening Owens reminisced about refereeing the last Rugby World Cup final, his first Six Nations match and the recent Test Match between England and Argentina. He also praised the volunteers who give up their time to help others because of their love of the game of rugby. Owens said: “In my humble opinion rugby union is not only the greatest of team sports in the world on the field, but without a shadow of a doubt it is the greatest of team sports off the field. “If it wasn’t for rugby union and the good people in rugby union people like you here tonight, I wouldn’t be able to be who I am today. I owe more to rugby as a sport and the people like you in the sport than rugby will ever owe to me.” Master of ceremonies for the evening was Welsh cricketer Tony Cottee, who played for Glamorgan and Sussex during his career. Bruce Hayter, chairman of legal firm Rix & Kay, said: “To have Nigel Owens as our guest speaker, one of the world’s finest rugby referees, was a real coup and highlights the high regard that Eastbourne Rugby Club is held in.”

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”





IS IT JUST BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR THE REGION’S HOUSING MARKET? With no radical shake up under the new government, Rix & Kay’s Residential Property Team give us their view on what might be round the corner for the housing market.


n the last edition of ACES magazine, Rix & Kay’s Residential Property Team reflected on the housing market in the South East post general election. As the dust settles, it seems the promise of any radical shake up of the housing market has been washed out by the likes of Brexit negotiations and other headline-grabbing political debates. So what has actually changed since the election?

Policy Following, what many called, a disastrous campaign for Theresa May, the popular mantra appearing in the press was the prospect of anything vaguely controversial being pulled from the Queen’s speech. From a housing point of view it was no surprise that the government kept its pledge to build 250,000 new homes per year by 2022 – how they will achieve that still remains unclear. There were no surprises too on the new regulations to ban lettings fees when the Tenants’ Fees Bill was announced, which will stop tenants having to pay agents. Whilst the Bill still needs to be passed into law, it’s likely to meet little resistance as all the main parties had it in their election manifestos.

Rix & Kay’s Residential Property Team Leaders. L-R: Leon Mumford (Seaford), Angela Arnold (Brighton & Hove), Charlotte Clarke (Uckfield)




“Supply of stock is one of the biggest challenges the UK housing market faces and there is still no clear strategy on how that can be overcome”

Legal Angela Arnold, who leads Rix & Kay’s Residential Property Team in Brighton comments:

Alok Sharma, the new Housing Minister.

“I can’t see that anything material has changed in the housing market. The sector will continue to battle with all the usual challenges it faces, and for me, the chaos caused by the new Stamp Duty charges bought in last year, will continue to cause ripple effects at the higher end of the market. The Tenants’ Fees Bill is, of course, great news for those wanting to rent and perhaps some people will now consider this over owning their own home. It might have some knock-on effects in the buy-to-let market which is fairly prevalent in Brighton and Hove. If you happen to be someone working in the lettings sector then certain opinion formers are indicating it could impact on jobs.”

Future policy Perhaps the biggest material change comes in the form of personnel. The now dethroned Minister for Housing and Planning, Gavin Barwell, who lost his seat in the general election, has been replaced by Alok Sharma Sharma becomes the sixth Housing Minister since 2010, ultimately responsible for housing, home ownership policy and planning policy across the UK. It’s still very early days but there appears to be no housing revolution on the horizon and the sentiment is more aligned to playing it safe which fits with the dilemma of a government that no-longer has an overall majority. Leon Mumford, who leads Rix & Kay’s Team in Seaford comments: “Sharma’s comments made when responding to a housing supply debate in July

were nothing more than stating the obvious. His agreement that: “there is a need to build between 225,000 and 275,000 homes a year to keep up with demand” and that, “whether housing is for sale or for rent, it is increasingly unaffordable” is not exactly a eureka moment.

“With the government so reliant on the revenue it draws from Stamp Duty, any change will be a hard one to swallow for Number 10.” Supply of stock is one of the biggest challenges the UK housing market faces and there is still no clear strategy on how that can be overcome. The market in Seaford is fairly buoyant and house prices have outperformed other areas in the South East but the market continues to be stifled with lack of supply. The challenge to build new homes is only compounded by poor surrounding infrastructure and the ever increasing demands on meeting planning regulations.”

Outlook So with no significant shift expected away from current policies, the biggest single drivers of change in the market remain as lack of stock, Brexit and, most would argue, Stamp Duty regulation. The latter has been widely covered in the press since the election with Philip Hammond coming under increasing pressure to reform the unpopular tax changes introduced in 2016. But with the government so reliant on the

revenue it draws from Stamp Duty, any change will be a hard one to swallow for Number 10. Charlotte Clarke, who leads the firm’s Residential Property team in Uckfield comments: “There’s no question that Stamp Duty is causing a bottle neck in the housing market. The most obvious impact is on the higher end where Stamp Duty has increased significantly. The epicentre is in London but this just permeates down into areas like Mid Sussex and Uckfield who really feel the brunt of it. But there are other reports now that indicate worrying times ahead. There’s no financial incentive for the older generation to down-size given the increase in Stamp Duty, so we are seeing people staying put rather than downsizing, which makes it even harder for younger families to find homes.” Whilst house prices are still rising, it is at a slower pace triggering a cool down in the market. But it’s not all negative, it’s giving the economy a chance to catch up with the soaring housing market, and allowing first time buyers, with the help of low interest rates and low deposit mortgages, an opportunity to get on the ladder. Of course this relies on affordable homes being available to buyers looking for their first home, and without movement further up the market, it’s hard to see where these properties will come from.

Rix & Kay have been supporting generations across Sussex and Kent to move home for almost 70 years. For more information email or visit




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WHY DO YOUR EMPLOYEES WORK FOR YOU? Why is it important to become an employer of choice? RSE Group’s Managing Director, Mandy Brook, explains.


e are working in a serious talent shortage; from nurses to drivers, or engineers to chefs, whatever the profession, good people are VERY hard to find. And this is going to become more difficult. We are at the lowest level of unemployment we have ever had in the UK since 1971, and because of BREXIT, we are losing our migrant workforce slowly and steadily. At any one point, there are 770k job vacancies in the UK each month. 2.2 million EU workers currently work here and if we send those that have been with us less than five years back home, (this is being muted by government as we speak) that would leave us with just 700k EU workers in the UK. If every single one of the 1.4 million unemployed people in the UK get a job (replacing the 1.5 million EU citizens that have just left) it is clear to see that we are seriously in a talent deficit. There is just not enough people to go around. SO, and it’s a big so, you need to become better than your competitors in terms of

offering. I’m not saying that we need to be a GOOGLE, but think about what makes them special and why people want to work for them. It’s not just about the fact that they are household names. Things to think about that will set you apart from the rest - and we aren’t talking monetary benefits here either: Do you offer flexible working? Millions don’t. Can your workforce start early? Finish later? Work at home? Can they work part time? Job share? If not, why not? There are huge amounts of talent out there that are looking for part time roles to fit around children. They might be a carer for an elderly relative, be studying two days a week, or might just like to have freedom to pursue other interests. What are your employees work-life balances like? Do they work over 40 hours a week? If they do, how often do they do this? Do they need to do this? Are your processes and procedures tight and streamline? Can you make their role easier to manage and free

up time for more creativity instead of pen pushing? Are your leaders great? Are they inspiring, approachable, leading from the front? Have you got leaders that have come up through the ranks but have never had a leadership post? Do they need training? Do they need to become a better leader to create and motivate better teams? Lastly look at the three reasons staff come to work and what makes them happy and engaged. They need to feel part of a team with the ability to form relationships and have friends at work. They need to be able to progress within their role and lastly, they need to be able to make a difference. This could be as simple as helping other staff members for some kind of Corporate Social Responsibility cause. For example, at RSE we are currently undertaking some 1000 voluntary hours for the staff’s favourite charities. Think outside the box, what makes you happy at work?





JET-PROPELLED BUSINESS Martin Riley runs a successful leadership and business development company based in Bexhill. He has harnessed his years of experience in coaching to author an essential book on business planning, The Business Jet Engine. Ian Trevett met Martin to find out more about the insightful new book.


ucked away on a country lane, Martin’s office is located in a tranquil former farm outbuilding close to Bexhill, and is an oasis of peace and calm. For much of his career, Martin was based in the centre of London, when he wasn’t jetting off to New York. The contrast couldn’t be more pronounced, but this is no idyllic place of rest. Martin’s work ethic, drive and sense of direction are as honed as his days in the city, and the fruits of his labour can be seen in his first book, The Business Jet Engine.

need to work when they read the book?

The book is easy-to-read, and explains both tried-and-tested business principles and Martin’s own models in a succinct pleasing fashion. But the book isn’t meant to be picked up and browsed as bedtime easy reading. The book demands action and diagnosis of your company. So to kick off, I ask Martin if readers

Martin explains, “It’s how we diagnose where the business is right now. What’s really important is that people can start at the simplest of levels. They can start with the simplest model, which has fewer questions, and get a good sense of what areas of the business they may be neglecting.




“Well, they don’t have to!” he insists, “But that’s the intention. There are actions all the way through and I say “If you haven’t done this, you’ll need it for the next chapter”, because I want people to take action. It’s not just meant to be forgotten on a bookshelf.” The required action includes a series of questionnaires where readers are invited to score their business against carefully explained criteria.

“It builds up through the book to help you diagnose your business in more and more depth. But I never want to overwhelm people. As a coach you’re always trying to stretch people but not overload them.” The intelligent use of questions is perhaps a theme of Martin’s career. After graduating with an Industrial Design degree, he worked for top agencies in London, where he designed everything from shampoo bottles and toothbrushes, and beer pumps to high tech medical machinery. He very quickly understood that the key to good design is understanding what the client really wants, which isn’t always the same as what they actually ask for. He then moved to a leadership consulting and coaching firm, Gil Dove Associates. The solution is to ask the right questions: “You’ve got to have an armoury of good

Interview engines, but I’m not a jet engine nerd. Quite simply, I always try to think of metaphors for how business works, partly to clarify it for myself but then even more so for my client. “I’m always looking for systems, patterns, and so it was just a concept. I’ve tried a few different ones and then this one started to emerge and stuck, and as I worked on it and evolved it, it stayed sound. “I like to provide a visual guide. When you’re doing a complex jigsaw it’s so much easier to do when you’ve got a picture on the box. It’s about knowing where each piece fits. “As I come from a design background, I am always thinking, “What’s a better tool? How can I make something complex simple and easy to use?” That’s my design mindset. Instead of taking objects, it’s now around information. How do you take complex subjects like life, like leadership, like business and simplify it down so people can get a grasp of it quickly and use it immediately?”

questions - questions that help the client see their problem more clearly than they did before. That’s really the role of a coach.” Martin came to the realisation that his passion was working with people and he began working for a London leadership consultant, helping to research, design and develop his training tools. Clients were typically top executives from the BBC, Saatchi & Saatchi, Channel 5, top advertising media agencies. It was an enjoyable exercise aside from one thing - the commute. “I worked for some super people when I was up in London and I also worked in New York, which was very nice. But I got fed up commuting and decided to set up locally. “My father lived on the other side of Hastings, and once, when at his house, I looked at the property pages and thought “My God, look what I can get for my money!” “I started doing personal coaching and through networking I started to realise there was a really nice small business community that I could apply the same model to, just on a slightly different scale.” As charming as Bexhill is, it must have been a culture shock after the hustle and bustle of city life. Just how different, I asked Martin, was the experience? “The role in London was around developing

people skills in the leadership and how they would implement the business plan of the organisation. In Bexhill it would be working with the business owner and their top priority was to get the actual strategy right. “One of the big frustrations with the London work was that there was always a feeling of temporariness about it. People get promoted, they change companies, the company will get bought out, there will be a change at the top, so you never felt like you saw anything through. What I liked about the local business community was that people were in it for the long term as it was their business. There’s that feeling that if we do do some work, it’s going to have a long-term impact. You’re helping people’s businesses become more effective and that helps everyone.

The metaphor of a Jet Engine is an inspired choice and it makes for an interesting read. But don’t just read this book. Get involved and complete the tasks. It may just propel your business to another level.

The Business Jet Engine is out on Thursday 7th September and can be purchased from There is a complementary website, which includes free planning tools, an online course, and weekly blog.

“My longest-standing client has been with me since then. We still work together and they do fantastically. It’s super-rewarding to see that and to see where they are now. I’ve helped them overcome some significant hurdles, so it’s fantastic when you see that.” The business model explained in the book uses the metaphor of a jet engine, which works surprisingly well. Is Martin a frustrated wouldbe pilot? “No not especially, though I would love to fly a Spitfire. I ride motor bikes, I’m a little bit of a petrol head. I have an understanding of




Southern Rail

The recent in-depth feature in ACES on the continual chaos on Southern Railways certainly caused a stir. As a result the rail company and the RMT union requested a right of reply. On the next four pages both sides present their side of the argument


Angie Doll, Passenger Services Director for Southern and Gatwick Express, supports GTR’s plans for Driver Controlled Operation and the modernisation of our rail services. Angie Doll, Passenger Services Director for Southern and Gatwick Express


became Passenger Services Director of Southern in October 2016, all too aware of the challenge I was undertaking. Performance on Southern was unacceptable - I know this first hand, as a daily commuter on the network. Industrial action was a major factor and led to severe consequences for our passengers, their families and for many businesses in East Sussex and elsewhere. The network has seen the highest customer growth in the UK with passengers on Southern doubling in the past 12 years. With growth set to continue, it is essential for modernisation to take place to allow more capacity on the




network. We are now halfway through a worldleading modernisation programme that will transform and future-proof the route. This work will see a host of improvements for passengers, including the modernisation of train services, technology and working practices.

“The industrial action arose when we announced our intention to implement part of our franchise plans - to put the driver in complete control of most of our trains.”

The industrial action arose when we announced our intention to implement part of our franchise plans - to put the driver in complete control of most of our trains. Driver Controlled Operation was a practice already in place on 40% of Southern’s services, 100% of Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Great Northern, and on around a third of services across the UK. It allows a quicker dispatch of trains to be achieved safely, and means fewer trains have to be cancelled. Research undertaken for the rail industry indicates that when drivers control train doors, there is a 23% reduction in ‘dwell times’ at

Southern Rail stations, bringing improved reliability and reduced risk of delays. Previously, if the conductor was unavailable due to late notice absence or disruption, the train would be cancelled, creating delays for hundreds of passengers and knock on effects for other services across the network. Now, all trains that previously had a conductor, continue to have a second member of staff allocated to them, (and there are now more staff on board trains than before), but as the driver is in sole control of the train doors, they can still run the train even if the On Board Supervisor (OBS) is unavailable. Not having to operate the doors frees up OBSs to spend more time providing customer service, including for those with accessibility needs. Should a rostered OBS not be able to join the service and a train does run without an OBS, passengers at unstaffed stations on impacted routes are alerted on the platform (via announcement and use of the screens) and any requiring assistance can contact a dedicated team in our control (via a help point or free phone number). Those passengers with pre-booked assistance will also be contacted directly by our new Assisted Travel Support team. We are still in transition, but are already starting to see improvements in performance as a direct result of this change. Since we introduced the new On Board Supervisor role in January, the reliability of our services has improved, with over four in five trains now meeting the national performance measure of arriving at their final destination within five minutes of the scheduled time. As part of our modernisation work, we are also undertaking the UK’s largest ever driver recruitment and training programme, with over 300 new drivers currently in training. Over the past two years,

we have introduced more new trains across our franchise than the rest of the whole of UK

my team are working tirelessly to ensure this progress continues. The industry is on

rail. These new trains provide passengers with more space, a better travelling environment and modern facilities such as WiFi.

track for completion of the £7bn Thameslink programme which will create new journey opportunities through and beyond London, and we recently consulted on timetable plans for 2018 that include proposals for increased capacity on the East Coastway route between Brighton and Eastbourne/Hastings. We also welcome the government’s announcement of a £300m investment to improve infrastructure across the network.

“Research undertaken for the rail industry indicates that when drivers control train doors, there is a 23% reduction in ‘dwell times’ at stations, bringing improved reliability and reduced risk of delays.” As a result of this investment and modernisation, the recently released National Rail Passenger Survey shows that passenger satisfaction on our services has seen significant improvements in some areas. We still have a long way to go, and

I know the process of change has not been an easy one - this has been a difficult time for our staff as well as our passengers. Passengers who have been affected by delays on our services deserve compensation, and in December we implemented a reduction in the threshold for delay from 30 to 15 minutes. We are in the process of introducing a new Automatic Delay Compensation scheme whereby passengers with a key smartcard will be automatically compensated for delays of 15 minutes or more. A key smartcard is free, paperless, and easy, and takes a few minutes to order from our website. I am acutely aware of the impact that disruption to services has had to the whole East Sussex region. Earlier this year, I met with East Sussex business leaders to explain the causes of disruption and what we are doing to improve services in the future. I emphasised three key priorities for the next few months - improving performance, re-engaging with our staff and rebuilding our reputation. The last priority is something we share a stake in and I look forward to continuing to work with business leaders as we rebuild confidence in the transport links we provide, encouraging more business and tourism to East Sussex.




