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


Issue 2. 2017


A message to the leaders of the RMT, the Department for Transport and Southern Rail:

We, your passengers, have had enough. Enough of the daily cancellations, enough of the ubiquitous delays, enough of the unofficial strikes and enough of your inaction. All of us are suffering uncertainty and stress on a daily basis, and some of us have even lost our jobs because of your imploding ‘service’. Only you can stop this, so we are asking you to get around the table now, immediately, today, and work out a deal. Don’t leave the room until you have one. We can see sense, it’s about time you did too. From the Reigate, Redhill & District Rail Users’ Association on behalf of all Southern Rail Passengers





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from our chief executive Christina Ewbank

Much of the audience was made up of well dressed, middle aged, middle class voters and the Government would do well to bring this dispute to a speedy end if they don’t want to risk alienating those voters. The BBC managed to tune out the volume of heckling at the debate but I was shocked at the level of aggression which culminated in a fist fight

PUBLISHERS Maarten Hoffmann Ian Trevett THE PLATINUM PUBLISHING GROUP Number 3, 30 Bedford Square, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2PL Tel: 07966 244046 Tel: 07989 970804 Mail: Web: ADVERTISING and SPONSORSHIP Lesley Alcock Business Development Director Tel: 07767 613707 Mail:





afterwards. In this issue we have decided to take a calm yet determined look at the County’s transport infrastructure as we believe that the local economy is really beginning to suffer as this dispute drags on; especially now the drivers have voted against the Aslef leadership’s resolution plan. Have a look at pages 14 & 15 to learn about the DfT Director behind the dispute and find out why the union members might be so incalcitrant. In addition, we have covered business travel, motoring, chamber events and the business of weddings and l sincerely hope you enjoy the read.




Transport in Crisis


Who is to Blame?


Rix & Kay - Work/life Balance


Interview - Rob Andrew


Astec - Moving to the Cloud


Clearwater - Health & Safety


Business Travel - Las Vegas


Carpenter Box BITE conference

On behalf of the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex


Sussex Economic Forum


Sussex Skills Solutions


Nova Direct - Mailing the Dead?


The Business of Weddings


Hydro Hotel - Interview


Artemi Photography

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


W. Bruford -


Richard Soan

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.




Brighton Motor Show


Review - East Sussex National


Fizz on Foot - Wine tours


Net XP 17 - Trade Show


Chestnut Tree House


Little Gate Farm


ACES Chambers


ACES Events


Anger Management


Institute of Directors

Weddings & Engagements 48

Ambience Catering & Blue Lion Coaching



The cover references the old Saatchi advert “Labour isn’t working” which helped win the election for the Conservative Party in 1979 and we would ask the government to take very special care while playing with the livelihoods of business people across the Southern Rail area. Having attended the BBC’s recent ‘Southern Crisis Debate’, I was taken aback by the ferocity of the anger shown by commuters and business people alike.




You will have noticed from the quote on the cover that we have stretched beyond East Sussex to look at rail transport due to the damaging effect Southern Rail is having on businesses across Surrey and the whole of Sussex, East and West.


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New CEO at healthcare helm

Horder Healthcare’s new Chief Executive Officer Dr Richard Tyler has taken the helm of the awardwinning charity, as it enters an exciting new phase in its 62-year history. Richard joined the charity earlier this year from the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, where he achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating for patient care as part of the 2016 CQC inspection. His new role at Horder Healthcare includes responsibility for both Horder Healthcare hospitals; The Horder Centre in Crowborough - the orthopaedic centre of excellence - and The McIndoe Centre in East Grinstead, a world-famous specialist plastic surgery centre which has just commenced orthopaedic work. The scope of his role also extends across Horder Healthcare outreach clinics in Tunbridge Wells, Eastbourne and Seaford. He leads a charity that has an annual turnover of around £25 million and employs over 300 staff. It handles over 28,000 patients a year of which approximately 8,500 undergo surgical procedures. Horder Healthcare is currently undergoing an £8 million refurbishment programme of The McIndoe Centre, which includes a state-of-the-art operating theatre that recently admitted its first orthopaedic patient. The ambitious project includes the addition of a further two theatres and a six-bed recovery area. A new x-ray suite has already been installed and other plans including upgrading treatment rooms, refurbishing ward bedrooms and providing a new outpatient area. Richard said: “When I first got to know The Horder Centre, I was impressed with the commitment to advancing health and its rich history. The acquisition of The McIndoe Centre enabled me to become better acquainted with Horder Healthcare as it embarked on the next phase of its development. “I’m joining the organisation at a very exciting time and I believe we can take the strengths and qualities currently seen within Horder Healthcare to a wider reach, using The McIndoe Centre as another centre of excellence.” For more information visit or download their excellent and ground breaking Horder Healthcare App.

Award for Anonymity With 100 local businesses and 1000 staff members benefiting from the mystery shopping, customer feedback and training services of Shopper Anonymous, the Sussex regional team has won a National Award. Jonathan Winchester, Chief Executive of Shopper Anonymous, commented “Paul and Louise Matthews have developed Shopper Anonymous Sussex into an extraordinary business. Gaining the gold award out of 21 Regional Directors in the UK was a fantastic achievement. I am delighted for all the Sussex businesses that gain so much value from the services Paul and Louise offer.” Louise Matthews, Co-Director in Sussex, added “We have big plans in 2017, including growing our world class mystery shopper team from 60 to 120, as we engage with more clients.” Paul Matthews said “As businesses learn how to delight and retain their customers, they not only see individuals grow with confidence, but also a significant difference to their bottom line.”

Property Partner Regional law firm Rix & Kay has announced the appointment of an influential residential property lawyer, Angela Arnold, to lead the firm’s residential property team based in Brighton and Hove. Angela has been promoted from Associate to Partner, and has recently joined Rix & Kay’s Leadership Development Programme that supports and develops the very best talent from within the organisation, by enhancing legal expertise, client care and service delivery. Angela has more than ten years experience of residential property. She manages the entire range of property sales and purchases, with particular expertise in supporting medium and high net worth individuals, property investors, and divorced or separated couples, who need to manage property assets efficiently and quickly. Bruce Hayter, Rix & Kay’s Managing Partner said: “As a forward thinking law firm, the Management Team at Rix & Kay recognise the need to continually evolve the way we deliver residential property services to keep ahead of the market. During 2017 we will launch new innovative products that will allow us to deliver the very best client experience to individuals looking to buy and sell property. Angela has all the attributes needed to continue building the firm’s residential property offering in Brighton & Hove” .

“If the grass is greener on the other side, you can bet the water bill is higher.”

Learn more about delivering exceptional customer service or becoming a mystery shopper at





ACES NEWS Growth Champions Let’s Do Business Group have been named Growth Champion in the 2016 Natwest SE100 Awards. Recognised as a leading social business, the LDBG team - the leading provider of business advice, training and finance in the South East - was presented with the accolade at an awards evening at the NatWest/RBS conference centre in London. Growth Champion is awarded to the social venture which has experienced financial growth over continuous years. In particular, showing growth across a range of turnover categories, and a sustainable business model with diverse income streams. Graham Marley, LDBG Chief Executive, said: “It is always great to be recognised for an award, particularly at a national level. I am very proud of the team and the work they do helping hundreds of businesses each year to start up and grow. This award is a testament to their hard work and commitment.” Over the last five years, LDBG has helped over 4500 businesses to start up and provided finance of over £20m, working in partnership with the government backed Start Up Loan Company and East Sussex County Council. The NatWest SE100 Awards recognises social enterprises which have demonstrated some of the best business practice within the sector and celebrates their growth, impact, ambition and resilience in the UK.

Inspiring Through Technology How is technology affecting your business? How are your careers developing as a result? How is recruitment being affected because of the growing influence of technology and STEM disciplines? The Wayfinder Group has organised an event to answer these questions. Speakers include: • Dame Stephanie Shirley, sought after speaker on the world stage and founder of a multi-million pound tech company which made her 70 female employees millionaires, author of ‘Let it Go’. • Alistair Wickens, CEO roadtohealthgroup whose health app is listed as being one of the top 100 apps world-wide. A regular speaker on the international circuit on how the digital economy affects business. • Prof Karen Cham, Brighton University is a critical design practitioner who works with technology. She is one of only 12 academics world-wide to be invited to be part of the Playstation Academic Board and is an Ambassador for Women in Games. Her clients include Absolute Vodka, The Ministry of Sound, ITV and Top Shop • Mandy Brook, award winning MD of the RSE Group. Mandy is a multi-award winning businesswoman and well known throughout Sussex for her expertise in the engineering recruitment industry. The event is on Friday 12th May, at the East Sussex National Resort near Uckfield. Tickets cost £40 and include networking and lunch. Tickets can be booked via the website




“Let’s share, You take the grenade, I’ll take the pin.”


Care Homes in the Red

High Street Health

One of the UK’s leading nutritionist in women’s health, Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD and local MP, Tim Loughton unveiled a new name and store front for Best Health Food Shop in East Street, Shoreham, The shop, formerly known as Sugar & Spice, has been rebranded and relaunched by new owners Len Glenville and his partner Mel Beard, who both have wide natural health

A new report published by local law firm Rix and Kay suggests more and more care homes are struggling to remain profitable, with some 72% stating that funding and cash flow is now the biggest issue facing their business. The findings have been drawn from in depth interviews with care homes across the South East. The report highlights the fact that central government funding continues to reduce, leaving care home owners no option but to inject more capital into their business, not just to keep it ‘ticking over’, but to meet the ever increasing CQC (Care Quality Commission) requirements. According to the report, only 15% of care homes interviewed believe the Care Sector is an attractive business proposition to new entrants. This startling statistic presents serious concerns over the future viability of care home provision in the UK as the aging population and demand for care continues to increase. The problem is compounded by those individuals considering or needing to enter a care environment not understanding the funding options available to them, coupled by the ‘managed funding criteria’ set by local authorities and CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) which restrict funding to care home users. Key findings in the report entitled The challenges for care homes and their residents include: • More than half of care providers (54%) don’t think their residents understand local authority funding • Almost two thirds (72%) think their residents are unaware of NHS funded continuing care • Care homes are calling for more coordinated information resources for residents seeking information on funding and point only to Age UK as a truly trusted widespread resource Max Wright, Partner and Head of Rix & Kay’s specialist Care Sector Team commented: “Our report, which is a follow up to the report we produced in 2014, provides great insight into the challenges care home providers face today as well as the issues faced by individuals and their families entering or already in a care environment. We hope it will be a useful strategic planning tool for care providers.”

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

industry experience, having previously been involved with the growth and development of the premium supplement brand, The Natural Health Practice Ltd. The new owners have ambitious plans for the business and will be stocking a more extensive product range as well as books on nutrition and healthy living. They are always looking for new and exciting products and have particular interest in vegan and sugar-free foods, as well as sourcing local produce where possible. The shop now has two fully qualified nutritionists who work in the store offering advice and support to customers. They will also be offering nutritional talks, workshops, cookery demonstrations and other informative classes.

Outside Catering Takes a New Direction A new option for corporate events in East Sussex in now available - wood-fired pizzas. Calvin Irvine, the chef and owner of 800 degrees books his wood burning oven out all year for festivals, parties, weddings and now even corporate and team building events. Calvin says “People seem to like the authentic taste of a pizza from a wood burning oven; its spanking fresh, made to order and cooked in minutes. What’s not to like! And it’s great to give your guests something a bit different.” For more information visit




East Sussex Transport Chaos

FIT FOR PURPOSE? Why are we being let down by our transport infrastructure, asks Christina Ewbank, Chief Executive of Eastbourne UnLtd Chamber of Commerce


ast Sussex is blessed with beautiful countryside and rolling hills. The work/life balance is great, the county is a relaxing place to be with an excellent enterprise culture supported by all the local authorities and we are well positioned strategically between London and the continent. East Sussex was 15th highest in the country for economic growth in 2015 and so many people choose to live in this delightful and successful part of the UK. Unfortunately however, things are less pleasant if you need to travel to your place of work - whether by road or rail.

Going off the rails Unless you have been hibernating for the last year you will have noticed that there have been problems on Southern Rail. Perhaps this is an understatement as their problems include: a sickness bug that affected unusually large numbers of their staff for weeks; strikes by RMT Union members affecting a third of Southern trains; strikes by the drivers affecting 100% of Southern trains; customer satisfaction scores that put them at the bottom of the league table by a wide margin and disruptive infrastructure developments to bring the Southern network into the 21st Century. Notwithstanding these problems, Govia Thameslink Rail (GTR), who run Southern, do not have enough staff to run the 2,200 train movements they make each day while moving 23% of all UK train passengers. At the recent BBC Rail Crisis Debate, GTR Chief Operating Officer, Charles Horton, admitted that Southern Rail has a 20% staff shortage. This begs two questions – firstly, why did GTR cancel overtime for staff? Secondly, why




did they not start recruiting drivers and onboard supervisors (the new name for guards) when they took over the running of Southern Rail back in summer 2015, particularly as it takes 14 months to train a driver. The mass recruitment drive, started in late 2016, will not improve the service until summer 2018!

“Southern Rail commuters, who now refer to the Secretary of State as #FailingGrayling, want GTR stripped of their Southern “franchise”. But the Government seems hesitant to do this” Given the appalling service commuters have suffered, even on non-strike days, it is hardly surprising that passengers are losing their jobs or moving home to avoid Southern Rail. This is becoming so severe that estate agents are now reporting a reduction in house prices along

Southern Rail lines while purchasers choose different locations to live. A word of warning though, GTR owns both the South Eastern and Thameslink franchises which have the lowest passenger satisfaction scores after Southern Rail. At the time of going to press there has been a small chink of light at the end of this very long railway tunnel. Aslef, the drivers Union and GTR/Southern announced an end to the drivers’ dispute which bought the Southern network to a complete standstill before Christmas. Unfortunately, the drivers did not ratify the agreement when they voted and the RMT Union is apparently most put out that they were excluded from the Aslef/GTR talks. We are told that GTR and the RMT are continuing to meet, so let’s hope they can reach an amicable agreement. If they do then hopefully normal service has been resumed by the time you are reading this.

East Sussex Transport Chaos However, even if the strikes have been suspended permanently and everyone has skipped merrily back to work, it should be noted that the Southern service was unacceptable even before the disputes began and this looks unlikely to change for some time yet. Overall customer satisfaction scores on the Department for Transport (DfT) Transport Focus website put Southern Rail at the bottom of the league by some margin, closely followed by GTR’s other franchises. The recent Transport Select Committee report to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, points out that the franchise system is not working. According to Twitter, the Southern Rail commuters, who now refer to the Secretary of State as #FailingGrayling, want GTR stripped of their Southern “franchise”. But the Government seems hesitant to do this as Southern is filed squarely in the “Too Difficult” ministerial box. If GTR are stripped of the “franchise” who would run it? The DfT? Labour-led Transport for London? Might it be better to get SNCF to run it from France! After all, the French railway system seems so much more efficient

than ours, despite the fact that we invented railways! Oh, wait a minute Keolis is French and they own 40% of the Go-Ahead Group.

normal franchise during the infrastructure developments and that no rail company would come forward to bid for the franchise.

You will note that when referring to the Southern “franchise” it is in inverted commas. This is because it is not a franchise. Southern Rail is run by GTR as a government agency or concession because the DfT believed that Southern would be too hard to run as a

Perhaps a Freedom of Information request should be sent to the DfT about the Southern Rail negotiation process? Were there any other interested parties? Were the Unions involved in the negotiations and were they aware of the move towards Driver Only Operated (DOO) trains?

ACES LETTER EMAILED TO Rail Minister, Paul Maynard MP Dear Mr Maynard Thank you for meeting with us yesterday with your team; we appreciate your valuable time and that of the DfT team who were present. We are keen to keep in regular contact so that we can keep our members informed of your progress and we look forward to receiving the answers to the 12 questions we tabled, hopefully by the end of the week if that is feasible? We would like to follow up on 3 key points: • We would like to talk further to you regarding an ‘open for business’ communications programme for East Sussex to try and counteract negative perceptions caused by the rail dispute - this is both from a business and visitor economy perspective. Team East Sussex (SELEP), together with its partners would be well placed to oversee delivery of such a programme. We would welcome an early meeting on this topic to try and move a strategy forward in advance of Spring / Summer. • We urge the government to be proactive in supporting regional investment, including, but not limited to road infrastructure improvements, LGF and HS1 to begin investment that would not leave East Sussex so exposed in the future. • Finally, we urge you and Mr Grayling again, to work closely with the unions and GTR on our behalf to bring this dispute to an end before it does any more damage to the local economy and to our members. We appeal to you to take urgent action before it is too late. Thank you again for your time and for the support of Caroline Ansell MP and your team. Kindest regards Christina Ewbank ACES Facilitator

Either way, this means that the government is very close behind GTR and has presumably been involved in pushing the DOO agenda? Surprising then that when a delegation from ACES went to meet the Rail Minister, Paul Maynard MP in January to ask him to intervene and help end the dispute, he said that he would not get involved as it is policy that a Minister of Her Majesty’s Government should never speak to any Union unless strikes were suspended. Surely this is just when Ministers should speak to Unions? The Minister made it clear that despite the dispute bringing businesses in East Sussex to their knees only the employer could negotiate with the Unions - which begs the question, who is the employer? Is it GTR, part of the profitable Go-Ahead Group Plc or the Government’s own Department for Transport? ACES asked the Minister to support East Sussex business people and protect the local economy before it was too late. Unfortunately, the policy introduced when Margaret Thatcher took on the Unions meant that the Rail Minister, Paul Maynard and the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling were not prepared to represent us and help resolve the dispute. With that avenue closed, the East Sussex Chambers of Commerce started to think of other ways to bring about a resolution.




