ACES The official magazine for the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex
Issue 3. 2017
DAVID DIMBLEBY Profile of BBCâ€™s Mr Dependable
KEEPING SAFE AT WORK THE SKILLS ISSUE BRIGHTON & HOVE MOTOR SHOW HONG KONG The City of Life
South African Wines
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from our Chief Executive Christina Ewbank
As a result, we have an interesting feature on David Dimbleby, who graces the cover of this issue. You may have thought that the general election is a foregone conclusion, but, whichever way it goes, David will guide us through it with his normal insight and aplomb. As always the ACES Magazine includes news and activities from the Chambers of Commerce across the county. You will find that all our Chambers are lively and very active. Your Chamber will help you promote, grow and develop your business. We would therefore like to ask you to talk to all your business contacts, both suppliers and customers, to encourage them to join their local Chamber of Commerce.
find out who to talk to in local authorities to overcome barriers to business and, of course, we frequently give out contacts for reputable suppliers. Chamber members can also access promotion in the pages of this magazine and our parent publication, Platinum Business Magazine, which goes out across Sussex. There are also some excellent business events to take advantage of, so check out whatâ€™s on.
On behalf of the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex
THE PLATINUM PUBLISHING GROUP Number 3, 30 Bedford Square, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2PL Tel: 07966 244046 Tel: 07989 970804 Mail: email@example.com Web: www.platinumbusinessmagazine.com ADVERTISING and SPONSORSHIP Lesley Alcock Business Development Director Tel: 07767 613707 Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Designer: Amanda Spicer Travel Editor: Rose Dykins Sub Editor: Kate Morton Food Editor: Amanda Menahem Photographer: Sarah Walker-Bennett Accounts: Julia Trevett
Rix & Kay - Focus on Care
RSE in Robertsbridge
Handelsbanken - Profile
David Dimbleby - Profile
Focus on Skills & Training
Sussex Skills Solutions
Clearwater - Health & Safety
Astec Computing - Moving to
Chestnut Tree House
Business Travel - Hong Kong
Uniglobe - Robot Wars
Sussex Economic Forum
Nova Direct - Mailing the Living
Gatwick Diamond - Meet the Buyers
Hydro Hotel - Fundraising Events
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Maarten Hoffmann email@example.com Ian Trevett firstname.lastname@example.org
We answer questions daily to help members access funding, get good cyber security advice,
WELCOME TO ISSUE NUMBER 3 OF ACES MAGAZINE
In this monthâ€™s issue we are focusing on the skills development needed to be ready for Brexit and the activities undertaken by members to develop their people. Since starting to plan the issue, the election has been announced, so we decided to profile an expert on the political process.
W. Bruford - Watches by Tag Heuer
Motoring - Jaguar XF
Motoring - Ford Focus ST
Classic Cars - Porsche 928
Brighton Motor Show
Fizz on Foot - South African
Institute of Directors
ACES NEWS Ten years on and still going strong One of Peacehaven’s success stories over the last ten years has been the Peacehaven & District Chamber of Commerce. Towards the end of 2006 around 200 of the town’s businesses were invited by Peacehaven Town Council to a series of introductory meetings to gauge interest in the town forming a chamber of commerce. There was clearly an appetite for a business organisation and the chamber was launched in February 2007. From its inception the chamber quickly established itself as the area’s premier business support and networking organisation and now boasts a membership of more than 50 businesses covering a wide and varied section of the local business community. Chamber chairman Phil Merry said: “It’s so important to have a voice for businesses as well as an organisation which is the focal point for the local business community. The chamber is that organisation.” He continued: “The chamber is a brilliant networking hub and people do business with people they like and trust. The chamber facilitates that networking opportunity and as a result hundreds of thousands of pounds worth business are conducted between members annually.” “Given that the Chamber was founded at the start of the recent financial crash, members have been trading through some of the most difficult years and yet we are here to celebrate our 10th year – I call that success!” Company Secretary Rachel Brown added “Peacehaven Chamber is also delighted to be a founder member of the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex, or ACES. It gives our members access to more businesses across the county and a strong voice with regional and central government.” If you would like to join Peacehaven Chamber visit www.peacehavenchamber.co.uk
Ask the Experts Meet some of the best businesses in Eastbourne at the Cumberland Hotel on Friday 12th May between 9.30am and 1pm Since taking over thebestof Eastbourne in 2011 David Ruddle has made it his mission to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of Buying Local in Eastbourne. Known for organising the popular #EBtweetup, a regular networking event connecting trusted local businesses and the community, David wanted to make their B2B event - #AskTheExpert- larger than ever. David explained, “Our aim is the promote all business types in Eastbourne and so we expanded Ask the Expert to thebestof Eastbourne Showcase incorporating all the best bits of #AskTheExpert AND opening up the event to our entire membership and community partners.” If you would like to connect with local businesses come to the Cumberland Hotel on May 12th where you will meet the best of Eastbourne businesses. Pre-register and you could win a spot prize! Experienced business people are on hand to assist you in a variety of business matters. To pre-register visit: www.thebestof.co.uk/local/ eastbourne/events/feature/thebestof-eastbourneshowcase
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important ”
Union meets Businesses Eastbourne Chamber was keen to get Mick Cash, the General Secretary of the RMT Union, to come to Eastbourne to talk to local business leaders about the industrial dispute affecting Southern Rail and Printers Playhouse were keen to enable the meeting by sponsoring it. Local businesses and commuters have been badly affected by the 31 strikes carried out by the RMT over the last year which has robbed £308 million from the local economy along with over 20,000 rail journeys. Entertainment businesses like, the De La Warr Pavilion, both on the South Coast and in London have seen bookings drop by over a quarter as audiences fear the last train home might be cancelled. Mick Cash accepted the invitation and came to talk frankly to over 50 local business members of Eastbourne Chamber. Without dictating numbers or restricting the questions Mr Cash asked the audience to pose any question they wanted and kicked off by talking about the role of Guards vs. On Board Supervisors (OBS). Mr Cash said the dispute is not about jobs, pay or new technology but is all about safety. It takes 6 months to train a guard and four weeks to train an OBS. This gives the guard the ability to carry out dispatch procedures when the train leaves the station and evacuation if passengers need to evacuate the train between stations. He also mentioned his concern that passengers with limited mobility should be able to ”turn up and go” in the knowledge they will get help to leave the train on any of the 88 Southern stations that are unstaffed. He said that from the start of the GTR/ Southern franchise the company had disregarded their staff and treated them with contempt. Whilst this might make it difficult to resolve the dispute Mr Cash said his members did not want to strike and were keen to get back to work as it was costing them money. He also expressed his sympathy for the businesses and commuters affected by the strike. Tim Cobb, President of the Chamber thanked Mr Cash for taking the time to visit Eastbourne and answer the challenging questions put to
him. He also thanked Printers Playhouse for their support in helping to make this valuable meeting happen. “Printers is Eastbourne’s unique new community theatre and live music venue in Grove Road, with a lovely bar and garden, and a purpose built studio theatre on the first floor. It’s well worth a visit!” commented Eastbourne Chambers CEO, Chris Ewbank. Open every day of the week except Sunday, Printers Playhouse provides a relaxed and sophisticated ambience for drinks and conversation, as well as a full programme of theatrical productions and live music four nights a week where we encourage new and original talent from Eastbourne and elsewhere.
big plans for further events and activities both at Printers and elsewhere in town. We also offer a wonderful freshly cooked and additive free Chinese street food menu from Ying’s Kitchen which is gaining accolades from all!” Further details may be found on www. printersplayhouse.co.uk and Facebook @ Printers Playhouse
WANTED Great Train Robber
Chris Berry, Printers Playhouse Managing Director said “We were delighted to support Mick Cash’s visit and also tell members what we do, running a diverse range of theatrical workshops and courses taught by theatre professionals, a community choir and we have
“Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.”
Mick Cash General Secretary RMT
FOCUS ON CARE Amanda Attrell, Head of Later Life
Dominic Travers, Corporate Partner
t the start of 2017, Rix & Kay published its second thought leadership report, The challenges for care homes and their residents. The report provides strategic industry insight into the state of the sector and examines issues such as funding, the role of the CQC and regulation, public relations, user experience, and managing employees.
Rix & Kay are fast becoming the law firm of choice for the care sector in the South East. Amanda Attrell and Dominic Travers, key members of the firm’s Care Sector Team, discuss some of the challenges the sector faces and how care home owners are becoming more business savvy by the day.
Amanda Attrell, who leads the firm’s Later Life Team, was at the forefront of the firm’s latest initiative. “Rix & Kay’s specialist Care Sector Team is a strategic and important part of its business, and it continues to invest in the sector so that it can truly understand and advise on key issues. Our latest thought leadership report is a great example of that. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit lots of care homes over the last twelve months. We’ve listened to what care home owners have got to say and then
“Let’s not forget that care homes are businesses, someone’s livelihood and in certain terms, no different to someone who has decided to run a garden centre, a hairdressers, or dare I say it, a hotel”
Legal reflected their insight and opinion back to those interested in the sector. The report has become a valuable business planning tool for care providers. What’s become apparent is that the vast majority of those people who are running
“We’re not going to solve the care crisis but we are committed to supporting the sector and particularly care homes, their residents and their families” care homes are really, really passionate about what they do and are doing a fantastic job. It’s a terrible shame and, in my opinion, wholly unjustified that isolated incidents are constantly being brought to people’s attention through the media. What our report does highlight however, is that there are some very big issues and challenges to be addressed by the sector and those who run care homes. Out of the 46 care homes we interviewed, almost three-quarters said that funding and cash flow is now the biggest issue facing their business. The challenges are huge and complex and there’s no easy solution, but we do need to do more. Let’s not forget that care homes are businesses, someone’s livelihood and in certain terms, no different to someone who has decided to run a garden centre, a hairdressers, or dare I say it, a hotel. But of course, they are different and come with huge challenges that require both the demands of caring for human life whilst trying to run a sustainable and successful business, without which the health care system would simply implode on itself. We’re not going to solve the care crisis but we are committed to supporting the sector and particularly care homes, their residents and their families. One of the things we’ve found is that care homes want more practical support for their residents. I’m lucky enough to be a Dementia Champion and I am in the process of running Dementia Friends Information Sessions in care homes for the residents, their family members, the staff and the general public. Dementia Friends is a Alzheimers Society initiative and something that really makes a difference to, what is often, a bit of a taboo subject. It’s a great way for care homes to invite the general public through their doors so they can see what it is that they do.” Dominic Travers, who is a Corporate Partner and a key member of Rix & Kay’s Care Sector
Team has worked with a number of care homes advising on general corporate matters and care home sales and purchases. Most recently completing deals for North Corner Care Home in Lewes, Roclyns Care Home in Peacehaven and Victoria Grand Care Home in Worthing. “There are some brilliant businesses out there that are combining a deep understanding of social care with running a very successful business, and more and more people are realising that the two must go hand-in-hand. Care home owners are now becoming business savvy. From putting in place robust business structures to help them operate cost effectively, and managing cash flow through more formal contractual relationships with their residents, to more imaginative initiatives, like making their homes central to their communities to encourage support from volunteers that can help safeguard a more effective workforce. It’s rewarding that Rix & Kay are in a position to be able to support care homes on managing successful and sustainable businesses, whatever their challenges”.