Rail Union


In a bid to end the Southern Rail dispute, Mick Cash, General Secretary of RMT sets out his case and appeals for much-needed round table discussions.

“Let me make this clear from the outset, RMT wholly understands and shares the frustration and anger of passengers with the ongoing shambles that is Southern Rail, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lay out RMT’s case and to set the record straight.”


any of you will be well aware that the shocking level of service delivery predates any action by RMT members or our colleagues in ASLEF. The operation has lurched from crisis to crisis from the day that Govia Thameslink Railways (GTR) took over the management contract. GTR is pretty much a unique contract model on Britain’s fragmented railways. It’s not a franchise. The company doesn’t take the fare box, they take no financial risk and get paid by Chris Grayling and his officials regardless of how they perform. As a result, when performance has dropped through the floor even on the government’s own indicators, the company has been paid up and cheered on by Ministers and their officials, while commuters have been left to




stare at departure boards full of delays and cancellations.

“On a failing service like Southern, where overcrowding and unreliability are rife, we have warned that this is a recipe for disaster.” This is important background to the guards’ dispute, as it shows that GTR/Southern is a highly politicised operation with government calling the shots. When we were first confronted with the plans to expand ‘Driver Only Operation’ and the watering down and removal of the guards, we sought to negotiate

a settlement. The idea that RMT was locked in, and that the issue was all about who opens and closes the doors was blown away when we negotiated a settlement in an almost identical dispute with the private operator Scotrail. This settlement altered some of the existing staff functions whilst protecting safety at the crucial passenger/train interface and disabled access. We said at the time, if it’s good enough for Scotland, then it’s good enough for the South. But every effort we made to negotiate an agreement on similar lines was blocked off by Southern, who went as far as to say there was no similarity between the two parts of Great Britain! It was that sheer intransigence that led us to take industrial action last April. We sought to reach an agreement only to be given the run around every time we tried

Rail Union to get the talks process going. Southern then launched their ill-fated “Strike Back” campaign which backfired big time when passengers made it clear that they valued their rail staff, didn’t want to “strike back” at them and wanted the company to negotiate a settlement. Throughout the last 15 months, RMT has continued to push for talks and to reach an agreement. In July we offered to trial a new proposal based on an “accessibility guarantee” which would ensure that there was a guard or an ‘On Board Supervisor’ on every train to ensure that the company complied with disability access legislation. Again, we were snubbed with the company saying that they would not move an inch from their plans. RMT has always said that if there isn’t a guard/OBS guarantee then over time more and more trains will end up with only a driver to manage accessibility issues, security and safety critical functions. On a failing service like Southern, where overcrowding and unreliability are rife, we have warned that this is a recipe for disaster.

Following the general election, and the re-appointment of Chris Grayling as Transport Secretary, RMT made yet another push for talks. For the first time, we had a chance to set out our case to the Minister holding the GTR contract. It was only through that pressure that we were able to secure another face to face with Southern, but once again that process stalled.

“The dispute has never been about money for our members, it has been about protecting a safe and accessible railway for the communities that they serve and live in.” But we have not left it there. It is crystal clear to us that we now need talks involving all parties with a direct interest. Those round table discussions should include the unions,

the DfT and the company. It is surely common sense to have everyone who is in a position to sign off a settlement in the same room, at the same time and without any pre-conditions. GTR have shown no interest in round table talks but the union will meet again with Chris Grayling to press him to make it happen. RMT firmly believes that a solution to the Southern Rail dispute, and a longer term solution to the structural problems of the whole GTR lash-up, is still achievable. The dispute has never been about money for our members, it has been about protecting a safe and accessible railway for the communities that they serve and live in. I would appeal to the company again through your magazine for the round table discussions that we believe are now essential to moving the process forwards. Nobody has anything to fear from genuine and meaningful talks that bring all parties to the table in the same place at the same time. We would welcome any pressure that can be brought to bear, to help us make that happen.




Health & Safety

IT REALLY ISN’T HARD TO BE FIRE SAFE By Rob Slater, Director of Clearwater Safety Group Ltd.


clearwater safety group limited

ire safety has been in the news since the terrible events at Grenfell Tower in Kensington. As a business, we were already carrying out quite a few Fire Assessments, but since June we have been asked to do many more.

tenant or managing agents, but generally it is whoever has day to day control of that building. That person’s duties include having to ensure that a Fire Risk Assessment is carried out regularly and that alarms and any ancillary systems are tested and maintained properly.

Every week in the trade papers there are court reports of the owners/landlords of properties, often rented houses or blocks of flats or even hotels, being handed down huge fines and even being given prison time for the most horrendous breaches. For example:

Since 2005, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 - known more simply as the Fire Safety Order, the onus for ensuring fire safety in non-domestic premises - has fallen on the person in control of the premises, known as the duty holder. The term ‘non-domestic’ also includes the common areas, corridors etc of blocks of flats, whether they are purpose built or converted.

The Fire Safety Order does not specifically say that you, as the Duty Holder, need to pay for an external assessor to come in. Indeed in many very simple premises, provided you follow a good template, you can do it yourself. However it is important to remember that you are responsible for the content, so for peace of mind, it’s well worth paying for an expert. After all we will look at things with a different perspective.

“The landlord of a hotel in Morecombe, Lancashire, has admitted to twelve offences relating to placing people at risk of death and serious injury, after a number of fire safety defects were found at the property.

The Duty Holder can be the owner, the




Investigators found that a smoke detector in one of the bedrooms was covered with a plastic bag, and in another bedroom, the smoke detector was covered by a sock, meaning any smoke from a fire would not be

Health & Safety detected at an early stage. Fire doors were wedged open with fire extinguishers, meaning a fire could spread easily throughout the rooms. The ‘dumb waiter’ was wedged open, meaning any fire on the ground floor could quickly spread to upper floors through the dumb waiter shaft. A cardboard box was left in an escape corridor which could have tripped residents trying to escape and could have also caught fire. Some of the doors to the bedrooms would not close, therefore making it easier for fire to spread.” ( Some of the breaches could be said to be accidental, the result of a moment’s lack of thought. Something like leaving a box in the corridor for a moment, then forgetting about it. Even using a fire extinguisher to wedge the door open could be a temporary thing, until it becomes the norm. But things such as covering the detectors is a deliberate act. Maybe it was done by guests trying to hide the fact that they are smoking in the rooms. Maybe the landlord covered it in an attempt to disable it because it kept on going off. Whatever the reasons behind any breach of fire safety, the results can be catastrophic. One of my pet hates is fire doors that take time to close, particularly in corridors. The

idea of having a fire door or compartment area is to contain the smoke in that area, in order to allow people to escape. But if the door takes upwards of two minutes to close, as one I found in a block of flats recently, so much smoke will get through it will make the area impassable. Another frequent breach is blocked fire exits. The picture below shows a woodworking shop, where the overall standard of cleanliness left a lot to be desired. Machines were coated in fine flammable dust, the extinguishers were so old the service dates had faded. And they let their exits become blocked.

It really isn’t hard to be fire safe. But sometimes that pesky work thing gets in the way. Operational needs dictate where things go. I once came upon a wall mounted fire extinguisher that was obscured by a workbench. When I questioned the manager he explained that they needed to put another bench in to employ another worker, and that bit of floor space seemed to be spare. Or this, in a major hotel where a new photocopier needed a home. Someone obviously said: “This corridor isn’t used much, we’ll stick it here”. Fine, except the ‘corridor’ was an emergency escape route. But it’s not just indoors. When I took the photograph above, a worker had been using an electric disc cutter to trim a piece of stone. The sparks from his abrasive wheel were bouncing off these gas tanks. What could possibly go wrong there…? The tragedy at Grenfell Tower has been a wake up call to many in the safety industry, and to government. Whether or not ‘they’ will reform the Fire Safety Order, change how Fire Risk Assessments are carried out, or change the Building Regulations is a matter for speculation. Whatever ‘they’ decide to do, it will take years. In the meantime, you as the Duty Holder are still responsible for Fire Safety in your premises. So remember, you can do the assessment yourself, but you can sleep better at night knowing it has been done professionally by Clearwater Safety Group.

Clearwater Safety Group looks at all of the risk areas that your business may be exposed to and work with you to minimise or remove them. 01825 710002




Information Technology

MOVING YOUR BUSINESS INTO THE CLOUD WITH OFFICE 365 Part 4 – Document storage and collaboration by Phil Astell of Astec Computing (UK) Ltd


ontinuing our series, we are going to look at how to take advantage of SharePoint Online within Office 365 to improve your business. SharePoint is an easily configurable website service that can be used as a secure place to store, organise, share, and access information from almost any device and from any location. SharePoint sites can be designed to provide quick access to company documentation which is held as online storage within the Office 365 data centre. Documents are setup into logical groups which simplifies your data organisation, making it clear and easy to find what you’re looking for. With over 1TB of Sharepoint storage included with your Office 365 subscription, this platform quickly becomes an invaluable asset for data management. Again, we are going to use our invented company DreamBeans, to illustrate how SharePoint might be used. Just as a quick reminder, here’s an overview of DreamBeans:

DreamBeans profile Description: Coffee sales and distribution Locations: Midlands distribution centre, South East sales and admin office Staff: 50 employees – 15 field based sales Business challenge focus: Document storage and collaboration DreamBeans’ overall efficiency was greatly improved when they moved to the Office 365 platform but they still had some legacy infrastructure issues to overcome due to dated, on premise equipment and associated slower and inefficient working practices. Having a large field based service team and a distribution centre in the Midlands provided




DreamBeans sales and administration office in the South East with various communication challenges which had previously been addressed using VPNs (a form of internet based connection to join sites and mobile users to data held on servers). Although this worked, the connection methods provided little flexibility and few collaborative features meaning users were inclined to use their own online storage and sharing tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive, in an unmanaged and unsecure way. Having implemented Microsoft Office 365, a host of collaborative tools are now available to DreamBeans and the company chose to move much of their data to SharePoint. With the introduction of their new SharePoint sites they have been able to cancel Dropbox and Google Drive services that employees had subscribed to. As Office 365 is a GDPR compliant service (see GDPR section

for brief explanation), DreamBeans can be happy that their data is now fully compliant with future regulations and that the secure handling of documents both internally and externally is accommodated. Collaborative working and shared document editing has been a real step forward for the company. Sarah, the Sales & Marketing Adminstrator, has been working on a new marketing plan with Steve, the Sales Director, who is working from home. The ability to jointly work on and edit documents in real time is a feature of Sharepoint and Office 365. As a result, Sarah has been able to view and engage live with changes that have been made to the plan by Steve, whilst discussing the document in real time over Skype for Business. Once completed, Sarah has shared the SharePoint site containing the plan and other supporting content with their external marketing agency, ensuring that everyone is

Information Technology

working on and viewing the same version of the documents. DreamBeans no longer struggle with trying to identify who last worked on a document and what changes they made. SharePoint automatically creates a version history allowing users to easily identify when and who edited a document, plus provide access to a point in time copy of the file, prior to any changes. SharePoint provides all of the familiar security features that you may have enjoyed with an on-premise file server, allowing for specific read/write privileges and general access. As demonstrated above, SharePoint sites, or specific files within an existing document store, can be shared simply with external contacts whilst retaining control over the data. Utilising the Office 365 Synchronisation tool, documents held in a SharePoint site can be synchronised with a local computer to allow for offline access and editing when an Internet

connection is unavailable. Any changes will be resynchronised to the SharePoint site once back online.

The Results And Benefits • Access to documents on the go: Wherever they’re working, the DreamBeans team will be able to easily access everything they need via SharePoint on any device and from any location with an Internet connection. • Real-time editing: The DreamBeans team will have the capabilities to work simultaneously from different locations with internal or external collaborators on documents, whether using Excel to scrutinise coffee bean consumption or PowerPoint to build powerful commercial pitches to lock in new clients. • Seamless collaboration: The sales team travelling across the country can continue to work, communicate and collaborate across multiple devices using intuitive instant messaging and conferencing.

What is GDPR? The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will require new privacy and data protection regulations on any organisation that offers goods or services to people in the EU, or that collects and analyses data tied to EU residents – no matter where that organisation is located. The regulation comes into force on 25th May 2018. Broadly, the compliance can be broken down into four key areas of action: • Identify which personal data you have and where it resides • Govern how personal data is used and accessed • Establish security controls to prevent, detect, and respond to vulnerabilities and data breaches • Keep required documentation and manage data requests and breach notifications

Talk to our security team to find out more about how this may affect your business.

ABOUT ASTEC Astec is an IT managed services and support provider and a Gold Microsoft SMB Managed Cloud Partner, one of

• Secure: Backed up by Microsoft datacenters, DreamBeans can be confident that their own IT remains secure and safe from downtime.

only 250 in the UK. We work extensively

• Easier expansion: DreamBeans can now give staff fast, simple access to familiar tools, documents, email and collaboration from a variety of locations, across multiple devices, supporting the company’s growth plans.

We have been operating for 25 years

• Simpler IT: With a pay-as-you-go model and straightforward deployment, there’s no need to continue investing in servers, simplifying DreamBeans’ IT budget and management.

implementing, integrating and supporting Office 365, Dynamics 365, Azure and on-premise infrastructure. delivering a consultative lead approach to IT systems, communications and support. If you would like to explore the cloud opportunity or discuss any aspect of your technology, call one of our experts today on 01424 460721 or visit







ast year, Richard Soan was chosen as Businessperson of the Year in three East Sussex Business Awards ceremonies. Lewes based Richard Soan Roofing Services has grown steadily since it started trading in 1988 and sets high standards in quality and the safety of its staff. Ian Trevett asked Richard about the secret of his success. I started the company back in 1988. I decided to do my own thing after having had only two previous employers. I left school in 1966 and joined James Chandler (Lewes) Ltd (as Chandlers were known then) and then got headhunted by a London company to run a company in Hove for them. I ran that business for them for 10 years and then decided it was time to break away. I love going out on sites and problem solving. You have got to know the practical side as well. You can’t expect your operatives to know everything and when they’ve got difficulties they need the management to be




able to come along and say “we do this and we do that” and that is how it works. As an organisation we are very lucky to have some very knowledgeable and skilled people working for me and that is why our success is a team effort. When I first started the business it was originally just myself and four operatives. We rented a room in the Lewes Enterprise Centre. Now there are 9 of us in the office and approximately 30 operatives externally. It’s been a steady growth but I am responsible for a large number of mortgages that have to be paid each month. Our business undertakes both pitched and flat roofing. All our operatives are trained in their particular trade and so, as an example you won’t get a slater/ tiler turning up to undertake a flat roofing project or vice versa. We are an approved member of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, Heritage and Competent Roofer Approved also.

Approximately two thirds of our business is flat roofing, traditional reinforced bituminous membranes (built up felt) but we are seeing a lot more single ply specifications being written (PVC membranes), especially over the past three or four year period. Our project range is vast. We will undertake Mrs Brown’s six tile repair up to £500,000 projects. We undertake residential, commercial and industrial projects, we undertake a considerable amount of work on school buildings for various local authorities as well as working for housing associations, property management organisations, building surveyors, main contractors and the general public. We have had some hard times but we survived. We were hit by the Lewes floods in 2000. It is said that if you can survive a flood or a fire in business you’ve done amazingly well. It took us about eight months to get back into the office after the floods. We had a great

Interview organisations, local authorities etc., when tender lists are produced, I like to think that our name will be there, with our competitors. It is then down to us to turn that enquiry into an order which is not as simple as it sounds. I know every single person in the company. My door is always open 24 hours a day for anybody who wants to walk in to discuss a problem with me because one of my favourite sayings is “Let’s sort the problem when it’s a mole hill and before it becomes a mountain.” I see everybody employed by the company as part of an extended family and every single employee is very important to me. I think we have a great rapport with all members of staff. Also, we’re Investors in People approved, which speaks volumes as well. big Portacabin in the car park which was very cosy for everybody and a bit fraught at times. But we’re still here, telling the tale 17 years later. Big isn’t always beautiful. Six to seven years ago, we were mainly working for big main contractors who want everything done for nothing and then don’t want to pay you at the end. We did get into some financial difficulties because several main contractors we were working for were going into receivership owing us money and we had no chance of getting it back. You can have the best business in the world but if you’re not getting paid then you are not going to survive. I had to do some radical thinking pretty quick. We embarked on a local advertising campaign to try and attack the residential market as well as property management organisations, several new local authorities and housing associations. This change of track worked and in a lot of instances now we act as the main contractor undertaking all aspects of the project and so now we’re in control of our own destiny and so our cash flow has now approved dramatically. We pride ourselves on the work we undertake. The awards that we’ve won for our workmanship is a testament to that – similar with the awards that we have won for health and safety which is a very important factor in our industry. If one of my operatives has an accident on a project, I’m responsible. It’s a massive responsibility. Training is very, very important. We’re constantly providing training, not just in relation to health and safety, but product training as well. We have received the National Federation of Roofing Contractors Gold Safety Award for the past seven successive years. In the London and Southern Counties Region only 43 of the 442 member companies received the Gold Award last year. When we get shortlisted for an award I always try and take the operatives with me. It’s great for them to see their project up in lights and their name mentioned. The highlight of our workmanship awards has to be for the project we undertook at Folkington Manor near Polegate. This was a large re-roofing contract and at the UK Best in Roofing Awards 2012 this project was voted the overall winner in the Roof Slating category, an amazing achievement and one that we are very, very proud of.