East Sussex Transport Chaos

ACES LETTER SENT TO Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport 22nd December 2016 Dear Mr Grayling Southern Rail Dispute I am writing on behalf of all the Chambers of Commerce (ACES) and the Federation of Small Business in East Sussex, representing over 4,000 members and their 15,000 employees. I wanted to alert you to the threat posed to the livelihoods of many of our members and the jobs of their employees and their families by the on-going rail dispute in our region. We invite you and other ministers to see and experience first-hand the devastating effect and costs to the local economy to the tune of £11m every striking day. We are not able to accept that the government is powerless in this dispute and so we respectfully ask you to meet with senior members of ACES as soon as possible. We are holding a meeting room available in Hailsham on Wednesday, January 4th 2017 to meet with you and the MPs from East Sussex along with the Rail Minister Paul Maynard MP and the Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clark MP. This issue is now so critical to our region that we feel certain you will want to meet with us and explain when you will bring this dispute to an end. If you are unable to get to Hailsham, we will come to Westminster. If you are unable to make the 4th, please suggest another date at your earliest convenience. The view from where we stand is of three big players slugging it out, using Sussex as their boxing ring. As the government, the train company and the unions jostle for positions and trade blows, you are treading all over our livelihoods, careers and aspirations. Are you really prepared to treat us as collateral damage in your fight? Our members are losing money, facing increased costs and having to make redundancies. Some members are on their knees and struggling to generate cash-flow to survive into the New Year, particularly those trying to run a retail business in empty railway stations. Nearly 90% of companies in East Sussex are micro-businesses with fewer than 10 members of staff. These small business people are the backbone of our economy and are finding it particularly tough to survive this dispute. The East / West coastal rail transport corridor is a vital lifeline in an area striving to attract investment and retain its young people, while caring for its ageing population. We would ask you to seek common ground with Aslef, the RMT and GTR and find a swift resolution to this crippling dispute. And while there may be no winners, sadly we already know who the losers are … the business people and stranded communities in South East England. During this festive period, when we reflect on humanity and the charitable side of politics and business, please think about the pain and hardship being inflicted by this dispute. We look forward to hearing from you about a convenient meeting date. Yours sincerely Christina Ewbank For and on behalf of the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex

Time to focus on the money behind GTR. We are told by DfT advisers that GTR is not making any money out of Southern Rail which, given their poor service, is not really surprising. We believe this excludes the taxpayers’ money that goes to a different part of the Go-Ahead Group to lay on buses when their train service fails to run. In fact, we understand that GoAhead, in 2016, announced profit of some £100 million and that £20 million was paid to them for the Southern Rail bus service they ran during the dispute. GTR and the Go-Ahead Group are major players in the transport industry running six big franchises. Of the six networks they run, the worst four franchises on the passenger




satisfaction league are Southern, Thameslink, South Eastern and Great Northern – all run by GTR.

“The A27 could have been replaced 40 years ago, saving many lives, when the then Government first gave it the go ahead. Unfortunately a handful of landowners managed to overturn the wishes of thousands…”

As a result, the ACES Chambers of Commerce and FSB have written to all the major investors in GTR / Go-Ahead Group to ask them two questions: Why do they associate their strong brands with one that has become so unpopular with its customers that they refer to it as #SouthernFail? Do their investors know how badly GTR is performing? If the Department for Transport wakes up and they lose the four worst performing franchise networks in the Country, how will that affect their share value? An example of the letters is shown here (right) and was sent to the investment directors of Ameriprise Financial Inc, Diana S. Ballinger, Standard Life, Investec Asset Management,

East Sussex Transport Chaos



Great Train Robber

Great Train Robber

Great Train Robber

David Brown

Paul Maynard

Chris Grayling

Minister for Rail Department for Transport

Secretary of State Department for Transport

Charles Horton

Mick Cash

Go-Ahead Group

Southern Rail/GTR

General Secretary RMT

ACES LETTER SENT TO Mr Domenico Ferrini Co Chief Investment Officer, Investec Asset Management 2nd February 2017 Dear Mr Ferrini Go-Ahead Group Plc I am writing on behalf of all the Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Business in East Sussex (ACES) representing some 5,000 members and their 20,000 employees. I wanted to alert you to the threat posed to the livelihoods of many of our members, the jobs of their employees and their families welfare by the Go-Ahead Group and their subsidiary Govia Thameslink Rail (GTR) who administer Southern Rail. As you will be aware, Southern Rail / GTR has become somewhat toxic as a brand due to the extremely poor service they have given their customers since mid-2015 when they assumed responsibility for Southern Rail. Their service results are the lowest in the UK by a large margin. When you take into account that they carry 23% of all train users in the United Kingdom you can appreciate the massive impact this has on the South East. You are no doubt aware that Go-Ahead/GTR/Southern Rail have been involved in a serious dispute with their staff and unions for almost 12 months and have failed to deliver an effective rail service. While a resolution is in sight between GTR and Aslef, GTR are yet to restart talks with the RMT union. Their poor service goes back to their acquiring Southern Rail long before the dispute began and so they have lost the confidence of their customers and businesses across the South East and have become a national embarrassment. Our members are losing money, facing increased costs and having to make redundancies. Some members are on their knees and struggling to generate cash-flow to survive into the summer, particularly those trying to run a retail business in an empty railway station. This service is also having a significant impact on the hospitality and tourism sector along the South Coast and its supply chain across the wider area. The East / West coastal rail transport corridor is a vital lifeline in an area striving to attract investment and retain its young people, while caring for its ageing population so, our question to you is why would Investec Asset Management wish to associate itself with such poor quality and a brand with such a bad reputation throughout the UK?

Great Train Robber

Premier Portfolio Managers (Old Mutual Wealth) and JO Hambro. If any of these funds manage your shares may we suggest you think about moving them? Alternatively, if you are a Southern Rail commuter and you hold Go-Ahead shares we suggest you get along to the AGM and make your feelings known. Unfortunately the AGM is not likely to be held until November, but if service has not improved measurably by then it might be fun to go along and ask some difficult questions about their performance. ACES is keen to point out that it does not want to bring down GTR, the Go-Ahead Group or Keolis, we just want them to raise their game, improve reliability and move the customer satisfaction scores off the bottom of the league table – “average” would be good! The current management of GTR seem totally incapable of running a reliable rail service so should their bonuses and ultimately their jobs be linked to their Transport Focus satisfaction scores? Given that huge parts of our rail network are now foreign owned and that the government itself says the franchise system is not working, should we be lobbying government to renationalise our railways? If you have suffered at the hands of Southern Rail, if you have lost your job or your home has been devalued, is now the time to email your MP demanding the government takes back ownership, starting with the GTR franchises?

The icing on the cake is that Go-Ahead bus companies have earned additional money from UK taxpayers by providing a bus service, paid for by our government, to move rail customers when their trains are withdrawn. This rail company has lost the confidence of very many rail-users in the South East of England and so we would ask that you reconsider your investment portfolio to reflect the high quality, community focused business that Investec Asset Management represents. Yours sincerely Christina Ewbank For and on behalf of the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex




East Sussex Transport Chaos make small scale improvements to the A27 and make it more bearable for local residents. Improvements like widening Drusilla’s Roundabout, building a bridge to widen the road between Polegate Lights and the large Cophall Roundabout on the A22 and reducing or improving access points onto the A27. At the moment there are 47 access points between Lewes and Polegate. If any of these can be removed or improved, it might help traffic run more smoothly and give easier access to local drivers from the villages of Wilmington, Alciston, Selmeston and Firle.

Pushing trains around the roads could be the answer!

The A27 Unfortunately the damaging situation on Southern Rail has highlighted the inherent weakness of the East Sussex road network. The A27 has ground to a standstill between Lewes and Eastbourne as more people try to drive to work rather than suffer the Russian Roulette of travelling anywhere by rail.

“Why did they not start recruiting drivers and on-board supervisors (the new name for guards) when they took over the running of Southern Rail back in summer 2015? ”

Figures tell us that the Wealden District, which includes the A259, A27 and A22, is one of the most dangerous road networks in the UK as people drive across country on minor roads and country lanes to avoid delays. The A27 could have been replaced 40 years ago, saving many lives, when the then Government first gave it the go ahead. Unfortunately a handful of landowners managed to overturn the wishes of thousands of residents and road users to get the new road canned. When Norman Baker became Under Secretary of State for Transport he managed to block any development to the A27 for years. Working and living in Lewes at the end of the A27 dual carriageway, his “I’m all right Jack” attitude was evident when he refused to travel to Polegate to meet ACES. In 2013, when ACES went to Lewes to meet him, he was




clearly anti-improvements and went on to hit out at neighbouring MP, Caroline Ansell when she appealed for an off-line A27 for daring to campaign for a road across his constituency! Fortunately, all the MPs across East Sussex are now supportive of major A27 improvements as are the local councils, the county council, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and ACES. We just need to convince the DfT. Patrick McLoughlin, the previous Secretary of State for Transport, met ACES in 2014 and agreed to include the East Sussex A27 on the Strategic Routes Review which decides the priorities for new roads. Unfortunately the DfT could not see the “business case” for a new A27 at that time. Since then the A27 Reference Group, which includes all the MPs and Local Authorities has arranged a new study which shows a clear business case for a new A27. This has been sent to the DfT and we await their thoughts with baited breath. Although it will take many years to see a new road there is a small pot of money - £75 million – set aside by George Osbourne to

There is even a regular horse crossing point at Wilmington where four times a day horses bring the main A27 trunk road to a standstill while they cross over to the South Downs National Park. You really couldn’t make it up! Nor that rather than a new road the DfT suggested a horse tunnel under the A27 at Wilmington. I imagine horses can be trained to get used to heavy traffic thundering over their heads when using an underpass? Cutting through all the politics, ACES believes that the only solution to this inadequate road is to create a new offline A27 north of the railway line from the Cophall Roundabout to the Beddingham Crossing. Whether single or dual carriageway, if this road has no junctions it will take large numbers of vehicles off the existing A27 returning it to the B road it ought to be and taking traffic and noise away from the blighted villages it bisects and the beautiful South Downs National Park.

The A21 In 2012, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership commissioned a report about the economy of our coastal communities from Professor Steve Fothergill of Sheffield & Hallam University. The report made clear that London’s radial road links are critical to the success of coastal communities and that poor road links are a factor in the development of

East Sussex Transport Chaos


deprived areas along the coast. In particular. Fothergill suggested that the Hastings area had lost its status as a high quality tourist destination when families moved away from rail travel to road. Before cars became so widely available families would take a day trip to Hastings from London by train. Consequently, in Victorian and Edwardian times, Hastings became a fashionable tourist destination, particularly for day trippers. When families bought a car the seaside trip was made by road to towns that were easy to get to like Brighton, Whitstable or Southend. They were less inclined to visit Hastings because the road links were so poor, either on the A27/A259 or the A21. Nowadays there are so many pinch points on the A21 from the M25 to Hastings that a bank holiday journey can take up to 4 hours. Crawling along with a car full of bored children, you would be unlikely to make this trip more than once.


“It is policy that a Minister of Her Majesty’s Government should never speak to any union unless strikes were suspended. Surely this is just when Ministers should speak to unions?”

If ever the A21 is improved South of Lamberhurst, Hastings will receive an economic injection that will reinvigorate the town and bring it back to its former glory as a great tourist destination. Like the A27, the A21 was destined for improvements many years ago and the authorities began a programme of compulsory purchase along the route. After a period of inaction the properties purchased were quietly put back on the market and the southern A21 developments were shelved. After the ACES meeting with the Rail Minister in January we wrote again to Paul Maynard and all the DfT advisers asking them for three things: To represent the constituents of the South East to bring the Southern Rail dispute to an end. To find funding to help promote East Sussex as the great place to do business that it is. To invest real money in our weak road infrastructure so that any future rail disruption cannot bring our economy to a standstill. We look forward to their response.




The number of passenger journeys served by Southern per year

The increase in sick leave amongst Southern conductors in one month during the dispute

39 The average number of Southern conductors calling in ill each day at the height of the dispute, according to the company’s chief executive

350 The number of trains cancelled per day on an emergency timetable introduced in July 2016

0 The number of times the company’s 7.29am Brighton to London Victoria service arrived at its scheduled time in 2014




Transport Chaos

PLAYING BOTH SIDES? While businesses in Sussex suffer, fingers of blame are pointed at Southern Rail, the RMT and the government. Perhaps one man, Peter Wilkinson, is more to blame than most, according to an indepth report in The Guardian. place. They will have to decide if they want to give a good service or get the hell out of my industry.” He’s not the first to come out with fighting talk over union power, but according to a report by in The Guardian (January 10th 2017), he has links with both the government and Govia (Govia Thameslink Railway operates the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchises). An abridged version of the investigation by Lucas Amin and Rob Evans is below: “The civil servant who awarded Southern its rail franchise made the decision to do so while owning a large share in a consultancy that had been advising the troubled operator’s parent company.

“we have got to break them… They can’t afford to spend too long on strike and I will push them into that place. They will have to decide if they want to give a good service or get the hell out of my industry.”


eter Wilkinson is the Department of Transport’s Rail Group, Director of Passenger Services, and is the man that the unions believe is at the heart of the prolonged dispute due to his confrontational stance. He also had a significant share in a consultancy firm which advised both Southern’s parent company and the DfT, which awards the all-important franchises. Was there a conflict of interest? Last February, Peter Wilkinson addressed a




public meeting in south London organised by a Conservative MP to discuss the railways. He said: “Over the next three years, we’re going to be having punch-ups and we will see industrial action, and I want your support.” On the subject of train drivers’ pay, he declared: “I’m furious about it and it has got to change – we have got to break them. They have all borrowed money to buy cars and got credit cards. They can’t afford to spend too long on strike and I will push them into that

“Peter Wilkinson, who had been hired by the Department for Transport (DfT) to act as its franchising director, was involved in awarding the Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern franchises to Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) in May 2014. “At the time, he was a director and the joint main shareholder of First Class Partnerships (FCP), which he continued to be for 20 months after his hiring by the DfT in January 2013. “Govia was a longstanding client of Wilkinson’s company and had been paying it for consultancy advice six months before the

Transport Chaos

franchise was awarded. The government is paying Govia about £8.9bn over seven years to run the three-franchise network, which is the largest to date in terms of passenger numbers.” “In August 2014, DfT officials concluded that Wilkinson had a clear conflict of interest between his shares in FCP and his government work. After a discussion with the department’s ethics and propriety team, an official wrote that the arrangement in which he was seconded from FCP “feels very uncomfortable”.” “Official data shows that the DfT made 31 payments worth a total of £805,422 to FCP between February 2013 and October 2014. At least 12 of these payments, amounting to £356,535, related to what the

department called “rail franchising”, the area of the ministry for which Wilkinson had responsibility.”

“The civil servant who awarded Southern its rail franchise made the decision to do so while owning a large share in a consultancy that had been advising the troubled operator’s parent company.” “A DfT spokesperson said: “The department regularly contracts and recruits people with relevant industry and commercial expertise, to help it achieve the best result for passengers

and taxpayers. We have robust safeguards to guard against any conflicts of interest. “Decisions on franchise awards are taken by the department following a fair and open competition. Each franchise award is subject to thorough and independent audit.” “According to the DfT, Wilkinson was recruited after an open and fair competition to start work at short notice as franchising director, initially for six months, with the aim of kickstarting a faltering franchising programme.” jan/11/rail-franchise-boss-peterwilkinson-gave-southern-contract-clientconsultancy Wilkinson told Rail Professional magazine two years ago: “Frontline staff are the heroes of this industry, they’re the people who make it work, not people like me in head offices and places; this is a nonsense, we’re just petty bureaucrats.” In that case, let the heroes get on with their work. The strike has cost our economy too much, and we need people in Govia, the RMT and the government who are prepared to work together. Anyone who obstructs an agreement, must be sidelined. There is no suggestion that Peter Wilkinson has acted illegally or has allowed a conflict of interest to arise. However, the dispute must end now and if, for the unions, his presence is a sticking point, then surely he must be moved on so a resolution can be achieved.






Are large corporates really leading a work-culture revolution? Amy White, Solicitor in Rix & Kay’s Employment Team discusses the merits of encouraging people to go home at 5pm


resenteeism! Not a particularly common expression, but our tip to be one of the biggest buzz words for 2017. Big businesses are starting to wake up to the idea that working all the hours God sends is actually no good for anyone – individuals and organisations alike – and working less could turn out to be far more productive.

So what is all the fuss about? Presenteeism is defined as ‘the practice of being present at one’s place of work for




more hours than is required’. In practice, this means people coming to work while suffering with poor health when really they should be tucked up in bed with a Lemsip, as well as compulsively checking and sending emails in the middle of the night and sitting in the office for hours on end while achieving next to nothing (other than viewing some particularly good photos of cats on Instagram of course). While it might seem that employers should be more concerned with staff taking excessive sick leave, sloping off early or turning up late,

the opposite is actually becoming a significant issue with serious consequences for employers. Not only are poorly and overworked employees likely to be ineffective during the time they spend at work, their impaired performance and level of concentration could lead to errors that cost time and money to fix. In the past, attending work while you were under the weather or working late into the night was seen as something to be praised – it showed dedication and real strength of character. The reality however, is that it may

Legal well be costing businesses a great deal more than it saves them. The results of a 2015 survey conducted by Simplyhealth and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), found that in the preceding 12 months, a third of firms reported a rise in employees working when they were sick and those firms were nearly twice as likely to report an increase in stress-related absences. Furthermore, a report from the Work Foundation found that the cost of presenteeism in the workplace could account for one-and-a-half times the cost of sick leave.

“In the past, attending work while you were under the weather or working late into the night was seen as something to be praised” While at first this might seem surprising, the more you think about it, the more obvious it becomes. It’s clear that the longer you’re expected to labour on, the less productive you’re going to be and the more stressed out you’re going to feel. The question for an employer though is how to manage this problem. As of 1st January 2017, French companies with more than 50 workers were obliged to start negotiations with their staff in an effort to define their right to ‘disconnect’ out-ofhours. This measure has been introduced by the French Labour Minister, in an effort to tackle the ‘always on’ culture that is developing in France (a country famous for its

well protected workforce and its short working week). This culture has been blamed for a whole raft of social and personal problems including insomnia, relationship breakdown and, of course, ‘burnout’. The new measure now requires employers to negotiate with their staff, in an effort to agree and define their right to switch off and to reduce the intrusion of the workplace into the home. While France is choosing to tackle the problem of presenteeism at a statutory level, a number of large companies have already taken steps, at a policy level, to deal with the issues it presents. Examples include Volkswagen and Daimler in Germany who have introduced a range of measures including cutting email connections in the evenings and at weekends, and automatically destroying emails sent to employees during their annual leave. The need to provide employees with some clarity as to when they can switch off is not only good for staff – it can also have some real benefits for employers from a risk management perspective. By way of example, many banks and other financial institutions in the UK insist, as a safeguarding measure, that their staff take two consecutive weeks’ holiday every holiday year. They know that an employee can easily hide errors, theft and fraud while they’re in the office and have access to the necessary systems, but that a prolonged period of absence can often help to bring such issues to the surface. So, while you might not want to follow France’s lead and enter into a deal with your staff as to their ‘right to disconnect’, and while you might not want to impose a requirement

on your employees to take a full two weeks’ leave in one chunk each year (like some of the big banks) you can still help to achieve a better sense of balance amongst your workforce.