For more information and a copy of Rix & Kay’s latest report, ‘The challenges for care homes and their residents’, please email Scott Garner email@example.com
Rix & Kay’s unique Care Sector Team Rix & Kay’s dedicated Care Sector Team brings together a multidisciplinary team of lawyers and other professionals that specialise in supporting both care home owners, and their residents and family members. The team supports care home owners with a comprehensive range of commercial legal services. The team’s unique care planning and concierge services provides individuals and their families with access to a support network of specialist care advisers, qualified professionals and tradespeople who, together, reduce the stress of moving into a care environment. The team are considered thought leaders in the sector and maintain influential relationships with a wide range of care sector stakeholders. They regularly provide workshops and talks for care homes covering issues from dementia awareness to managing personal finances and care home fees.
MORE ROOM AT THE INN
Talent management company, RSE Group Ltd will celebrate their growth at the grand opening of their new office, formally a Napoleonic war recruitment office.
e are exceptionally proud to announce that due to our remarkable growth over the last six years, we are celebrating this special year with the grand opening of our brand new office in Robertsbridge, near Battle. We have outgrown our previous offices and have moved to bigger premises that give us, and the dogs (who all come to work with us) even more room as well as our own garden that overlooks the beautiful Sussex countryside. And our new office has quite a history… The weather-boarded Inn was built in 1511 in the hamlet of Johns Cross, so-named because it was a marshalling point for crusaders under the banner of John the Baptist, whose emblem was incorporated in the Inn’s sign. The earliest recorded occupant was one Edmund Spicer in 1562. Sometime following this period, ale was brewed on the premises and, in July 1694, the property was signed over to William Piper, a beer retailer of the parish of Battle.
“Although we don’t brew our own ale we do have a bar, well a mini bar under the boss’ desk, and we don’t plan on collecting on your overdue taxes anytime soon” In 1792, the Inn was extended to incorporate the then dining room, which is now a state-ofthe-art conference/meeting room. We are so excited to be restoring this beautiful property to its former glory as a Napoleonic recruitment office. During the war, the widows and orphans of the parish were given shelter at the Inn, and for many years it was used as a customs and excise office and a collection point for the mail coaches.
The RSE Group team
Recruitment News In more recent times, the adjoining ‘studio’ had been used as an extra classroom for the local school and, in September 1939, as a distribution point for evacuated children from London. Although we don’t brew our own ale we do have a bar, well a mini bar under the boss’ desk, and we don’t plan on collecting on your overdue taxes anytime soon! We have spent three months restoring ‘The Studio’ which will be our main office, and now work continues on restoring the main iconic building, using all locally sourced materials and tradesmen, ensuring the rebirth of this building’s integrity and history.
“We aren’t just about recruiting the best people, but ensuring they join the best working environment, and their managers and leaders have the tools and skills to help them realise their own, and others capabilities”
The school at Johns Cross Inn in the early 1950’s
Many thanks for your support with all that we have done thus far and we look forward to welcoming you to our new offices. If you’d like to visit us on May 5th 3pm – 5pm, share a glass of bubbles and say hello to the team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at RSE Group Ltd, The Studio, The Johns Cross, Battle Road, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, TN32 5JH. Tel: 01424 830000.
ABOUT RSE GROUP For those of you who don’t know, here at the RSE Group, we are curious to understand what will give organisations the best ROI on their investment, in their people. We aren’t just about recruiting the best people, but ensuring they join the best working environment, and their managers and leaders have the tools and skills to help them realise their own, and others capabilities. Whether it’s about their skills, experience, attitude and potential; or organisations, teams, management, leadership, culture and behavioural preferences, it is so much more than just getting ‘bums on seats’. Our goal is to find and encourage clients who have confidence and peace of mind in us, as well as candidates who have the best possible recruitment experience, knowing that we recruit for the best people. We are an all-round talent management company that covers all aspects of your employed and yet to be employed teams. We are there to support organisations who want low staff turnover and high productivity, and candidates who only deserve the best roles in the market.
We have an eclectic skill set that we have mastered over the years, and includes: • Recruitment • Key role recruitment • Executive search • Temporary recruitment - we also have a Gangmasters Licence (GLAA) • Psychometrics • Outplacement support • Management training and coaching • CV preparation and interview skills advice • Team improvement including happiness at work and emotional intelligence gauges • Attrition, absence and accident rates • HR and employment law
NOT ALL BANKS ARE THE SAME… Handelsbanken has been rated top for customer satisfaction for the last eight years. The Handelsbanken Stockholm Headquarters
ver recent years, Handelsbanken has steadily made a name for itself among local customers looking for a more personal, long term relationship with their bank. Its distinctive approach is based on a belief that experienced local bankers are best placed to understand the customers that live, work and trade in their town. For this reason, the overwhelming majority of decisions are made by the customer’s branch team. Demand for Handelsbanken’s modern day take on traditional banking has helped the bank grow to serve over 200 British communities, including branches in Eastbourne, Brighton, Hove and Haywards Heath.
For customers of Handelsbanken, the branch is the bank. Not only are staff empowered to make credit decisions and build bespoke solutions locally, but they are also available to handle a customer’s day to day banking requirements in person, rather than through call centres. Neil Hooper, Manager of Handelsbanken’s most recent local branch in Eastbourne comments: “I am delighted to be celebrating our first year here in Eastbourne. We believe that local people are best placed to make decisions involving their customers, and all of the team here live in the area. We are free from sales targets, mass marketing campaigns or bonus incentives - everything we do stems from our focus on customer relationships.’’
Banking He continues, “For the last eight years, Handelsbanken has been rated top for customer satisfaction in an independent survey of British banks’ corporate and individual customers.
The Handelsbanken Team at Eastbourne
“At a time when financial strength and stability remain crucial to customers, Handelsbanken has been judged one of the strongest banks in the world*. This reflects the bank’s long term focus and prudent, consistent approach to banking throughout all economic conditions.’’ The independent survey for customer satisfaction is compiled by the EPSI Rating Group (Extended Performance Satisfaction Index). EPSI’s CEO Dr Jacob Hallencreutz comments: “As in all previous years, Handelsbanken has the most satisfied and loyal customers in this year's survey of British bank customers. The importance of service delivery is a key factor in achieving this top ranking; Handelsbanken's personalised approach, local decision-making and branch empowerment inevitably play a large part in this.” This ties in with the company’s philosophy. Handelsbanken believe that a satisfied customer will be happy to return. To achieve customer satisfaction the bank’s employees, in all processes and in all departments across the bank, need knowledge, experience and genuine commitment. This applies among all. Every employee and every step of the chain is equally important. You can find your local Handelsbanken branch on the www.handelsbanken.co.uk website. Handelsbanken is a full-service bank with a decentralised way of working, a strong local presence due to a nationwide network of over 200 branches and a long-term approach to customer relations. *Bloomberg, July 2015
Handelsbanken, Ivy House, Ivy Terrace, Eastbourne BN21 4QU Tel: 01323 736049 Email: email@example.com handelsbanken.co.uk/eastbourne
Handelsbanken is the trading name of Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ). Registered Office: Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ), 3 Thomas More Square, London, E1W 1WY. Registered in England and Wales No, BR 000589. Incorporated in Sweden with limited liability. Registered in Sweden No, 502007-7862. Head Office in Stockholm. Authorised by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) and the Prudential Regulation Authority and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our authorisation and regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.
Politicians come and go, but there is always one reassuring constant - the calm and
professional coverage on BBC’s Election Night, headed up as always by Polegate’s David Dimbleby. Country Life once described Dimbleby as a man who “holds the nation steady when the waters get choppy.” Fortunately he will be keeping us all on a steady keel again on the night of June 8th...
he British people have spoken and the answer is: we’re out!” It was the moment that confirmed that Britain changed forever, and typically it was summed up in a single succinct and authoritative sentence from the most trusted man on TV. Whether it is the Brexit referendum, a general election or the weekly bunfight that is Question Time, few people, if any, are seen as impartial or as fair as David Dimbleby. This is no accident. This is something that Dimbleby has worked on all of his life. “I never tell anyone how I vote. Not my children. Nor my wife,” he says, when asked about his political leanings.
Profile by Ian Trevett
You can find online debates speculating on the political views of the top political broadcasters and there is a general consensus about most. Nick Robinson - Tory; Andrew Marr - Labour; Jon Snow - Liberal/Labour, Remainer; Andrew Neil - Tory; Laura Kuenssberg - Tory. And so it goes on. All of the mentioned broadcasters are excellent journalists, and these labels could be completely false. But people have formed these opinions, rightly or wrongly. When it comes to Dimbleby I could find only a few lukewarm suggestions that he was a Conservative but with no explanation as to what informed this opinion - i.e. it was just pure guesswork.