“We’re only as good as the last job we undertake”. Even if the job costs me money we try to do the job properly. We go that extra mile - I don’t want to be going back on that project in five or ten years’ time because it’s leaking – I’d rather we spend the extra few pounds now, make sure its 100%. Communication with your client is also very important. There’s nothing worse in my opinion than if the client has got a problem and we’re not communicating. You’ve got to communicate. I’m a great believer in that. I am passionate about helping the Teenage Cancer Trust. I organise a big charity event every year at Brighton Racecourse in conjunction with a small Brighton charity called Whoopsadaisy, and every year the event gets bigger. Last year we had 450+ people who sat down for lunch and then they enjoyed an afternoon of racing, at this year’s event, just held, we had 500+ people in attendance. Last year we raised an incredible amount of money, on the day we raised £40,000.00 plus. It really was an amazing day. This year’s event raised a still amazing £35,000.00 plus. I’m reaching three score years and ten in three years’ time. I can never ever see myself not working, but I need to put a succession plan in place and I’ve got to start doing that sooner rather than later. Last year was an unbelievable year for me. It was a great honour to get the hat-trick of Business Person of the Year Awards – Lewes & District, Seahaven and East Sussex. That really was just unbelievable. But I would have much preferred it to be Business of the Year as opposed to Business Person as the company is all about teamwork and it is the team effort that brings about our success.

I’m a self-confessed workaholic, seven days a week. But to get any success you have to work hard. Success doesn’t walk through the door, you have to earn that success. The most important thing is to build relationships with people. The testimonials that we receive prove that we are doing something right. We receive a lot of business on recommendation. We don’t expect anything on a plate (although that would be nice) but by building relationships with surveyors, property management




Higher Apprenticeships

TAKING YOU TO HIGHER PLACES Higher Apprenticeships are a real alternative for ambitious students Apprentices in Higher Demand Sussex Skills Solutions, the joint venture between Sussex Coast College Hastings and Sussex Downs College, is the premier provider of apprenticeships and skills training in Sussex. As students across the country look ahead to the start of a new term, Sussex Skills Solutions is encouraging them to consider what a Higher Apprenticeship might be able to offer them. Many learners will be preparing for life at university following their college courses. But what if there was a different route that could offer the same qualification without the student loan debt? For some time, apprenticeships have found it hard to shake off the stigma of only being for 16 year-old school leavers. However, the apprenticeship reforms that happened earlier this year have increased opportunities for school and college leavers to develop their higher level skills via this route. Students are starting to see the benefits of studying Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships as they realise the potential that this combined package of work and study can offer them. It is now more possible than ever before, to study equivalent qualifications as a university student, but without the tuition fees of university courses. These Higher and Degree

Apprenticeship options also have the added benefits of gaining years of professional skills and experience and earning a wage.

best in higher and vocational education. “We understand the dynamics of our local

The benefits aren’t just for the apprentice either.

employers and understand the commercial pressures they face,” says Stephen Burkes, Director of Sussex Skills Solutions.

There are around 75 Higher and Degree apprenticeships in subjects ranging from Accounting to Software Development. Sussex Skills Solutions will work with your business to develop the right mix of apprenticeship and training programmes, bringing together the

“We have the in-house expertise to develop qualifications aligned to our employers’ needs as well as the significant resources and facilities of two colleges. Yet we operate with the approach and flexibility of a private training provider.”

Apprenticeship Levels Type of apprenticeship


Equivalent educational level



5 GCSE passes A*-C



2 A-Level passes



Foundation Degree, HNC/D



Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree

To see a full list of higher apprenticeship frameworks -




Higher Apprenticeships This means your business will be able to benefit from having an enthusiastic new employee who will be learning the specific skills your business needs, rather than a generic syllabus. By investing in high-level training you could also benefit from increasing the talent in your team, improving productivity, boosting employee morale and improving your staff retention. Research has shown that, on average, apprentices help to improve productivity by £214 per week and after finishing their course, 77% of them stay with the same employer. Another advantage to your business may be acquiring this higher level talent at a reduced cost in wages. The apprenticeship wage could be significantly lower than the cost of employing a university graduate.

All of these benefits seem really attractive too if you are a levy-paying employer. Higher Apprenticeships are a great way to attract higher level talent to your business and get a real return on investment from your levy payments. Over the past three years, 56,200 people have started a higher or degree apprenticeship. The government has pledged to create 3 million apprenticeships across all levels by 2020. (Statistics from GOV.UK) Sussex Skills Solutions can draw on its decades of experience and knowledge in the apprenticeships sector to find and match the right person for the role you are recruiting. Potential candidates are added to the Talent Bank, an extensive database used by both colleges, where applicants can be filtered by location, sector and qualifications.

Apprenticeship snapshot: Sophie Cripps, Harri Nats Café

Stephen continues: “As the number of higher level apprenticeship standards begins to build and the amount of long-term, personal debt from high tuition fees and maintenance loan repayments starts to be even more of a reality, then young people aged 19-24, and their parents or carers, will truly see an apprenticeship as an alternative where you can earn and learn. This can only be good news for employers.” Sussex Skills Solutions can work with your business to develop training programmes and courses in the following sectors: Accounting, Business Management, Engineering, Healthcare Management, Hospitality Management, and IT and Computing. To see how Sussex Skills Solutions can help your business, call 030 300 39777 – or visit

Apprenticeship snapshot: Tom Ramsay, Technoturn Tom Ramsay, 22, is a technician at Technoturn in St Leonards. He has been with the manufacturing company since 2013 where he started his Intermediate Apprenticeship in Engineering. Having successfully completed his Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeship, he is now studying a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Engineering. “By taking on Higher Level Apprentices, it allows us to find the next supervisors and managers of the future,” said John Stretton, Director of Technoturn.

Sophie Cripps, 24, is the Manager of Harri Nats Café in Seaford, having completed her Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Hospitality Management.

“They’re with us for a few years getting to know the organisation really well, giving them much more of an insight into how the business operates. Because they have the practical, hands on skills to go with it, they really flourish.”

The popular café in the heart of Seaford town centre is benefitting from their newly qualified higher-level apprentice. Owner Norah Allvey says: “Apprenticeship schemes increases staff confidence. Apprentices brush up on skills, are focused, hardworking and use their own initiative more. It’s fair to say that both the employer and employee benefit from an apprenticeship.” Thanks to her apprenticeship, Sophie also had the opportunity to complete a First Aid course, Fire Marshal training and a Health & Safety in the workplace course. “I encourage my staff to learn and develop,” says Norah. “I like to deal with apprentices through Sussex Skills Solutions drawing on the experience of the college, as it enhances my business and my staff have worked toward something. Apprenticeships enable them to lead. They learn about laws and procedures in the workplace and, as a result, they feel more included and confident in the work they do.”




ACHIEVE MORE Come and be inspired at one of our Information Events SATURDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER 2017

9.00am to 12.00pm (Plumpton Campus)


9.00am to 12.00pm (Netherfield Campus)


9.00am to 12.00pm (Plumpton Campus)

There’s so much on offer in the land-based sector from agriculture and animal management, to equine studies and arboriculture. It’s an industry full of exciting opportunities. We’ve got full and part-time courses from school leaver and adult courses, through to University courses. We have excellent facilities on our 800-hectare estate and our own bus service which offers pick up and drop off covering areas from Worthing to Hastings up to Crowborough and across to Crawley and Horsham. We are offering a free shuttle pick up to and from Plumpton train station every half an hour, and have free parking on site. No need to book, join us for personal tours of our first-rate campus. If you’d like more details before then, give us a call on 01273 890454 or email us at or visit for more information.





APPRENTICESHIPS – THE SMART CHOICE Is your child looking for a fast-track to a great career and hoping to earn while they learn? An apprenticeship could be the answer.


henever your child is taking an important step in their life – whether it is the first day of school or their first sleepover away from home – it feels momentous. However, one of the biggest decisions for you and your teenager to make is what to do when they finish school. There are many options for school leavers including A-levels, vocational studies and apprenticeships – and it can be difficult to know which is right for your child.

also well suited to those who learn best in a practical, hands-on environment.

• Production Horticulture (including vineyards)

What is an apprenticeship?

Do they really get paid?

• Light vehicle maintenance and repair

Apprenticeships combine practical training in a workplace with study.

Yes, all employed apprentices receive a wage and holiday pay and the national minimum wage for apprentices is currently £3.50 an hour.

• Dog Grooming

Apprentices work alongside experienced staff to get job-specific skills, earn a wage and study towards a qualification all at the same time. Typically, students spend one day a week at college studying. Apprenticeships take one to four years to complete depending on their level with qualifications ranging from ‘intermediate’ to ‘degree’ – the equivalent of a bachelors or masters.

How do I know if it right for my child? Apprentices are often considered ‘smart learners’ because they know what field they want to work in and want to get started straight away. They need to be mature enough to go into the workplace and apprenticeships are

This applies to all 16 to 18 year olds and those aged 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship. Nineteen year olds who have completed their first year must be paid at least the full national minimum wage for those aged 18 to 20.

• Sports Turf & Golf Greenkeeping

To find out more about the range of apprenticeship opportunities on offer for your teenager – from floristry to agricultural mechanisation – visit apprenticeships.

As skills develop many employers will also increase wages.

What can they study? Apprenticeships are now available in almost every career field but here are just a few of the options available right here in Sussex at Plumpton College. • Butchery • Land based service engineering • Veterinary nursing




Business Event


18th October 2017 he Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers event brings together Buyers and Suppliers to help each other grow their businesses.

One of the most difficult aspects for any business is getting in front of the decision maker. It is a battle to find out who you need to talk to, and once you do, you have to navigate around the dogged gatekeepers. This is an event that brings the right people together and makes the process straightforward and easy. For Buyers, you will have the opportunity to meet new Suppliers of the products and services you need as well as explore ways to solve your procurement issues. For Suppliers, you will be able to access the kind of businesses you simply cannot reach elsewhere, with face to face meetings with their procurement professionals. From June 2017, there will be a programme of free Seminars to help you understand how to engage with Public Sector and large businesses that are seeking new suppliers as well as improve your general sales processes. On the day you will be able to spend time with the types of businesses you just don’t see out and about. Date: 18th October 2017 Venue: the Arora Hotel, Crawley For more, please call 01293 440088 or email


As this is our Education Issue, we are putting the spotlight on The Chichester College Group, which is the new college group formed after the merger of Chichester College and Central Sussex College (now Crawley College). The Chichester College Group is the largest provider of further education in Sussex. It covers four sites: Crawley College, Chichester College, Brinsbury and Horsham Training Centre Julie Kapsalis, Managing Director (Commercial) at Chichester College Group, explains why they decided to be one of the Buyers and what the college group is looking for from suppliers. “Through our Colleges we educate and train around 25,000 full and part time students every year and provide teaching excellence to meet the future needs of the region’s employers. “As a major business and employer in the region we procure a huge number of services. We are keen to support and grow local businesses both through our supply chain and through our training and education services. We are also committed to playing a leading role in the Gatwick Diamond through skills and business development. “Our business needs are diverse and constantly evolving. We are looking to form partnerships with businesses to support the local economy. Within the Chichester College Group we also run a number of commercial businesses including childcare provision, an examination board, conferencing and international education. This means that we can procure everything from specialist teaching equipment through to professional services.”




Business Event

MAKE THE MOST OF MEET THE BUYERS Meet the Buyers is an excellent (and very rare) opportunity to get in front of buyers who may potentially become key clients. Preparation for the day is key. To ensure you make the most of the day, there has been a series of informative and practical seminars throughout the summer, and there are more lined up before the event. Make sure you register to all that are relevant to your company.

15th September 2017

3rd October 2017

9.30am - 12.30pm


Understanding Airport Based Business Procurement

Understanding Procurement: Public Sector & Government

Venue: Welland Medical, Hydehurst Lane, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 9AS

Venue: South Lodge Hotel, Brighton Road, Lower Beeding, Horsham RH13 6PS



David Gill

Charlie Cooper

Paul Williams

Lucy Moody, The Home Office             Tim Sheppard, SmartSupport At this seminar, Lucy will give you an overview of Home Office business, how they buy goods and services and where to look for upcoming opportunities and high level information on the Home Office pipeline. Tim will give you an understanding of how to work with Local Authorities across the region.

David Gill - Managing Director, Marco Airport Facilities Group Charlie Cooper - Senior Project Manager, Marco Airport Facilities Group Paul Williams - Head of Business Development, OmniServ Ltd

25th Oct 2017 9.30am-12.30pm

Digital & Social Media Marketing

Attendees of this seminar will discover

Venue: Ardingly College, College Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6SQ

• Details around local supply chain


• What is required from an Airport supplier

Matt Turner, CEO of Creative Pod

• What it takes to be a supplier at Gatwick

21st September 2017

A digital marketing masterclass, navigating you through the good, the bad and the ugly of digital marketing. During this workshop we will cover what really matters when it comes down to digital marketing. Your return on investment, how best to achieve it and how to measure it.


This seminar will also cover

Inspiring & Delivering Innovation

Social Media, SEO, Google PPC, Website analytics, Email Marketing and Reporting

• Top Tips for new suppliers

Venue: Crowne Plaza Felbridge Hotel, London Road, East Grinstead RH19 2BH Presenters: Mike Herd, Executive Director, Sussex Innovation Centre

To book on any of these seminars, follow the link at

Pete Lane, Innovation Support Manager, Sussex Innovation Centre




Business Accelerator

FLIGHT OF THE EAGLES Seven rising star creative businesses have graduated from the Eagle Lab UK creative accelerator. Barclays Eagle Lab in Brighton


arclays’ ‘Eagle Lab Flight’, a twelve-week accelerator, took place in the bank’s Eagle Lab in Brighton and was led by Creative England. Each company received £25,000 investment at the start of the programme. The programme culminated in a final pitch for all seven businesses - which include those harnessing virtual reality, mobile and GPS technologies - where they bid for a potential




£50,000 additional funding for their company in a room of local Business Angel Investors in Brighton. The event was also live-streamed to Barclays Eagle Lab sites across the rest of the UK.

• Good Company Wealth – who has developed a solution to the UK savings gap by harnessing the power of crowd buying to unlock access to high income producing assets.

The seven rising star creative businesses who graduated from the ‘Eagle Lab Flight’ are:

• Goodmoney – who has created new software to improve the way small independent and creative businesses are supported locally through the gift card and voucher market.

• Vanuse – who has built a mobile app that allows users to instantly order a van and driver to their location.

Business Accelerator • Railguard – who has designed a free and simple solution to help commuters to claim compensation when affected by delayed or cancelled trains. • Ikigai Factory – who has invented a REVR mobile creation tool and publishing platform which helps real estate agencies to build virtual house tours easily and quickly for improved sales and marketing. • TeamPro – who has launched a free online platform allowing sports teams to organise matches and automatically show player availability. • We Are Personal – who has revolutionised website modelling so that every visitor can have a completely different experience; personalising the site to their needs. The ‘Eagle Lab Flight’ accelerator, which started in March 2017, consisted of workshops, masterclasses and a mentor programme, aiming to unlock creativity for the seven businesses and provide business acumen. It covered topics such as business planning, sustainability, leadership, culture, global impacts and markets and audiences and evaluation. With a focus on creative thinking and cross collaboration, the companies learned how to scale-up and define their product, with input from industry thought leaders, Creative England and

Barclays experts. Gavin Sandells, Founder and CEO of Vanuse LTD started his business after he was looking to move a sofa from his parent’s house and not knowing anyone with a van or a large enough car was forced to hire a van for an entire day. Then, driving round Brighton he noticed removal vans parked up not earning money for their owners. Gavin was positive about his experience on the accelerator, and said: "The programme directors, speakers and mentors really helped build my confidence and belief that I have what it takes to be an successful entrepreneur, it also helped create a solid foundation from which to grow my business”.

The pioneering programme really encouraged companies to explore their creative side and truly converge creativity with technology. I really enjoyed finding out what the companies had been up to and to see how they’ve developed”

For more information visit: https://labs.

Steven Roberts, MD Strategic Transformation at Barclays said: “We have been proud to partner with Creative England to provide investment and intensive development for high growth, early stage creative and digital companies with the vital help they need early on in their business lifecycle. Through the accelerator we’ve worked closely with seven brilliant businesses and their entrepreneurial teams, and we’re pleased to see them now graduate and provide a crucial boost to the UK’s creative sector.” Dawn Paine Creative England’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer said: “The Barclays Eagle Lab Flight showcase event was a great opportunity to meet our future stars.