“It’s clear that the longer you’re expected to labour on, the less productive you’re going to be and the more stressed out you’re going to feel” What it comes down to is changing the culture of your workplace. Such a fundamental change needs to come from the top down, so start by considering how you and your fellow managers behave – you’re often the worst culprits! As your staff won’t be encouraged to leave at a reasonable hour or to take their annual leave, if you’re in the office until all hours and never take a break, could you start by practising what you preach? Even better, what about a five o’clock quitting whistle? Rix & Kay has a dedicated Employment Law Team based in its offices in Brighton & Hove and Uckfield. The Team work in partnership with businesses of all sizes providing detailed advice on strategic employment issues ranging from internal reorganisations and all types of discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal. For more information regarding how we might be able to help you, please contact Amy White or Miranda Martin

The Employment team at Rix & Kay




The Big Interview

WHEN CRICKET MEETS RUGBY After 71 England rugby caps and ten years at the helm of English rugby, the appointment of Rob Andrew as the new Chief Executive at Sussex County Cricket Club raised more than a few eyebrows. The county needs a strong leader to handle the impact of a proposed Twenty 20 franchise system which could take cricket’s highest profile competition away from the counties and into the big cities. Rob Andrew has never been one to shirk a challenge and the stakes are high for Sussex. Interview by Ian Trevett & Maarten Hoffmann


ob Andrew is regarded as the great survivor. On the face of it, this would appear to be a fine compliment, but not always. It is often been unfairly laced with: “How has he survived so long?”

As a player, he won 71 caps for England and five for the British Lions, once as captain. At fly-half, he scored an impressive 396 international points, won the Grand Slam with England three times and held the English record for the most points scored in an international - 30 against Canada in 1994. In the 1995 World Cup, he knocked out the Australians with a drop goal on the stroke of full-time to make the score 25-22. It was unerringly similar to the unforgettable World Cup winner nailed by Jonny Wilkinson eight years later.

“We have one of the most special county cricket grounds in the country. It’s not a test match ground. It’s never going to be, we don’t want it to be. It’s not a concrete jungle on the outskirts of somewhere that you can’t get to.”

With such a glittering career, surely he should be regarded as a legend, but many commentators and fans lobbied for his more flamboyant rival Stuart Barnes, rooting for the ‘Cavalier’ rather than the ‘Roundhead’. The Guardian’s Eddie Butler countered such a view: “As a player he was outstanding in an understated way… he was brave – as a tackling outside-half, in his day was a pioneer – and pinpointaccurate with his kicking and much more ruthlessly determined than would ever be revealed by either his fresh countenance or his nickname of “Squeaky”.” After taking on the role of director of rugby at Newcastle Falcons and playing a key role in the development of Jonny Wilkinson (more on this later), he accepted the challenging role of Director of Elite Rugby at the RFU, a role which later evolved to Professional Rugby Director. He produced a intricately detailed blueprint for evolving the newly professional game known as the Andrew Report, which was lauded for being wonderfully ahead of its time. He worked behind the scenes on creating a structure for clubs and county that was sustainable for the future, but he was at the RFU at time when the national team slipped from the post-2003 euphoria to the humiliation of failing to progress in their own




The Big Interview World Cup. Fingers were pointed at the RFU establishment, including Rob, who was not even directly involved.

maintenance of those agreements is central to the good of the English elite game and it is not a simple task.”

Brian Moore reported more accurately on Rob’s stint at the RFU: “Andrew’s main role throughout his 10 years with the RFU was the management of the agreement between the professional clubs and the RFU. He brokered and ran the 2008-2016 deal and completed the forthcoming deal. The creation and

Throughout Rob’s playing and off-field career, two words crop up time-and-time again: determined and steely. When Steve James, the Sunday Telegraph rugby correspondent repeated one of criticisms levelled against him, Rob replied: “I spent most of my playing career being told I wasn’t good enough to play


a manager and an administrator. We thought it was really useful to have somebody coming with a fresh pair of eyes from a different sporting background.

e met with Rob Andrew and Sussex Chairman Jim May on a chilly day at the County Ground. We asked Rob to bring along a rugby ball for the photographs, which apparently wasn’t as easy as we expected, and only after some searching did he manage to find one in his garden. Jim seemed to have just as much difficulty finding a cricket ball - at a cricket club! But after the logistical difficulties, Rob and Jim were happy to field all our questions in a frank and informative manner. It was a fascinating insight into the issues of running a professional sports club. Our first question was not to Rob, but to Jim May. Why Rob Andrew? “We had a very, very strong field this time round,” says Jim. “We had very serious people applying from football and Rugby Union as well as cricket. So why Rob? “First of all he’s had a very strong background in professional sport, as a player,

“Sussex punches above its weight and an organisation can only do that if everybody is pulling in the same direction.”

“Also, what was really apparent was that he’d done an awful lot of homework. He had done a lot of due diligence on cricket and on Sussex. We’ve got an organisation here that encompasses the professional side but also the recreational game – we’re responsible for the governance of the 245 league clubs and a growing number of community activities

for England. I think I became thick-skinned as a player. I am also a pretty stubborn Yorkshire farmer’s son, so I’ve seen most things and a few words aren’t going to make any difference.” In his new role as Sussex County Cricket Club Chief Executive, this steely determination will be a huge asset for the county.

where we’re using the power of cricket for social good. He came across as being very passionate about cricket and he bought into our strategy. “We had a lot of people here from the national press at our press conference, but he got the job on merit. We weren’t seduced by the name, although obviously it was interesting and when I saw the name pop up I wondered how serious Rob was. When I got to know him, it was quite clear that he was very serious and he did see it as the next logical challenge. He’d seen a lot of changes in rugby and he thought there were lessons learnt there that we could use within the wider cricket game.” Now Rob has his feet under the table, what next? What are the goals he would like to meet? “Firstly, we want a pro cricket team that people want to come and watch; a successful team that players want to play for,” says Rob. “Why would we bother turning up if we’re not trying to get promoted and trying to win




The Big Interview cups? So I absolutely want the pro side to be doing well. “We want to continue producing our own players. That’s our philosophy and that’s very important to the community and to the kids coming through. If you’re in the Under 10s or the Under 14s you’ve got to dream of playing for Sussex and that’s got to be available to them. They have to be able to see the guys, and girls, in front of them making progress, because that’s what encourages them. “Then there is the recreation cricket, community cricket, disability cricket, street cricket or cage cricket in inner city areas – it’s getting people engaged in cricket. This is the Foundation’s work, getting 5-year-olds playing cricket. “The third part of the jigsaw is the driving of revenue into the business – because this is a business, somebody has to pay for it. So you’ve got to get as many people engaged – companies, individuals, spectators, fans and the people who want to hire this ground out, because this is the commercial heart that feeds the rest of it. All the cogs have got to be lined up and working together to ensure that

it works. We’ve got a pretty good commercial model here. We’re one of the few counties without any debt; we’ve invested in the ground; we’ve got a very loyal supporter base, both membership and T20 supporters; a very loyal partnership base, people passionately care about this club.

“Eddie Jones has the players for eight weeks, so he’s taking the players out of the club business. Imagine saying to Man United: “We’re going to take your best players out for eight weeks in the middle of the season.” I know what the answer would be!”

“We have a huge history. And we also have one of the most special county cricket grounds in the country. It’s not a test match ground. It’s never going to be, we don’t want it to be. It’s not a concrete jungle on the outskirts of somewhere that you can’t get to – we don’t

want one of those, either. We want to stay here and have the special nature of Hove which is two minutes from the sea and place where people can enjoy sitting in deck chairs watching cricket. “We drive half a million pounds of commercial rent through the site that we feed back into cricket which then goes to the thing and the whole thing keeps going. So those three things have to be interlinked. “The final piece of the jigsaw is the relationship with ECB. In the region of 30-35% of our revenue comes from the ECB. We need that relationship to be strong and we need to help them drive greater revenues into the game because we will be a beneficiary.”

Rugby Days Rob Andrew could have made a career in rugby or cricket. His claim to fame as a cricketer was dismissing Michael Atherton for a duck in a Yorkshire-Lancashire second team game. He also earned two Cambridge Blues for cricket. So why rugby? “I was doing both at school, running side by side. When I left school, if you’d asked my mates whether I’d concentrate on rugby or cricket, they’d have said cricket. My school cricket record was better than my school rugby record. “Did I have more of a passion for cricket than I had for rugby at school? I don’t know. Possibly. When I got this job, by brother Richard said to me: “You’ve always actually been more passionate about cricket than rugby”. “I think in a sense rugby pulled me there because whilst I was at university, I was selected to play for England and in my final year at university I played in the Five Nations. That was 32 years ago in February 1985. The game was amateur then but I was still playing in front of 50,000 - 60,000 people at Twickenham. So rugby took me down that road.

“I became thick-skinned as a player. I am also a pretty stubborn Yorkshire farmer’s son.”

“I spent the whole of my career as an amateur. I worked in London and became a chartered surveyor, but I kept playing cricket for a while. I was a very dour opening batsman and bowled a bit of non-turning off spin. I




The Big Interview Jonny for a couple of seasons - we’d play fly-half and centre together. We had a bit of success in 1997/1998 and I was enjoying playing still, but in 1999, I did my shoulder again. It had dislocated a few times but I never had it operated on. Then I was training on a Monday morning after we’d played on a Saturday, I hit something and the shoulder went out and I couldn’t get it back in. In the ambulance on the way to the hospital in Newcastle. I just thought, “This is it”.”

“I was a very dour opening batsman and bowled a bit of non-turning off spin.”

genuinely love playing cricket, I love batting. I kept playing for as long as I could and then rugby became more serious and other things happened in life.” Rob was known for his ability to kick equally well with both feet. A case of unusual natural ability? “I wasn’t really two-footed. I was rightfooted and kicking with my left foot was just down to practice. If you want to do well, it’s a bit of a cliché but whatever you put in, you get out. Jonny Wilkinson was more two-footed than I was, though he was actually left-footed and his weaker foot was his right foot.” Rob retired from the game at 36, but not before he played a big part in shaping the career of Jonny Wilkinson, with whom he shares the high of beating the Wallabies in the World Cup with a last minute drop kick. “In the amateur days I was playing with a scrum half called Steve Bates who was a teacher at Lord Wandsworth College in Hampshire, and he would often say, “I’ve got this kid who’s 13 or 14, who’s just phenomenal.” We were thinking that we would get him to Wasps.

“When I went to Newcastle in 1995, just after I retired from England, the first two people I took with me were Dean Ryan, the Wasps number 8, and Steve Bates. We had a little plan to divert Jonny’s career via Newcastle and managed to persuade him and

“In rugby, the 15-a-side game and the rugby sevens are effectively different sports with hardly any cross over. I suspect cricket is heading down the same route.”

his parents that at 18 it would be a good idea to leave leafy Hampshire and go to the bright lights of Newcastle. He came to Newcastle as an 18-year-old straight from school and the rest is history. “As we were building the Newcastle club I played for a little bit and played alongside

After a successful stint as Director of Rugby of Newcastle Falcons, Rob took up a leading role at the RFU. With the English national side struggling, the inevitable flak was flying, but this was not Rob’s remit: “Fundamentally my role at the RFU was managing the relationship of the professional game, managing the relationships between the RFU, the professional clubs, the system, if you like, of English professional rugby. I negotiated two 8-year deals or Heads of Agreement, the second of which runs through to 2024. It’s the detail of the financial, operational and playing relationship between the RFU and the professional game.” The long journey from amateur to professional was always going to be complicated but Rob is clear about the main issues. “In simple terms, the big issue was money – always money. From an English rugby point of view, it is about the development of English players and the release of English players to the national team, but money comes into it. Effectively, the clubs employ the players, so the Union (i.e. the England team) is effectively negotiating the release of players to play. Taking the example of the Six Nations, Eddie Jones has the players for eight weeks, so he’s taking the players out of the club business. Imagine saying to Man United: “We’re going to take your best players out for eight weeks in the middle of the season.” I know what the answer would be! “The difference is how powerful the clubs are. In football, the power and the money lies in the Premier League. In cricket it all




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The Big Interview

about the national team and the ECB central contracts, which are a big deal for clubs. Rugby is somewhere in the middle. In an ideal world, if I had an RFU hat on, I’d probably want to try and get a central contract system like cricket, but that opportunity has probably gone. If I’m a club owner in rugby, I probably want it to be much more like the football model where I don’t have to release my players as often as I do. The issue is all about money and the delivery of English players. It translates into the development of English players. In football about 30% of the players in the Premiership are English qualified; rugby is about 65-70% English qualified; and cricket is probably more than that.

The Challenges for Cricket “Cricket’s has got some really interesting challenges at the moment as a sport, not just Sussex. All sports have to be relevant in their communities and they have to pay their way. People care passionately about cricket, but it’s got a bit of a dual identity at the moment – it’s trying to work out what it is. It’s become two games - the traditional long game and the T20 (twenty overs) game. “I am discovering the vast complexity of cricket, it’s far more complex than football and rugby. There are different formats of the game, central contracts, other competitions where your best players just go off to India or Australia and play with somebody else. Our captain’s been in Australia; we had three players playing in the Australian Big Bash Luke Wright, Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan. And then Tymal and Chris went off to India to play in the Indian Premier League. Now all three of them are in the United Arab Emirates playing the Pakistani Super League. “In rugby the 15-a-side game and the rugby sevens are effectively different sports with hardly any cross over. I suspect cricket is heading down the same route. At the moment the Joe Roots of this world will play all formats.

It wouldn’t surprise me if in five or ten years they become totally separate. “The T20 format is driving a level of interest, and revenue, so clearly it has to be taken seriously. Participation in adult cricket is falling but we also have enormous numbers of kids playing, and girls’ cricket is growing really quickly. There are these split identities all over the place where at one level participation is dropping off and on another level you can’t get near a cricket club on a Friday night in Surrey and Sussex because there are so many kids playing cricket. How do you keep them in the game? How do you keep enough money in the game at the top end? And how do you keep both the red ball and the white ball (or a pink bad in day/night games!) [See the accompanying interview with Jim May for more on the traditional cricket versus T20 debate]

“We want to continue producing our own players. That’s our philosophy and that’s very important to the community and to the kids coming through.”

“One of the challenges with working for a sports organisation is that you get a very wide range of people and passions, thoughts and opinions – that’s what sport does, it drives opinions. Harness all of those and get everybody working together is the aim and that starts with the board. Sussex punches above its weight and an organisation can only do that if everybody is pulling in the same direction. You can’t be a smaller organisation and punch above our weight unless people are all pulling in the same direction.”

Working with Businesses Rob’s time at the helm at Newcastle Falcons and at the RFU has enabled him to get a good understanding of how business and sport can work together. How can companies get involved with the cricket club? “Traditionally companies have used sport for a branding exercise, specifically if they’re growing into a new market or territory, and, of course, we offer this opportunity. But the two areas where we offer real value is actually in the business-to-business relationship building and through the Foundation. The Boundary Club (a networking lunch club) is a really good example of our match day hospitality, where businesses engage with like-minded people. We also have our Players Club and Executive Club. “Where companies can really help and get value is by getting involved in our Foundation. We’re only scratching the surface as we’ve only been going a year but we already have significant social programmes around health, disability, employment, education and inclusion. “We have the Santander Learning Centre in the ground here and that is an area where I think we can fulfil branding, marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility all under one roof. And people can directly see the benefits of how they are making a difference. For instance, we have a massive disability day here every summer where we have 300 kids with disabilities playing cricket, and it is events like this where companies can help and gain so much.”

The Big Question So to the final question. Gun to your head, which sport is your passion? Rugby or cricket? “I’m refusing to answer that question!”




Information Technology

MOVING INTO THE CLOUD WITH OFFICE 365 Part 1 – Busting the Myths by Phil Astell of Astec Computing (UK) Ltd


here’s no question that moving your business IT into the cloud, at least at some level, potentially has huge benefits such as lower costs, flexible mobile working, collaborative working, improved scalability, business automation and reduced deployment times. But with the bewildering amount of contradictory information floating around on the Internet, not many really understand exactly what it means or what it entails. Office 365 is a great way for businesses of all sizes to start moving to the cloud. It is a hugely capable platform offering so much more than another way to buy desktop Office products. Even those already using Office 365, often don’t realise the power and capabilities of the platform and therefore don’t extract the huge business benefits available to them. Over the coming months, we will explain some of the capabilities and features of the technology. We will focus each month on a different aspect to provide some insight




into how your business might start a journey towards operating in the cloud and become more efficient, productive, flexible and effective. But this month we are going to focus on some of the myths surrounding cloud technology and Office 365 which may help alleviate concerns that you may have.

MYTH 1 Office 365 is just Office tools in the cloud, and I can only use it online. FACT Office 365 is a suite of cloud-based productivity services, which can include: All of the Office desktop applications you already know and use, including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote, with the added benefit of being licensed, deployed, and updated as a service. These applications are installed on your devices (up to five of your devices per account),

so they’re available even when you are offline. And you have the option to store data in the cloud. Also included are a growing number of powerful business productivity tools including: • Exchange Online for email & calendaring. • SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business for collaboration, websites, workflows, and enterprise file sync and share. • Skype for Business for voice, instant messaging, meetings, and presence. • Yammer for social collaboration. • Sway for slick and easy presentations. • Planner for task and project management. • Flow to create automated business workflows. • PowerApps to create powerful business apps without coding.