Dimbleby is known to be a gregarious, warm, chatty person - except when it comes to talking about himself. In 2009, Telegraph journalist, James Delingpole was invited to interview Dimbleby on his East Sussex farm, but was informed in advance that off-limit topics were: His first wife Josceline; their three grown-up children (including successful restaurant entrepreneur Henry); his second wife, Belinda; their 11-year-old (now 18) boy Fred; his little brother (and alleged massive rival) Jonathan; the BBC; his personal politics; his hobbies; pretty much any other aspect of his private life whatsoever. Can you imagine Dimbleby the interviewer
Big Story accepting such limitations? So presumably the interview was a bore? Not in the slightest, and Delingpole was utterly charmed by his subject’s mischievous manner and the knowing twinkle in his eye. The picture he painted of Dimbleby was not unlike Kevin Spacey’s brilliant Machiavellian hero Frank Underwood in the US version of House of Cards. “‘Crikey, what an operator!’ I think, at the end, when he engages me in some mildly flattering banter about an article of mine, ” writes Delingpole. “He charms but never lays it on so thick that you feel you’re being practised on. “Imagine if he’d gone into politics: he could have been so devastatingly manipulative that he would have made even Lord Mandelson look like a clumsier version of John Prescott. Thank the Lord that instead he stuck to television.” Kirsty Young has also been floored by the flirtatious Dimbleby. He was the castaway on Desert Island Discs on 24th February 2008 and when asked by Young what luxury he wanted, he replied: “I’ll take you.” “I nearly fell off my bloody seat!” Young said later. She rejected the idea, so he took pencils and drawing books instead. Despite such cheekiness, Dimbleby is a true gent, at least according to Country Life who named him the ‘Gentleman of the Year’ in 2014. Hannah Ellis-Petersen commented in The Guardian: “According to Country Life magazine, a true gentleman is always on time, makes love on his elbows and never wears fuchsia trousers – all commandments David Dimbleby will have to abide by if he is to live up to his newest accolade. “The magazine has named the broadcaster Gentleman of the Year in its annual rankings, saying he is a man who “holds the nation steady when the waters get choppy”. Despite Dimbleby breaking several of Country Life’s gentlemanly codes – a gentleman supposedly never tweets or writes with a Biro – the magazine stood by him as a “worthy winner”. “Jilly Cooper, the novelist, who was on
the judging panel, paid tribute to Dimbleby, saying he showed fairness and humour. She added that he had a beautiful voice and was a marvellous commentator, “adding lustre, knowledge and gravitas to any state event”. “The magazine noted that Dimbleby had only missed a Question Time broadcast once in 20 years, and that was only because he had been knocked out by a bullock at the time.” The magazine even forgave him for getting a scorpion tattoo at the age of 75, deeming that “body ink is to be embraced on a modern gentleman.” Dimbleby, it seems, can be forgiven almost everything and he is regarded as a national treasure, a position he shares with another BBC stalwart, David Attenborough.
The Family Business Broadcasting and journalism runs through the Dimbleby family’s veins. His father, Richard Dimbleby CBE, was the best known broadcaster of his generation. He was the BBC’s first war correspondent, and then its leading TV news commentator. He hosted the long-running current affairs programme Panorama, in which he pioneered a respectful but searching interview style.
“If he’d gone into politics: he could have been so devastatingly manipulative that he would have made even Lord Mandelson look like a clumsier version of John Prescott.”
He was the voice of the biggest major public occasions, including the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and the funerals of George VI, John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill. David, like his brother Jonanthan, followed in his father’s footsteps. Educated at
Glengorse School in Battle, East Sussex, and Charterhouse School, he went on to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Christ Church, Oxford. While at Oxford he was a member of the notorious Bullingdon Club and edited of the unfortunately named student magazine, Isis. Dimbleby joined the BBC in Bristol as a reporter in the 1960s and reported on his first election in 1964, when his father was the main presenter. He became an respected reporter and documentary maker, and in 1971, he had a rare episode where he was accused of political bias. The film, Yesterday’s Men, was less than complimentary about the Labour opposition, and the BBC noted that it had ‘ridiculed’ the Labour Party. There was no lasting damage to his career and in 1974 took on his father’s old job of presenting Panorama. In 1979, he took over as the anchor for the BBC’s Election Night coverage and has remained as the frontman ever since. He was a regular on current affairs programmes such as the early evening slot on Nationwide. In 1983, he bought out the family business, Dimbleby Newspapers, which published nine newspapers within Greater London including the Richmond & Twickenham Times. He sold the group to Newsquest in 2001 for a figure believed to be around £12m. In 1994 he took over as chair on Question Time, the role for which is best known.
Question Time It was never meant to be enjoyable. The powers that be at the BBC decided that the public could only have so much fun, and Question Time was certainly not intended to entertain. The Telegraph’s James Delingpole, tells the story of how it all began: “It was born on September 25th 1979, more by accident than design, and was never intended to last. The BBC had block-booked a London studio for the Parkinson show. “But, by Roy Hattersley’s account, ‘the
Big Story governors decided that five consecutive nights of Michael Parkinson was more entertainment than the viewers could stand. So two days were set aside for something solemn. Robin Day – out of fashion but with years of his contract still to run – had nothing to do except write angry letters to the Director-General denouncing the declining standards of British television. Question Time was invented to make sure that for a week or two neither the theatre’s rent nor the performer’s retainer were paid in vain.” It it is now an much loved institution and has provided some of the most memorable TV moments. Day got the ball rolling in his own combative and impatient style. Dimbleby recalled Day’s impact in a Telegraph column in 2004: “He was a prickly figure, both demanding and domineering - the
mock humility he occasionally affected on air was, as all his colleagues knew, precisely that. He was a difficult man to like but an easy man to admire. More than any other broadcaster he had set the standard for political interviewing. He had devised a television style that combined lawyerly persistence with theatrical flair to confront politicians, and prise open their shells.”
four years after Day retired in 1989, before Dimbleby claimed the chair in 2004, beating off a challenge from Jeremy Paxman. He controls the panel in a firm but friendly manner, coaxing out answers from experienced politicians without ever descending to the aggressive approach of Day. Except, that is, when he tries to silence the opinionated historian David Starkey.
As an example he recalls one conversation when they were both covering party conferences for the BBC. Dimbleby remembers Sir Robin coming back from an interview he’d done with the Home Secretary and asking what he thought. ‘Well I don’t think he said anything particularly new,’ said Dimbleby thoughtfully. ‘Not his answers, you fool. My questions,’ Sir Robin said.
For Dimbleby, it is all about the audience. He always strives to let the public air their views, rather than allow longwinded politicians to monopolise the airspace. And the production team work very hard to ensure the audience is a fair reflection of society at large.
Peter Sissons took over the helm for
“The idea is that the viewer should feel he is watching a true cross-section of the public,” says Dimbleby, “much as would have filled a town hall for a political meeting 100 years ago.” He is particularly proud that the show is popular across generations. The programme has in the past been accused of lacking in diversity, which is a claim he refutes. He recalls the controversy after the 2001 election which had a low turnout, especially amongst the young. “The Director-General of the BBC, Greg Dyke, was concerned that the manner of the BBC coverage of politics might itself have been partly responsible for the low voter turnout and the disaffection of the young with Westminster politics. “It was not a view I shared, but the DirectorGeneral is the Director-General and Question Time, with all the other political programmes, duly trooped along to be lectured. The underlying assumption was that the BBC’s coverage appealed only to the white middle class and the middle aged or elderly. “The young were not being properly served. Nobody dared wonder out loud whether young people as a whole have ever been interested in Westminster politics - and whether it was the conduct of politics itself that was at fault.
“The viewer should feel he is watching a true cross-section of the public, much as would have filled a town hall for a political meeting 100 years ago”
“We were cheered up by our research, which showed that among young people Question Time was the best-known current affairs programme.” One way the programme has kept mixing up the audience is by inviting comedians, musicians and other stars of popular culture. While older viewers may rail against the relevance of a young musician on a serious political programme, the policy works. The viewing figures among the young soar when there is a panellist that piques their interest. A comedian can also make good TV, and the Question Time team clearly have a sense of humour. Booking Russell Brand? Let’s team him up with Nigel Farage. It was no coincidence that George Galloway was invited when the venue was in Finchley which has a high Jewish population. Galloway’s stance on Palestine meant the sparks were bound to fly. And then there’s David Starkey. It hadn’t gone unnoticed that Mr Starkey had a habit of patronising or ridiculing any comments made by female panellists. So it was surely no coincidence that the devilish producers lined him up with an all female panel of Justine Greening, Harriet Harman, Shirley Williams and Victoria Coren. He didn’t seem to enjoy the experience. Dimbleby has an instinct for what audiences will enjoy and it takes a certain type of politician to accept the challenge. Prime Ministers, Chancellors or other high ranking ministers rarely take the risk of appearing on the show - the audiences are too dangerous! Dimbleby says, “One of the excitements of Question Time has always been the appearance of the big beasts of the political jungle on the panel. Michael Heseltine was the first Cabinet minister to risk accepting an invitation, on only the third edition of the programme. “Afterwards he complained at his treatment by a hostile audience but later, when he had been congratulated in the street by people
“Politicians dislike the humiliation of being publicly mocked. BBC interviewers do not mock. Question Time audiences sometimes do.”
who had told him how well he had done, he decided it was a forum in which he shone, and he became a regular performer. Other heavy hitters followed. “What they most dislike is the unexpected, the question that catches them off guard, and worst of all the humiliation of being publicly mocked. BBC interviewers do not mock. Question Time audiences sometimes do.” It has gone too far sometimes. After 9/11, the audience had an anti-American anger that shocked many, and the Iraq War prompted fierce reactions. It created a problem for the show in that one view was dominating. Dimbleby recalls, “Remember the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq? The country was divided, but opponents of military action were far more vociferous and articulate than its supporters. We took pains to include a proportion of people who claimed to support the war in the audience, but many were in favour in a vague, muddled way, and were not willing to speak out on the subject. “We had an obligation to achieve balance,
“Dimbleby has an instinct for what audiences will enjoy and it takes a certain type of politician to accept the challenge. ”
but more than that we desperately wanted the argument for war to be as cogently expressed as that against. We were forced to do something we had never done before: to plant articulate war supporters in identifiable places among the audience so that I could call on them when needed to provide balance.” The show also has tackled attempts at audience manipulation. Some years ago an over-enthusiastic UKIP official emailed the party’s supporters in Sheffield, where Robert Kilroy-Silk was to appear on the panel, urging them to apply but “pretend you are a Tory or Labour supporter”. The pressure to be fair, and to be seen to be fair, is intense, and Dimbleby carries it off with humour. But it can backfire. In an episode in Slough in December 2015, during a debate on Heathrow’s expansion, Jacob Rees-Mogg said, “Heathrow is the most convenient London airport. I realise that in Slough this may not please everybody. I used to live not a million miles from Slough with the airplanes going over. I must confess they did not prove too bothersome there.” Spotting an opportunity to rib Rees-Mogg on his posh background, Dimbleby interjected: “Eton, is that?” “That’s absolutely right,” the MP replied. Before adding with impeccable timing: “I was at school with your son.” Touché. It was a rare occasion where a panellist was sharper than the presenter. And he took the quip with typical good grace. No matter who wins this year’s election, you can be assured that Dimbleby will be fair and dependable - and no politician will be anything other than respectful to him, win or lose. He is in the unusual position in politics where everyone wishes him well. Except, perhaps, poor Huw Edwards who, like Prince Charles, is still forever and ever waiting for his own coronation. He will have to keep waiting!