Barclays’ Steven Roberts






01424 842281

Enjoy a unique dining experience in our newly transformed and extended Brasserie on the Beach. With atmospheric skies or dazzling sunsets, nothing will spoil your view, or your enjoyment of our new mouth-watering Brasserie menu. There’s something for everyone! Whatever the weather, you can always enjoy one of the eighteen artisan gins with a range of specialist tonics available from the new Gin Palace! Enjoy your co ee, just the way you like it, in the new Café Bar. On warm days the glass walls of the Brasserie will fold back so you can breathe in the fresh sea air. Enjoy! BREAKFAST FROM 7AM - 10AM BRUNCH FROM 10AM - 12NOON LUNCH & DINNER - 12 NOON ONWARD (LAST ORDERS 9 PM) AFTERNOON TEA FROM 3PM - 5PM




The Cooden Beach Hotel, Cooden Sea Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN39 4TT |

Digital Marketing

BOOST YOUR GOOGLE SEARCH RANKINGS It’s the holy grail of the digital world but generating and keeping a top spot on the search engines is no mean feat. Here, Beth Nash, from digital marketing agency Smart Monkey gives her top tips to boost your search rankings BOOST YOUR SEARCH ENGINE RANKINGS: 1. Planning Good search engine optimisation must be built into the website from the word go, so build SEO into the planning stage of your website build or redevelopment. For the majority of websites, we recommend using WordPress. 2. Keyword Selection Clever keyword research will ensure that you are building in the words people are searching for rather than what you ‘think’ they are searching for. There are several tools available such as Google’s Keyword Planner ( KeywordPlanner) or Wordtracker (https:// that show you the popularity of particular search terms as well as the number of other pages on the web using the same words. The ‘key’ is to use words that are popular but less featured on competitor websites. 3. Keyword Use Once you have selected one or two keywords for each page, it is then important to build these into the structure of the site. Each page should feature the specific keyword in the page title, meta tag, page description, H1 heading, etc. Keywords should also be used within the link url’s (for example, www.yourwebsite. 4. Content Content is one of the most important areas in SEO – Google wants to provide their customers with relevant, on-topic, useful web results and so they favour informationrich websites that provide value. Create your content for the visitor so that it reads well – don’t keyword stuff for the search engines.

5. Internal Links To help your web visitors (and Google) easily find their way around your website, incorporate internal links around your website. 6. External Links The more quality and relevant incoming links from other websites with a high Domain Authority ( learn/seo/domain-authority) you have coming into your site, the more important the search engines will view your site, so a link building strategy is vital. The more relevant the better (why would you want an incoming link to your shoe retail website from a construction company’s website? Google and the other search engines will find that a little fishy.) Don’t go down the route of cheap link builders – Google see this as cheating and will penalise you. 7. Analysis & Reporting Finally, SEO is an ongoing job. The initial work is to generate a top ranking on the main search engines, but more importantly, it is keeping that position once you are there.

Once you have followed the tips to successful search engine optimisation, it can take a few months for the search engines to register any changes. The use of paid for search marketing (Pay Per Click – PPC) will mean you can be visible on the search engines until your natural search engine optimisation kicks in, as well as providing a number of other benefits. More on that next month! @Bethanie_Nash

BIO: Beth is a Chartered Marketer and ‘Head Honcho & Chief of Client Happiness’ at digital marketing agency, Smart Monkey. Since 2006, Smart Monkey has been helping small and medium sized businesses in Sussex, Surrey and Kent generate revenue through effective and measurable digital marketing campaigns.




The Big Story

THE SERIAL DELIGHTER by Maarten Hoffmann

Amazon was created by one of the most disruptive of the modern day business pioneers, Jeff Bezos. Maarten Hoffmann profiles the maverick whose ambitions are not limited to just our planet!


ever has an individual so deserved the comparison to a James Bond villain as Jeff Bezos, founder of and space explorer extraordinaire. Especially after seeing photographs of Bezos looking a bit too excited recently when he piloted a 13-foot Avatarstyle robot at a tech conference in Boston. As the founder of Amazon, no one man has such profound effect on the shopping habits of the population of planet Earth, and the slow death of the high street, with intentions to conquer other planets in our solar system. Amazon Pluto, Amazon Mars - personally, l wouldn’t bet against it. His stockpile of riches grows by the day. Amazon stock climbed 67% in the past year in part because of the success of its cloud-computing unit, Amazon Web Services and Bezos was the named as the biggest dollar gainer on the Forbes’ 2017 World’s Billionaires List. With a net worth of $72.8 billion, Bezos is now the third richest billionaire in the world, behind Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett. Bezos took a, by now, familiar route through education, excelling at just about everything. Born to teenager Jacklyn Gise and Ted Jorgensen in 1964, his parents divorced and his mother remarried a Cuban immigrant, Miguel Bezos, when he was four. He was very close to his maternal grandfather, who worked for the US Atomic Energy Commission and slowly built up a considerable land holding in Texas. With this all passing to Jeff, he became the largest private land owner in the Lone Star state. When the family moved to Florida, Bezos enrolled in the Miami




Palmetto Senior High School. He attended the Science Training Programme at the University of Florida, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and computer science. After his move to Princeton, he was elected to the honour societies Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi and served as the president of the Princeton chapter of the Exploration and Development of Space. That would certainly have inspired his love of space, and the fact that, as a three year old, he was found in his room having totally dismantled his cot, piece by piece, demonstrated his interest in engineering. Following various jobs on Wall Street and with the Bankers Trust, Bezos took a drive cross-country from New York to Seattle and wrote the business plan for Amazon along the way. Initially, he ran the company from his garage, having learnt about the rapid growth of the internet and, more importantly, this coincided with a Supreme Court ruling that mail order catalogues were not required to collect sales tax in states where they lack a physical presence. The thought that an internet company that sells goods across the country would not be subject to sales tax sparked the notion that this was a winner - and sparked the furore about such companies not paying tax in countries in which they trade but do not reside, immediately making their goods cheaper than any bricks-and-mortar store. Bezos worked night and day on the development of the business and became known as “a happy go lucky mogul and a notorious micromanager” who left no stone unturned and no job undone.

The Big Story He was particularly upset when the New York Times wrote a scathing article entitled Inside Amazon: Wrestling big ideas in a Bruising Workplace and described Amazon as “a soulless, dystopian workplace where no fun is to be had and no laughter heard,” although they could not find a single worker who agreed with this insulting description. The insults continued apace, with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) voting him the World’s Worst Boss at their World Congress in 2014. In making the award, General Secretary Sharan Burrow said, “Jeff Bezos represents the inhumanity of employers who are proving the American corporate model,” and an article in the Morning Call newspaper described working for Amazon as gruelling and inhumane, with many employees being terminated or quitting. As a riposte to the New York Times article, Bezos purchased the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million of his own cash and proceeded to publish a long and complimentary profile of his activities and beliefs. His ethos with all of his companies is quite simple: “Starting with customers, working backwards – that’s the kind of thing that has become a habit at Amazon,” says Bezos, when asked how the company remains innovative despite its size, having grown from three employees to in excess of 150,000 staff around the world, including 9,000 in the UK.

“As the founder of Amazon, no one man has had such a profound effect on the shopping habits of the population of planet Earth” “We also have an eagerness to invent that is a deep part of our culture, as is a willingness to think long-term. We can work on things that don’t need to work for five, six, seven years…there aren’t many companies willing to take that kind of time horizon. “And then, finally, a culture of operational excellence, and I mean that in the sense that Toyota might mean it. Finding defects, doing root cause analysis, working to fix things - that kind of operational excellence has also become a big part of who we are. So when you apply those four things (trust, invention, investment, and operational excellence) they work in a lot of different parts of our business.” “The original Amazon plan was focused exclusively on books, and I expected the company to grow slowly over a large number of years. But it actually grew very quickly right from the beginning. “These are very humble roots, I can assure you; I drove the packages to the Post Office in my old Chevy Blazer.” The company is now worth in excess of $245bn, and generated an unexpected profit of $92m on sales of $23.2bn in the second three months of 2015. The profit was a rarity in Amazon earnings releases; Bezos prefers to reinvest earnings rather than return them to shareholders. At the company’s heart, whether it has been going up against book

retailers or publishers or even other technology giants such as eBay, appears to have been one concept: disruption. But Bezos doesn’t wholly agree. “Disruption is a consequence of customers liking the new way. Maybe it’s just a mindset…but a better mindset, and one that we use, is: How do you delight customers? “We don’t seek to disrupt, we seek to delight. If you invent something completely new and radical and customers don’t care about it, it’s not disruptive. Radical invention is only disruptive if customers love it.” Over its relatively young life, Amazon has had its fair share of failures, from its $175m investment in daily deal site LivingSocial to the Amazon Fire phone. But they have been more than outweighed by its successes. “Our three most durable inventions at this point – and we’re of course always looking for more – are Prime, Marketplace and AWS,” he says. Prime is its membership club: in exchange for an annual fee, customers get access to the most up-to-date services Amazon has to offer – from one-hour delivery in certain cities to original programmes such as Ripper Street, rescued after being dropped by the BBC, and music streaming and Kindle book-borrowing. Marketplace allows anyone, from an individual to major companies, to sell products on the Amazon platform, and, thanks to recent innovations, even to have the products delivered by Amazon, opening up export markets and international sales. AWS – or Amazon Web Services – is the company’s business-focused cloud computing platform, whose customers include Pinterest, AirBnB and Just-Eat. There has been speculation among investors that AWS may be spun off at some point, but Bezos guides against that, saying: “I think that would be a big distraction and, really, there would be very little benefit from it.” Although Amazon doesn’t strip out financial results for the first two – it only began separating numbers for AWS last year. It is clear each plays its part in delivering the company’s numbers. “I’m hopeful we might find a fourth over time; we have many things in the pipeline. But I would say those three are at the top of the list of the things we’ve created over the last 20 years that have a good chance, as long as we continue to work hard, of being here 10 years from now, 20 years from now.” But Clarkson and Co. are far from the only new innovation Bezos is backing. As the company seeks to find a fourth important business




The Big Story

line, small teams – Amazon has a two-pizza rule, which stipulates that no meeting should involve more people than could be fed by two pizzas – are working on the next big bet. One of these is drone delivery, first flagged by Bezos 18 months ago in an interview with American broadcaster Charlie Rose. The drones, or Prime Air to give the project its official name, are being worked on in a number of research centres, including one in Cambridge (in the UK, not Massachusetts). “One day Prime Air deliveries will be as common as seeing a mail truck,” says Bezos. “The technical problems are very straight-ahead. The biggest issue, or the biggest thing that needs to be worked on, is the regulatory side.” Although tight-lipped about which country the service will launch in first, Bezos hints strongly that the UK is near the front of the pack. “What I would say is that in the scheme of things the UK regulatory agencies have been very advanced. The FAA (the US aviation regulator) is catching up a little here in the US, but the UK has been a very encouraging example of good regulation. I think we like what we see there.” Given his rather considered management quirks – he doesn’t allow PowerPoint presentations, as he believes bullet points don’t convey quality information, and rotates senior managers as his “shadow” every 12 to 18 months to create “ambassadors” around the business who can model his thinking – Bezos is a little less considered when it comes to managing his own money. “I just get all weak-kneed around entrepreneurs. I just love it. If I have a meeting with an entrepreneur, I’m always charmed by them,” he smiles. Is it important to him to share his wealth with fellow inventors? “Absolutely. In my personal investments I’m mostly doing things that I’m curious about. And passionate about. In many cases I don’t necessarily expect them to be good investments.” His list of personal investments is wide-ranging, from tech companies,




The Big Story customer base on. Reusable rockets are the holy grail of space travel, and that is exactly what Bezos has been working on. His New Shepard rocket booster took off last November and safely returned to earth in one piece. “I was very optimistic about the flight, but I’ll tell you, when I saw that vehicle land, it was one of the greatest moments of my life. Judging by the fact that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, I’m pretty sure all my teammates here at Blue felt the same way. This is a field that people go into in large part because of real heart and passion, and that team did a remarkable job. It was just incredible.” For Bezos that isn’t a mission impossible, it’s what the last 20 years have been all about. including Uber and AirBnB, to more unusual projects, such as the 10,000-Year Clock in the San Diablo mountain range in California, to a centre at Princeton, his alma mater, dedicated to neural circuit dynamics (understanding how the brain works). Despite any investment distractions, Bezos remains focused on the job in hand, even 20 years on. “I’ve liked every phase of the company. I loved the beginning, and I love it just as much now,” he says. “I took my extended family on vacation in the south of France, and we had an unbelievable time, and we had great food, and we were there for a week. “But when I got back to Seattle, I ran into the office, I danced in. I love my job and consider myself incredibly lucky – and that’s been true for 20 years, it hasn’t changed.” Can he see himself at the helm in another 20 years, by which point he’ll be in his 70s? “I hope so. Almost all the people I work with on a daily basis are paid volunteers. At this point I’ve been working with them for more than a decade, and they can do whatever they want; they could be sipping margaritas on a beach, but they’re here. Paid volunteers are the best people to work with, as they’re here for the right reasons. I have a team of people that I love. And we get to work in the future, and that’s so fun, so I hope so.” Like so many other multi-billionaires, his secret love is space travel, and this led to the formation of his company Blue Origin - a company that was kept top-secret for many years whilst he and a phalanx of top engineers burrowed away, wrestling with the extreme complexity of the mission. Elon Musk, the Tesla Car company founder, and our own Richard Branson, with his Virgin Galactica, are all at it. Planet Earth has been conquered; therefore, there really is only one mission left for these super over-achievers, and that is to find another planet to build a

“Full re-use is the holy grail of rocketry. You cannot throw the hardware away every time and expect to ever realistically lower the cost of access to space. It’s just impossible. What we did is an existence proof that you can vertically land from space and reuse the rocket booster. Our architecture is scalable to a very large size. So I’m superexcited about that. It’s something that puts us – and not just Blue Origin, but it’s something that puts humanity on the path to eventually having millions of people living and working in space.

“Amazon has a two-pizza rule, which stipulates that no meeting should involve more people than could be fed by two pizzas”

“For the tourism programme, I’m hopeful that we’re a couple of years away from commercial operations at this point. We consider this the first of many successful test flights. We’re going to conduct a very thorough, very deliberate test program. For the next couple of years, we’re going to fly this vehicle many, many times and put it through a lot of stressing conditions. When we’re completely confident in the vehicle, then we’re going to start selling tickets and putting people on board. That’s very exciting. “As for what it means for our orbital vehicle, one of the reasons I love the vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing architecture is that it’s so scalable. We’re going to take the same architecture we just validated with New Shepard, but at larger scale with our BE-4 engines, and have a completely reusable vertical-landing booster for the orbital vehicle that we’re going to fly out of Cape Canaveral”. Branson has made no secret of his desire to be the first to fly in Galactica and l wonder if Bezos feels the same way? “I can’t wait to go! I’ve wanted to do this since I was 5 years old. One thing I love about our vehicle architecture is that it flies autonomously, so we can do this very methodical test program without risking any test pilots. We’ll go through this for the next couple of years, and then I can’t wait to climb into that vehicle”. So if the BBC (Billionaire Boys Club) get their way, we will all be flying into space within a decade, and, of course, paying them for the privilege, but if governments can no longer afford to explore the possibilities of space travel, then thank goodness the BBC can. The rate at which the human race is burning through the resources of planet Earth, we are going to need somewhere else to go when we finally destroy this planet. We can only hope that we learn the lesson and don’t just destroy every planet we inhabit.