Information Technology MYTH 2 Keeping data on-premises is safer than in the cloud. FACT It’s becoming increasingly clear that your on-premises systems aren’t inherently more secure than they’d be in the cloud. Microsoft hires the best and brightest when it comes to thwarting security breaches, and have the scale and resources most companies can only dream about. As good as your on-premises security may be, it will always be a poor match for what the likes of Microsoft will invest in this area. To keep Office 365 security at the pinnacle of industry standards, their dedicated security team uses processes such as the Security Development Lifecycle; traffic throttling; and preventing, detecting, and mitigating breaches that many companies don’t have the resources to ensure. Microsoft Office 365 has a 99.9% financially backed uptime guarantee. Additionally, Microsoft employ industryleading regulatory compliance experts. They know and keep up to date with the latest regulations and rules.

like email, and growing from there. Many companies are moving productivity workloads to the cloud; the path for each is different, and the time it takes for those migrations varies. We can help you move workloads such as file sync and share (OneDrive for Business) or email (Exchange) first, and then help you figure out the right long-term plan for more difficult or larger projects. It may be that you eventually move your entire business to the cloud or it could be the case that it is more appropriate to maintain a hybrid approach.

MYTH 5 Corporate spies, cyberthieves, and governments will have access to my data if it is in the cloud. This is a top fear many businesses have about the cloud. But it’s unfounded. You decide on access rights and restrictions. Your company remains the sole owner: You retain the rights, title, and interest in the data stored in Office 365. Microsoft operate under several key principles when it comes to safeguarding your data:

If you want to know more, visit Office 365 Trust Centre at trustcenter/cloudservices/office365

• They do not mine your data for advertising or for any purpose other than providing you services that you have paid for.

MYTH 3 If our data moves to the cloud, our business will no longer have control over our technology.

• If you ever choose to leave the service, you take your data with you.

FACT When you move to the cloud, headaches and time spent maintaining hardware and upgrading software are significantly reduced. This means that in reality you have far more control and oversight and now you and your team can focus on the business rather than maintaining your IT infrastructure. You have more time to spend improving business operations and launching agile initiatives.

• Privacy controls allow you to configure who in your organisation has access and what they can access. • Extensive auditing and supervision prevent admins from unauthorised access to your data.

Strict controls and design elements prevent mingling of your data with that of other organisations. Even Microsoft data centre staff do not have access to your data.

Conclusion Moving some or all of your infrastructure to the cloud can seem daunting but with the right approach, there are huge potential benefits to be gained. Of course there is much to consider and careful planning with your cloud technology partner is a must. How far down the path towards cloud technology your company goes is very dependent on your organisation’s circumstances, needs and aspirations but hopefully you now appreciate that many of the perceived barriers and concerns are unfounded myths.

ABOUT ASTEC Astec is an IT managed services and support provider and a Microsoft Cloud Partner working extensively with Office 365, Azure and on-premise infrastructure. We have been operating for 25 years 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

MYTH 4 I have to move everything to the cloud; it is an all-or-nothing scenario. FACT While the benefits of cloud are potentially huge, no one would really advocate fork-lifting your entire enterprise to the cloud over the weekend. Most implementations start with a hybrid approach, moving a single application,




Health and Safety


Health and Safety is hugely important as we all have a responsibility to ensure people are safe when they are at work, but the H&S industry gets a lot of bad press when over-officious rules are set and jobsworth officials get in the way of getting things done. For Rob Slater, Managing Director of the Clearwater Safety Group, it’s all about common sense, as he tells Ian Trevett.

clearwater safety group limited


ob Slater has been in the Health & Safety (H&S) sector for over 12 years, but before that, it is safe to say he didn’t have a great deal of time for those working in H&S. “I spent 20 years or so in the building industry, from plasterer up to site manager,” says Rob. “In those days the only experience I had of Health & Safety officers was that they were there to stop me from working. That was their sole purpose in life! “I remember when I was plastering the ceilings at Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells, which were about four metres high. As soon as I got up on my tower to plaster a section of the ceiling, the site safety guy was there in a flash and said, “You can’t have a tower here, it’s a fire exit.” I was on a mobile tower which could easily be pushed aside in the event of a fire. Instead I had to straddle the tower and a ladder, which was a far more dangerous thing to do. The chance of me falling and breaking my leg was far greater than there being a fire and the exit being blocked. It seemed to be a complete lack of any common sense. “People see a fire exit and think it’s got to be clear at all times, which is correct; but you have to live in the real world. It’s down to risk assessment and reality. This tunnel vision mentality is what gives the whole industry a bad name.” Now, he is a consultant in Health and Safety, and this kind of experience has shaped how he approaches his work: “I have plenty of experience of the real world and I bring that to what I do now. I’m not some kind of stuck-up academic who’s purely quoting the law. I say, “Right, this is what we’ve got to achieve. Let’s work out how can we achieve it, but also make sure you are safe and working within the law.” This approach goes down very well because the people I work with need to build or make something. What they don’t want to hear is “You can’t”, because they’ll do it anyway. Then they end up hurting themselves – or worse. “All people ever hear about are the most ludicrous examples of H&S being misused. There’s the “bonkers conkers” story where kids were told they couldn’t play conkers at school ‘because of H&S’. It was on one day at one school, and the story was blown out of all proportion. You will easily find people who insist on a risk assessment about doing your shoes up. And that’s where this sort of myth starts. “The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the organisation responsible for regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, now have an initiative called Myth Busters, where you can actually write in to them and say “I’ve been told I can’t bring cups of coffee in because

An accident waiting to happen




Health and Safety Not a great place for the copier

it’s Health & Safety.” They can debunk these ideas.” Rob started out in his new career in 2004, after he attended a H&S course. A few days afterwards, he saw an advert for a trainee safety consultant role and applied for the job. Eighteen months later he struck out on his own. “I had qualified with the Nebosh General Certificate and wanted to learn more, and study for the Diploma. I then discovered that this would make me more qualified than the company directors, and they didn’t want to support me in further learning so I decided to go out on my own. I still need to keep my knowledge up to date, so right now I’m halfway through a Master’s degree in Occupational Health & Safety and Environmental Management. It is a really interesting course that opens your eyes up to so many different avenues.” “Complying to Health and Safety requirements is very important for all businesses in all industry sectors. In fact, the legal requirements kick in quickly even for smaller companies. “If you have five or more employees you’ve got to have a policy, something written down,” confirms Rob. “How detailed it needs to be depends on the business and what it does. If there are five of you sitting in an office, it’s completely different to five of you welding. It needs to be proportionate to what you do”. “The Health and Safety Policy might just be half a dozen pages or it could be 30. I have been to companies where they have a book which is three or four inches thick and they’ve never opened it. There’s no point giving a

A startling breach of H&S rules

company a policy document the size of War and Peace written in Latin as they’ll never ever read it. It has to be useable. An employer or employee should be able to read through it and understand it.” Rob prides himself on the clarity and ease of use of his documents, and many of Clearwater Safety’s clients will testify to that. “Employers are also required to have access to a competent person with regards H&S. That doesn’t mean they have to be in-house. As a consultant, I am their go-to person - they can phone or email me and I’ll give them the answer. “Frequently, we are contacted by companies who are trying to get onto tender lists and need help getting through the assessment process, often from one of several prequalification companies such as CHAS or Constructionline. For a small company this is often a painful process because they’ve got to tick boxes that don’t fully apply to them. The whole process is often confusing to the business owners and is very time-consuming. So I can help with this. “Another area we cover is fire safety. Since 2005 it has been a legal requirement to have fire assessments carried out on all non-domestic premises which includes offices, shops, factories and common areas in blocks of flats. We will go in and check to make sure that alarms are serviced and fire exits open etc. “Finally there is the environmental part of our work. We carry out quite a few asbestos management surveys for conveyancing solicitors, and can also help companies work

towards their ISO 14001 environmental accreditation. “We have many companies who have been with us from the beginning and they just keep renewing every year, which confirms their appreciation of the way we work with them. I enjoy meeting new people and I find that all of our clients like the way I approach H&S. “I’ve always had a bent for law, it’s the preciseness of the words that I like. When companies send me documents to review, I can skim through them and my eyes are almost naturally drawn to typos or to regulations that are wrong. “A new client recently sent me through their existing policy documents to check for compliance before a PQQ application. I said “It’s not too bad I’ve seen worse, but there are a huge number of references to regulations that went out 20 years ago. And if I’m picking that up, then the CHAS/Constructionline assessors will also see them and reject it.” I wrote a new set of policy documents and they were awarded accreditation at the first submission.” Health and Safety can be a minefield, and something that companies dread tackling. It’s no surprise that Clearwater safety Group is continuing to grow as Rob has that key asset: he has lived in the ‘real world’ and he understands exactly what companies want and need. 01825 710002




Travel - Las Vegas

Shake hands in...


Fun, fun, fun awaits delegates in the entertainment capital of the US – as well as meeting options for companies of all sizes, says Rose Dykins


he best day of my life. Not a term you use lightly, but my day spent at the pool party at Las Vegas’s Hard Rock Hotel

and Casino was easily in my top ten. The sun was scorching, the DJ was masterful, the mimosas were flowing, and atmosphere was overwhelmingly positive – unforgettable, in fact.

The Strip at dusk




Pool party season is now well underway in Las Vegas, but the hedonism never stops, whatever time of year. Despite the wild indulgence of the destination, Las Vegas’s corporate credentials are seriously big business. Capitalising on its status as an entertainment hub, Vegas is continually expanding its convention centres and adding new options. Boasting more than 1 million

sqm of meeting space, Nevada’s glittering entertainment destination hosted 22,000 meetings last year, welcoming 5.9 million visitors for business events. “We are so lucky in Las Vegas to be able to host every kind of meeting or convention and fit every business need,” says Chris Meyer, Vice President of global business sales for the

Travel - Las Vegas Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Whether it’s rewarding a firm’s high-flyers with a once-in-a-lifetime trip filled with activities and entertainment, to hosting 1,000 delegates for a gala dinner in one of our luxury hotels, to putting on a major trade show for 170,000 attendees, right down to an intimate meeting for 10 delegates – we have the ability to accommodate any group or conference. The sheer scale of our facilities is a key reason why so many people come to Las Vegas for business – including three of the ten largest convention centres in the US.”

Wynn Las Vegas

Las Vegas Convention Centre

So, although Vegas is the destination of choice for enormous international events – including tech and electronic event CES (January), and the world’s premier motoring trade show, SEMA Show (November) – smaller companies will find just as many suitable options for group incentives and meetings. “Small meetings are a crucial part of our meetings and events business,” says Meyer. “We can accommodate groups at one of our boutique hotels, in one of our private dining rooms, at a chef’s table, in one of our impressive hotel suites – or even in a gondola in “Venice” [the artificial waterways of the Venetian casino].” And, for those less keen on spending their time around roulette wheels, you really don’t have to gamble to have a good time, and casinos are working hard to make sure they offer other activities. “Gaming will always be important to Southern Nevada’s economy, but as visitors’ trends change, properties seek to diversify their offerings in order to meet those needs,” says Meyer. Wandering freely from casino to casino along the strip, taking in the likes of the Fountains of Bellagio and the cobbled streets and authentic backdrop of Paris Las Vegas, you could potentially go without placing a single bet. Still, if you’re feeling lucky….

Bellagio Fountains Photo Credits: Wynn Casino/hotel : Barbara Kraft LVCVA




Travel - Las Vegas



– launched in April by MGM Resorts and AEG, this 20,000-seat venue – now the largest arena in the city – will host more than 100 performers and sporting events each year, and is available for event hire.


– another offering from MGM, this outdoor dining and entertainment district just off the Las Vegas Boulevard features plenty of outdoor patio space for hire, public art displays and live entertainment.


– the sprawling Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino has further expanded its convention centre, meaning it now offers a whopping 185,000 sqm of exhibition space.

IPEC – opened last summer, this free-

standing venue is five minutes from both McCarran International Airport and the Strip, IPEC, with 1,850 sqm of meeting and event space and 49 hotel rooms. Mandalay Bay


already a hit with corporate groups, this high-end Chinese opened in April. Headed up by restaurateur and artist Mr Chow, it’s a slick space for 227 diners, where dishes are served “communal style”.

Mr Chow


– the heli-tour company now has a state-of-the-art terminal for corporate events, which can host parties for up to 500 people after giving them aerial tours of the Strip.


– Wynn Las Vegas’s new ultra-luxe nightlife concept was also set to debut in May, with space for 1,200 people to network in style.

THE D LAS VEGAS – the lively casino hotel

has opened some cutting edge meeting and convention space – including a renovated 560 sqm ballroom, eight breakout rooms, a new outdoor terrace and “Man Cave”-style party rooms.


set to open in May at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas’s take on the popular golfing attraction was never going to be done by halves – it will cover 3.2 hectares and offer stunning views of the Strip. Top Golf




Travel - Las Vegas

THE LOWDOWN Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s Chris Meyer gives his tips for making the most of a business trip in Sin City: Q) What’s the best way to let your hair down if you have a spare day? A) To see a different side of Las Vegas, head north off the Strip and visit Downtown, which is undergoing a complete renaissance. The area is thriving and distinguishing itself as a whole new destination away from the Strip. The Smith Center for the Performing Chris Meyer Arts, home to the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra and Nevada Ballet, is a fantastic venue for cultural events and performances. Downtown is also home to the Neon Museum, where you’ll find a vast collection of old Las Vegas neon signs displayed in the desert – also offering exclusive hire for a corporate event. Fremont Street is the hub of Downtown and a fantastic entertainment district – make sure you look up at the world’s largest video screen, consisting of 12.5 million LED lights. Q) Where’s your favourite place for a flutter and why? A) LAVO at The Venetian offers table games, mixology and their signature Italian dishes fused together in one experience. Q) Beyond the casinos, what would you recommend businesspeople visit if they have the chance? A) Las Vegas is a fantastic base from which to explore the Grand Canyon, and helicopter trips provide a fantastic incentive option for corporate groups. You can also take a 15-minute evening flight over the Las Vegas Strip and take in the lights – a brilliant reward for hardworking delegates. Red Rock Canyon is just a 30-minute drive from the Strip, and a great place to hike and see the vivid rock colours and formations. Q) Any other top tips for business travellers? A) There is so much to see and do in Las Vegas, so it is really important to leave time between meetings and conducting your business to explore the city and have fun. Travel midweek and out of peak season to take advantage of really competitive hotel rates.

IDEAL ITINERARY GTM’s Managing Director Scott Pawley outlines the perfect Las Vegas incentive trip for those who’ve worked hard, and are looking to play harder…

THURSDAY – Arrive in the afternoon, and allow for time to chill. Then, the fun kicks off with a late night casino walk, or braving the thrill rides at Stratosphere Tower.

FRIDAY – Explore the Strip, dine in a hotel and see a show. The casinos are a real buzz, and we can organise it so that everyone has a budget they are “allowed” to spend. This means they can just relax and enjoy the venues as much as playing the tables and machines.

The Grand Canyon by helicopter

SATURDAY– A helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, to give the team or delegates the opportunity to explore the outer regions.

SUNDAY – A day by the pool, or, for the more energetic, a chance to explore the Strip further and enjoy a different dining experience.

MONDAY – Homeward bound.





BITE 2017

Business. Innovation. Technology. Efficiency.

Join us for the business event of the year Keynote Speaker Marnus Broodryk Marnus Broodryk is a charismatic South African entrepreneur best known as one of the "Sharks" on the Dragon’s Den style reality show Shark Tank South Africa. This self-made millionaire joins BITE 2017 to give you an insight into "The Mind of the Successful Entrepreneur".

Alternative Funding panel with Q&A session BITE 2017 also offers an impressive panel of alternative funding and industry experts to provide an insider's guide to innovative routes to funding. You will also gain insight into how the panel sees the future of funding innovations, the impact of interest rates and other current issues surrounding alternative sources of finance.

Be the shark...register today!





Business Event

BUSINESS WITH BITE 27th April, The Amex Stadium


hen ACES Magazine caught up with Nathan Keeley of accountants, tax and business advisers MHA Carpenter Box to talk about BITE 2017, his enthusiasm around the upcoming event was obvious. For those not in the know, BITE, which stands for Business, Innovation, Technology and Efficiency, is a full day’s event aimed at inspiring businesses to grow through forward thinking and the use of technology.

What was the inspiration behind BITE? As an accountant involved with hundreds of businesses, I’ve always kept an eye on the innovations that can help our clients. I’ve tried to keep at the front of the curve in terms of making the best use of what is out there and passing my experience on. When we came up with the concept of BITE in 2015, it was because we wanted to demonstrate some pretty revolutionary stuff in relation to the future of bookkeeping and accounting in the cloud. The feedback from the over 200 delegates who attended encouraged us to repeat BITE – so here we are again!

So coming onto this year’s event, what’s the plan? Although the cloud will very much be a feature of BITE 2017, this time we are focusing

on empowering entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. We will do that through two innovative keynote slots, a business exhibition and a number of breakout sessions over a full day. We’re really excited about both keynotes, but in particular we are thrilled that we have secured a speaker called Marnus Broodryk from the South African equivalent of Dragons Den which amusingly, given the fact that we are staging BITE, is called ‘Shark Tank! Marnus’ keynote is titled “The Mind of the Successful Entrepreneur” and we think it will be a fascinating insight into the mind of a young entrepreneur who has already made millions.

You mentioned that there were two keynotes, what’s the second? Finding funding is often an issue for entrepreneurs trying to grow a business or indeed attempting to bring something to the market for the first time. Our second keynote is going to be a fascinating panel discussion around alternative funding. Our panel includes Andy Davis, the former FT City Editor who authored ‘Beyond the Banks,’ as well as representatives from Crowdcube, Satago Coast to Capital and Touch Financial. Delegates will have the opportunity to both submit questions before the event and ask questions on the day. This is the third alternative funding event that we have run the other two being extremely popular and interesting so we expect no less of this one.

Nathan Keeley

people along from a business would probably allow full coverage on the day.

So what about the where, the when and the cost? The where is the Amex Stadium, Falmer, Brighton. The when is Thursday, 27 April and the cost is free!

Where do we get our tickets? Just visit and hit the registration button. I’ll look forward to seeing you there!