Skills & Education
SKILLS & LEARNING
Christina Ewbank compiles the latest news on the skills gap, training, colleges and adult learning
FILLING THE POST BREXIT SKILLS GAP
hilip Hammond is reported to have allocated £500 million for technical student loans for the first time ever.
The Chancellor wants to elevate technical education to the same status as an academic route through university in what he claims is “the most ambitious post-16 education reform since the introduction of A-Levels 70 years ago.” High quality industry work placements will be available along with maintenance grants and huge increases in the quality and amount of technical training available. Industry leaders have been crying out for improved skills development for several years and this problem is especially acute now that business may not be able to call on skilled EU workers after Brexit. While Hammond is under pressure to find extra funding for the NHS, social care and schools it is clear that there has never been
a more important time to find funds to fill the skills gap.
towards filling this skills gap but is it too little too late? Will our economy be held back whilst we train students to fill these white collar, technical roles?
“If these workers leave the country will British workers take their place? Will the price of our fruit sky rocket? Will NHS waiting lists get longer and longer?”
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) there are 2.1 million EU workers in the country and the vast majority are working hard and paying their taxes. According to the University College of London, EU migrants made a net contribution to our economy of £20 billion between 2000 and 2011.
Immigration Much of the debate around our EU membership centred on the need to reduce the flow of migrants to the UK. These migrants included skilled construction, engineering and IT workers. The money set aside in the budget to beef up technical training will go some way
Immigration to the UK also includes the thousands of unskilled, low paid workers who pick our fruit, wash our cars and care for the sick and elderly in our hospitals and care homes. (N.B. 11% of NHS staff are not British.) If these workers leave the country will British workers take their place? As this seems unlikely, where will we be then? Will the price of our fruit sky rocket? Will NHS waiting lists
Skills & Education get longer and longer? Brexit could change the balance of power in the UK jobs market as employers are forced to compete for the best talent and for unskilled workers. This will inevitably push up labour costs, prices and inflation. Derek Godfrey, Managing Director Ellis Construction and South East Local Enterprise Partnership Board Member believes we may have a problem in store if the skills gap isn’t closed soon:
“With the ever increasing age demographic of the UK work force and our diminishing appeal to immigrant labour, the skills shortage has never been more critical for the construction industry and the country as a whole. Unless we plan succession and encourage young people to see construction as the well-paid multi-faceted career option that it is, we simply won’t have the capability to provide new houses, regenerate our towns or build on our infrastructure.
Essentially Schools and Colleges have to gear up very quickly to provide the appropriate education working closely with the construction industry. Speed, a stable market and partnership working will be key.” If you are using EU workers in your business now, you will need to start lobbying Government to be allowed to retain them or start making plans to replace them as a matter of urgency. The clock is ticking…
SPARKLING SUSSEX Plumpton college wins top prizes at the World Wine Championships
hile Sussex Sparkling Wines often beat Champagne in blind tastings and are picking up awards all over the world it is great to see that the vineyards managed by Plumpton College students have also been recognised as world class. The College had a very successful evening at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships awards, with the Dean Brut and Dean Blush not only receiving gold medals, but going on to claim top spots as Best in Class English NV Brut and Best in Class NV Brut Rosé. The Dean and the Dean Blush are traditional-method sparkling wines made by College students from Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes grown entirely at Plumpton College in East Sussex. The international competition in which they did so well pitted them against not only the very best of the UK wine producers (such as Ridgeview, Camel Valley and Hattingley Valley), but also the best Champagnes, Franciacortas and Cavas.
taste their enthusiasm for tending the vines, managing the fermentations and agreeing the blends!” Principal at Plumpton College, Jeremy Kerswell, added “This is an outstanding achievement for Plumpton College. The staff and student winemakers are tremendously proud of their products and the awards they have achieved, which encourage them to go on to make great wines, not just in England, but all over the world.” All the wines submitted for the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championship (CSWWC) are judged exclusively by three
internationally renowned fizz experts, Tom Stevenson, Essi Avellan MW and Dr Tony Jordan. With producers hailing from 26 countries, including first-time participants from Armenia, Croatia, Moldova and Ukraine, the CSWWC is the largest and most relevant sparkling wine competition in the world. According to Tom Stevenson, Founder and Championship Chair, “Whilst other wine schools around the globe make and sell their own wines as part of the hands-on teaching process, few manage to win gold medals with their efforts, let alone ‘Best in Class’. English sparkling wines are world class, and Plumpton is one of the best producers.”
“The competition pitted them against not only the very best of the UK wine producers but also the best Champagnes.” The College vineyards, in the heart of Sussex, benefit from an exceptional site. Match this with the loving care they receive from the students and staff at Plumpton and they produce truly outstanding wines. According to Chris Foss, head of the Plumpton College Wine Division, “The key difference with our wines, is that the vinegrowing and winemaking is carried out almost entirely by our undergraduate students. You can almost
From left to right: Chris Foss (Curriculum Manager, Wine Division, Plumpton College), Essi Avellan MW (Championship Judge), Jeremy Kerswell (Principal, Plumpton College), Tony Milanowski (Programme Manager, Plumpton College)
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• Enhance your critical and strategic thinking. • Gain the practical skills to apply cutting edge business theory. • Develop your management and leadership skills, learning from leading academic and industry experts. • Study in a beautiful campus location, a few minutes away from Brighton and within easy reach of London. • You receive individual support and innovative teaching in small groups. Sussex MBA Scholarships are available for professionals with management experience.
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Skills & Education
TECHNICALLY ADVANCED State-of-the-Art University Technical College Opens Its Doors in Newhaven
State-of-the-art University Technical College (UTC) in Newhaven, costing £14 million, opened its doors to pupils last year. The year 10 and 12 students left behind their temporary classrooms to enter the eagerly anticipated new building. The project saw a conversion of the Grade II listed old Marine and Carpenter’s Workshop in Newhaven Harbour into a college campus, injecting young life and aspiration into the Newhaven town centre after around 25 years of disuse. UTC@harbourside specialises in science, engineering, technology, computing and maths, making it the 39th UTC to open its
doors in England, and the first of its kind in the South East. Backed by the Department for Education, it is a partnership between University of Brighton, the Aldridge Foundation, Lewes District Council and Veolia. The new college, which took just 18 months to complete, is now home to a super science lab, a fully functioning engineering workshop including an advanced robotic suite, six 3D printers and rapid prototyping facilities. It also has a boardwalk pontoon, a new canteen and student breakout areas, amongst its worldclass teaching spaces. Adanma Umannu, Principal at UTC@
Harbourside, said: “We offer all our students an excellent academic and technical education in a unique learning environment with world-class facilities and equipment. We give young people the skills they need to innovate and invent and offer a variety of extracurricular activities to support each student’s development.
“The new college is home to a super science lab, a fully functioning engineering workshop including an advanced robotic suite, six 3D printers and rapid prototyping facilities.”
“Here at UTC engineering links all our subjects and we are proud that all our learning is applied to solve real world problems.” Danielle Vences is a year 12 student at UTC@Harbourside studying Triple Engineering and Product Design. She said: “Harbourside is a great place to study; I came all the way from South Africa to be here. Already I have found the tutors are knowledgeable and push you to succeed. If you know you want to study science, engineering, technology or maths, this really is the place to be. The opportunities open to us are endless and we are always put forward for new challenges.”
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Skills & Education Leader for Engineering, Bernie Flint, said: “Every student at Harbourside is challenged and encouraged to make significant progress in every lesson. We achieve this through an engaging and challenging syllabus, which motivates and inspires everyone. With our STEM focus and local industry links, we prepare students for real life, instilling growth mind-sets and an entrepreneurial spirit.” A surge in interest led to a waiting list to join UTC@harbourside last year, so parents are urged to get their applications for the next academic year in early to avoid disappointment. UTCs are technical colleges which are supported by universities; they share expertise to ensure students are fully prepared for higher education or a career in their chosen field. Now that Philip Hammond is on board, UTC Harbourside students should be able to access loans and grants to make the most of this terrific new facility.
For more information visit www.utc-harbourside.org
SKILLS TRAINING FOR BUSINESS PEOPLE Fully funded business support is available from Edeal Enterprise Agency courtesy of both Wealden and Eastbourne Councils. Start-up Workshops Whether you have just started a new business or are thinking about it, a start-up workshop is for you as, according to Natwest Bank, 8 out of 10 business start-ups will fail in their first year because they don’t know what they don’t know! When business people attend an Edeal Start-Up Workshop this statistic is turned on its head and over 8 out of 10 start-ups are still going strong after 18 months. The delegates learn legal, financial and marketing tips to help make their business successful and how to manage cash flow to protect their business long term. If you would like to attend one of these startup workshops just email email@example.com or call Sandra Walker on 01323 641144. • Wednesday 10th May. 10am to 4pm. Crowborough • Tuesday 6th June. 10am to 4pm. Eastbourne • Tuesday 18th July. 10am to 4pm. Hailsham • Wednesday 6th September. 10am to 4pm. Heathfield • Tuesday 12th September. 10am to 4pm.