Business Awards

LEWES DISTRICT WINNERS The winners of the 2017 Lewes District Business Awards were announced in July at Lewes Town Hall.


he Lewes District Council sell-event was attended by over 220 people with fourteen trophies presented by BBC News correspondent, Ben Brown. The big winner on the night was Wave Leisure Trust which won Company of the Year.  Other winners included Bluebell Railway Plc in the Culture, Leisure & Tourism category, Nathaniel Hepburn of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, who is the newlycrowned Businessperson of the Year, Plumpton Racecourse, which won the Best Place to Entertain Clients, and Fundraising Auctions, the 2017 Best Business Growth.  Now in their fourth year, the Awards offer a fantastic opportunity for many different types of businesses to come together and celebrate the District’s business talent and achievement, recognising success, innovation and excellence amongst the business community.  The winning businesses were chosen by a panel of well-respected judges including Basepoint, Cheesmur Building Contractors, Knill James, LEAP, Brighton & Hove Buses, Richard Soan Roofing Services, Swindells, Veolia, UNIGLOBE, Wave Leisure, Yelo Architects, Platinum Business Magazine, ACES Magazine and Viva Lewes.   Commenting on this year’s winners Councillor Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: "This awards scheme showcases the talent, dedication and sheer drive of business leaders from across both the Lewes District.  “I am truly honoured to be able to highlight their achievements and wish them continued success in the future.”  To learn more about the award winners and out how your business could get involved next year, visit






Sponsored by Brighton & Hove Buses WINNER: Wave Leisure Trust

Sponsored by Viva Lewes WINNER: Bluebell Railway Plc



Sponsored by Swindells WINNER: Le Magasin

Sponsored by Wave Leisure Trust WINNER: W. E. Clark & Son Limited



Sponsored by Cheesmur Building Contractors WINNER: Nathaniel Hepburn, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Sponsored by Knill James WINNER: Burning Sky Brewery



Sponsored by Veolia WINNER: Harvey & Son (Lewes) Ltd

Sponsored by Basepoint WINNER: Cleankill Pest Control



Sponsored by Richard Soan Roofing WINNER: CTLA Community Transport

This year’s winners

Sponsored by ACES Magazine WINNER: Plumpton Racecourse



Sponsored by Platinum Business Magazine WINNER: Fundraising Auctions

Sponsored by Yelo Architects WINNER: Wilson Wilson & Hancock Opticians



Sponsored by LEAP WINNER: Anna Lane - Treatment Tents

Sponsored by UNIGLOBE    WINNER: Atelier Dina Malkova












12. Photos: 1. Company of the Year, 2. Small Business of the Year, 3. Businessperson of the Year, 4. Best Green Business, 5. Business in the Community, 6. Culture, Leisure & Tourism, 7. Best Independent Retailer, 8. Best Independent Food or Drink Producer, 9.Best Customer Service, 10. Best Place to Entertain Clients, 11. Best Business Growth, 12. Entrepreneur of the Year, 13. The Professional Services Award, 14. The Creative Industries Award.




Business Awards

Headline Sponsor 7 7


o you run, own or work within an amazing business? Or know someone who does? Then nominate now!

The closing date for entries and nominations is 12TH OCTOBER 2017, so hurry and enter now! The Business Women Excellence Awards 2017 Sussex edition stretches across the whole of the county and are staged specifically to celebrate the success of today’s very best females in all aspects of the business world. Whether we like it or not, many companies today still remain male dominated despite Theobvious Sussex Business company the progress thatWomen has been made over the years to changeand that.multi award-winning The Sussex Women company award-winning Excellence Awards 2017 isthe preparing entrepreneur, business lawyer and These awardsBusiness seek to highlight best business women and theand bestmulti businesses which areeven owned orpreparing co-owned by women,entrepreneur, run by them, or business Excellence Awards 2017more is lawyer andWomen have made so much progress in business for a bigger and exciting author of the inspirational women to bestseller follow. women working within them. From the amazing number of entries and for a bigger and even more exciting author of the inspirational bestseller event this year. We are already book ‘The Freedomover Revolution’, said: the years, that many awards programmes have been designed to nominations that we have so far, it’s lookingbook like two of to seehighlight andtalented recognise event this year. We are received already ‘The Freedom Revolution’, said: their exceptional skills and talents.” receiving many wonderful email “It’syear fantastic so many these awards is going to be inspiring.

If so, enter or nominate NOW! If so, enter or nominate NOW!

receiving many email “It’s fantastic to see so many talented entries and thewonderful hype on social Sussex business women gaining the The Sussex Business Women Excellence Awards will Penina Shephard, the on Founder and Managing Director of Acumen entries and the hype social Sussex business women gaining the media, and at business networking recognition they deserve. Celebrating “I am often should take place on the 24th November at theasked Hilton why Brighton Business Law is business our sponsornetworking and she said: “Receivingrecognition an for media, at they deserve. Celebrating eventsand is electric. theaccolade achievements of successful Metropole Hotel, tickets“Ifor the awards evening arewhat on sale am often asked why should we enter awards and your outstanding work achievements brings your successes to light, events is electric. the achievements successful business women of across theget region now. To yoursisnow, visit we enter awards and what are the benefits to me or opens doors to new opportunities and builds a positive path for other business women across the region is Remember ladies, that receiving an truly inspirational” are benefitsMy toreply me oris mythe business. Remember ladies, receivingwork an truly inspirational” accolade for yourthat outstanding my business. reply is or that winningMy a business accolade for your outstanding work achievements brings your successes Business Womenthis year are: SponsorsThe onSussex board to date that winning a business or personal award will raise achievements bringsayour successes The Sussex Business Women to light, and builds positive path for Excellence Awards will take place personal award raiseof your profile, thewill profile toother light,women and builds a positive pathhave for Excellence Awards will take place to follow. Women on the 24th November at the Hilton your the profile of your other to progress follow. Women have on the 24thMetropole NovemberHotel. at the Hilton madewomen so much in business Brighton yourprofile, company, enhance made in awards business Brighton Metropole Hotel. over so themuch years,progress and these your company, enhance reputation, instil trust toyour your over the years, and these awards and have been designed to highlight reputation, instil trust to your customers and attract new have been designed to highlight recognise their exceptional skillsand customers and attract new business, which will ultimately recognise their exceptional skills and talents. The awards headline business, ultimately make youwhich morewill profitable. and talents. The awards headline sponsor, ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW, is make you more profitable. In short, it will prove you are sponsor, ACUMEN LAW, is one of the ‘Top 50BUSINESS Ground-breaking In short,than it willyour prove you are better competitors.” one the ‘Top 50Law Ground-breaking andofInnovative Firms in the better than your competitors.” and Law Firms inTimes). the UK Innovative and Europe’ (Financial Faiza Shafeek of Carrot Events , organisers awards UK and Europe’ (Financial Times). Penina Shepherd, founder of the Faiza Shafeekofofthe Carrot Events , organisers of the awards Penina Shepherd, founder of the

Supporting Sponsors Supporting Sponsors

Category Sponsors Category Sponsors

Media Headline Media Sponsor Headline Partners Partners Sponsor

Sponsors on board so far this year are: Sponsors on board so far this year are:

Sponsorship opportunities are still available, please contact Faiza Shafeek on Sponsorship are still available, please contact Faiza Shafeek on 01323opportunities 461298 / 07540 406685 or email 01323 461298 / 07540 406685 or email




Economic Forum

BUSINESS TALK Sussex economic growth, Brexit, Business, Education and Employment

SPONSORS ON BOARD TO DATE 16th & 17th November 2017





THE COUNTY’S LARGEST ECONOMIC FORUM CONFERENCE HURRY! BOOK your tickets for the 16th November Gala Business Dinner and for the 17thNovember full day Conference NOW!



Carrot Events are proud to introduce Sussex’s very first Economic Forum taking place in November 2017 at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel. The two-day event will see many high-profile keynote speakers including economists, cabinet members, politicians, local government bodies, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce members, local and international businesses, universities and a variety of other institutions on the panel for each of the four strategic and major debates. Sussex’s economic growth and development is strategic to the success and stability of our county and will be the main subject matter in this first of a kind conference. The lavish Gala Business Dinner will open the conference on Thursday 16th November with one of the UK’s top business magnates as the evening guest speaker. The conference will take place the following day on Friday 17th and offers all attending delegates the opportunity to engage, listen, learn and participate in several county-wide important issues that impact Sussex’s economic growth. Furthermore, the conference offers the chance to network with the crème de la crème of the Sussex business world in an event that will be engaging, informative, thought-provoking and memorable.

Organised by:


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For more information about the conference or for sponsorship opportunities, please contact Faiza Shafeek on 01323 461298 / 07540 406685 or email

Run and organised by

Please visit





STAR APPEAL The Hydro Hotel, located on South Cliff in Eastbourne, has just been awarded 4 stars by the AA. We find out why.


he 4 star Hydro Hotel in Eastbourne was built in 1895 as a place of relaxation by the sea. Situated 126 feet above sea level on a cliff top, it offers far reaching views of the sea towards Beachy Head. The hotel has 82 bedrooms, large lounges, two restaurants, a ballroom and three further function rooms and a hair salon.

The Hydro is very well known for its afternoon tea and serves a variety of treats from The Sussex Cream Tea to the Hydro Afternoon Tea. Other popular dining options include light lunches, traditional Sunday lunch, or two or three course dining in the Crystal Restaurant with its mix of traditional English and French cuisine.

A highlight of the hotel is its private grounds with expansive sea views. The main lawn provides a great space for a game of croquet or if holding a function, the perfect space for a drinks reception. Located within a private sun trap is the newly refurbished outdoor swimming pool. Open from April to midOctober, it has its own sun loungers and offers a great spot to relax and of course, for taking a dip.

The Hydro was awarded 4 stars by the AA back in June, the first time in the hotel’s 120year history. The 4-star rating is a result of recent investment and improvements made to the hotel and service.




The AA cited the improvements made in the past seven months with the bedrooms, restaurant, ballroom, lounges and the service of note. The property scored particularly highly with hospitality, public areas, gardens and

grounds, food and cleanliness. Andrew Oxley, Head of Hotel and Hospitality Services at the AA commented: “The AA are extremely pleased to award the Hydro Hotel 4 stars as it is a reflection of the hard work that their dedicated team put in every day, and the incredible results of their refurbishment.” Jonathan Owen, General Manager said: “We are delighted to have been awarded 4 stars from the AA. Over the past few months we have invested over £400,000 in refurbishing all areas of the hotel and improving our food offering and customer service. We have also carefully renovated our grounds with subtle floral improvements to maximise the setting and elevated sea view, relined the outdoor swimming and added new sun loungers. It is full credit to all my colleagues to achieve 4


stars and we will be celebrating as a team to acknowledge all the hard work everyone has put in.” To make the most of our private gardens and elevated sea view setting, a brand new outdoor wedding ceremony facility has recently been unveiled. The Coastal Terrace features a custom-made dome with open sides in front of a stone tiled terrace and decorative plants. Available for weddings from April to October, the Coastal Terrace has a capacity of up to 80 guests and is approached via a stoned tiled path, perfect for a grand bridal entrance. Should the weather be inclement, the wedding ceremony can be held within the hotel in the elegant ballroom.

whole wedding day at the Hydro with plenty of accommodation onsite. For those wanting complete exclusivity, we also offer exclusive use weddings where the wedding party has sole use of the hotel, the grounds and all the bedrooms.” Jonathan further added: “Our wedding packages are available seven days a week

and start from £3,250 based on 50 guests, inclusive of function room hire, drinks reception, three course wedding breakfast, table and toast wine and evening buffet. Additional finishing touches are also available along with your very own dedicated wedding coordinator to ensure that your special day be a memorable occasion.”

The addition of the Coastal Terrace has been part of an improvement scheme throughout the whole property. The Hydro has had refurbishment in all areas including the outdoor pool, the private grounds, the food and customer service. General Manager, Jonathan Owen said: “Our Coastal Terrace provides a unique setting for a wedding, with one of the best backdrops on the South coast. Couples can enjoy their

Hydro Hotel, Mount Road, Eastbourne w: e: t: 01323 720643






he weather was on our side as we welcomed our VIP guests at the picturesque Rathfinny Estate, Alfriston, for our ROLEX & TUDOR Watch Sales Event.

VIP guests had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the latest models released this spring at BaselWorld 2017, and be tempted by pieces that are unlikely to appear on general sale instore.   As ever, the ROLEX Professional models and TUDOR heritage collections were the standout displays on the day, in particular the outstanding diamond set ROLEX PearlMaster, anniversary Sea-Dweller and TUDOR Heritage Black Bay S&G, as worn by #BornToDare ambassador David Beckham.  Once again we were privileged to showcase a selection of vintage ROLEX watches from one of customer’s private collection which demonstrated the development of the Sea-Dweller.  Alongside the BaselWorld 2017 collections, guests also had the opportunity to participate in a Wine Talk and Taste by Richard from Rathfinny, as well as enjoying awarding-winning locally produced sparkling wine, canapes and homemade gelato from our vintage ice-cream bicycle.  We trust all guests had a spectacular day, and thank them for being able to join us in contributing to an enjoyable event.





11-13 Cornfield Road. Eastbourne BN21 3NA 01323 725452 www.wbrufordscom




Travel - Oakland

Shake hands in...


San Francisco’s lesser-known neighbour makes it on the business radar, but only creative, community-minded companies need apply. Julia Trevett reports


cross the bay from San Francisco sits Oakland. Once a place of poverty and gang violence, Oakland has risen from the depths of despair to give the vibrant and cultural metropolis of San Francisco a real run for its money. While San Francisco’s transformation from hippy haven to the home of the Tech Giants has come at a price, Oakland is having a surprisingly different evolution. Oakland is one of America’s rising stars as a city with a heart for business. The fact that Uber have shelved plans to move 3,000 employees to their acquired office space in the Old Sears Building (instead they will move in a few hundred and rent the remaining office space) is no bad thing. While the local economy might have benefitted initially from the move, the long-term effect could have encouraged a spike in rents.




Sky-rocketing rents in San Francisco are a symbol of the city’s success, but have punished the local population. Such a hike in rents in Oakland would undoubtedly have a negative impact on the vibrant culture that is currently developing. For the local business community, the Uber retreat could be more of a blessing than a curse. It’s been the organic business growth that has made Oakland such an attractive place with local people growing innovative and creative businesses. There’s a passion about grass roots here, and a vibe that has many parallels with Brighton. Just as people are shying away from the exorbitant rents and property prices in London and settling in Brighton, the exodus is mirrored in Oakland in preference of San Francisco. San Francisco is packed full of people with

great business ideas, but the rents in the city are stifling. Ordinary city folk have reached their limits with the sight of billionaires stepping over homeless people. The inequality in San Francisco is huge. Oakland isn’t without its problems, but it does have some innovative community projects in place. That’s not to say San Francisco doesn’t have some great projects of its own, but to the business visitor they’re largely hidden from view. Oakland has a contagious sense of optimism and you’ll hear about community the minute you hit the city streets. So far, Oakland is proving a viable alternative for those nostalgically seeking the old vibe of San Francisco, but looking for more reasonable rents. If Oakland can hang on to its sense of social responsibility, there’s every chance it will continue to attract a socially conscious and creative business crowd.

Travel - Oakland The choices for eating in Oakland are huge. For sophisticated dining try Yoshi’s Japanese Restaurant (conveniently located next to Yoshi’s Jazz Club), or Lake Chalet, an amazing fish restaurant overlooking the bay. On Jack London Square offering views of the bay, Bocanova is the number one place for great food and a buzzy vibe. Here interesting food combinations are born from a chef with classic French training and a passion for food spanning North, South and Central America – the Pan American menu is as creative as Oakland’s business community. Don’t leave Oakland without heading to the Gastropig for one of their provocatively named Baconslut breakfast sandwiches. Featuring applewood smoked bacon with an over easy egg, cheddar, and Aleppo chilli aioli, these awesome baps offer the ultimate hangover cure.

Business with community at its heart

travellers are invited to try out a session of hands-on creativity.

In Oakland, you’ll find businesses proud of their roots, committed to supporting their community, yet conducting business with a real sense of flair. It’s a refreshing change from the type of business conducted by the Tech giants across the bay.

Innovative businesses need to be close to one another, feeding off each other’s dynamism. Oakland has the diversity and exciting creative vibe that an up and coming business community needs.

Oakland is surpassing itself with an extraordinary sense of cohesion and community. The whole set up should be a contradiction, but Oakland’s real sense of business purpose is intertwined with a strange contemporary hippy vibe. Walk into any small business in Oakland and you’ll hear tales of local people doing great things and supporting each other. The sense of pride and camaraderie here is impressive and it’s infectious. Community spirit is making the whole area a very attractive proposition for businesses seeking a place for supportive, organic growth.

The Gourmet Ghetto Along with Oakland’s organic and exciting business growth, the city is also being lauded for its food. The North Shattuck area has been popularly known as the “Gourmet Ghetto” since the 1970s because of its concentration of innovative restaurateurs. But it doesn’t stop there. In recent times, some really exciting chefs are ditching San Francisco and hitting the Oakland scene.

As well as fine wines from the nearby California vineyards, craft breweries in the area are plentiful. Just as with everything else in Oakland, craft brewers here are making flavour combinations that stand out from the crowd. The Oakland Ale Trail is a must for beer connoisseurs. Brewing is part of the fabric of Oakland. Home brewing is big here and as much a part of every day life for local residents as home cooking.

Oakland insights If you really want to experience the hipster vibe so reminiscent of San Francisco, you must visit Temescal, a locality on the northern outskirts of Oakland. It’s hard to imagine, but there’s an even more relaxed and open vibe here than downtown. Temescal Alley houses a collection of shops and workshops filled with creative people Oakland Skyline

T-shirt and accessories company, Oaklandish, are a great example of business success with a conscience. Impressively, community motivates everything they do. They give back to the city of Oakland by way of grants and donations, as well as offering pro bono design and marketing to small local businesses. It’s a business model that is at the heart of many of Oakland’s home-grown businesses. Creative collaboration comes easily in Oakland. An example is the industrial arts school, The Crucible, an impressive community project which comes with the nostalgic whiff of school metalwork workshops. Business




Travel - Oakland making and selling beautiful wares. From apothecaries, horticultural shops, and innovative jewellers, to hip and cool independent clothing stores, there’s a real buzz about the place.