With the two keynotes, a business exhibition featuring companies who share a vision around making business better, and up to six breakout sessions from speakers looking to add even more value to the day the problem won’t be filling the day, it will be deciding which bits to leave out because there will be too much for one person. Having a couple of








24 CARROT GOLD Supporting the success of business is at the heart of Sussex

Business Women Excellence Awards 2017 Sussex Edition year two has just been launched with headline sponsor, Acumen Business Law. Penina Shepherd, founder of Acumen Business Law, one of the ‘Top 50 Ground-breaking and Innovative Law Firms in the UK and Europe’ (Financial Times) is herself a multi award-winning entrepreneur, business lawyer and author of the inspirational bestseller book ‘The Freedom Revolution’.


arrot Events are proud to announce the launch of the county’s first Sussex Economic Forum Conference, which will take place on the 16th and 17th November in Brighton. The conference is a vehicle for any professional local business or public body to discuss the key business needs of Sussex, ensuring longlasting growth and development. The forum will deliver invaluable opportunities to network, learn, swap and share ideas, whilst offering updates on the latest industry trends and the economic development of Sussex. Sussex is a vibrant county with a rapidly growing population, offering great business opportunities with great strength in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail, tourism and shipping to name a few. Sussex is home to one of the busiest airports in the UK that at present, helps take over 41 million passengers to 220 destinations every year. The county is as dynamic as it is diverse. Sussex’s economic growth and development will be the main subject matter of the conference and will see many high-profile keynote speakers, economists, members of the cabinet, politicians, local government bodies, public and private partnerships, chambers of commerce and local and international businesses take part. The Sussex Economic Forum Conference will offer Sussex-based businesses and organisations, the opportunity to debate and participate in country-wide issues that will impact the county today, tomorrow and for years to come.

Faiza Shafeek

Events and Sponsorship Director Identity House, Westham Business Park, Westham, East Sussex, BN24 5NP t 01323 461298 | m 07540 406685 e |


Acumen Business Law said: “ We at Acumen are elated to be the headline sponsor for the second year running. We believe that receiving an accolade for outstanding work achievements brings your successes to light, opens doors to new opportunities and builds a positive path for other women to follow. The Business Women Excellence Awards 2017 is a platform for the amazing Sussex business women to gain recognition for their achievements”. The Business Women Excellence Awards Sussex edition year two, will take place on the 24th November at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel. We are also happy to announce that we have just launched year one of the Surrey edition of the Business Women Excellence Awards which will take place at the Copthorne Effingham Park Hotel, near Gatwick on 20th July, and year one of the Kent edition of the Business Women Excellence Awards which will take place on 15th September. More news to follow on all editions. If you are interested in entering, would like to nominate or sponsor these exceptional awards, please contact Faiza Shafeek at





THE APPRENTICESHIP REVOLUTION The Apprenticeship Levy is almost with us, and training providers have been gearing up for the big changes. One of the most interesting developments is the collaboration between Sussex Downs College and Sussex Coast College, who have created their own apprenticeship and training company, Sussex Skills Solutions. ACES Magazine asked Director, Stephen Burkes about the new company Left to Right - Stephen Burkes (Sussex Skills) and Dan Shelley (Sussex Coast College)

Can you explain briefly the benefits for company thinking of using Sussex Skills Solutions (SSS)? Sussex Skills Solutions offers the very best of the private and public sector. We understand the dynamics of our local employers and understand the commercial pressures they face. We access government funding wherever appropriate to support the training we offer, reducing the financial burden for our employer




partners whilst ensuring any financial contribution is competitively priced and will deliver tangible measurable benefits. We also actively engage with the Local Enterprise Partnerships in Sussex to ensure we can advise on the political direction in terms of economic strategy, helping our employer partners stay ahead of the curve in terms of their long term planning. In the broadest terms Sussex Skills Solutions’ approach is driven by working collaboratively with our employer partners to grow their businesses via a range of services

linked to recruitment and training and developing the Sussex economy.

Do you think all companies now understand the Apprenticeship Levy which is coming in very soon? It really varies. I have personally been speaking with a large number of organisations across Sussex in relation to their levy planning and have seen those that have been very proactive in their approach and planning while I have also come across many who are still

Apprenticeships racing to get their planning in place in time for May 2017. One thing I have been very pleased to see is that in all my meetings, employers see the benefits that will come from these apprenticeship reforms and none have been writing off their levy contribution as a tax and not planning to use it.

How do you see the future of apprenticeship training evolving? I think the apprenticeship reforms from May 2017 will change everything. Apprenticeships have always had a very strong brand identity with the public but the funding rules and limitations around the level you could study up to create a glass ceiling in terms of the real impact this qualification route way can offer. Apprenticeships have always been an excellent vocational training methodology but they never offered the range and academic level to allow for real learning progression once you were in an established role. They were too focused on entry and junior level position training. Now those restraints are being removed and people of any age can access the funding regardless of their prior qualifications. Employees can commit to a substantial meaningful study of a new or advanced subject related to their job role up to Masters level while staying in employment and earning their salary. This upskilling of the workforce will accelerate with the support of forward thinking employers who will be able to see the value upskilling their key staff as well as their junior and middle management staff offers to their business. On the back of these changes I believe we are going to see a step change in the take up of apprenticeships in the next five years. We are going to see more and more companies and specifically the public sector, attracting recruits into their business by offering apprenticeship graduate programmes that offer ongoing apprenticeship training designed to progress individuals through all levels of their organisations.

How can companies get involved? All companies regardless of scale should audit their existing work force skills and identify existing talent they wish to nurture and grow. They should take a long look at their recruitment strategy and internal training programmes and ensure they have been developed to link to long term goals rather than just meeting short term needs. Sussex Skills Solutions offers a free consultancy service to help with this process and offers advice and guidance on suitable apprenticeships and other training and recruitment services available to employers.

There is no cost to this service, you just need to contact us and book an appointment.

What are the advantages using the combined assets of the two colleges compared to private sector training? Firstly, I’d have to say our internal staff talent. Across the two colleges we have decades of expertise in apprenticeships covering a broad range of sectors and huge number of subjects. Secondly, we have fantastic students that attend the colleges and are waiting to show the world what they can offer. Other key advantages are that we already have the expertise in house to develop qualifications aligned to our employers’ needs and the resource to introduce new innovative ways to deliver the training to reduce the impact on employers and employees. We can deal with scale for multi-site employers ensuring there is a consistent high quality responsive service which makes sure when you contact us you get a speedy

response and accurate information first time. Finally, as an added bonus, for those in Sussex, we are a non-profit organisation which keeps the money in Sussex and supports the local economy.

What was your background before joining SSS? I have worked in Further Education for nearly 10 years, working my way up from my entry point as an Operations Manager of multi region sites for a private training provider, through to becoming a Chief Operating Officer for a team that acquired multiple private training providers. Each role I’ve taken has offered its own unique challenges and experiences but when the Sussex Skills Solutions opportunity presented itself I couldn’t resist. The combination of public sector resources with private sector drive and vision is still quite unique in the FE market place. Prior to FE I worked in music for around 10 years but that’s a different story. Tel: 030 300 38241




Direct Marketing


Is your email or direct mail database up to date? Do you know if you are sending marketing messages to people who have moved away - or even may be deceased. Misplaced direct marketing is costly and may cause distress. It’s never been more important to clean your data. By Andy Fry, Managing Director of Nova Direct. “Surely there’s an easier way to reach our customers, Lavinia?”


n 2016, amidst a flurry of celebrity deaths, the mortality rate in the UK increased by 5.4%, its highest rise for nearly 50 years. As a direct result, there is a greater risk that your direct marketing, either by email or post, may be going to a person who has passed away. It is important to keep up to date with ‘deceased supression’ i.e. the process where




your data is vigorously checked to ensure that those who have passed away are no longer on your lists.

a costly exercise, especially if you are using direct mail, but the human cost may be even higher.

The number of pieces of direct mail sent to deceased people annually is set to cross the 200 million mark for the first time in 2017. On average, 80 mailing pieces are sent within the first year to the deceased individual. It is

It is a waste of money and time, but this is insignificant compared to the emotional distress that can be caused when someone receives mail or email for a family member or spouse who has recently passed away. It can

Direct Marketing act as a painful reminder of the loss of a loved one. It also gives the impression that you have no interest in your customers if you do not know if they are dead or alive. The negative PR and brand damage may far outweigh the benefits of the marketing campaign. Surveys reveal that the two thirds of consumers would boycott a company if they received a piece of direct mail in the name of a loved one that has passed away. John Mitchison, head of preference services, compliance & legal at the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), says that marketers should be checking their customer database’s regularly to ensure they are up-to-date.

“The American Cancer Society’s income from new donors fell by $11.3m (£7m) after the charity suspended its direct mail.”

He says, “The solution is to ensure marketers are using sources available totem to easily check their customer records, for example by using deceased lists or the Mailing Preference Service.” Although the idea of mailing to a person who has passed away is the worst scenario, there is a huge level of wasted time, money and effort spent mailing people who have moved home or businesses who have changed location. 500 million more pieces of direct mail are being opened and read compared with 2013, equating to an additional £1.6bn being added to the channel’s ROI, according to new research. It is estimated that 60 million pieces of direct mail are being sent to wrong addresses every year. Direct mail is still a massively powerful tool if it is done right. The perception that this is an old-fashioned method that has had its day was demolished when a leading American charity

decided to ditch is direct mail campaigns. Susannah Birkwood, writing for Fundraising Week reported: “The American Cancer Society’s income from new donors fell by $11.3m (£7m) after the charity suspended its direct mail acquisition programme in 2013.

“The negative PR and brand damage may far outweigh the benefits of the marketing campaign.”

“The cancer charity said at a conference that its new-donor numbers also fell by 11 per cent over the course of year. They estimated that the charity would have lost $29.5m (£19m) in new-donor income if the ACS had continued without a direct mail programme over a five-

year period and said the negative impact on planned gifts had not yet been determined, but was likely to be noticeable because direct mailacquired donors had contributed $51m (£33m) to planned giving between 2002 and 2012.” Direct marketing is still a vital tool, but it only works if the data is clean, relevant and targetted. Now is the best time to have your data analysed, purged and cleansed in order to take ensure your Return on Investment in direct mail campaigns is maximised. Nova Direct offers a host of data management services, allowing you flexibility, while increasing opened mail and lowering waste. Next issue I will explain how we cleanse our data and ensure that a marketing campaign is properly targeted.

E: T: 01444231400





THE BUSINESS OF WEDDINGS Kate Morton looks at the latest wedding trends


or many happy brides and grooms to be, a wedding is seen as the biggest party of their lives, with a cost that can run well over five figures, to much, much more. It’s a booming industry and businesses across the country are all vying for a slice of the action, whether it be photographers, venues, dress designers, caterers, stationers, travel agents, and even wedding planners. After 40 years of steady decline new statistics have confirmed that, despite the financial downturn, weddings are on the up and with an industry worth a staggering £10 billion, there’s no denying that weddings are big business. A wedding celebration in the UK on average now costs a little over £25,000, many spend more, many less - some people are happy with a quick visit to the registry office while others wouldn’t feel properly married without a huge ceremony and reception - but there’s no escaping the multitude of elements




required and it’s these that add up… trust me, I know.

“Brides and grooms are often, and understandably, particular about the services they choose, which makes the industry an extremely competitive one” We’re not talking extravagance here, such as cloud bursting. Yes, you can even guarantee perfect rain-free weather on your big day by hiring a weather modification company. ‘Cloud bursting’ involves a team of pilots and meteorologists who will fly a light aircraft above the clouds, sprinkling them with silver particles, causing the clouds to burst and vanish before the big day. This will set you back a mere £100,000. And we’re not talking hiring

a private island for your venue either, but just the wedding dress alone can costs hundreds… thousands, once you’ve factored in the costs of alterations, shoes to match, jewellery to match, perhaps a veil (one with crystals would be prettier, pricier but prettier) and then perhaps an outfit to change into in the evening, and you’ll need a bag to match that one of course. The costs keep adding up. A study conducted in 2016 by wedding website found that the single biggest wedding expenditure is venue hire, costing an average of £3,738 (14.8% of the total cost) and finding a venue was ranked as the top priority by brides when planning their big day, above setting the budget and deciding the guest list. The honeymoon is the second biggest outlay, costing an average of £3,366 (13.4% of the total budget), followed by food at £3,072 (12.2%).

Weddings For wedding businesses this comes as good news. Brides and grooms are often, and understandably, particular about the services they choose, which makes the industry an extremely competitive one. Nowadays couples want a wedding to reflect themselves, they want much more than a dusty pink and ivory theme, they want patterns, prints and objects to reflect an overall ‘story’. Gone are the days of traditional tableware, up lighters and stale fruit cake, now think tableware with the couple’s initials engraved onto each item, indoor ‘trees’ adorned in twinkling fairy lights, a ten-tiered wedding cake (created by that famous celebrity cake maker) oh and an ice cream parlour on wheels, just in case anyone gets peckish at 2am. Mini moons are also on the rise, where loved up couples take a mini break straight after their wedding, before jetting off on their ‘proper’ honeymoon at a later date. If you can afford it, why not?

“Mini moons are also on the rise, where loved up couples take a mini break straight after their wedding, before jetting off on their ‘proper’ honeymoon at a later date ” In a 2016 report published by Destination Weddings Travel Group, personalisation was a prevalent theme as couples sought ways to customise their wedding and honeymoon, with couples spending on average 11.6 months planning for the big day. And it’s in the interest of industry experts to help them aspire to this, after all it’s supposed to be the perfect day. The best day of their lives in fact. And we haven’t even discussed the guests yet - the costs for the guests, that is. With a third of adults attending a wedding last year,

American Express calculated the average spend by guests and it’s potentially more expensive than a holiday! In 2016, the average wedding had 141 guests and factoring in accommodation, a gift, the outfits, travel to and from the venue, and the hen or stag night, guests are likely to spend a huge £640 per wedding. I am sure having read the above it comes as no surprise that for most people, weddings can be a bit over the top and self indulgent, and perhaps the industry has reached extreme levels, because all you really need is two people in love and a marriage certificate to seal the deal. ‘But then who’s going to record that special moment on camera for us? And we must have a video to show our children. What do we eat? Canapes? Pink champagne is a must. The Maldives is on our bucket list after all’. And as you can see, the cycle begins again. This big bucks business is certainly here to stay.

If you’ve just got engaged, it’s easy to get caught up in the romance of it all. But when it comes to planning a wedding, big or small, the organisation is endless. Here’s a very simple list of things to start thinking about once the ‘engagement’ dust settles. ❤

Set a date

Set your budgets

Choose a location

Book your venue

Start writing your guest list

Book your vendors - photographer, videographer, music, caterers, florists, wedding car

Start shopping for dresses

Send out save the date cards approximately four months before the wedding date




Wedding Venue

A WEDDING WITH A VIEW Jonathan Owen, the General Manager of Hydro Hotel in Eastbourne, was previously the GM at one of the county’s most popular wedding venues. With the stunning views of the English Channel and a new outdoors area licensed for wedding ceremonies, he now has plans to put the Hydro at top of any bride’s wish-list. Interview by Ian Trevett

ACES Magazine: You’ve come from a background of hotels with reputations for holding very successful weddings. What makes a good wedding venue? What do you need to make it special? Jonathan Owen: The relationship that you build with the coordinator, whether it is the planner or the bride, is key. We know how the venue works best but we have to understand what the bride wants, because every wedding is different. What makes running hotels so special is that we can create individually bespoke days. It helps that we have a well-groomed function suite, great facilities and grounds, and stunning views of the sea. We want the bride to fall in love with the property and being able to bring her expectations to life is paramount. Is the location the selling point? The Hydro has a great long-standing reputation within the town and it’s well known. We’re building the market for weddings with the investment that has gone into the garden suite, the drawing room, the Wedgwood room and our new ceremony outdoor ceremony venue. Fundamentally, people come here because there’s an amazing view and there’s an outdoor space. We are elevated out of the town and slightly up on the cliff, which gives us




views over the Channel and unlike most hotels in Eastbourne we have an acre of land. The money shot for wedding photographers is a shot on the Wedgwood balcony overlooking the sea in the background.

“The money shot for wedding photographers is a photo on the Wedgwood balcony overlooking the sea in the background.” How many can you cater for? We’re creating an outdoor wedding venue that will be ready for May this year, which will also mean that we can have 100 people sitting outside, with the sea in the background. The Garden Suite can also cater for up to 100 comfortably. We’re very honest, we don’t overpromise. A downfall of many venues is that you get carried away in the excitement of planning a wedding and you say yes to a lot of things and then fundamentally you can’t deliver. We always exceed our expectations because we explain exactly how things can work. How many weddings do you plan to have here in a year? I’m greedy, I’d want three a week! That’s

what I’m aiming for within the height of season. Our brochure has tiered pricing by day of the week and by time of year, so I very much would like to be towards the 50, 60 weddings again and then pushing on to 70 in 2019, because I feel the offering is unique. How would so many weddings impact on the rest of the hotel? When I joined the Hydro my main focus was to make sure this was a hotel for the next 120 years – I say that because in 2015 they celebrated their 120th birthday and I see myself very much as a guardian. I want to make sure this hotel is set up to be a hotel for the next 120 years and not a block of flats. In order to do that, the hotel itself needs to have a very clear strategy on markets that it will be a major player in. Weddings from the point of view of profitability, from introducing new clients to the hotel, are paramount to the success. Many people have enjoyed a wedding where the bar is thriving at 1 o’clock in the morning – that sort of environment is what a hotel of this size needs to have two or three times in a week. However, the hotel is large enough so that we can keep our wedding guests away from our leisure guests, and away from our corporate guests. We have the Crystal

Wedding Venue Restaurant which looks after our leisure guests which is some distance away from the Garden Suite which is self-contained with a disco area and its own bar. There’s no reason for the wedding guests to stray into any other areas. We have a great reputation for food and service – we need to carry that forward into providing the very best wedding service. Also, weddings are an ideal showcase for a hotel… At a wedding, you never know who will be in the room. With 100 guests, you have enormous potential of another five or ten weddings amongst the guests. Word of mouth and recommendation is so powerful in our industry. As much as the website and the wedding fairs help, people choose us largely because they have had a good time here in the past. Making sure that the facility and all the rooms look to the best of their ability is so critical to our success.