Eastbourne • Thursday 9th November. 10am to 4pm. Uckfield • Thursday 7th December. 10am to 4pm. Eastbourne • Tuesday 16th January 2018. 10am to 4pm. Crowborough
Business Clinics If you are running a business but would like some advice or to talk over an issue before approaching your bank, accountant or solicitor, Edeal can arrange fully funded one to one mentoring with a business adviser at any of these business clinics:
experience to help you. If you are thinking of expanding, moving, down-sizing or selling, if you need help with an HR issue or help with your business plan or cash flow forecast, don’t hesitate to call Edeal on 01323 641144 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In Eastbourne and Wealden this business support is fully funded by the local councils and is subject to availability so don’t hesitate to call Edeal now while this support remains available.
• Friday 9th June. 1pm to 5.30pm. Crowborough • Wednesday 9th August. 10.30am to 3pm. Hailsham • Wednesday 11th Oct. 1pm to 5.30pm. Heathfield • Friday 1st December. 10.30am to 3pm. Uckfield • Tuesday 6th February 2018. 1pm to 5.30pm. Crowborough Our advisers are completely confidential and are selected for their specific business
THE APPRENTICE MATCHMAKERS WORKING TOGETHER ON APPRENTICESHIPS & SKILLS TRAINING
Finding the right apprentice for your company can be a tough challenge, but to make things much easier, skills training provider Sussex Skills Solutions provides an apprentice matchmaking service.
ussex Skills Solutions makes recruitment hassle free and cost effective. Since forming last year as a collaboration between Sussex Downs College and Sussex Coast College Hastings, the Sussex Skills Solutions team use their extensive database of contacts to match candidates to new positions, and use their expertise and experience to upskill existing employees. “Sussex Skills Solutions has a Talent Bank of contacts starting from age 16 to people in their 30s,” explains Stephen Burkes, Director of Sussex Skills Solutions. “Changes to the school participation age came into effect in 2015. As a result, young adults need to remain in education or training until they are 18 years old, making Further Education and the apprenticeship route an attractive option.” “We are starting to see more and more students consider apprenticeships as an alternative to University after they finish their college education, and this time of year could be a key time to start thinking about how an apprentice can help your business.” Sussex Skills Solutions works closely with the needs of local businesses to identify key
industry qualifications to supply them with a range of apprenticeship opportunities ranging from Level 2 to Higher apprenticeships (up to Level 6). Under new apprenticeship reforms, which came into effect this month, businesses can now save money by recruiting an apprentice. The most notable changes apply to apprenticeship funding. The government will cover at least 90% of the cost and give you up to £1,000 to cover other costs, such as mentoring. Sussex Skills Solutions can help you significantly lower your recruitment costs and give you a talent bank of students to choose from. The Talent Bank features a plethora of emerging talent, all raring to start their career in industries from Business to Childcare. Individuals are added to the talent Bank in a number of ways. The first is school leavers who express an interest in apprenticeships when they apply to College. Others are referrals from employees of the Colleges. The Sussex Skills Solutions team visits classes at both Colleges, signing students up to the Talent Bank. Oneto-one meetings with the candidate and an
APPRENTICE SNAPSHOT Liam Newton-May 19, from Uckfield Company: Health Management Ltd. Liam studied AS Level Business and a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport at Sussex Downs College before applying for an apprenticeship with Health Management (a MAXIMUS Company), one of the UK’s leading occupational healthcare providers. Liam joined Health Management as a Level 2 Business Administration apprentice. He has just applied to be a team leader at the company, evidencing the future progression opportunities for apprentices. Health Management recently completed its third round of apprenticeship recruitment, following the success of the scheme.
apprenticeship assessment ensure a high calibre of applicants. Lastly, when candidates apply on the National Apprenticeship Website they have the option to receive similar vacancies. “The Talent Bank narrows down candidates by displaying their location, sector, qualifications and wage expectations,” comments Katie Parris, Employer and Recruitment Advisor at Sussex Downs College. “This way we can invite the right candidates to apply for vacancies as they arise with the employers we work with. The level of support from Sussex Skills Solutions on the recruitment process depends on each employer’s preferences.” Last year, Sussex Skills Solutions held a recruitment day for Health Management Ltd. “Recruitment days work well for employers who are looking to recruit more than one apprenticeship at one time,” Katie continues. “We work closely with large businesses like Health Management Ltd, Wealdon District Council and the Sussex Community NHS Trust to deliver recruitment days.”
APPRENTICE SNAPSHOT Tom Ramsay 22, from St Leonards-on-Sea Company: Technoturn Tom is currently studying a Higher Apprenticeship and working for manufacturing company, Technoturn. Tom joined Technoturn in 2013 and has studied a Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeship with the company. He is now studying a Level 4 Higher Engineering Apprenticeship and produces high precision machined components, which Technoturn supply to many high tech sectors including, Aerospace, Defence, Motor Sport, Sensors, Opto-Electronics and Lasers. “The best thing about the apprenticeship is being able to see how things work, rather than being told how they work. I’ve always enjoyed learning while actually doing something, so getting hands-on with my job means that I am able learn so much and find it really enjoyable.”
APPRENTICE SNAPSHOT Sadie Nicholas 19, from Eastbourne Company: Sussex Downs College Sadie is a Level 3 Business Administration apprentice for the marketing team at Sussex Downs College. “I signed up to the talent bank once I’d finished my AS Level year, after seeing my boyfriend achieve in his electrical apprenticeship. My advice to potential apprentices would be to make sure you find a job that really interests you, so you can put your all into the application form. Working within the communications department gives me an opportunity to work in a team that focus on social media, design and journalism which is why I think this job role is perfect for me.”
APPRENTICE SNAPSHOT Harry Thorpe 20, from Eastbourne Company: The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne Harry worked two part-time jobs as a student, one of which was at Eastbourne’s Grand Hotel. University was on the horizon but when a position for a full-time bartender became available alongside an apprenticeship, he chose this route into the hospitality profession. Harry became bar supervisor in March 2016 and completed his apprenticeship in February this year, earning his Food & Beverage Level 2 Diploma. “I never looked at myself as an apprentice, which I think is important. You’re an employee in the workplace; you look for respect and you get the work done. I treated my apprenticeship like a normal job and the qualification is a bonus on the side.”
Sussex Skills Solutions can work with your business to deliver training in the workplace, meaning that learning is not restricted to the classroom. This makes employing an apprentice an easy and seamless fit with your business. “Our Talent Bank continues to grow, especially as a number of students begin to consider their next move after college,” says Stephen. “So there has never been a better time to start recruiting and taking your pick from some of the best candidates we have to offer.” Sussex Skills Solutions, 030 300 38241, www.sussexskillssolutions.co.uk
Health & Safety
NO-ONE’S FALLEN OFF YET!
Health & Safety laws are there to prevent death and injury not to inconvenience people, says Rob Slater, MD of Clearwater Safety Group Ltd
ne of the most common ‘complaints’ about health and safety is how its imposition into our lives has made it impossible to do anything at work – or at play. In fact it has even been suggested to me that adherence to health and safety law has killed more than it has saved! To try to dispel that ridiculous suggestion here are some figures. In 2015/16 in the UK, 144 people were killed at work and many thousands suffered injuries
clearwater safety group limited
ranging from bad cuts to broken bones or paralysis. Now compare that figure to 651 people killed in 1974, or over 1700 in 1947! So does Health & Safety kill people? Of course not. The ethos of the H&S profession and those who work in it is to keep people safe – to make sure they go home at the end of their day. Now I will concede that health and safety law is not perfect, but the imperfections are brought to the fore when it is misinterpreted.
In my opinion its greatest strength is that with a few exceptions, health and safety law is not prescriptive; it says you will ensure the health and safety etc, but it doesn’t say ‘HOW’ to do it. However, this lack of prescription is also its greatest weakness; it is what allows some people or companies to bring in the most absurd and ‘over the top’ procedures to ‘safeguard’ us. This is not managing risk, it is being risk averse – removing any possible risk
Health & Safety Most of the time when I’m visiting a workplace, the breaches I see, while often no less serious, are the result of thoughtlessness. Managers or staff often do not see the consequences of positioning a desk or bench in a certain place – they probably didn’t notice that it’s restricted the fire exit or that the wall mounted extinguisher can’t be reached, or the new machine needs a power cable that is draped across a walkway… to an individual, even though that may make working practically impossible. This is where some of the absurd examples of ‘health and safety gone mad’ come from. Over the years, I have carried out health and safety assessments on many many workplaces. And at a huge number I have found hazards that required immediate rectification. Some of these were as a result of deliberate action – or inaction, but the vast majority were simply employers or managers making the most of the space available and just ‘not seeing’ the hazards they had inadvertently created.
“Many is the time I have seen my new client cover their mouth in horror when I point out something that could have serious consequences” I came upon the first ‘deliberate’ breach very early in my career as a safety advisor with a consultancy in East Anglia. A double glazing factory had a loading area with a mezzanine floor approximately 4 metres above. The forklift truck would raise the frame components up for the warehouse staff to take off the pallets and carry to the appropriate racks. But the forklift only went as high as the floor slab so couldn’t place the pallets onto the floor. This meant that the staff had to reach over the edge or stand on the forks or pallet to unload. There was no edge protection along the length of the floor and obviously, nothing to stop anyone falling while unloading.
New Eyes One of the most important things I bring to a client is ‘new eyes’. When I’m walking round a site or factory, I see things which are obvious to me, but not necessarily to the employers. Often they have become immune to the hazards – the draped cable trip hazards or the restricted fire escape because they are concentrating on running their business. Many is the time I have seen my new client cover their mouth in horror when I point out something that could have serious consequences, something they may have had in place for months or even years. The big question that a business owner needs to ask is, “How much do I value my business?” This may sound like a stupid question, the answer is obvious. It’s my baby; it’s my livelihood; it’s my dream… But think of the question another way. How much do you value the reputation of your business, of your name connected with that business? Now think how much damage would be done to your name and your business if you had a serious injury or worse at your workplace, and it transpired that the cause was entirely foreseeable and therefore preventable? And
to put into purely monetary terms, how much would it cost you in terms of lost production, paying extra wages to your other staff to try to cover the loss, possibly increased insurance premiums, and of course the fines and costs if you are taken to court. Nowadays those fines can be huge with Judges having the scope to consider the harm that was or could have been done, whether the breach was as a result of an omission or a deliberate act, and the size and turnover of your company. The Courts are now regularly handing down fines in excess of £200,000. But not only can you be fined an eye-watering sum, Judges are also sending Company bosses to prison if it is found they have been deliberately negligent or have attempted to cover things up.