One store that typifies the spirit is the cool men’s clothing store, Standard and Strange, who peddle high quality clothing with a price tag to match under the banner, ‘own fewer, better things.’ The argument for splashing out is enticing. Temescal is the best place to buy gifts you plan to take home. Don’t miss out on the best Tacos in town while you’re here. Cholita Linda’s is low-key, buzzy and deliciously satisfying. At the other end of the spectrum, nestled in Oakland’s hills, is the iconic Claremont Club & Spa hotel. This is one of America’s finest hotels offering breathtaking views of the bay, handsome guest rooms, elegant dining and a high-end spa. Approach the hotel by road and the imposing, snow-white structure pops into view, to literally take your breath away. The exquisite breakfast menu here is not to be missed. In happier times, and before the break-up, Brad and Angelina stayed here while filming nearby. It’s the place in Oakland to go if you want to impress. Norwegian now offer direct flights to Oakland from Gatwick. Claremont Club & Spa

While Oakland has everything you need from art to museums, a plethora of restaurants and cool bars, to hip entertainment venues, travelling across the bay to San Francisco is easy and well worth the trip. If you do nothing else in San Francisco, take a spin on the San Francisco Love Tour. You not only get a whistle-stop tour of the city, there’s an eclectic musical accompaniment, and plenty of amusing facts from your driver and tour guide. Your only uncomfortable moment might be cruising through San Francisco’s China Town with Carl Douglas’s track ‘Everybody was Kung-Fu fighting’ blaring from the speakers. It’s not perhaps the most sensitive of musical choices. A trip to San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without a tram ride, visiting the seals at the pier, and, if you have the time, a boat trip to Alcatraz, the historic prison.



Set in the historic Pacific building in San Francisco’s SOMA district, Hotel Zelos is an ideal place to stay if you’ve travelled in from Oakland (Powell Street BART station is just around the corner). The rooms are a reasonable size for the city’s often compact offerings, and the hotel boasts a decent restaurant, Dirty Habit, located on the fifth floor, which has a trendy vibe, great cocktails and a cocktail focused menu. A good pick, Hotel Zelos is within walking distance of Chinatown and Union Street. www.viceroyhotelsandresorts. com


Overlooking the waterfront in Oakland’s Jack London Square, this boutique hotel offers a nautical theme, hugely spacious rooms and is perfectly placed to explore everything Oakland has to offer. The wind-chiming concert of nearby boats is strangely comforting, as is the infrequent claxon of the Amtrak trains hurtling through the main thoroughfare a few streets away. A comfortable hotel with a very relaxed atmosphere. Don’t let the thought of all this surrounding noise put you off, this is a comfortable hotel with a very relaxed atmosphere, and I would definitely go back. JT




Gatwick Airport


Record year of investment takes Gatwick Airport past its 45 million passengers milestone.

atwick Airport recently published its results for the year ended 31st March 2017 as the airport smashed through the 45 million annual passengers milestone in June. Gatwick has also just completed the biggest year of investment in the airport’s history, as it continues to deliver on its ambitious plans for growth. The airport’s annual results are the latest demonstration of Gatwick’s impressive growth record with 44.1 million passengers passing through the airport in 2016/17 - an increase of 3.2 million passengers (7.7%). This growth has been matched by record levels of service for the airport’s passengers, with customer satisfaction and advocacy at an all-time high.  Long-haul continues to be a success story, with routes growing by 13.6% and now represents one in five of Gatwick’s passengers. As capacity issues become a challenge, the airport will continue to see considerable growth in passenger numbers as airlines swap short-haul for long-haul services. Norwegian’s

new route to Buenos Aires using a B787 Dreamliner, for instance, will replace a shorthaul European service in Gatwick’s schedule. Further growth across a broad range of travel markets with long-haul traffic, European business routes and destinations, have all combined to fuel a record-breaking year and provided a boost for local and national business. Gatwick is due to welcome the world’s longest low-cost long-haul route - to Singapore - this September. North Atlantic routes were up by 38.7%, with the two new routes launched by Norwegian in the year - Las Vegas and Oakland, and San Francisco - contributing to this growth. Norwegian is set to further increase its US routes from Gatwick, with Denver and Seattle starting this September, and a further direct route to Buenos Aires starting in February 2018. Meanwhile, China Airlines will be adding to Gatwick’s Asia routes by starting a new service to Taipei in December 2017, bringing Gatwick’s total long-haul routes to 60.

Several airlines have also increased frequencies on routes and introduced new destinations with Cathay Pacific, increasing to daily, the frequency of their Hong Kong service, and Rwandair providing a new service to Kigali.  Average seats per air traffic movement increased by four seats per movement, reflecting the airport’s increased long-haul flights. Meanwhile, air traffic movements increased by 4.9% to 280,000 ATMs annually, with the airport serving more than 177,000 passengers in its busiest day. Gatwick’s vital role within the UK economy was demonstrated by growth on domestic routes of +10.3%, as passengers took advantage of the regional services available from the London airport, best connected to the rest of the UK.




Data Protection


What’s happening on 25th May 2018?

in the way data is handled. Helpful for businesses. Reassuring for individuals.

• It’s Julian Clary’s 58th birthday

By the way, the fact that we are in the process of leaving the EU makes no difference because the GDPR applies to every business which holds or processes the data of EU citizens. If we want to trade in Europe then we will be obliged to show that UK standards are equivalent to the EU’s GDPR framework. Additionally, GDPR will become mandatory in the UK so even if you don’t trade overseas, it will apply to you.

• It’s 41 years since Star Wars was released • GDPR replaces the current DPA Cause for celebration all round? Maybe – but certainly, cause for preparation – and we don’t mean saving up to buy Julian Clary’s dog a diamante collar. So – there’s less than a year to go and it makes absolute business sense to ‘Be Prepared’, exactly as the scout motto says. Don’t subscribe to; you’ll only regret it. And what does GDPR stand for? General Data Protection Regulation, which replaces the Data Protection Act (DPA). In brief, the GDPR concerns the rights people have over their personal data. The DPA has become outdated since technology has progressed so rapidly in the past few years and so much business is carried out online. The new regulations aim to streamline data protection across Europe so that, no matter which country you trade with, or in which country your data is held, there’s consistency




There’s plenty to be getting on with in the meantime, meticulously outlined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Here are five things you could put on your To Do List in the next few weeks. 1. Appoint a data protection officer – crucial. It’s vital that someone takes the lead in this matter, otherwise there’s a danger it will be lost in the piles of other policies every company has to deal with. And, that someone should report to a board member or ideally be a board member. 2. Raise awareness – you may know about the impending change in regulations but do all the key decision-makers in your company?

3. Organise an information audit – unless you know the current personal data situation in your company (Whose data? Where from? How shared? To whom?) how can you possibly plan for the future? 4. Check procedures – do they cover the new rights individuals will have? 5. Plan timetable to amend privacy notices – make sure they will meet the new requirements in plenty of time for GDPR. Mailing Expert is a Sussex based Printing & Direct Marketing company; simply put we can print anything from a few Business Cards to tens of thousands of Flyers or Brochures. And, we can personalise and post them out to your clients, prospects, donors or members. We also offer a Design service as well as Leaflet Distribution and a full database & data cleaning service too. Mailing Expert has over 30 years’ experience within the industry. We take your data & data security seriously, that is why we all have the Award in General Data Protection Regulation from the IDM. Well that’s enough about us! T: 01825 983033.

Hands Up!

to Fundraise

Registered charity number: 256789

Chestnut Tree is the children’s hospice for East Sussex, caring for children with life-shortening conditions and their families. We know there are more families who need our care, and we need your help to reach them. Whether you choose to do a sponsored walk, hold a coffee morning, host a game or quiz night, when you put your Hands Up! to fundraise we’ll help you every step of the way. Volunteer | Donate | Fundraise | Participate | Shop

ACES | 01323 725095





Most readers will be aware of the excellent Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, based in Arundel. But not everyone is aware that the hospice is only one aspect of the services offered by the charity. The charity also offers vital support services in the community, helping to look after children with progressive life-shortening conditions who are living at home. Ian Trevett met Susan Freeman, Community Care Support Worker and Activities Coordinator for East Sussex, to find out more about the charity’s outreach in East Sussex.

Susan with one of the children


lot of the care we offer day-to-day is respite, giving parents and carers a break,” says Susan. “All families

are offered a package of respite care in-house over in Arundel along with a visit from the Community Team each month. Because East Sussex is so far from the house families can find it hard to travel there so the support of the Community Team is invaluable to families here. Due to the complex nature of the health




issues facing the children, there is no set formula to how a respite visit works.

support us as a charity partner and they let the children in for free.”

“Some people like you to stay in the house and they like to stay with you, so you’re just there at the family’s home offering support. Others like you to take the child out as soon as you get there and not bring them back until the last minute. We might take them to the cinema, get something to eat or visit a farm. We might take them out to Knockhatch as they

Clearly, it is not quite as straightforward as offering a child-minding service. “We look after their health needs while we’re out and keep an eye on them. They will have a comprehensive care plan that we strictly follow. “A lot of our children don’t eat orally so there are only a few that you can take out

Interview to eat out. We have an issue with where to change the children. Some of the kids are big and we can’t lift them, so if they need changing we need hoists and changing tables and there aren’t many around. There’s one in Eastbourne town centre, one on the seafront in Hastings, one on the seafront in Brighton, but few others. Knockhatch are building a special ‘Changing Places’ changing facility which is amazing because there are not many places that do this.”

“The role of care support worker also includes looking out for the family.” If anything, Susan understates the difficulty of offering the children a few hours enjoyment and the parents some well-deserved rest. For instance a child might be on oxygen and they might be fed through a tube. It is quite an undertaking to transport a child to and from a car. You’ve got to make sure there’s somewhere to change them or change one of their tubes. It is a huge, huge undertaking, and also a massive learning curve for Susan, who previously worked as a nanny. “The biggest challenge has been the competency,” she says. “You have to be child specific competent so you can take the kids on your own. When you are out, you don’t have the back-up you would get at the hospice. So you need to be prepared for the individual child’s needs.” The role of care support worker also includes looking out for the family. “We might do an evening babysit so parents and carers can go out for dinner. It varies from one family to the next and what they do with their time. Some use it to tidy and clean up and others just use it to put their feet up or go to bed. It just gives them that much-needed time. On top of that, we’re contacting doctors, hospitals and just helping them out with necessary tasks they have to face.” It isn’t always easy for parents to properly relax and part of the care worker’s skill set is to gain the confidence of a parent, as Susan explains: “They’re obviously very nervous about handing their children over, so it takes a long time for them to build up the confidence that you know what you’re doing. They might stay in the house but not completely with you and then eventually hopefully they will feel able to relax. Many of our families are so used to being the sole carer. They’re the only ones who know their children. Even the doctors don’t know their children and their needs. To then

Susan with the care team have somebody come and say “Oh, I’ll just take over” is just very difficult.” Susan and her co-workers do an admirable job in assisting the families who have been through so much, and sadly part of job means dealing with the emotions when a child passes away. As professional as the workers are, they are only human and an emotional attachment is hard to avoid. The charity offers a great support and counselling network for the families and the staff as well.

sibling along to days out. Over the summer we took them to Blackberry Farm and Sussex Police arranged a fun day at St. Bede’s School, plus we had a trip on the Bluebell Railway. Meeting Susan was inspirational, and it is hard to properly describe the difference Susan and her colleagues make to the quality of life for the children and their families. Please support Chestnut Tree House and get involved, so they can continue this vital work.

“You have to be child specific competent so you can take the kids on your own. When you are out, you don’t have the back-up you would get at the hospice. ” The other aspect of Susan’s role is organising activities for the children and their families, and the charity gets great support from local companies in supporting these events. The Hydro Hotel provides complimentary rooms for some of the events which have been used to host a grandparents’ afternoon tea and a summer party.

Linda Perry, Director of children’s services, Marco the Magician and Susan at the Summer Party.

Sussex Police ran a family fun day for the under-12s and also put on a drone flying event. There is a monthly under-5s group called Saplings and a youth group which is every other month for the over-12s. “It is important to remember the brothers and sisters,’ says Susan. “We run a club called Siblings, which is every school holiday and a couple in the summer holidays, an event for siblings of the children we care for. It is good for them to see others in the same situation and we always have therapists on hand ready if someone did start opening up. The siblings also have complex needs.

Home care

“They miss out on things like days out because it’s not always practical to take their





ROLLING THUNDER Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé - review by Maarten Hoffmann


am often asked what car l personally drive as it is presumed l trundle around in some supercar. Due to the fact that l drive like my trousers were on fire every day in testing a huge variety of cars, l choose a car that l can calmly waft around in for the 500 odd miles a year l actually travel in my own car. I drive a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It certainly isn’t new but it is very low mileage, well maintained and wafts upon request. So when MB asked me to review the new S-Class coupe, l leapt at the chance.

“The S-Class is ranked as the world’s best-selling luxury sedan.” The S stands for Sonderklasses, meaning special class, and has been the flagship model for the company since 1972 and has been in production ever since. They have used it to launch many innovations that today we take for granted in terms of safety systems,




driveline technology and interior features. The S-Class is ranked as the world’s best-selling luxury sedan. First off, the Coupe is gorgeous to look at. Not as big as l thought although still 5 metres long, with beautiful sweeping likes and a stance that says you are coming through - at speed and in style. There is no slow Coupe and it comes simply with the choice of three hugely powerful engines - 4.7 V8, 5.4 V8 and the very sexy 6-litre V12. I have been delivered of the S500 with a 4.7-litre V8 that is totally effortless and has oodles of power to spare in any situation. And it sounds fantastic. Not the howl of a sports car but the low rumbling growl that reminds me of distant thunder - until you bury the go pedal into the Axminster as then the thunder instantly arrives inside the car and makes my hair stand on end. It has one of the best interiors around and there is nothing to pick at. There is enough technology in this car to not only fill 40 pages but to power a small City. The computers are working all the time, stabilising, gauging,

monitoring and calculating your every move and although not the best at evil little switch backs or tight country lanes, it has astonishing grip and doesn’t roll around the corners. It offers Magic Body Control suspension, which reads the road ahead far faster than l can and actively pulls the wheels up and down to absorb every bump and the Curve Tilting function will actually lean the car into corners like a motorbike. It will demolish long distances with such ease that you might be inclined to just turn round and go back again just for the hell of it. Sadly, we don’t really drive for pleasure anymore but this made me just go out and drive with nowhere to go. It’s that good.

“There is enough technology in this car to not only fill 40 pages but to power a small City.” The floating dash is glorious with a huge TFT screen, delivering world-class multimedia and connectivity and it is so damned quiet that only when you power down a window

Motoring and the world comes rushing in do you really understand what they have achieved. This is due to superior sound proofing and double glazing and is on a par with the RR Wraith l recently reviewed. I am never that keen on the rear seats of a coupe as ease of access is sacrificed for the exterior looks and here’s no exception. When you lean the front seat forward it moves of its own accord and back again into its starting position but you are standing like a lemon waiting for it and then again before the driver can climb aboard. There is not a coupe on the market any different so perhaps l should shut up and just drive.

“I have been delivered of the S500 with a 4.7-litre V8 that is totally effortless and has oodles of power to spare in any situation” If getting picky, whilst smiling like a baboon, the indicator stalk is too close to the cruise control stalk, the handbrake is a faff working out which way it goes and the sheer number of buttons and features can make your head spin. Do what l do. Find the sport button, find the suspension button, the air conditioning, the satnav and the radio. Sod the rest and let this computing powerhouse sort everything

0330 0197893

else out and just drive. Oh, but then there’s the optional night vision camera and the Magic Sky Control, which switches the panoramic roof from light to dark…….. I was pleased to see the 500 badge but not as ecstatic and l would of been seeing the top of the range S65 badge. That little monster will give you a V12 with 630bhp and 62 in 4.1 seconds although at £188,595, it bloody well should. And the noise…….. This has always been, and still is, the best selling luxury car in the world. Now send me the new cabriolet please Mr. Jackman………

TECH STUFF Model tested: S500 AMG Line Engine: 4.7-litre, V8, 9-speed auto Power: 455 bhp Performance: 4.6 secs to 62 mph Top speed:155 mph Economy: 32.5 mpg combined Price from: £100,985.00





DON’T LET LACK OF FUNDING HOLD YOU BACK “Without the support of the team at Business East Sussex I would have struggled to get the paperwork together in time to apply for the grant we received. “They were undoubtedly instrumental in helping us access the funds to make the expansion happen.” Debbie Grant Owner, Cut in the Hut , Hastings Pier

If you have a small to medium-size business (SME) or are a start-up based in East Sussex, we could help you fund a wide range of capital items to help increase sales, improve productivity and boost profitability.

You fund 70%. We’ll give you 30%! ●  Through

European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) we can provide grants of between £1,000 and £10,000.