“I want to make sure this hotel is set up to be a hotel for the next 120 years and not a block of flats. In order to do that, the hotel itself needs to have a very clear strategy on markets that it will be a major player in.” How is the wedding industry in fairing at the moment? The average wedding is probably anything between £7,000 and £11,000. But the interesting thing is, when people are planning their wedding, they are not necessarily looking to create savings, they’re looking for value-added. With the two packages that we have, we offer additional chair covers which we will pay for, additional drinks and a sorbet course. People look for little extras to make their day that extra bit special. The market is very strong for weddings but clearly people are still looking for that uniqueness and I believe having an outdoor wedding venue in Eastbourne is unique. How do you tackle competition from the wide range of licensed venues out there? There are many other venues now in the county offering the facility to get married. I think the beauty of a hotel is that everything is catered under the one roof. Once the guests have parked here, they’re here for the day. It’s all unrestricted car parking - no paying to park as you have to in town. The beauty of us is that our package includes everything – from the ceremony to the hire of the room, from the meal to the evening buffet, from reception drinks to the table wine. It’s all taken care of. If you get married in a barn, then your guests have to find somewhere to stay. What other events are popular at the hotel? We have a very full programme, a calendar of events that we plan every year. We feature murder mystery events and tribute evenings are being trialled for the first time. We do a ladies’ luncheon club that meets quarterly with guest speakers. We have an art deco tea starting in March, the first Wednesday and then thereafter it will be every Wednesday, and that will be served with original 1920s and 1930s crockery and leaf tea. Then we have private hires such as hen parties, baby showers and corporate events. And not forgetting Eastbourne Chamber’s weekly breakfast! - 01323 720643

SHOWCASES/WEDDING FAIRS Thursday 16th March 4pm – 8pm Sunday 23rd April 10am – 4pm Wednesday 17th May 4pm – 8pm Sunday 25th June 10am – 4pm




Wedding Photography

HOW TO CHOOSE A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER By Sarah Walker-Bennett, Artemi Photography


wedding day is a big deal. It’s the day that two people celebrate their love for each other in front of their family and friends and start their new lives together. Because of this choosing a photographer is also a big deal. No two weddings are the same. Each one has its own personality because every couple is different. It could be one of the most expensive decisions. But it’s confusing as there are simply hundreds of wedding photographers. So, how on earth do you pick the right one for you?

Photography Style Decide your favourite photography style. There are so many different kinds, but for this




I’ve picked what I think are the three major categories. 1. PHOTOJOURNALISM / DOCUMENTARY / REPORTAGE A wedding is a true real life event. Photographers in these styles generally capture moments as they happen without being intrusive. Some of the more serious photojournalistic wedding photographers will not even do any formal or posed images. Also within this category you have the photographers take reportage and documentary style images. They tend to concentrate on capturing the day as it happens. The top photographers in this category, react quickly, anticipate moments, capture emotions and will

create a beautiful story of your day with the images. 2. THE CREATIVES This is fine art photographers, natural light and editorial photographers. They love the pretty things in life and have an eye for detail. They will find the beauty in your wedding and they use photography skills to capture it. They will manipulate the setting, move you for perfect light or backdrop, or even create a situation to get that beautiful image. 3. THE TRADITIONAL Initially when you mention wedding photography, most people will think of this style. This is lots of posed formal images.

Wedding Photography

So, which style is for you? Only you and your intended will know, it might be you’re a couple who never take much seriously and love having a laugh, then traditional might not be for you, but on the other hand reportage would be right up your street. Many photographers offer a mixture of styles. Personally, I consider my style to be a mixture of reportage and creative. On the day, I take time to ensure everyone knows me and feels comfortable with me. From the bridal preparations to the first dance, no detail is missed in capturing your story. Guests are very much involved in making your wedding images come to life. I normally recruit the best man and bridesmaids to help round up guests for the formal shots. For those more intimate moments between the bride and groom, we take a short time away from the crowd and create some beautiful

images of the two of you, giving you both time to breath before you head back to enjoy the rest of your wedding. I’ll still do those family shots that your mum wants but if you want hundreds of group shots of every different family grouping combination, I’m probably not the best person for the job.

Meet your wedding photographer You will spend more time with your photographer over the day, than anyone else so it’s good to know them, feel relaxed and not hate them! I take time to get to know you, speak to you about your hopes and dreams for the big day and arrangements you already have in place. I offer a pre-wedding shoot a couple of weeks before, which gives us the chance to work together and relax you in front of the camera before your wedding day. This is so important to me, so when I turn up, you feel relaxed and comfortable which means guests tend to trust me too.

Budget. Fact, weddings are costly. Like most things there’s a plethora of prices, and they vary from one photographer to another. It all depends on budget and how you much you value the photography. But, you get what you pay for and with that in mind, for the most part the cheap ones are cheap for a reason, they are not very good! Running a photography business is expensive if you are doing it properly. Photographers are expected to have the best equipment and back-up equipment, and have all those important but costly things like insurance and editing software. You’d certainly be worried if we turned up with an iPhone or cheap camera. Those things have to be factored into the costings. If you find a photographer that you love but they are just out of your budget, in my opinion it would be worth sitting down together to work out a way to afford them. In 15 years’ time when you are gazing at your beautiful images, you will not regret the decision you made to get the cheaper shoes for the bridesmaids. My final tip is to get everything in writing. A good photographer will always have a contract in place for you to sign. This is to protect you and them. This is to outline exactly what you will receive from your wedding photographer and how much it will cost you. Read it, understand it and make sure you are happy with it before you sign it.




Wedding Jewellery

BRIDAL AT BRUFORDS A Promise Made to Last


stablished in Eastbourne since 1884, our friendly team at Brufords have over 125 years’ experience between them to assist you in finding the perfect ring for when you pop the question. Finding the perfect engagement ring can be a daunting task regardless of how much research you have done or hints left by your loved one.

Once you’ve swept your loved one off their feet with the perfect proposal and wedding plans are underway it’s time to start thinking about rings once more, but don’t leave it too late as your wedding ring may need to be created especially for you.

Knowing which style of ring and metal they would want is no easy task. We would advise you to go with your heart. This is a special occasion ruled by love, that immediate feeling and the emotion felt is usually correct.

Whether you are looking for matching wedding rings or unique designs to celebrate your individual personalities, Brufords will have the right rings to symbolise your love and commitment to one another.

We know that planning your wedding can be one of the most stressful times in your lives together, however choosing the right ring for those special moments does not have to be when looking for a ring from Brufords. Relax with a glass of bubble whilst the Brufords team help you to find exactly what you are looking for.

Arndale Centre Eastbourne. BN21 3NW 01323 401264




At Brufords our hand crafted engagement, wedding and eternity rings are created from the finest quality materials and are a true symbol of ‘A Promise Made to Last’. Why not surprise your loved one on your wedding day by having a special message or the date of your special day engraved inside with our complimentary engraving service.

Wedding Jewellery

We also now offer our superb collection of Bridal rings and jewellery at our Inspired by Brufords store within Eastbourne Arndale Centre.

Make Brufords and Inspired by Brufords your choice when finding the perfect ring for those special occasions.

OPPOSITE PAGE; Left Column, Left to Right: Shaped Eternity Ring From £900, Engagement Ring From £2850 & Wedding Ring From £465. Right Column, Left to Right: Engagement Ring From £1,225, Narrow Wedding Ring From £267, Wide Wedding Ring From £435 & Half Eternity Ring From £772.50. ABOVE; Cluster Ring From £1,050 & Full Eternity From £2,500 Prices May Very Depending on Stone Size & Quality, Metal Choice & Pricing at The Time of Purchase.

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





THE AMBIENCE OF COACHING Ambience Catering is building a strong reputation for its bespoke service and quality. Founder, Gary Williams believes that one of the keys to the company’s success was investing in proper business coaching. Ian Trevett found out more by meeting up with Gary and Alan Wingrove from Blue Lion Coaching. Gary Williams

Alan Wingrove


was never expecting to be where I am today,” says Gary. He clearly doesn’t mean the coffee house in Eastbourne marina where we are sipping cappuccinos and lattes. “I thought I’d still be driving around delivering sandwiches, doing small buffets and a couple of dinner parties. Now I’m sitting here with a growing full time team and it has just gone crazy.” “Last week we were in London delivering a three-course dinner for an awards ceremony for a London client hosting 330 people and we recently did a canapé event for 800 people. We are finding that we are winning bigger events as our reputation grows.” The reason for Gary’s growth is down to the quality of his food and the service levels that Ambience prides itself on. Gary had previously




worked in a Michelin starred restaurant, working for a celebrity chef. But Gary would be the first to say that his growth was accelerated after chatting to a business coach at a networking event.

“The coaching element has taught me how to run a successful company; I’ve learnt how to train my staff; I’ve learnt how to manage my staff” Gary Williams

Alan Wingrove recalls that meeting: “I was having a conversation with Gary and the

immediate impression I had was that he had a really good product with loads of potential, but he was scatter-gunning everywhere. When I started asking questions like, “What is your niche market?” and “Where do you want to be in two years’ time?”, he would reply, “Well, we’ll see what happens.” Alan is in his eleventh year as a business and executive leadership coach, working with either senior leaders of companies or mediumsize business owners. “Gary is probably one of my ideal clients,” says Alan. “I love people who’ve got potential. I have a theory that you start a business because you’re good at what you do and people buy it. But there’s an assumption that you will know how to run a business and that you can do the HR, budgeting, the marketing,

Interview and actually you can’t. I started to work with Gary asking: “What do you want to do? How are we going to make this work and what is the infrastructure that you need behind you that will make you successful?”

The Ambience team

“Everything I do is strength based. So many people spend time doing painful bits of their business that they hate and actually they’re not very good at. Why do you do that? It’s not what you started the business for. And I always think there’s a danger that you can end up hating your own business. I do know people who have fallen out of love with it. So I will say, “Come on then, let’s gets you back in love with your business. What bits can we give to other people to do that they would love doing?” “Gary was working seven days and when I used to see him he looked looking absolutely worn out. It became a conversation not about the business but about him as the owner – how sustainable was this, and if something’s got to give, what is that going to be? Gary agrees: “It is a balancing act and I was getting it wrong. I needed staff to help me but it never seemed to be the right time, I was always thinking I couldn’t really afford them. Whenever I said to Alan that I needed to employ somebody, he asked me the same questions: “Can you AFFORD to do it? Can you afford NOT to do it?” And nine times out of ten, it came down to: “Can you afford NOT to do it?” And my answer is “No, I need to.” It’s quite good to have that support network where you can say: “Help!” “Before I was busy, busy, busy and now I actually take time out. If I know I’m busy but I’m not being constructive, then I’ll walk away and go and have a coffee, just to go and clear my head and say, “Gary, sort yourself out.” And then I’ll come back half an hour later, and its very effective.” The relationship between the two raises the question of whether Alan’s role is purely coaching or if he is also a mentor. It is one of the most debated questions in the coaching industry - is it coaching and when does it become mentoring? It is a question that Alan is passionate about, to the level that he wants to embark on a PhD on the thorny subject. The key is that Gary learns and makes his own decisions. “Alan helps me enormously but we both ensure that I make my own decisions. Over the last couple of years we have had a full-time catering contract at Eastbourne Borough Football Club. It was a brilliant move for us at the time. “I decided to move on from there and it was

a decision that was supported by coaching. I knew I was pushing too hard in too many different directions, so we had a discussion and looked at the pros and cons of each of the opportunities. We looked at the financial structure and it was decided then that it was a case of “Let’s lift off and let’s focus solely on the event catering”.

“There’s a danger that you can end up hating your own business… so I will say, “Come on then, let’s get you back in love with your business.” Alan Wingrove

“The coaching element has taught me how to run a successful company; I’ve learnt how to train my staff; I’ve learnt how to manage my staff; I’ve learnt how to look at the other sides of the business.” And what about the food? Where does Gary’s food passion lie? “Personally, I love great British food. I love sausages and mash, pie and mash and a roast dinner. But when it comes down to what we do, my style has more finesse, and we are known in Eastbourne for our canapés. But we’ve got a good mix because it’s not just about me, it’s about the team. So in the kitchen we have got Brian who’s a great British chef. Then

I’ve got Ash who’s more restaurant-refined and he’s very well trained in seafood, so he concentrates on the finesse area, which allows us to reach the higher end side of things. “With weddings, it’s not just about the food. We get involved in all the different elements, so we do the mobile bar as well and we can do as much as you want or as little as you want. If you want us to turn up and just do a small buffet or a BBQ, we can do that; if you want us to come in and assist with the planning of the event, then we can organise marquees, venue planning and all the details. “We are diversifying into event management and we work closely with entertainment companies, so we can do gala dinners through to murder/mystery evenings..” So the plan is to create a huge events company and high-end mobile catering? As requested by Alan, Gary is very happy to elaborate on his dream: “The reason I started in the kitchen in the first place was because I wanted to be a pilot, and chefing allowed me to save up and pay for my lessons. What I am really after is a helicopter!”










n last month’s issue, l presented an overview of the classic car market and the tremendous investment potential this sector offers. If you missed it, go to our website and look in the Motoring section – it might surprise you. In this issue l am going to take a closer look at one particular car that is very close to my heart – the Jensen Interceptor. I loved this car and owned two of them and was sold the minute the sales guy mentioned that it had two horns – one for the town and one for the country, to ensure it didn’t frighten the horses. Brilliant. We all have stories of that car or that house that we wish we still had as the value had shot up – the Interceptor is one such car. Beautiful, stylish, fast, luxurious with that glorious wrap round rear window – it really did have it all and now the classic car market is finally waking up. With values greatly improving there is a limited time to find one before the price rockets. Built by Jensen Motors in West Bromwich from 1966 to 1976 and designed by Carrozzeria Touring of Italy, with the body originally made by Vignale – a name that Ford have recently re-introduced. Available with either a 6.2 litre or 7.2 litre Chrysler engine, the variants included coupe, convertible and the most valuable, the four-wheel drive FF. It boasted 0-60 in 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 145mph – this was seriously quick in those days and none too shabby now. There was a total of 6,407 Interceptors sold with a starting price of £5,340 in 1966 and there are probably less than 1,200 still running. Today an excellent condition Mk.1 model will sell for £37,500 with a Concours model fetching £69,500 dependant on model, miles and spec. Search the motoring mags and you can find them available from as little as £19,000 but buy a lemon, and, like boats, there will only ever be two good days – the day you buy it and the day you sell it. Pick a good one and throw £10,000 into it and you will have a beautiful, useable £40,000 investment that will only ever rise in value.

FACTS & FIGURES Production:



2/4 Hatchback 2/4 Convertible 2/4 Coupe 2/4 FF

Price new:


Average now:


Potential now:


Future potential:

32% pa





AUDI RS7 Performance By Motoring Editor, Maarten Hoffmann


ou know those days when oneupmanship raises its ugly head? You turn up at a party with the latest gadget and some bugger is there with an even later gadget. Or you throw your kids a birthday party in a zoo and then an invitation comes through for a friend’s party at a game reserve in Kenya. You get the idea – there’s always someone trying to top you. So, imagine the scene. You have just driven out of the Audi showroom in your gleaming new RS7 and then some oik pulls alongside in the RS7 Performance. Gutted. The RS7 Performance is an extra £6,575 on top of the already rather steep £85,000 for the




“It’s a great bit of engineering of that there is no doubt. The drive is supersmooth and with AWD, it handles beautifully and affords you supreme confidence whatever you throw it into.”

base model that is already quite hardcore but what do you get for your money? Well, there’s a fancy finish on the wing mirrors, window trim and grill and larger 21-inch alloy wheels. On the inside, you get privacy glass and carbon fibre inlays and that’s about it. But of course, knowing Audi the prize will be found under the bonnet and low and behold, there it is. The standard 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 has been fiddled with to offer 597bhp over the standard 552bhp while a new sports exhaust offers a butcher note out of the tail pipes. And what do you get for this? Well, it shaves twotenths of a second off the 0-62mph sprint time, doing it in 3.7 seconds! If you want to go faster


still, you can pay an extra £1,450 and raise the top speed from 155 to 174mph or for an extra £10,725 for the Dynamic Plus package, you can get it to 189mph.

superbly and is so comfortable that you could quite easily nod off. Is it an M5 or an AMG Merc? No, but it is a brilliant piece of German engineering – but then so is the standard car.

Is this not all getting a bit silly now? I love Audis and you will be hard pushed to find a bad one and l don’t mind when they convince me to get my wallet out and pay crazy money but l do draw the line at them actually stealing my wallet and helping themselves. The RS7 is a cracking car so what plonker is going to fork out an extra £17,000 to get fancy wing mirrors and a top speed that can only be achieved on an autobahn?

It will worry almost anything else on the road and as with all Audis you can drive it like Sterling Moss or dial everything down and take the vicar for tea. It’s a great all-rounder with a ruthlessly efficient chassis, dynamic cornering abilities and a beautiful interior – but then so does the standard car.

It’s a great bit of engineering of that there is no doubt. The drive is super smooth and with AWD, it handles beautifully and affords you supreme confidence whatever you throw it into. But then so does the standard car. It is built

And the biggest problem? Well, that’s called the RS6 – my Car of the Year 2015. That barnstorming estate can carry the entire contents of your house in the back and still rip your eyeballs out of their sockets if you hit the go pedal with too much gusto. The RS6 has a very clearly defined purpose but the RS7 Performance, well, l am not really sure who or what it is for. It’s a coupe, so there is limited headroom in the back and limited vision. It’s quite good looking but not a stunner and if you spend £85,000 on it only to be usurped by the Performance, l would be hacked off. In effect, if you are in your lovely new RS7 and a Performance model comes alongside, look at him with pity and sympathy as he has the identical car to you but paid an extra six and a half grand to get there two- tenths of a

second faster than you. Who’s the idiot? My advice? If you like the look of the RS7, buy the RS7. If you are not sure, do what any sane, right minded person from planet earth would do and buy the RS6 Avant – one of the finest all-round cars in the world.