The Science of Compliance Risk is a part of life. You cannot remove all risk from the workplace. At Clearwater Safety we understand this – real life experience is a great teacher. So we take the knowledge gained from having ‘been there and done that, combined with seeing tunnel visioned adherence to narrow interpretation of regulations, and use what we call our ‘Science of Compliance’. What our clients like about us is the way we approach their needs. We know they need to make widgets, or build houses or run an office. All they need to know is what they need to do to be compliant and keep their staff safe. Ultimately isn’t that what we all are trying to do?
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I spoke to the Managing Director as soon as I saw it, and explained that he needed to protect his workforce but he was completely uninterested. I remember his comment clearly, “No-one’s fallen off yet…” I took this information back to my manager, who told me not to worry, he would deal with it. I was never sent back to that client, and to this day I have no idea if this and the other breaches I saw were dealt with. But seeing that level of disregard for the safety of his staff stuck with me.
MOVING INTO THE CLOUD WITH OFFICE 365 Part 2 – Team collaboration by Phil Astell of Astec Computing (UK) Ltd
n the last edition, we spent some time looking at, and busting the common myths surrounding cloud technology. If you didn’t get chance to read the article, you can view it online at platinumbusinessmagazine.com (click on the ACESussex link and go to page 24). In this edition, we are going to begin to look at how you can use Office 365 tools to improve your operational efficiency by using some of the collaborative tools within the suite. It is increasingly common for businesses to not only operate over multiple sites, but also to have team members working both on the road and remotely. Additionally, you may want to collaborate with people from outside of your organisation in a secure and simple way; for example, with customers or suppliers to work jointly on a project. Office 365 offers the opportunity to remove geographic limitations and removes the potential for your company network being a barrier to effective external collaborative working. To help demonstrate how the technology can bring real value to almost any business, we’re going to look at our invented company; DreamBeans - a coffee distribution and sales company and how they used Office 365 to help them work smarter.
DreamBeans profile • Description: Coffee sales and distribution • Locations: Midlands distribution centre, South East sales and admin office • Staff: 50 employees – 15 field based sales • Business challenge focus: Managing and collaborating with a remote sales team Steve, the sales director has been struggling for some time to manage a team spread around the UK. Email is the primary means of communicating, often used for sending file attachments, meaning multiple versions of files are in use across different team members. The team also use VPN connections to their fileserver at the main office from laptops but this is not always reliable when out on the road. Communicating across the whole team is difficult with group emails being the norm and face to face meetings difficult to organise and expensive. DreamBeans made the decision to move to the cloud with Office 365 and bring the whole company together.
Steve is going to build his sales team a structure to work in using a feature known as Office Groups. Groups in Office 365 let you choose a set of people that you wish to collaborate with, internal or external, and easily and quickly set up a collection of resources for those people to share. The resources you can share include; • Shared Inbox – For email conversations between your members. This inbox has an email address and can be set to accept messages from people outside the group and even outside your organisation • Shared Calendar – For scheduling events related to the group • SharePoint Document Library – A central place for the group to store and share files • Shared OneNote Notebook – For gathering ideas, research, and information • SharePoint Team Site – A central repository for information, links and content relating to your group • Planner – For assigning and managing project tasks among your group members • Microsoft Team – a real time chat and collaborative working environment Steve sets this up with just a few clicks. None of the resources need to be manually created; creating the group automatically creates them for you so the sales team can start using them right away. Once created, the team have a fantastically simple but powerful shared working environment for everyone to use, no matter where they are or what device they are working from. Steve’s team now have a shared Outlook inbox where messages are viewed by the whole team and can be responded to by anyone in the team. Everyone is on the same page. Because the sales team are on the road much of the time, it’s not always convenient to use their laptops on the move. Office 365
provides seamless access on almost any device; In addition to the standard Outlook 2016 desktop client they can also connect via Outlook on the Web, Outlook mobile, or using dedicated Microsoft Groups apps on iOS, Android or Windows Phone (and not to mention Outlook for Mac). This means that Steve’s team can stay fully productive and up to speed using just a mobile phone but will access the same information and tools on their laptop, desktop or tablet devices. The sales team now has access to all of their files through their SharePoint Team site; there’s no logging in to the network with a VPN connection. Files can be worked on together in real time by multiple team members with each being able to see what part of the document the other is working on and can see their changes as they happen; great for working together on a tricky sales proposal. To further help collaboration, each of the team members run Skype for Business alongside the document so everyone can discuss it while they work (through video, audio or instant messaging), just as though they were working in the same room together. Skype for Business is now used widely throughout the sales team. Steve runs weekly sales meetings with his entire sales team (set in the Group calendar), wherever they happen to be, using video and audio conferencing. He can screen share with his team to show sales targets and performance and provide product training for new team members. Using the Planner app, Steve is going to manage an upcoming sales conference. He needs to create areas of responsibility across his sales and admin team and assign them tasks. Planner offers a visual way to set tasks and deadlines to individuals and measure progress. If a team member is getting behind or appears overloaded, tasks can be reassigned quickly and easily.
Using the new Teams app, Steve has also created a really easy place for his team to ‘meet’, discuss ideas one to one or as a group and keep on top of events.
Conclusion The sales team is now truly working as a team. Communication is efficient and effective. There is just one version of company data and everyone knows what’s going on, what they should be doing and they really feel like they are part of a team. But this is just the beginning of the journey. There is so much more to come from Office 365. Next Steve is going to start automating sales admin processes using Microsoft Flow in 365 and then introduce a fully Office 365 integrated CRM solution; Microsoft Dynamics 365. But these projects are for another day… (well another edition anyway!)
ABOUT ASTEC Astec is an IT managed services and support provider and a Microsoft SMB Managed Cloud Partner, one of only 250 in the UK. We work extensively implementing, integrating and supporting Office 365, Dynamics 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 team today on 01424 460721 or visit www.astec.website.
A HELPING HAND Linda Perry, Director of Children’s Services at Chestnut Tree House, reflects on the Hands Up! Campaign so far, and explains why it is so important for people to continue putting their Hands Up!
wo years ago, Chestnut Tree children’s hospice asked companies in East Sussex to put their ‘Hands Up!’ if they could help the charity to care for more children in the county. As a children’s hospice, we care for children with life-shortening conditions. We support them, and their families, from diagnosis right until their final days and beyond, with access to a wonderful hospice filled with fantastic resources, a community nursing team who offer care at home, and counsellors and therapists providing emotional support for the whole family.
Ansvar put their hands up at a volunteering day
We have always cared for children and families across East and West Sussex, as well as South East Hampshire, but whilst we are very well known in West Sussex, we have a long way to go in East Sussex in ensuring everyone knows who we are, what we do and how to access our services if they are needed. The Hands Up! Campaign was launched two years ago to try to redress this balance. We’ve made great strides in that time expanding our care team, growing the services we can offer and increasing awareness of the charity. The care services we offer in East Sussex have been transformed since the campaign launched. Our community team based in Eastbourne, has grown from two nurses to a team of nine including nurses, care support workers and a family therapist. They work right across East Sussex, from Rye to Peacehaven and up to Crowborough, caring for children and supporting their families in their own homes. We have also been able to increase local support for families through additional activities and events. We now offer regular sessions for under 5s, youth group activities for over 12s and siblings’ events, as well as plans for a summer party and grandparents event this year.
The expansion of our services has led to an increase in the number of children we are caring for. During the past year we have cared for 77 children and families living in East Sussex, a 15% increase on the previous year, and the number of referrals we are receiving from the area has increased by more than half in that time. All of this has been made possible because individuals, businesses, groups and schools have put their Hands Up! and fundraised, participated, donated, volunteered and even shopped for Chestnut Tree. The campaign has raised over £1million in the past two years, and over 26,000 hours have been volunteered. But the work isn’t over. We continually need to fundraise as we receive less than 7% of our funding from central government. Whilst we are meeting the costs of caring for the children currently under our care, as we move closer to doubling the number of children we care for, we will need to raise more than ever before. Support from businesses is vitally important to us. They reach so many people that even if every person in every business told just one person about the work that we do, we would be reaching thousands of people in East Sussex, some of whom may need our help, and others who may be able to put their Hands Up! to help. There are plenty of ways that businesses themselves can get involved – from one off support at our events, to charity of the year partnerships, dress down days, gala dinners, to so much more.
If you would like to put your Hands Up!, please call us on 01323 725095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. uk. You can also find out more at www.Chestnut-Tree-House. org.uk/handsup
Community nurses care for children at home
HANDS UP! TO VOLUNTEER Increase employee job satisfaction, improve corporate culture and enjoy some team building fun. Employee groups can get involved at the hospice, at our fundraising events, in our charity shops and at our retail distribution centre.
HANDS UP! TO PARTICIPATE Corporate team challenges provide effective and interesting opportunities to bring together and strengthen relationships between employers, employees and clients. We have so many exciting events on offer so why not run, cycle, walk, trek or jump.
HANDS UP! TO FUNDRAISE Could you take part in our ÂŁ50 challenge? Or how about joining our lottery, doing something festive for our Get Festive Campaign or setting up Payroll Giving at your company? Our corporate fundraisers can help find the right fit for you and your company.
HANDS UP! TO SHOP We have three charity shops in East Sussex and are always looking for donations. We can deliver donation bags to you, for your employees, and collect them on a date to suit you.
Travel - Hong Kong
Shake hands in...