●  It

could be anything from new equipment and machinery to new technology and processes. If it helps your business grow you could potentially reclaim 30% of the total cost.

Could my business be eligible? We have funded food outlets, musical instrument makers and high tech manufacturers – and you could be next. As always there is the small print and some exclusions. Visit our website or give the team a call to learn more and to get your application under way.

Business East Sussex Ocean House, 87-89 London Road St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex TN37 6LW Telephone 0844 415 2260 Email

European Union European Regional Development Fund

The South East Business Boost Programme has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020. It is a partnership between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Essex County Council, Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council and Thurrock Council.






Business East Sussex looks at the latest funding opportunities and asks local businesses what is stopping them gaining access to capital.


t’s a divorce to rival that of Burton and Taylor, and there seems to be little resolution in sight for the UK’s separation from Europe. This uncertainty brings with it concerns for British SMEs about future funding options. In a recent survey, some 38% of the 500 businesses surveyed had accessed EU funding in the last five years. Many of those businesses also expressed concern that the “recent economic and political uncertainty has adversely effected business confidence”. Meanwhile, Business East Sussex (BES), the region’s Local Growth Hub, is urging people to take advantage of Europe while we are still in it. How? By taking advantage of the grant and support programmes funded from Europe. In East Sussex, there is a new range of grant funding available to small and medium sized businesses, and in particular, South-East Business Boost. This new initiative means BES will, over the next two years, be able to invest up to £1 million in local businesses as grants of up to £10,000 per business, with a maximum of 30% of the eligible costs, thanks to tapping into the European Regional Development Fund. These grants are non-repayable funds

given to eligible businesses in East Sussex from the European Union. Other grants available in East Sussex support SMEs with ICT, low carbon, research, innovation and skills. Ian Smallwood, Head of Business Services at Business East Sussex said: “The SouthEast Business Boost is a great opportunity that we are delighted to be able to bring to businesses in East Sussex. This funding is designed to allow businesses to make investments into new projects that may not have happened without the funding.” “That’s why the South-East Business Boost is not to be missed. It’s virtually free funding for your business and an opportunity not be to be missed.” In order to be eligible a business must be: • Small to medium-size business with under 250 staff and a turnover under €50m. • Be spending on a project or purchase that has a long-term growth impact on the business (not day-to-day running costs). • Have, with our help, secured a grant offer letter from SEBB before starting the project.


ollowing a re-evaluation of the marketplace in 2016, owners of Nobles Restaurant in Battle, Paul Noble and

Debbie Grant, decided to leave their roots in fine dining and establish Cut & Grill. Having had an extremely successful start to 2017, their thoughts turned to expansion. After extensive market research and customer feedback, they decided there was a gap in the market for a quality take-away burger hut on Hastings Pier. It was then that Cut in the Hut was born. When Debbie needed to finance Cut in the Hut, she turned to the business experts at Business East Sussex. As well as assisting with access to finance, Debbie believes that: “Without the support of the team at Business East Sussex, I would have struggled to get the paperwork together to apply for the grant we received. They were undoubtedly instrumental in our being able to access the funds to make the expansion happen.”

Get in touch with BES to find out how they can help your business to survive and thrive at uk. Call 0844 415 2260 or email





#HUDDLEDOWN IN EASTBOURNE Emma Pearce reports back after attending Eastbourne’s first Creative Digital Technology mini conference By Emma Pearce, Marketing Consultant – marketing planning, outsourced marketing and social media training


was intrigued when I received an invitation to Huddle in my email inbox. It turned out to be a Creative Digital Technology mini conference happening in Eastbourne. I’m glad I went - with about 70 other people it turned out. Eastbourne has some great people working on all manner of creative projects locally, nationally and across the globe. In fact, co-organiser Stuart Lambert from Cohub in Eastbourne, quoted figures from Nesta that said Eastbourne is in the top 47 creative clusters in the UK. The town has 2703 people from 969 businesses working in this sector. So that doesn’t include all the freelancers. Alex Read from Bamb, co-organiser of the event, said “The aim of Huddle is to create a meaningful and credible community of creative, digital and tech workers.” Stuart, Alex and Rob Price from Deckchair Digital are aiming for Huddle to achieve a number of things: • Build a platform that shows local opportunities, vacancies, a talent list for the area and publicises applicable news • Host training and workshops, socials

and conferences around the creative and tech sectors • Enable more collaboration and awareness for who is around and what they can offer • Lobby local authorities and bigger businesses to source locally • Show the might of collective talent and grow the local economy The first speaker of the night was Nicholas Raeburn from Sky Iris Productions and Vireal Media. Once a year he tries to undertake a personal passion project with little or no budget. He decided to enter a film competition

and without even knowing the result as yet, it has lead to him doing a piece of work for Elton John! If you ever feel that you’re are losing your spark, then a passion project, where you do it for the love, will reignite your creativity. The second speaker was Donna Comerford - Education Coordinator for Brighton Digital Festival and Advisory Board Member at Tec Hub Eastleigh. She demonstrated how we should all seize the opportunity to collaborate between education, arts and creative digital industry firms. With a skills shortage and children (and adults) having a lack of insight into what local jobs there are in creative, tech and digital sectors, we should all speak to local teachers about giving talks. The final speaker was Ant Miller from Human Made who develop Wordpress websites for enterprise scale companies. He talked about empathy being the key ingredient to successful relationships between those on collaborative and innovative projects. How you deal with a situation when the proverbial hits the fan will come down to practical empathy. His amusing talk went down well.




Book Review

BOOK REVIEW The Business Jet Engine By Martin Riley In this issue of ACES, we feature an interview with Martin Riley who runs a business leadership and coaching company in East Sussex. We had a sneak preview of his first book, The Business Jet Engine. Here’s our verdict.

More importantly, it is an effective tool to assess and measure the strengths and weaknesses of your company - as this is very much an interactive experience. Martin expects readers to work as well as read. Martin explains the concept of the book: “One of the biggest mistakes that many businesses make is trying to improve too many elements at once. This leads to a lack of focus and progress, resulting in confusion, demotivation and burnout. One of the objectives of this book is to help you focus your priorities. “This is not a comprehensive business textbook or MBA manual. It is not intended to be encyclopaedic or a tome on business best practice. It is a simple guide to business planning. Like having the picture on a jigsaw box, this book gives you that top-level picture so you know where all the pieces fit. “Most importantly, you will have a clear set of priorities, which you have turned into plans and tasks for the year ahead. This should give you clear focus, and confidence that you are taking your business in the right direction. It will stop you becoming sidetracked in projects that do not really serve your ultimate goals.”


he book took Martin two years to write and many more to prepare - and this dedication can be appreciated in the finished product. It is safe to say that this book covers all aspects of business in a concise and easy-to-digest format. For a new business looking for a template or an existing business looking to improve and grow, this is an excellent source of information.

Martin writes knowledgeably about all the concepts of business such as leadership, marketing, finance and planning, incorporating recognised business principles as well as introducing his own methods and ideas. He uses the visualisation of a jet engine to explain how everything fits into place. For instance, he opens the chapter on staff with “Your people are like your wing… And as the pilot of your business, you need to understand the mechanics of leadership that allow you to create lift and direction, so your business goes where you would like it to go. If you get these fundamentals right, your plane will be a dream to fly. If you proceed in ignorance, your flight will be unstable and you will struggle to keep control.” The main value of the book comes with the questionnaires at the end of each chapter. In the interview he stressed the importance of asking the right questions - and he walks the

walk by asking the readers the questions all business owners should answer. At the start of the book the quizzes take just five minutes and give a quick insight into your major strengths and weaknesses. As the book progresses the quizzes are designed to take one or two hours and the results offer a deeper analysis.

“Like having the picture on a jigsaw box, this book gives you that top-level picture so you know where all the pieces fit”

All businesses should take time out to question and evaluate where they are doing well and where they can improve. This book offers an effective way of working on your business. And Martin is happy to reassure that, despite the title, you don’t need any knowledge of how real engines work: “This book is only loosely based on any true engineering principles. More importantly, it is a story, and a fun idea that anyone is able to embrace. You do not need to be a mechanic.”

The book can be purchased from Amazon. For more information go to




Wine Column

ANYTIME CELEBRATIONS by Lucy-Ann Prideaux, co-founder of Fizz on Foot After all, success lies in the journey itself, and not just when reaching the end-point. You’ve reached a milestone… this could be an age, business, career or a personal milestone. This is an ideal time to crack open a bottle of fizz. Try a traditional method Cava, a more fruit-driven Prosecco, or my featured wine… a top-quality English sparkling wine. You’ve moved into new work premises or a new home – Another great occasion to pop open a bottle of fizz to share with work colleagues, friends or family. You’ll need a glass before tackling all those boxes, and another to rehydrate afterwards!


don’t believe that wine, Champagne or even a special English fizz should be just for “special occasions”. I think any occasion can be a “celebration”, and just as I don’t save a favourite perfume or dress for a particular occasion, nor I do save a nice wine for a special day. Every day should be a special day, shouldn’t it? So, I’ve decided to share my “Top Five” suggestions for popping the cork with friends and family, along with my featured wine… for anytime celebrations! Life! That’s right – celebrate “life”. If you find this hard to embrace, simply list five things you are truly grateful for in everyday life, and you’ll begin to realise just how blessed and fortunate you are. Isn’t that the best reason to pop a cork?

5pm is “Wine o’clock”! The end of the working day is surely a wonderful time to raise a glass and toast a successful and accomplished day. It’s a perfect opportunity too, to try something different. If your usual tipple is a Pinot Grigio, why not try a glass of Albarino? Fast-becoming a distinctive Spanish white wine, this thick-skinned, sweet grape produces white wines reminiscent of peach, apricot and almond on the palate. It’s a perfect wine to drink on its own, or simply with some olives or nuts. You’ve set yourself a new goal, devised a plan, and taken that very important first step. Surely it is time to celebrate! Salute yourself again, each time you reach a certain critical stage along the journey towards your goal.

Featured Wine – Hindleap Classic Cuvee 2014 – This English Sparkling wine is from Bluebell vineyard in East Sussex. One of 6 different vintage cuvees, this is about as good they come! Gorgeous floral notes of elderflower, and orange blossom on the nose, followed by zesty notes of mandarin, pink grapefruit and pear on the palate. With at least 18 months on the lees, yeasty notes are also apparent, and with a fine mousse and lingering finish, this is a quintessentially quality English sparkling wine… and perfect for anytime celebrations! If you would like to host your own private Wine Tasting, either a personal or corporate event, Fizz on Foot introduces audiences to an excellent range of still, and sparkling wines from around the world. Contact Ian on 01323 737271 for further details. Tel: 01323 737271

Lucy-Ann Prideaux is co-founder of Fizz on Foot, the South East’s premier Walk and Wine Tour Company. She previously enjoyed working as a wine tour guide at two renowned wine estates here in the UK, Bolney Wine Estate in Bolney, and Denbies, in Dorking, Surrey. She’s completed the WSET Intermediate and Advanced Certificates in Wine and Wine Production, at Plumpton Agricultural College, and continues to build on her knowledge of “world wines”, viniculture and viticulture by attending tastings and wine fairs, and of course visiting many wine estates and hearing of the winemakers “little secrets”!






Volunteering a bit of your time to someone who really needs it may just change your perspective on life, as photographer, Poppy Berry finds out.


eet Poppy Berry, a portrait photographer whose work has been featured in publications such as The Guardian, The Independent and The Observer’s Sunday supplements, but who now spends most of her time shooting corporate photos in the city. As a successful career woman and mother of two, why does Poppy find it beneficial to take three hours out of her week to volunteer for a charity, and sit with a frail, housebound elderly lady with dementia, whilst her Carer takes a much needed break? Poppy says that whilst she has always had the one career, she was caught up in a world full of big egos, and this way of life just wasn’t enough for her. After taking a sabbatical with her family to live in a community in South East India, where she became a Carer for people in their own homes, she returned after a year on a high. She says: “I knew I wasn’t going to change my career but wanted to incorporate some element of caring for people into my life.” So when she saw an appeal in her Parish

Magazine for volunteers from the Association of Carers, (the charity that provides free volunteer led support to unpaid Carers in East Sussex) she jumped at the chance. After her initial training, Poppy got matched with Carer Paul and his mother Stella, who, in her mid-80s, has multiple health problems including dementia, and has been housebound since Christmas 2016. Poppy visits Stella weekly and during their time together, they enjoy playing patience and hangman, doing simple crosswords and chatting over cups of tea - “anything that can stimulate her without being threatening,” says Poppy. They sing nursery rhymes and read books; they try things that Stella remembers and can focus on. Other times they listen to music together and look at photos. Poppy says: “I go in with a completely different energy than a full time Carer and because I’m not her family, I can ask her different questions and cover different subjects. Sometimes I ask her advice on my own children’s upbringing as I want her to feel valued and engaged”.

And what does Poppy get out of it? “It’s great! I have three hours of time when I can just slow down, think about someone else and have a different focus. I start to put things into perspective and think about what really matters. It’s important to have a window into how other people’s lives are lived. Sometimes it makes me realise that I need to slow down”. Poppy would recommend anyone to give it a go, even with a full time job. She adds: “I’m a lot less quick to judge now. I feel blessed that I can be involved in someone’s life, and it’s taught me to be more compassionate to those I might come across. Do it. Don’t even hesitate, it’s only three hours a week. The benefits outweigh everything”.

The Association of Carers is also looking for people who can help Carers use their computers at home, and those that can have a weekly half hour telephone chat with a Carer to give them support. Please visit or call 01424 722309. Other volunteering opportunities can be found at or by contacting your local Volunteer Centre which you can find here




Anger Management


I took this in 1993 and was totally surrounded by over 3000 scalloped Hammerheads


n a previous restaurant review, I admitted that I don’t eat fish, an odd admission for a restaurant critic, and I have been endlessly questioned over the statement all month, the standard question being, ‘Why? Don’t you like the taste of fish?’ I have a very personal reason for my views, but I will get to that later. It has absolutely nothing to do with my taste buds, as I quite like the taste of fish. It has to do with a moral imperative, my 20 years’ living in the tropics, and my blinding fury at the total and indefensible ignorance of all of you who do eat vast amounts of fish. All fish are endangered, and when they are gone, so is the human race. Long before climate change, nuclear war or ISIS get us, the lack of fish will do for us all. Yet, despite overwhelming evidence, the world still consumes billions of tonnes of fish every day with gay abandon, in a selfish and ignorant lemming charge over the cliff to annihilation.




An international team of ecologists and economists has made an incredibly scary prediction. In just a few short decades, the world’s oceans will be empty of fish. While that dire prophecy may seem a little alarmist, the scariest thing about it is that it is backed up with good ol’ science fact. It was published in Science, a publication that, if nothing else, does not publish rumour or emotive stories.

“On the way back to the dock, I would often see a fishing crew on a small island and wonder what they were doing, until the day I pulled my boat onto the beach and went to investigate. What I found changed my life forever”

Cue terror in the streets. Back in 2006, the study was done by a man named Boris Worm (whose hilarious name should not detract from his horrible prediction), a man with a PhD from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Along with colleagues in the U.K, U.S., Sweden, and Panama, Worm has predicted that by the year 2048, the ocean will be devoid of fish – which, if it occurs, would effectively end life as we know it on planet Earth. In an effort to discover exactly what would happen to the world if there were no more fish in the ocean, the researchers analysed all kinds of data. What they found was much worse than they suspected. “I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are – beyond anything we suspected,” Worm said in a news release. After doing 32 thorough experiments on a variety of marine environments, the team of

Anger Management researchers looked at the history from the past 1,000 years in 12 different coastal regions around the world. Then they analyzed fishery data from 64 marine ecosystems and how nearly 50 protected ocean areas recovered after their protection.

Just some of the carnage I found

The news was not good. Overfishing, habitat loss, climate change (yes), and pollution are driving numbers of most species into a faster and faster decline. Keep in mind that this study was published back in 2006, but since then not much has changed. When the study was released, just over 1% of the ocean was deemed protected. As of last year, the World Database on Protected Areas – run by the United Nations Environment Programme – reported that only 2.8% of the ocean is protected, and much of that is only token protection that isn’t effectively enforced. “This isn’t predicted to happen,” said Nicola Beaumont, a PhD at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK, “This is happening now”. The team of researchers responsible for the study said that the loss of species isn’t a slow moving phenomenon, either. We’re accelerating the problem even as we talk about fixing it. And it’s not an issue of food for humans at all, just in case you’re thinking that no fish only means no more cod and chips. Everything in the ocean plays a vital role; think of it as the greatest balancing act ever, and everything involved depends on everything else to stay in sync. Human beings are the proverbial brick in the washing machine, if you will. Species in the ocean play a vital role in our own survival; among their accidental benefits to human life is filtering toxins from the ocean and controlling algae blooms, which, if left

My son and I releasing a Loggerhead turtle we rescued from becoming turtle soup

uncontrolled by nature, can have disastrous effects on the planet.