TECHNICAL STUFF Model Tested: RS7 Sportback 4.0 TFSI Quattro Performance Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo Power: 597 bhp Performance: 0-62mph 3.7 seconds Top Speed: 155 mph Economy: 24.8 mpg combined Price: £92,060.00




Motoring The Family Zone. The Motor Show is family friendly and you can be sure to see a huge variety of activities for small kids and big kids alike! From active simulators to advice on family vehicles, this zone is not to be missed.

We are delighted to announce that Mobil 1 will be the headline sponsor for the Brighton & Hove Motorshow. Not only will they be offering a unique insight into their involvement in performance and motorsports vehicles but they will also be demonstrating their exciting Formula 1 simulator – the closest visitors will ever get to understanding what it’s like to drive one of the fastest cars in the world. There are rumours of Stig making an appearance with the Top Gear simulators and all the latest models from the top manufacturers - this will be one of the most exciting events to hit Sussex in quite a while with over 20,000 people expected. Pre-registered tickets are FREE but you must register here:

The Test Drive Zone. Unlike other motor events and shows, visitors will have the option to test drive the latest vehicles. If you have a vehicle you would like to test drive keep updated with all motor show news.

The Classic Motors Zone. For a step back in time and a dose of nostalgia this zone offers the classic car lover a variety of models to view and Falmer Classics will be conducting a classic car auction on the day. Watch this space for details of beautiful classic cars that you can buy and take home.




Motoring The Leasing Zone. As contract hire, leasing and fleet management become increasingly prominent in the motor industry the way in which people fund their vehicles is changing. To find out more about these options and how you could benefit, be sure to visit this zone.

The Car Care Zone. If you are looking at ways in which to maintain your vehicle, both mechanically and aesthetically, then this is the zone for you. From dent removal and paint shop work to oil and lubricant specialists this will be an enjoyable and educational visit.

The Go Karting Zone. QLeisure, also known as Brighton Karting, will be offering kart rides for visitors to test their driving skills. Karts will be available for both adults and children and a few prizes may even be up for grabs.

The Innovation Zone. Motors are not just for petrol heads as manufacturers continually advance technology to produce more efficient and effective vehicles, the future is set to be very different for motorists. For a fascinating glimpse into the future, visit the Innovation Zone. The Motorsports Zone. As motorsports continually battle to edge seconds off lap times, improve engines and generate more and more divisions, the motor show will bring you bang you to date with what is happening and the headline sponsor, Mobil 1, will be presenting their Formula 1 simulator to enable visitors to get a taste of the fastest sport in the world.

The Motorcycle Zone. For the lover of two wheeled transportation this zone is a must. Whether you are interested in learning how to ride, road safety, the latest equipment or new deals on bikes, you will find all your answers in this zone.

The Top Gear Experience Using original BBC footage and presented in full HD you feel the full force of acceleration, slick gear changes and phenomenal breaking on the Top Gear track. This season the Top Gear Experience offers a brand new feature - the Ariel Atom - one of the fastest accelerating cars in the world, capable of reaching 100mph in 6 seconds back to 0 in 4 seconds. We then move on to a favourite with the drift community - the 197Bhp Toyota GT86.

The Mercedes AMG F1 Experience Sat 10th June 2017, 10am - 5pm Sun 11th June 2017, 11am - 4pm AMERICAN EXPRESS COMMUNITY STADIUM BRIGHTON, BN1 9BL For FREE entry, register at

The Experience is new for 2016 and offers members of the public the opportunity to take part in a fantastic, immersive experience. Featuring three time Formula 1 World Champion driver Lewis Hamilton and utilising real telemetry and footage from our Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 testing sessions at the world famous Silverstone circuit. We use the latest in motion simulation technology to offer a unique and exciting experience to thrill any age group. CHANDLERS






Hotel Review



iding away in the beautiful countryside just outside of Uckfield is the East Sussex National Golf Club and Resort, set in 1100 acres with clear views of absolutely nothing. And l mean nothing. There are not many places in the area where you do not see a road, buildings or an industrial estate somewhere on the horizon but from my huge bedroom balcony, l can see nothing but trees, fields and the perfectly manicured golf course. The main building is a modernistic design dominated by, oddly, a large gorilla in the car park, and the reception is as large as an airport terminal. The staff are very polite and professional and we are whisked to our room. Well, not so much a room as a tennis court. It is humongous and well equipped and l just wish l had brought ten friends. Whisking open the curtain and you are faced with a totally stunning view and a balcony l could have partied on. A welcome plate of delicious




sweets awaited us with a ‘welcome’ made out of chocolate. This is a great start.

“But not quite, as l was having a crafty fag and inadvertently set fire to my sock.” The effervescent Sharon Whorby gave me a tour of the building and they seem to have thought of everything. A great range of conference, event and meetings spaces and l particularly like the Roundall room. A circular room on the first floor that has a carpet with, what looks like, a racing track on it running around the circular pillars. I can imagine this room with a large round table in the centre for board meetings – that would be one of those rare board meeting that l would look forward to attending.

To add to the odd gorilla in the car park, l then encounter another oddity. In the National Suite, their largest event space that can hold up to 400 theatre style and 300 at tables, the stage floor opens and an old Wurlitzer organ majestically rises into the room. One really does expect to see the cheesy, smiling Bobby Crush grinning back over his shoulder as he entertains his audience with a medley of fifties kitch. I like quirky and am pleased as punch that they retain these elements in such a modern building. I first witnessed it whilst attending the Lewes Business Awards last year and even then thought someone had spiked my drink. Still, no time to dawdle as our visit to the Spa was overdue and a massage therapist awaited us with hands of silk and sounds of whales. It was billed as a ‘hot stone massage’ and having never partaken of any such thing, l can now attest that l will demand them

Hotel Review

henceforth at every massage. My masseuse Carol, ran hot flat stones over various parts buried in the palm of her hand smothered in essential oils. Yes please. Slightly floating, we veered away from the pool, gym and jacuzzi and just about made it back to the suite for a lie down. Too soon that distant sound of thunder that was my stomach demanded l rise and attend the dining room which, as it is below the Roundall, is also round.

“I like quirky and am pleased as punch that they retain these elements in such a modern building.” Dinner really was excellent. With my wife being a gluten free vegetarian l am never sure whether to foist her onto yet another unsuspecting restaurant or take her out and shoot her but her requests were borne with great courtesy as would be expected these days. I ordered slow cooked crispy pork belly, potatoes colcannon, cream cabbage with glazed apple and my wife ordered Risotto that she commented was ‘fantastic’, which is quite some recommendation. I couldn’t refuse Profiteroles to end that were equally delicious. Their two Rosettes are well deserved. Two bottles of Champagne pointed me to bed rather than the slightly inebriated desire to go skinny dipping. Bed sumptuous, pillows just right, TV right distance, light controls to hand and silence. That, and the warm body next to me, is really all l need for a great night’s sleep. Now, within two seconds you golfers will recognise me as a philistine but l will attempt a

short mention of the large flat green things outside my window. The East course is 7,081 yard and was twice home to the European Open. The West course is 7,154 yard par 72 and goes through ancient oaks, quite pools and streams. Club house, proshop, Academy, buggies. There, done. In such a suite with such a view, breakfast has to be ordered in bed. Trouble is l can never get the time right unless l am working the next day. Having to mark the time on the card the night before, dictates that l must know what time l will awaken and what time l will be hungry. As always, l got it wrong and was dreaming of bacon an hour before its preordered arrival but l phone reception, the time was changed and it was on my bed within 20 minutes with my paper of choice. And, and this is very important, everything was there. How many times do hotels forget something and by the time they get it there, everything is cold. Not here. Whilst l checked my mails, my wife retired to the pool and attested to its glory upon her return and l sat typing on the balcony overlooking trees and manicured greens shrouded in morning mist with frost still evident in the areas untouched by the rising sun, with the odd bird waking up and softly calling. It was almost spiritual. But not quite, as l was having a crafty fag and inadvertently set fire to my sock. There was a conference going on whilst we were there but with such a large, well designed building, 104 bedrooms and 1,100 acres, you really don’t realise it. I am asked on many occasions about attractive and professional event and conference venues and, with their range of flexible meeting rooms, l think l have another top venue to add to the list.

EAST SUSSEX NATIONAL Little Horsted, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 5ES, United Kingdom Tel: 01825 880088 | Email




Wine Tours

WALKING AND WINE Lucy-Ann Prideaux is passionate about wine and she is also a keen walker. After a chance meeting with retired marketer, Ian Shearer, they discussed the idea of combining her two loves into a successful business. The result was Fizz on Foot and the business is flourishing. Interview by Ian Trevett


ow established as the South East’s premier wine tour company, Fizz on Foot has successfully captured the fast-growing English wine industry, showcasing, in particular, the best of English sparkling wine. The tour company offers many different tour experiences, incorporating wine tastings, visits to local vineyards, food and wine matching experiences, as well as walking tours throughout the beautiful Sussex countryside. With a wide range of tour options, Fizz on Foot entertains local visitors and small groups, as well as companies looking for novel teambuilding experiences, such as a Downland hike followed by a tutored wine tasting, or a fun blind champagne tasting with a sumptuous meal to follow. This relatively new company has also hosted European and International guests now wanting to get a flavour of English wine, and of course see what all the fuss is about concerning English Fizz!




From a 1-day walk with wine tastings and buffet lunches, through to 3-4 day tours that take in several vineyards and walking routes, guests see, taste and experience for themselves the entire process and production of award-winning English sparkling wines. Many express the enjoyment of earning their tipples with a good walk beforehand! It was Lucy-Ann Prideaux who first came up with the idea. “My father lives in Cape Town and I used to do a lot of wine touring with him,” says Lucy-Ann. “These trips really sparked off my love of not just drinking wine, but the whole story of the grape to the bottle. You really understand the hard work, passion and the patience, plus the skills and the techniques that go into producing good quality wine. “The last time I was in Cape Town, we were in a beautiful place called Franschhoek, which stands for French Corner. It’s a little pocket in the mountains, in the valley about an hour from Cape Town. It’s the most beautiful

place and this hub of about 100 vineyards that surround this valley. It’s known as the food and wine capital of South Africa, even Richard Branson has a vineyard there. So it’s a beautiful, beautiful place. And it attracts the very wealthy and people in the know and they have Michelin star restaurants in the High Street. I was at a vineyard in the mountainside with my father and I said to him “I would love to get into the wine industry.” I was in my late 40s, but I came back to the UK and I studied wine. I did part-time courses and ended up at Plumpton College where I did my Advanced Certificate in Wine. “At the same time I was aware of how wine appreciation was changing in England. Gone are the days where you used to buy a bottle of so-called wine tasting like vinegar from the supermarket. The whole industry has exploded and especially in the South East. And there’s a specialist focus on sparkling wine. I got jobs as a wine tour guide – it was the wine tourism that I was really interested in. I quite like entertaining, and I love people and working

Wine Tours with people. So it was the perfect blend for me. Go forward several years to three years ago, and on a summer’s day when Lucy-Ann was heading back to her car after a hike, a man tapped her on the shoulder and said “Weren’t you at a business networking in Eastbourne last week?” They we struck up a conversation and it evolved into talking about the idea of starting a walking wine tour business. “I had no wine background at all,” says Ian Shearer. “I’d just retired from a design and print business called Manor Group. I did all the sales and marketing for the company. Having talked to Lucy-Ann who said “My passion in life is a walking and wine tasting tour business. But I wouldn’t have a clue how to go about it.” So I said “Let’s go and have a coffee” and two weeks later we set the company up. That’s how it started. “We took our time building up relationships and visiting vineyards,” says Lucy-Ann. “We were working out how we could make this a really memorable experience but also educational. We wanted to make tours totally bespoke; we wanted to make each one a very personal experience. Ian agrees, “Each trip is different. We find out what they are looking for as well as their health and fitness, and then we construct the tour around the group. So if they just want a 3-mile flat walk beside the river, that’s what we do. If they want an uphill and downhill 9-mile walk, we can do that. “We tend to go to Sussex vineyards such as Court Garden, Ridgeview, Bluebell vineyard, Sheffield Park. We also go to the beautiful Rathfinny Wine Estate, which will soon have their sparkling wine ready to drink. Everyone is looking forward to this experience.

It is the most fantastic vineyard with such stunning views across the Cuckmere valley. Once the wine is ready, it will be the place to go. The owners of each of the vineyards organise tastings and talk about their wine, as no-one knows their wines like they do.” The word about English Sparkling Wines is spreading and many Fizz on Foot tours are snapped up by tourists. “We recently had a group of Americans come over and they were fascinated to find out about English wine, says Ian. “They had tried English wine already, which had been exported to the US. We took them to the English Wine Centre for lunch and they also went to Bluebell Vineyard, and they were great supporters of English wine. “I think Benelux would be a good market for us. We’ve had help from the DIT, who are

organising a trade mission for us.” At the moment the target market is the empty nesters, the retired population who have the time and money to spend one to three days exploring the county’s finest vineyards, however the corporate market is growing quickly. There is definitely a huge interest in English wine among the business community. Ian and Lucy-Ann have an infectious enthusiasm about our wine and beautiful countryside. They want to share this with businesspeople across the county. Give them a call, and set up an unforgettable Sussex experience.

Tel: 01323 737271 Mobile: 07971 851777




Wine Column

SPARKLE FROM THE VALLEY Lucy-Ann Prideaux, co-founder of Fizz on Foot, sings the praises of sparkling wines from the Loire Valley


hen thinking about wine, and the Loire Valley in France, one’s thoughts no doubt turn to a nice chilled Muscadet, Sancerre, or Pouilly Fume, or one of the many expressions of Chenin Blanc, the grape used to produce Vouvray wines. One may even think of, or know better, the Loire’s well known rose, Rose d’Anjou. But when I think (or dream) of the Loire Valley however, I immediately hanker for one my favourite sparkling wines from the region. Sparkling wines are well-known in the Loire, with Cremant de Loire wines from either the Saumur, Touraine, or Anjou regions, Vouvray Sparkling wines (produced only in Vouvray), and Saumur Sparkling wines, which originate only from Saumur. The Loire is the largest sparkling wine producing area in France, after Champagne, and although produced in the same way as Champagne, these wines can’t be called Champagne wines. Some however, are just as good, and one such wine that I simply have to introduce you to, is a red sparkling wine from Saumur… Bouvet Rubis Demi-Sec, from the renowned sparkling wine house, Bouvet-Ladubay.

in St Hilaire-St Florent, and may even have popped into Bouvet-Ladubay for a wine tasting. Founded in 1851, this historic “maison” is now back in the hands of the Bouvet family, and is

little sweetness in this demi-sec too, which is why it goes brilliantly well with a piece of dark, smooth chocolate. You see I told you it was perfect for Mother’s Day, but, in all honesty,

producing some of the best sparkling wines of the region.

any day could be a “Rubis day”!

OK, so a red sparkler is a bit different, and probably not something you’d immediately go for! But trust me, this wine is truly delicious. Of course, Mother’s Day is approaching, and I can’t think of a more appropriate wine to celebrate our Mums!

March’s Featured Wine – Bouvet “Rubis” Demi-Sec Sparkling Wine - 100% Cabernet Franc… available from Majestic Wines

Rubis is made solely from the Loire’s famous red grape variety, Cabernet Franc. Think of red fruits such as redcurrant, raspberry and cherry, and you’ll have the essence of this gorgeous, and surprising wine. It has an ever-so-slight hint of tannin, and what I love the most… a persistent, fine and delicate mousse… the hallmark of a quality “methode traditionelle” sparkling wine. You’ll taste a

If you’ve been lucky enough to visit, or cycle tour along the beautiful River Loire, near Saumur, you will have undoubtedly passed at least one of the excellent sparkling wine houses

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 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”!




Business News



hat should every good tradeshow have? Networking opportunities? Skill learning opportunities? Engaging speakers who know what they’re talking about? How about all three? Save the date of the 16th March 2017, as Net XP’s business tradeshow is unmissable. We are privileged to have two fantastic keynote speakers to leave you feeling inspired at our event, Shéa Bennett and Sam Knowles.

“With such excellent speakers to inspire a revolution inside of you, to develop and help your business grow, Net XP fully recommends you put this one in your diary!

Our opening keynote speaker, Shéa Bennett is Head of Digital Marketing at Identity Group. Identity has grown to become a major supplier of digital marketing, events management and commercial signage across the UK and Europe, and they love to work with dynamic and innovative businesses. Shéa has more than a decade’s worth of experience in digital, including social media and email marketing, cost per click (CPC), e-commerce, user experience (UX) and lead generation. He writes a monthly column on digital marketing for

Platinum Business magazine and is a regular on the speaking circuit. Shéa recognises that smart businesses can no longer afford to opt out of social media marketing, with digital platforms such as Facebook now essential for brand awareness, customer outreach and lead generation. In his presentation, Shéa will look at the latest trends, statistics, and tools in social media marketing, including actionable takeaways, top tips and a Q&A to kick-start the day. Our closing speaker, Sam Knowles will round off the day with the art of business storytelling. He talks about how the media landscape has never been noisier or more complex. Every minute, people upload 100 hours of video to YouTube, perform a million Google searches, and send 200 million emails. And since 2000, attention spans have fallen by a third to just eight seconds. In this world of information overload, communication from companies and brands easily gets lost. What can you do to give your content a better chance of being heard? The answer is to tell better stories. Simple, straightforward stories. Stories about the people who make your business tick. Purposeful stories full of energy, emotion, and empathy, but free from jargon, numbers and waffle. Great brand stories aren’t B2B or B2C. They’re H2H – Human to Human. In 2013, corporate and brand storyteller Sam Knowles created Insight Agents. Their purpose is to help businesses thrive by crafting and telling better, more authentic stories. In the closing keynote

“In this world of information overload, communication from companies and brands easily gets lost. What can you do to give your content a better chance of being heard? The answer is to tell better stories”

address to Net XP 2017, Sam will show you how to engage with and have an impact on your customer base. With such excellent speakers to inspire a revolution inside of you, to develop and help your business grow, Net XP fully recommends you put this one in your diary! Please visit or email




Charity News

TREE OF LIFE Laura Manton, Solicitor and Business Development Director at Dawson Hart solicitors in Uckfield, talks about charity partnerships and how they benefit her business

Night to Remember


hree years ago, we decided to formalise our partnership with charities by naming one charity each year that we would fundraise for. We are just coming to the end of our third partnership and are incredibly proud to have raised our biggest amount yet £4,260 was donated to Chestnut Tree in 2016 by clients, business contacts and employees of Dawson Hart. Chestnut Tree is the children’s hospice for Sussex, with a hospice near Arundel and a 28 strong team of care staff, who visit children and families in their homes across East and West Sussex. The hospice was nominated to be our charity for 2016 by our staff, and voted




“It’s shown our more human side, people have noticed that we are helping to make a difference to others” for by staff and business contacts. We like to choose local charities where possible, and Chestnut Tree certainly fits that bill, caring for over 300 children with life-shortening conditions, and their families. Asking staff and business contacts to get involved in choosing our charity means that everyone feels connected to the cause, and

is keen to support our fundraising events throughout the year. Our three big events for 2016 were an Easter Egg hunt at Uckfield Rugby Club, a Halloween Fright Night at the Cinque Ports and a Christmas drinks party featuring a festive jumper competition. Alongside these, the whole team have got involved with things like bake sales and dress down days and a group of ladies took part in Chestnut Tree’s Night to Remember midnight walk in May. We have seen so many benefits of charity partnerships here at Dawson Hart. The opportunities for team building have been fantastic, with people pulling together to put

Photos By: Ron Hill (HillPhotographic)

Charity News

Fright Night

on an event, teams having the opportunity to get together outside of the work environment, and a real sense of achievement and pride across the firm at what we have achieved. Everyone has wanted to be involved and everyone has done their bit, and I really can’t thank our incredible staff enough for that. We’ve also noticed a real uplift in our local profile through our charity partnerships. It’s shown our more human side, people have noticed that we are helping to make a difference to others and, whilst I’m sure it’s not the deciding factor in who to instruct, clients have told me that that they have taken this into account when choosing us. Whilst the prospect of fundraising and putting on events can seem daunting, Chestnut

Easter Egg Hunt

Tree has really supported us. We’ve had a dedicated fundraiser who has come along to all of our events, provided fundraising materials and always been on the end of the phone to offer support or advice.