HONG KONG Rose Dykins heads to the City of Life to discover its incredible past, its present challenges and its future business prospects.
ust downhill from Hong Kong’s achingly cool PoHo district in Sheung Wan – away from the craft beer bars, pop-up fashion stores, and a (rather intimidating) glass-walled yoga studio – an unassuming square, Pak Tsz Lane Park, marks one of the most important places in modern China’s history. It is the original site of the Furen Literary Society – who spread ideas of revolution against the Qing dynasty and established a republic in China. Hemmed in by alleyways caked in graffiti and grimy high-rise buildings, with a discreet brown monument at its centre, its surrounds
are surprisingly gritty. However, my guide Danny Fung, points out they were chosen for a reason: “If the revolutionaries needed to evacuate the area at short notice, they could disappear down one of these alleyways.” Danny takes me on a fascinating and well-curated three-hour walking tour of the Hong Kong Intrepid’s Urban Adventures series (urbanadventures.com) – ideal for time-pressed business travellers who only have a spare afternoon to get to know a city once their meetings are finished. We’re led from leafy Possession Street, where the British
claimed Hong Kong as a colony in 1841, all the way to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, where Hong Kong was officially handed back to China in 1997, and the red starry flag was raised in ceremony. The transition from the incense-filled Taoist temples and Chinese medicine shops of Sheung Wan, to the glinting gargantuan buildings lining Victoria Harbour is extremely striking, and it’s amazing what a difference 114 years makes. In July, Hong Kong will celebrate 20 years of independence from British rule. The Hongkongers I spoke to were unsure how
Travel - Hong Kong Part of Hong Kong’s appeal for the international business community has always been that it offers the best of both worlds. Having semi-autonomy from the red tape and legal system of Communist-run mainland China, while also being a gateway to its booming economy, has made it a solid investment prospect for some time. Its stability has also been a key confidence booster for entrepreneurs. It will be interesting to see how the current political tensions play out, particularly if separatist sentiment gains momentum, as it did here in the UK. Major plans are underway for a super highspeed rail service that will connect Hong
Duddell Street Steps
the occasion will be marked, although some mentioned that the government was allocating bigger budgets for annual cultural festivals. (For example, the budget for the internationally acclaimed Hong Kong Arts Festival has been boosted by 9% this year.)
Part of Hong Kong’s appeal for the international business community has always been that it offers the best of both worlds
During my visit in November, a different kind of independence was on some citizens’ minds. Beijing’s increasing influence over Hong Kong has been a bone of contention ever since President Xi and the Communist Party of China came to power in 2012. However, while I was in the city, the news broke that Beijing had banned two legally elected pro-independence Hong Kong lawmakers from entering office, for insulting China during their oaths they took while being sworn in. Feelings of frustration and contempt for mainland China were strong – 40,000 protestors took to the streets demanding independence for Hong Kong. (Some people also expressed anger towards the two lawmakers, believing they threw away a chance to secure Hong Kong’s future for the sake of making a statement.) What’s more, the Chinese government is also launching legal challenges against even more proindependence politicians, adding fuel to the fire. Man Mo Temple Sheung Wan
Travel - Hong Kong bringing six daily flights to the London and the Southeast. Those living in the area will benefit from the popular time slots at Gatwick, and this will mean they can still easily connect to other destinations on the network.”
Graffiti near Pak Tsz Lane Park Kong with mainland China. Costing $11 billion, the project involves building a train station on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, with 26 km of track connecting it to Shenzhen, and is due for completion in late 2018. While the development won’t sit well with Hongkongers that reject further integration with China, it’s likely to be welcomed by business travellers.
In terms of investment activity, Hong Kong has been ranked as the world’s freest economy for 21 consecutive years by the Heritage Foundation, and placed second globally (after mainland China) for inflow of foreign direct investment in 2014, which totalled US$ 103 billion. Its taxation is low and simple, its infrastructure is world-leading, and its workforce is skilled and English literate, with a strong international outlook. A slew of companies that have recently set up headquarters in Hong Kong include travel tech company Kayak, travel app Trip Guru and German music tech company Soundbrenner. This year, it was reported that internationally,
1,926 start-ups are operating in the city, a large number of which were engaged in the Fintech sector – including financial software, cybersecurity, foreign exchange and anti-fraud services – which is unsurprising given Hong Kong’s roots as a banking powerhouse. A final attraction of Hong Kong – just in case you’re tempted – is its enviable lifestyle. It offers the cosmopolitanism, culinary diversity and colourful heritage of London, while its chaos is far more organised, its metro system much more modern, and its days are sunnier, with plenty of attractive public spaces to enjoy them. At the weekends, residents take ferries to the Outlying Islands to enjoy hiking, beaches and festivals, or kick back with a Beaujolais Nouveau in one of the city’s hidden hipster enclaves. There’s always something new to see, do and taste in the aptly nicknamed “City of Life”.
On a more local level for Platinum Business readers, Cathay Pacific recently re-introduced its direct flights from Gatwick to Hong Kong for the first time in 23 years. It’s the first route that the airline has operated with its new A350-900 aircraft, which is designed to offer a wider, quieter cabin with a new in-flight entertainment system.
The transition from the incense-filled Taoist temples and Chinese medicine shops of Sheung Wan, to the glinting gargantuan buildings lining Victoria Harbour is extremely striking
Tai Ping Shan Street
CREATIVE QUARTER: PMQ
“The route will offer more choice, convenience and connectivity to both business and leisure travellers when travelling to North and Southeast Asia, China and the South West Pacific.
Housed in a converted former Police Married Quarters in PoHo (hence the name PMQ), this regeneration project really captured my imagination. Home to more than 100 entrepreneurs and designers, PMQ is a hub for creativity; a non-profit organisation that aims to nurture Hong Kong’s young talent. It has welcomed more than three million visitors since it opened in 2014, who are free to browse the open studios and boutiques of the entrepreneurs, making purchases and interacting with the people behind the products. The potential for collaboration and business partnerships with visitors is huge. I visited in the evening and perused the long corridors of the five-floor building. I found avant-guard jewellery, ground-breaking gadgets, artisan crafts and tantalising food concepts. PMQ also stages regular events, workshops and exhibitions, and was the host venue for the inaugural Hong Kong Fintech week last November.
“The new Gatwick route complements our existing five-times-daily service from Heathrow,
“We are delighted to return to Gatwick Airport with a non-stop service between Gatwick and Hong Kong,” says Paul Cruttenden, marketing and digital sales manager for Cathay Pacific.
Travel - Hong Kong
TOP FOUR EVENT SPACES HONG KONG CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTRE Protruding out to sea in the Central Business District, this cutting-edge 91,500 sqm venue hosts hundreds of conferences and events each year. hkcec.com
➠ HULLETT HOUSE Set on the edge of Kowloon in a landmark colonial building, this special hotel has individually designed suites, and offers a ‘heritage meeting experience’ with themed coffee breaks. hulletthouse.com
➠ UPPER HOUSE HOTEL With just 17 rooms, this original luxury property – with design inspired by nature – has a secluded open air terrace in the heart of the Central district, which has space for 100 guests.
➠ JUNK EXPERIENCE Set sail on the South China Sea on board a beautiful teak ship for the best way to experience Victoria Harbour. A range of catering options and extra activities are available. new.hongkongjunks.com.hk
Travel - Hong Kong
Where to Eat
Cafe Gray Deluxe, Upper House Hotel
Featuring warm decor and glittering views of Victoria Harbour, the exquisite menu of this refined eatery presents original fusions of flavour, and is headed up by Gray Kunz. upperhouse.com
Aberdeen Street Social Part of the PMQ complex, Jason Atherton’s modern brasserie-style eatery has a verdant garden terrace and an award-winning pastry chef. jasonatherton.co.uk
Stables Grill, Hullett House Hotel Perfect for entertaining a client, this sophisticated grill restaurant offers privacy and atmosphere within its restored wooden walls. Each dish is served with its signature black garlic imported from Switzerland. hulletthouse.com
Brass Spoon Recently awarded a Michelin Bub Gourmand award, this understated Vietnamese restaurant in the lesser-known Star Street district allows you to customise your pho to the max – from the amount of coriander to the type of beef oil – with delicious results. thebrassspoon.com
GETTING THERE Cathay Pacific now offers a choice of three routes between the UK to Hong Kong, and onwards to over 190 destinations globally. These include five flights daily from London Heathrow, and four flights per week from both Manchester Airport and Gatwick Airport. The new Gatwick route exclusively features the new A350. For further information, visit www.cathaypacific.co.uk or call 0208 834 8888.
Gatwick Airport and the government are supporting a major business export event, with a focus on US and Chinese markets.
L-R: Juliet Zhou, Head of Financial Services, China-Britain Business Council, Martin McCourt, former CEO, Dyson, Michael Hayman MBE, Co-founder Seven Hills, Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatwick Airport, Priya Guha, Rocketspace and former British Consul General in San Francisco,Kiel Harkness, Marketing Director, UK, Ireland and Nordic Countries, UPS, Eva Gustavsson, Director Government Relations, PayPal, Dr Graeme Malcolm OBE, founder, M Squared Lasers.
ore than 150 business leaders attended Gatwick Airport’s TAKE OFF 2017 event last month to hear a clear message - exporting is GREAT. The ‘TAKE OFF 2017: Grow Your Business Abroad’ conference, designed to help businesses from London and the South East grow internationally, brought together a host of established exporters, government figures and support organisations to provide a mixture of practical advice and inspiration for those who are looking to expand their business to overseas markets. Delegates heard from over 20 speakers including representatives from Gatwick, PayPal, UPS, Funding Circle, Rocketspace, M Squared Lasers, Norwegian Air and Cathay Pacific. The conference, which took place in The Hilton Hotel at the airport, was hosted by Michael Hay]man MBE and brought to a close by former CEO of Dyson, Martin McCourt. With a specific focus on the US and Chinese markets, delegates heard that the opportunities for starting or growing global sales have never been greater. With inspiring tales from entrepreneurs who are already
exporting and advice from the companies that can help them, the audience was encouraged to make their businesses take off. The ever increasing number of passengers travelling through the airport each year has now reached 43 million and its booming long-haul services grew by +26.8% in 2016, continuing to demonstrate that Gatwick can connect Britain to important growth markets when these links have never been more crucial. Gatwick long-haul network now reaches over 50 destinations and accounted for 14% of the UK’s aviation connectivity in 2016, delivering productivity benefits to the UK estimated at £1.1 billion. Guy Stephenson, Gatwick’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are delighted to have seen such a good turnout at this year’s TAKE OFF event and hope these businesses feel inspired to grow their exports. Their success is vital to the future of our region and Gatwick is their gateway to global growth.” The Rt Hon Lord David Young of Graffham, said: “I’m incredibly optimistic about the future and believe there are an enormous
amount of opportunities for UK businesses to trade overseas. The British brand is perceived as a mark of quality and as such gives UK businesses a real advantage when exporting British goods.” Matt Wood, VP of Network for Norwegian Air said: “There are significant opportunities for businesses of all sizes to take off in the US market and the aviation industry has a vital role to play. Norwegian’s rapid transatlantic growth at Gatwick has always focussed on serving the top destinations at the most affordable prices. With more flights, new routes and lower fares planned, we look forward to giving lots more UK businesses an affordable springboard to global growth.” Martin McCourt, Chairman of the Board, Glen Dimplex Group and former CEO of Dyson, said: “My advice to small businesses tackling overseas markets is to be bold, lead from the front and think big. There will no doubt be bumps in the road along the way but with high risk comes high achievement, so it’s important to believe in your business plan and grasp the opportunities out there.”