“The world still consumes billions of tonnes of fish every day with gay abandon in a selfish and ignorant lemming charge over the cliff to annihilation” Of course, mass slaughter and over consumption are not the only problems. Climate change, created by humans, also plays its part. Around 50% of the oxygen we breathe is present in the atmosphere thanks to phytoplankton (photosynthetic organisms that live in the surface of oceans). People often think that trees are the reason we have breathable air, but without phytoplankton, oxygen would decrease by about 50%.

Scientists estimate that the oceans absorb around a million tonnes of carbon dioxide EVERY HOUR. As a result our seas have become 30% more acidic than they were 30 years ago. This increased acidity plays havoc with levels of calcium carbonate, which forms the shells and skeletons of many sea creatures, and also disrupts reproductive activity. These threats have led to the phenomenon of ocean acidification being dubbed global warming’s ‘equally evil twin’. The acidity of seawater will increase dramatically and that would alter the rain that falls on our crops. Our livestock eat grass and crops. No fish - no crops - no livestock - no humans. Simple. If we were to lower consumption it would give us the time to reduce emissions, but at this rate you will have eaten them all long before we get the chance. In my youth, l lived all over the world but it was whilst developing a PADI/BSAC Scuba Resort on the Sea of Cortez in Baja California, Mexico and living my life obsessively diving at a site called El Bajo, that my eyes were opened. El Bajo is a seamount, a mountain under the sea that reaches to within 30mt. of the surface having risen from the depths, and famous for schooling Hammerhead sharks. This social display of up to 3,000 Scalloped and Great Hammers circling the mount is one of the most awe-inspiring signs l have ever witnessed. Now bear in mind that with economically vital dive tourism, all fish, but especially the headline act, are worth far more alive than dead. Eat it once, or charge people to view it a thousand times. The maths doesn’t lie. On the way back to the dock, I would often




Anger Management

ANGER MANAGEMENT see a fishing crew on a small island and wonder what they were doing until the day I pulled my boat onto the beach and went to investigate. What I found changed my life forever. A large mound of juvenile Hammerhead heads. The stink was appalling and I counted 750 in eight piles. Why just the heads, I wondered, until I questioned one of my dive staff and learnt that their bodies go into ceviche, which is a cheap local dish sold by the hundredweight to tourists and natives alike. They were fully aware they were not supposed to use shark, so they chopped the heads off, finned the carcass and pulverised the lot so that no one would know. A friend of mine dived there last year and over the course of 14 dives he didn’t see one single Hammerhead. Not one….. This is the problem. Take the babies and there are no more of anything. I was so furious I started the Cortez Conservation Club, and after taking guerrilla action day after day - including cutting gill nets, sabotaging boats, handing leaflets to tourists, pestering the authorities and publishing pictures – in an attempt to draw attention to this economic tragedy, l was ‘requested’ to leave the country and my life was threatened if I ever returned.

restaurant somewhere in the world eats the last one! The second is: ‘Oh, there’s plenty of fish and they will never run out’. The words I have for you on this question, I have been informed by the legal team, I cannot print. Total, blindingly stunning, stupendous, embarrassing ignorance!

“Human beings are the proverbial brick in the washing machine” The third is: ‘No problem, we can survive on farmed fish’. Farmed fish eat their own waste, so go right ahead. Also, it takes 4 kilos of dried fish to feed 1 kilo of farmed fish. You do the maths! It is too simplistic to say ’stop eating fish,’ but for pity’s sake, reduce your fish intake and give them time to recover. It has been shown that if humans ate 50% less fish, the ocean stocks could recover within 25 years. But no, you are all too busy to bother with silly things like this; therefore, you will join the other lemmings and eat them all. What will you tell your grandchildren when they ask, ‘Grandie, where have all the fish gone?’ Your response: ‘We ate them all’. There might be time. Reduce your fish intake by 50% and show this

“It takes 4 kilos of dried fish to feed 1 kilo of farmed fish. You do the maths!”

article to your children. Or die.

In another pile of death, they had creatively placed a swordfish head Now we have thousands of factory boats across the globe netting 100,000 fish at a time, the Japanese government slaughtering whales, dolphins and every single fish species no matter how foul or diseased. Whilst on the subject, 10 years ago their fishing boats reported a dramatic fall in the catch of Blue Fin Tuna, so favoured by those who like to eat raw fish (Sushi), so instead of investigating and launching urgent research, they simply agreed to a raising of the price of Blue Fin, which sent every able-bodied captain rushing to the boats. Utter madness. This year a world record was set for the sale of a single large Blue Fin Tuna - $1,76 million US Dollars – FOR A FISH! They will not be content until they have eaten every last one and will then proceed to eat everything else in the ocean. The same goes for every other fish eater amongst this planet’s ever-expanding population, munching their way through the world’s fish stocks at a rate that can never, ever, be replenished. It’s a chain. Think of a necklace – remove one link and the entire thing falls apart. Now imagine that the links can never be re-created – there we have the problem. No matter how smart we humans are, we cannot replicate a species once it has gone. When one type of fish has gone, it will begin the rapid collapse of the entire system. Tuna: going. Cod: going. Sharks: going. Turtles: going. Whales: going……. Three comments I heard with annoying regularity when I used to lecture on this subject were: ‘You eat cows, pigs and sheep, what’s the difference’? For any of you out there who might be thinking the same thing, your total ignorance defies belief. We can count the cows and know exactly how many we have. We can help them breed and maintain their lifestyles. You cannot count fish, and when they are gone, they are gone and we will never know it until some lump of lard sitting in a sushi




ACES Events

ACES EVENTS A welcome to all members SEAFORD CHAMBER . Friday 22nd September. Charity Golf Day. Inter-Chamber charity golf event, raising funds for The Bevern Trust. Seaford (Blatchington) Golf Club, Firle Road, Seaford. Commencing 12 noon and including dinner and prize-giving for the evening. Thursday 5th October. Breakfast Meeting with speaker Gary Crouch, Business Intelligent Data The View at Seaford Head Golf Club, Southdown Road, Seaford. 7am. Free parking. Guests breakfast £12

PEACEHAVEN CHAMBER Tuesday 19th September Breakfast Meeting Peacehaven Golf Club 7.00am. Free parking. Guests breakfast £10 Saturday 23rd September

10th anniversary BBQ and live music from ‘The Relics’. The Gateway Café, Centenery Park, Piddinghoe Avenue, Peacehaven. Tickets £12 Tuesday 3rd & 17th October Breakfast meeting Speakers TBC Peacehaven Golf Club 7am. Free parking. Guests breakfast £10

NEWHAVEN CHAMBER Saturday 30th September 007 casino night £2,000 chamber currency to spend on blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Light supper included. Prize for best fancy dress, prize for biggest winner. Denton Island Bowls Club. £15 entry,

LEWES CHAMBER Thursday 28th September Lunchtime Networking 12.30pm-2.15pm

The Dorset, Malling Street, Lewes.

HASTINGS CHAMBER Thursday 28th September Hastings Expo and the launch of South East Business Boost grants. A business breakfast starts the day at 8.30am at the Hastings Centre, The Ridge Hastings for all ACES members.

EASTBOURNE CHAMBER Wednesday 20th September Behind the Scenes Beauty at the award winning Butterfly Make Up and Brow Studio. 6pm. Free to all ACES members. Booking is essential. Wednesday 27th September. Networking breakfast at Metrobank to learn about the benefits of the Xero accounting system. 8am. Available for all ACES members. Free.

Award-winning pest control services




Aces Members


The East Sussex Network ACES is THE East Sussex business network including all the Chambers of Commerce and the FSB in East Sussex, representing over 4,000 local businesses with over 15,000 members of staff. Battle Chamber of Commerce

Crowborough & District Chamber of Commerce ​

Battle and District Chamber of Commerce’s objectives are to promote and protect the trade, commerce, manufacturing, professional and general interests of the town. We have over 70 business and personal members, and meet on the third Monday of every month.


Bexhill Chamber of Commerce Bexhill Chamber of Commerce & Tourism is run by its members for its members. Our current strategic focus is: • Improving business and tourism in Bexhill • Regeneration • Skills Building with Schools & Colleges We welcome the membership of Bexhill businesses or businesses based elsewhere but who want to do business in Bexhill. We hold regular networking breakfasts, evening events and are constantly in touch via email with our members with up-to-date information about business or about Bexhill. We also have an email service where we send out members offers and promotions to fellow members. We have no political affiliation and are totally independent. We work with other organisations locally, county wide and nationally and are delighted to be associated with ACES.

Tel: 01424 842892

clinics, start-up workshops and business one-to-ones We run the Eastbourne Borough Market every Wednesday and Sunday to promote retailing in the town and the Christmas Market on the iconic Bandstand.

Tel: 01323 641144

Crowborough & District Chamber of Commerce promotes business, trade and services in Crowborough and the surrounding area. We offer a forum for local business issues such as: • Voicing concerns for the business community • Maintaining and rejuvenating local businesses • Networking with other local businesses Chamber membership offers the chance to become involved in a friendly and effective organisation that can help you improve your own businesses as well as representing your interests to key decision makers.


Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber of Commerce Eastbourne UnLtd is the largest town based Chamber of Commerce in the South East and is a founder member of ACES. We are described as UnLtd because we are always looking for new ways to help our members grow their businesses. Our activity is unlimited and includes:

Federation of Small Businesses The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is the largest independent business organisation in the UK with some 200,000 members. Businesses with up to 250 employees can join and in East Sussex we have 4,400 members. The FSB is a pressure group for small business interests and we lobby government at every level including MEPs, MPs and Local Councillors. The FSB also provides benefits to help start up and growing businesses alike. Our benefits package, including 24/7 legal advice and free business banking, aims to keep costs down, to protect your business and enable sales. We run a busy programme of local networking events including breakfasts, curry nights, ladies business lunches and ‘share the knowledge’ evening seminars to improve your ‘know-how’ on key business topics. Tel: 01424 754686 Tel: 01323 482018

Hastings Chamber of Commerce

• Networking, morning, noon and night • Joint events with other ACES Chambers • Golf days, quiz nights, export seminars, training, coaching and mentoring • Free services including HR advice, business




Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business for Hastings,

Aces Members St Leonards and the surrounding area, representing its members to all levels of government and to community leaders across the statutory, community, voluntary and charitable sectors. Our overriding aim is to make the voice of business even stronger. Through our provision of breakfast and networking events, newsletters and lobbying, we give members the opportunity to influence, inform, debate, network and profile. We work on behalf of our members, to grow the economy of the town and the wider region in order to create a more supportive environment for businesses to operate in – irrespective of their size, sector or age.

businesses. We support local businesses in Heathfield and the surrounding villages. The Chamber runs a programme of regular networking opportunities including regular business breakfasts and Wealden Expo – Heathfield’s own business exhibition. We are responsible for the Christmas lampstand lights around the high street. The Chamber has developed links and works with other local groups including Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council and the Heathfield Partnership, as well as other local chambers including Crowborough and Uckfield.

Tel: 01435 865858

Lewes Chamber of Commerce

Tel: 01424 205500

Established in 1935, Lewes Chamber of Commerce represents the voice of the business community in this thriving county town. From accountants and solicitors to shops, hotels and restaurants, the Chamber unites businesses, comments and advises on behalf of the business community and stimulates debate across a variety of local issues. Thanks to our range of members we also have direct access into the local authority, particularly the Town Council level, meaning we can represent Lewes business issues raised at relevant meetings.


Hailsham Chamber of Commerce Hailsham & District Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1984 and exists to support and encourage growth and prosperity within the business community of Hailsham and its environs. Membership of the Chamber gives you opportunities to network with local organisations and other Chamber members. Out of this networking grows contacts and friendships, from which we can all draw benefit. The Chamber also organises networking evenings and ‘Share the Knowledge’ events to benefit their members. Through our regular monthly networking meetings we are able to discuss key issues and concerns which members may have and decide on supportive action. We have guest speakers in attendance once a month and also maintain strong links with both Wealden District Council and Hailsham Town Council through key groups such as Hailsham Forward.

Tel: 01323 310531

Heathfield Chamber of Commerce The Heathfield Chamber is a thriving membership group which covers Heathfield and the surrounding rural economy and provides a forum for local business people to meet, network and develop their

Newhaven Chamber of Commerce Newhaven Chamber of Commerce has over 70 members. We are dedicated to supporting businesses both small and large in the Newhaven area, by organising various events throughout the year including the Seahaven Business Awards, presentations, evening events with guest speakers, social functions such as an annual Karting Challenge between Newhaven, Peacehaven and Seaford Chambers, a Day at the Races, BBQs and trips to the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. In addition we have a vibrant Business Breakfast Club that meets every Wednesday. We negotiate discounted advertising rates for our members in the local media. We also run the twice weekly Newhaven Street Market and the once monthly car boot sale in Newhaven Town Centre.

Tel: 0800 107 0709 Tel: 01273 517544

Peacehaven Chamber of Commerce Peacehaven & District Chamber of Commerce is a thriving modern membership organisation and is the responsible voice of business in the local area. A dynamic member-led organisation, we work to support the local business community and specifically our network of member businesses. Our job is to strengthen the position of our members and ensure that the interests of local businesses are heard. We support any size company at any stage of development to grow and prosper within Peacehaven, Telscombe Cliffs and East Saltdean area.

Tel: 01273 586222

Seaford Chamber of Commerce Seaford Chamber welcomes all types and sizes of trades and businesses, from start-ups to established companies, from any sector or from other business organisations. The Chamber regularly holds networking events where members can meet other likeminded businesses. Its Breakfast Meetings take place on the first Thursday of the month at Seaford Golf Club. We put forward members views on key strategic points affecting the local business community - we are involved in meetings covering local business issues, traffic, parking, etc. within the Seaford area.

Tel: 0800 881 5331

Uckfield Chamber of Commerce Uckfield Chamber of Commerce is a successful networking organisation which also offers advice to businesses and industries of Uckfield and district. It encourages and supports measures to improve the social and economic conditions of the community, and liaises with representatives of outside bodies about business interests affecting the town and district. Uckfield Chamber is a founder member of ACES and is pleased to support and attend all ACES meetings and events with our sister Chambers across East Sussex.

Tel: 01825 722607




Institute of Directors



By Dean Orgill Chairman of Mayo Wynne Baxter •

f at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again – an old adage exhorting us not to give up, but does it actually translate to encouraging us to be serial failures? If it does, is that actually a bad thing? There are concerns in the workplace, and indeed in some education circles, that as a society we are becoming more risk averse. There is a feeling that perhaps younger people particularly, are only looking to take on tasks and challenges where they know that the likelihood is that they will succeed, because noone wants to be perceived as a failure. Given the pressure that is being put on the outcome of tests, and the frequency of those sorts of assessments, this viewpoint is probably quite understandable. But does this mean that we are creating an environment where entrepreneurship and risk-taking are being culturally discouraged so that innovation and development are dwindling? Are we storing up a long-term issue that is going to impact on future economic growth? Do we need to encourage people to fail, or rather at least encourage them to risk failing




in an environment where lack of success along a development path is accepted as an integral part of reaching a different, perhaps better, final destination? I am wary of the attribution of quotes sometimes, and in the particular case of Henry Ford one wonders sometimes how he ever managed to find time to build a car (yes I know, by using a production line!) but one line attributed to him that I particularly like is: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”. There are various similar sayings along those lines, and it can be easy to be blasé about them, but I do think they make a very valid point. Ultimately failure is often a much better teacher than success, and we learn far more from it. It can make our ultimate successes far more rigorous and sustainable in the longer term. Happily, whilst it can be tempting to accept those initial statements that I set out - that as a society we are becoming scared to fail, and thus are blunting creativity - they do not seem to be borne out completely in the business

world. Innovation, creativity and disruption continue at a pace that seems to be ever increasing. Stop for a moment and think of the things that you use every day, internet, phone apps etc and then think back to how many of those were around ten years ago, or even five years ago. All of those were the result of people being prepared to pursue an idea, and frequently having failed several times before they achieved the one success they needed. As a final comment I defer to (the ultimately rather successful) J.K. Rowling - “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well have not lived at all, in which case you have failed by default”.

JUST A THOUGHT What has been your most successful failure?

The 2017 Children’s Respite Trust Masquerade Ball will see around 400 guests join us at Eastbourne’s Winter Garden for a night of masked mystique and fundraising fun with a Phantom of the Opera theme. Guests will arrive to enjoy a welcome drink and entertainment before proceeding to the stunningly decorated banqueting hall where further entertainment awaits along with an exquisite three course meal. Fantastic prizes can be won at the grand balloon draw and guests can bid on some fabulous auction lots. throughout Other entertainment and surprises will delight guests th the evening, which will conclude with dancing and live music.




Choose an MBA that recognises your ambitions and goals, and a university that supports, inspires and challenges you. Choose the Sussex MBA.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE SUSSEX MBA mba@ +44 (0)1273 873522




ACES Magazine - issue 5  

The official magazine for the Alliance of Chambers in East...