“I really would recommend charity partnerships to any business, of any size. You can do as much or as little as you feel able, but the rewards are great; both for the charity involved and your business.” When we first chose Chestnut Tree we were keen to find out more about the charity and the

work they do, so one of their team came to talk to our fundraising committee. Understanding the very real difference the hospice makes to the lives of local children and their families – offering them support, care and respite during some incredibly tough times – was very moving and motivated us to do all we could for them. All in all, 2016 was a very positive year for our charity partnership. Our clients and business associates have been amazing; attending events, donating prizes, contributing to collecting tins and sponsoring the team. I really would recommend charity partnerships to any business, of any size. You can do as much or as little as you feel able, but the rewards are great; both for the charity involved and your business.

PUT YOUR HANDS UP! FOR CHESTNUT TREE Chestnut Tree is the children’s hospice for East and West Sussex, and South East Hampshire. Each year they look after hundreds of local children with life-shortening conditions, alongside their siblings and families, giving them the chance to live life to the full. But it’s not enough, because for every child with a life-shortening condition that Chestnut Tree cares for, there is another with their hands up waiting for help. The cost of all care services provided by Chestnut Tree is over £3.5 million every year and less than seven pence in every pound of this is funded by central government. So to reach their goal - which is to double the number of children in East Sussex that they are caring for - they need to raise more money and awareness in East Sussex, and need more companies like yours to put their Hands Up! If you would like to pledge your support you can get in touch at handsup@chestnut-tree-house. or on 01323 725095. You can find out more at From advice and support to fundraising materials and PR opportunities, Chestnut Tree will be with you every step of the way.




Charity Support

LITTLE GATE OPENS BIG DOORS Hastings Chamber of Commerce member, Little Gate Farm support adults with learning disabilities. Helena Maltby looks at how the charity can benefit your organisation.


ittle Gate Farm in East Sussex, provides an innovative programme to get learning disabled adults out of day care and into employment, thus into the community. The farm acts as a stepping stone into real employment working on four skill levels: 1. Independence 2. Confidence 3. Communication 4. Work skills Once these skills have been achieved, the ‘ranger’ as the service users are known, are employable. The farm is then able to approach an organisation, with the aim of them to employ the ranger with the full support of a ‘job coach’ - a scheme known as The Supported Employment Scheme.




Initially, the job coach would visit the place of work, assess what needs to be learnt and makes any physical adjustments if needed. The job coach would then work closely with the organisation during the induction period, supporting the ranger throughout and also give the ranger travel training, whilst working closely with the families involved. This is a free service and is no harder than introducing any other employee to a new work place. So, I hear you say: “I’d be doing a great thing helping an adult with additional needs and I’ll probably go to heaven as a result, but I am running a business here! How would this scheme benefit my organisation?” Well, according to Claire Cordell who runs Little Gate Farm, not only would you get invaluable support from the job coach, but the

rangers tend to be incredibly reliable and are happy to undertake more mundane tasks that others may not want to do, or do not have the time for. They often thrive on repetitive tasks and their presence creates a happier and more compassionate organisation. Moreover, it doesn’t cost anymore than the minimum wage. I had to see this for myself and so I went along to meet accountant Mark Law, and business manager, Bryan Larkin, who employ a young man full time at MVL Business Services, an accountancy firm in Battle. I simply asked them “why?”. Mark told me that he wanted to put something back into the community. He needed to take someone on to undertake administrative tasks, but once trained, these kinds of staff often want to move on into

Charity Support I wanted to further explore the situation of another ranger doing a completely different job and so I found myself in the warm and inviting office of Titleworth, a Dementia Care Home in Bexhill. Here, the organisation employs no less than four members of staff from Little Gate Farm, enjoying roles in the kitchen, maintenance, the dining room and even caring. I met with Chris Turnball, Head of Clinical Services and Roy Carley, Business Manager. We talked mostly about a young lady who has been employed the longest. Initially the organisation’s aim was to support the community and help someone get into work, but the employers were so delighted with this lady, who started as a dining assistant, that she has now become an exceptional carer.

accountancy, but their recent Little Gate employee seemed happy to stick to the role. The ‘ranger’ came to MVL for taster days, which were a huge success and as a result they were gainfully employed, with the job coach being just a phone call away if needed.

Myth 2 It will cost me more. WRONG - it will cost you the minimum wage.

Myth 3

Mark added: “Our employee from Little Gate Farm has enhanced enthusiasm, and puts some previous applicants to shame. For the job he’s doing, he’s perfect and has lifted a huge burden from the other members of staff.”

There is a health and safety risk.

Bryan added that recruiting decent staff these days is hard. He said: “There are very few applicants; a lot are sent by the job centre and they’re just not interested. Others come through a recruitment agency but depending on the quality of the agency, you sometimes receive about twelve CVs, and then you have to pay a fee. The third way is through people you know. Rather than a fee, this way round you get a helping hand.”

Myth 4

So all in all, the Supported Employment Programme gets a big thumbs up from MVL. In fact, they are so pleased they have just taken this employee on full time. There are lots of myths surrounding the idea of employing an adult with additional needs and I’d like to dispel some of these.

WRONG - all health and safety needs are put into place by the job coach, free of charge to you.

Adults with additional needs cannot work in an office environment. WRONG - some are suited to office work, some are not, just like you and me.

Myth 5 I’ll have no support and won’t know what to do. WRONG - you will always have the support of the job coach for whenever help is needed.

Myth 6

Chris said: “Some of us have lost the work ethic but Little Gate employees have it. Don’t think of the rangers of Little Gate Farm to be any different. They come with their own strengths and weaknesses, the same as any other applicant.” Roy’s added: “You need to give them a chance and see that they are no different; in fact they could be more beneficial to your company because of their commitment and desire to work.” There you have it; two huge success stories proving that not only would you be doing a wonderful thing for someone who really wants to work, but your organisation could truly benefit. Still not convinced? Allow me to give you one more nugget of motivation. If you employ an adult with additional needs, then you would save the tax payer around £12,000 a year. This is how much it costs per year to keep an adult in a day centre. For further information please call Little Gate Farm on 01797 260125 or email to find out more.

There is an insurance implication.

Myth 1

WRONG - no more than for any other employee.

I can never fire an adult with additional needs.

Myth 7

WRONG - your rights as an employer remain the same.

I’ll only find an employee with a low skill set. WRONG - all rangers come with a different skill set, just like you and me.




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.

The East Sussex Chambers Battle Chamber of Commerce

• Regeneration • Skills Building with Schools & Colleges

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. We encompass several committees which organise events in town, including: • Battle marbles on Good Friday • Battle Medieval Fayre on the Spring Bank Holiday weekend • Christmas lights installation and maintenance, followed by Lights On and Gala Night events

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. We are here to help and promote business in Bexhill and Bexhill as a place to visit for the day, stay for a while or as a place to live and run your business.

Tel: 01424 842892

• ELF – Every Last Friday of the month, a mini musical festival We also work with local organisations including Beautiful Battle, Battle Marketing Group, Battle Abbey Advisory Group, and the Scarecrow Festival.

Crowborough & District Chamber of Commerce

• 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: • 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 clinics, start-up workshops and business one-to-ones

Bexhill Chamber of Commerce

We run the Eastbourne Borough Market every Wednesday and Sunday to promote retailing in the town and the Christmas Market on the iconic Bandstand.

Bexhill Chamber of Commerce & Tourism is run by its members for its members. Our current strategic focus is: • Improving business and tourism in Bexhill




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

We run events like Eastbourne’s Day of the Undead, Neon Noel Spectacular Light Show, Xmas Factor and EastBourne to be Wild Harley Davidson rallies.

Tel: 01323 641144

Aces Members

Federation of Small Businesses

environment for businesses to operate in – irrespective of their size, sector or age. Tel: 01424 205500 @HACC1066

Hailsham Chamber of Commerce 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. We are delighted to work with ACES on the issues that matter in East Sussex to enable economic growth. Tel: 01424 754686 Tel: 01323 482018

Hastings Chamber of Commerce

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

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. As a Chamber we believe it is our responsibility to do everything we can to support our members and to encourage and help local businesses to the best of our ability.

Tel: 01323 310531

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

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. Through our extensive programme of activities, and through our links with relevant local organisations, we provide a wide range of benefits and services for local business.

Newhaven Chamber of Commerce

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 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

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




Aces Members 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. Our mission statement is to enhance and encourage development of trade, employment opportunities and the environment of Newhaven and to re-establish and maintain premier status for Newhaven within Europe.

Tel: 0800 107 0709 Tel: 01273 517544

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. Run by business owners for business owners, Peacehaven Chamber and ACES are committed to promoting the interests of the business community in East Sussex. By joining the Chamber, members’ business voices are heard. We have a thriving Breakfast Club on the first and third Tuesday of each month, an evening Dining Club on the last Tuesday of each month and regularly hold networking events with other Chambers of Commerce.

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.


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. Members can support the Chamber in town planning and other local business issues.

Peacehaven Chamber of Commerce


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 have close involvement with local councils and provide the opportunity to share in the future of Seaford. The Chamber is a key partner in the ‘Christmas Magic’ late night shopping events and organises regular visits from French and Italian Markets to Seaford.

Tel: 0800 881 5331

ACES GOALS One Voice • For business in East Sussex to influence policy makers. • For structured, strategic approaches to all local authorities to achieve stated goals.

Infrastructure • To improve the road and rail infrastructure in East Sussex.

Connectivity • To provide superfast broadband to rural and urban East Sussex, as a matter of urgency.

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

• To close East Sussex mobile ‘not spots'.

Marketing • To promote East Sussex as the place to do business outside London. • To develop the coastal, rural and urban tourism offer across the county.

Skills and Workforce Development • To develop links between business, schools and colleges to ensure students develop the skills needed for work. • To influence local authorities to provide skills training as required in rural areas as well as urban.






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Events Diary




Call 01323 641144 for full details of these events and to book: Wednesday 15th March

Wednesday 17th May

ACES Members Event Smokescreen Visuals Pacific House, Sovereign Harbour Meet the Sky team and find out about Adsmart There’s also a chance to win a £1500 TV advert production

Eastbourne unLtd Chamber of Commerce AGM Speakers to be confirmed from the RMT Union and GTR

Thursday 6th April Bank of England Quarterly Economic Review The View Hotel Eastbourne By Invitation

Friday 7th April Moroccan Cookery Night The Cookshelf Eastbourne Learn how to prepare delicious Moroccan food before sitting down to eat it

Friday 28th April Networking Lunch Rostick Italian Restaurant Eastbourne

“Bourne to be Wild”




Wednesday 31st May Harley Davison Night “Bourne to be Wild” Eastbourne


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Anger Management


A MORAL OBLIGATION by Maarten Hoffmann


hy is it that when certain corporations sniff money, they can move heaven and earth but when it comes to integrity and morals, they fail to lift a finger. I speak of Google. It is fascinating to see how they track my every move. As l spend a lot of time researching an eclectic array of subjects every month to aid in the writing of our editorials, l see how l am tracked. I recently researched sharks for a piece l am writing and hey presto, within an hour the ads on my Google home page changed to offers of Sushi,




shark diving vacations and a new book of sharks. They track my every move. Facebook, for example, collect 98 separate facts about every single user. They can track every website you have ever visited and every single purchase you have ever made on-line. They know where you went to school, how much you earn, your credit rating, when you go on vacation, your political affiliation, and even where you stood on Brexit. I have never understood people who want to post every dull and dreary facet of their lives on-line, from their latest bowel movement to

when they go away so that burglars can raid their house at leisure. Look at the number of imbeciles who commit professional suicide by posting nude images and abusive comments on Twatter. Googles motto is ‘Don’t Be Evil’ but along with Facebook, Twatter and YouTube, they seem to be able to turn a blind eye to all sorts of evil if there is no profit in it. Radical Islamic Jihadis get a free lunch across the airwaves and have so many evil sites set up that you lose count. These sites not only spout revolutionary garbage but

Anger Management they have, as we have seen, managed to radicalise young minds to commit all sorts of heinous acts of terror. Search beheading videos and an entire library of them pop up followed, no doubt, by an ad from John Lewis trying to flog you a hat or a nice cravat to keep your neck warm. If the tech giants are able to pinpoint who purchased a pair of pink cotton knickers in Haywards Heath to within a few square centimetres, why the hell can’t they pinpoint who is posting this vile stuff and shut them down. They could shut these terror sites down immediately if they had the will to do so or they could assist the security services in sending a fatal virus, or tracking software, down the line. But there is no profit in it so why should they bother. They should bother because the free world gave the tech giants the opportunity to thrive and therefore they should not be aiding and abetting the enemies of freedom who want to destroy our hard-won liberties.

“Googles motto is ‘Don’t Be Evil’ but along with Facebook, Twatter and YouTube, they seem to be able to turn a blind eye to all sorts of evil if there is no profit in it. The same thing applies to peadophile sites. I have three daughters and nothing, absolutely nothing, gets my blood boiling as fast as dirty little ingrates who prey on children. Not only do l wonder why they allow sites that feed their depraved thoughts and positively encourage them to act out their fantasies when they could track them and kill the sites.

within minutes but, and l fear l am angry now and going off track, when

“I would rather be a little nobody, than an evil somebody.” – Abraham Lincoln Will we get a government that has the balls to pass a law that castrates every convicted nonce. Once the tackle is cut off, the problem is solved in that particular individual forever. But I digress. Every company has the right to trade and make money, Equally, every company has a responsibility within their given sector to police themselves in staying on the right side of the law. If l were to stand in Crawley High Street with a large image of a naked 6 year old girl, l would be beaten to a pulp by passing pedestrians and then carted off to the cop shop and prosecuted. But Google can offer us all 1,897,000 images of underage children at the press of a button without barely a hair raised. I read last week that a 12 year old boy repeatedly raped his 6 year old sister after watching rape porn on his computer. The tech giants have a responsibility and it is about time they stepped up and stopped this filth from reaching vulnerable children, depraved ingrates and Islamic wannabes. Until they do, this incredible invention called the world wide web will more and more become a force for evil and not a force for good. Don’t Be Evil - they said it and it is about time they stepped up.




Institute of Directors

TALENT SPOTTING JUST A THOUGHT Can you identify the talents that you bring to your own business?

By Dean Orgill Chairman of Mayo Wynne Baxter •


n order to be successful the dedicated athletes (and business people) that I mentioned in my last column need to rely not just on their training but also their talent and often a healthy dose of luck (although we have probably all heard the maxim “the more I practice the luckier I get”). But what is “talent”? We can all spot it - or can we? Is it the ability to do something better than anyone else, or the ability to do things as they ought properly to be done. Alternatively is it someone being able to do something better than I can do it myself? A modern business needs people with all sorts of skills, and the skill sets needed seem to be evolving at an apparently ever-increasing speed. So someone who is brilliant at what you are doing now may well not be the right person for a role in a year or two’s time. Recruitment, and indeed retention, of the




right people (i.e. with the right set of skills) is therefore becoming ever more important. But how often do we look at the vacancy we have now and look to simply “fill the gap” with the person who is nearest thing we can find to the person we had before? The pressing immediate need to get someone can sometimes lead us away from ensuring that we have the best person for the role going forward. To be able to avoid that continuation of the status quo we do of course need to identify exactly what we need in a role, and what we might need going forward too. Of course some roles will require someone to bring stability and continuation to them, and not merely to be stepping stones to further progression. But if that is the case then these do need to be clearly identified as such, and recruitment on that basis can be dealt with on an honest conscious appraisal rather than by default. Another consideration is of course to look to

bring together the best combination of skills within a business, department or team. How often does a leader look to recruit members of their teams in their own image, when what they actually need is precisely the opposite? Teams that can offer diversity of outlook and experiences will be able to consider so many more options than a homogenous group. That other group might be more harmonious (unless their common characteristics are argumentative and challenging!) but I would suggest a blend of various outlooks and abilities is likely to be more successful in the long run. So, what skills do you want now, what will you need in the future and do you have the right blend? I suggest that a conscious focus on these aspects before you pick up any CVs and find yourself impressed by a candidate who is hugely impressive, but not the right fit, will pay dividends in the long run.

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ACES Magazine - issue 2  

The official magazine for the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex. Issue 2 - March 2017 - April 2017. Articles on the travel chaos in the r...

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