ROBOT WARS Lost in Dubai should be a thing of the past
by John Burroughes Managing Director, Uniglobe Preferred Travel
e all know the proverbial saying about buses coming along at once, and so it was last week that prolific forces managed to converged numerous important travel related events in the same week, in different parts of the world. The net result of this was that I found myself talking to a lost business traveller (Brian) in Dubai airport while my son Andrew, found himself at the Amadeus Innovation Centre in Nice talking
to a robot. Let me explain. I was in Dubai to meet with owners of travel businesses from many different countries to discuss the future of travel distribution, which is a particularly hot topic in our industry at present, especially with the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA). Now we are all used to Apple’s Siri and Amazon Echo, we in the travel industry are
preparing to welcome Amadeus’s Pepper and even Hitachi’s EMIEW3 robot, (note the French give a fluffy name, the Japanese a serial number). It wasn’t that long ago that we were explaining to business travellers what this newfangled item called an e-ticket was! So first to Japan where at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, Hitachi are trialling a project with their EMIEW3 robot, which is performing a range of functions such as giving directions, answering
“It wasn’t that long ago that we were explaining to business travellers what this new-fangled item called an e-ticket was”
travel related questions and actually taking travellers to the locations they are seeking within the airport. Robots are also being trialled in Japanese hotels.
within the software is complexed artificial intelligent algorithms that are trawling through billions of news articles embedded within the robot, sorry Pepper.
Here I would like you to picture the massive queues one used to have to join at an airport to check-in, nowadays you can go to a terminal, tap your details in and move swiftly on. Instead of waiting behind the people that are trying to check-in on the wrong day, or arguing about an upgrade, how about a robot to assist you at check-in or at checkout? Whilst on the subject of upgrades, with a robot, surely all we would need is an upgrade code, as opposed to being eyed up and down by the hotel clerk to see if we appeared worthy of one.
Pepper is simultaneously linking your profile which it created through your dialogue with external destination profiles. After displaying a shortlist of suggested destinations, Pepper transfers all of this information to the travel consultant’s desktop, (travel consultant is a human, at the moment) where they refine your destination choice and aim to add value to make your trip truly unique.
“The AI revolution is not just around the corner, it’s already looking and learning from us” In addition to the airport, a hotel is trialling a robot that stores and retrieves your luggage, and robots that deliver your suitcases to your room - no more embarrassing moments where the bellhop hovers in the doorway whilst you fumble for some token of your gratitude. Pepper on the other hand is being groomed (well, programmed) to work by rechargeable battery and as a human, a.k.a. a travel consultant. The idea is you visit a travel agency, you see that the travel consultants are busy and all of a sudden you hear a ‘friendly voice from a cute little robot’ (Amadeus’s words not mine). It greets you saying: “hello, let me show you some pictures,” if you see a picture you like just smile, you join in and away you go - your profile is already being built from a series of pictures and questions. Integrated
Before you think that all of this is a bit farfetched, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Amadeus, Samsung and Apple all have major AI test projects currently running and the global stakes have never been higher, as we have just seen with the withdrawal of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7, which is expected to cost the company £4.4bn this year alone.
So back to Brian, the lost business traveller I encountered in Dubai. Brian is a marine engineer and travels to all parts of the globe at very short notice to fix ships and machines. His skill set is much sought after and doesn’t come cheap, yet the reason he was wandering around Dubai airport was the travel company he was using had not informed him which hotel they had booked him into, they hadn’t even sent him an email itinerary, yet alone one that he could access online. Now dear Brian being a considerate soul, was waiting for a suitable time difference between him and the UK before waking up said agent. If ever there was a cost to a company or person where even a sliver of the above technology could have added to a better personal experience, here is an example.
If you’d like to know more, please contact me on John@Uniglobepreferred.co.uk
Someone who is particularly interesting is a man called Dag Kittlaus. He was behind the development of Apple’s Siri, the digital assistant bought by Apple in 2010. He left Apple in 2012 and began working on a new more advanced AI project called Viv, which was in turn purchased by Samsung last week. The stated aim of Viv is to “breathe life into inanimate objects.” The fine line between technical genius and falling off the wafer thin electronic tightrope, has never been more publicly displayed as in the last few weeks with the above loss for Samsung. Set this against the launch of Apple’s iPhone 7, which contains something they are calling ‘image signal processor’ (ISP) which is capable of performing as many as 100 billion operations in just 25 milliseconds, the AI revolution is not just around the corner, it’s already looking and learning from us!
BUSINESS TALK The largest economic forum ever to come to Sussex.
he Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a snap election set for the 8th June - no one knows what the results will be. Whatever the snap election results are, one thing for certain is that it will be very important for the county of Sussex and will make for an even more electric Sussex Economic Forum 2017 Conference. Sussex is a vibrant county with a rapidly growing population, offering great business opportunities with great strength in many fields such as construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail, tourism and shipping to name a few. Sussex is also home to one of the busiest airports in the UK that at present, helps to take passengers to 220 destinations each year, and smashes global records of 44 million annual passengers with its long haul services. The county is as dynamic as it is diverse, and it is Sussexâ€™s economic growth and development which will be the main subject matter of this yearâ€™s conference. It will see many high-profile keynote speakers, economists, members of the cabinet, politicians, local government bodies, public-
private partnerships, chambers of commerce, local and international businesses, universities and a variety of other institutions in attendance. This two day conference will commence with a gala business dinner on Thursday 16th November at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel, with one of the UKâ€™s top business magnates, attending as keynote speaker.
Friday 17th November will see the conference open in earnest at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel, with up to 1250 delegates taking part in four major debates, covering subjects at the heart of the local region such as economic growth and the effect of Brexit; rail, road, sea and air infrastructure; digital infrastructure; and education and employment.
For more information about the conference, to book tickets or for sponsorship opportunities, please contact Faiza Shafeek on 01323 461298 / 07540 406685 or email email@example.com. Please visit www.sussexeconomicforum.co.uk
Run and organised by
Women in Business
24 CARROT GOLD Supporting the success of business is at the heart of Sussex “I am often asked why we should enter awards and what are the benefits to me or my business? My reply is always that winning a business or personal award will raise your profile, the profile of your company, enhance its reputation, instil trust to your customers and attract new business, which will ultimately make you more profitable. In short, it will prove you are better than your competitors. And so with that in mind, we at Carrot Events are very proud to announce that we will be soon launching a brand new Business Award, these innovative awards will be solely targeted to chamber members only.
“The awards will recognise and reward excellence in business throughout East Sussex. The categories will be new and inspiring, and the winners will not only receive huge recognition and a super trophy, but will also receive a number of surprise benefits that will help their business achieve even mor.” Faiza Shafeek of Carrot Events.
Enter or nominate NOW! The Sussex Business Women Excellence Awards 2017 is preparing for an exciting event as we welcome many wonderful email entries and receive hype on social media and at business networking events. Receiving an accolade for your outstanding work achievements brings your successes to light, and builds a positive path for other women to follow. Women have made so much progress in business over the years, and these awards have been designed to highlight and recognise their exceptional skills and talents. The awards headline sponsor, ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW, is one of the ‘Top 50 Groundbreaking and Innovative Law Firms in the UK and Europe’ (Financial Times). Penina Shepherd, founder of the company and multi award-winning entrepreneur, business lawyer and author of the inspirational bestseller book ‘The Freedom Revolution’, said: “We are thrilled at the success of the 2016 BWEA Sussex Edition and look forward to it growing year on year. Celebrating the achievements of successful business women across the region is truly inspirational”. The Sussex Business Women Excellence Awards will take place on the 24th November at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel.
The Sponsors are: HEADLINE SPONSOR:
Category sponsors on board so far are:
Media Partners: GROUP
Sponsorship opportunities are available, please contact Faiza Shafeek on 01323 461298 / 07540 406685 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For further details go to www.sussexwomeninbusiness.co.uk
MAILING THE LIVING Andy Fry, MD of Nova Direct, on the methods that can be used to ensure your data is clean and accurate
n the last issue of Platinum Business Magazine, I wrote about the importance of keeping your data up to date, and avoiding the nightmare scenario of mailing (or emailing) the dead. If your email or mailing data includes a person who has passed away it can cause enormous distress to family members if you are sending out personalised marketing material. Even more likely is the possibility of mailing
someone who has moved home or changed the company they work for. The waste of time and money can be significant, and the results of a campaign can look terribly ineffective if your message is not being received in the first place. If it is direct mail, the wasted expenditure on postage can be enormous. So what to do? The answer is to use a company, such as Nova Direct, who specialise in maximising
the effectiveness of your data, by ensuring it is accurate and properly targeted. These are two distinct specialities, so in this article I will concentrate on maintaining clean data. Our systems and data technicians continuously monitor, refresh and update data. This enables us to deal with all aspects of data processing. We employ several methods to ensure your mail does not get lost, or worse, sent to a person no longer alive.
Direct Marketing Avoiding sending unwanted mail It is a simple fact that many people do not want to receive marketing messages that they have not requested. The best method to avoid unwanted mail or calls is to sign up for a “Preference Service”. Unfortunately, this is not a guaranteed solution to prevent annoying sales calls or junk mail. Many companies will flaunt the rules, calculating that the fines are less that the possible rewards. This may be particularly true of overseas companies who can avoid prosecution. However, it doesn’t create a good company image if you ignore the wishes of the general public, and we would not entertain the idea of sending marketing material to those who have stated that they do not want to receive it. The preference services we subscribe to are: • Mailing Preference Service (MPS) This is a list of families who would prefer not to receive unsolicited direct mail • Telephone Preference Service (TPS) This is a list of telephone numbers who would prefer not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls • Fax Preference Service (FPS) This is a list of fax numbers who would prefer not to receive unsolicited faxes
Moved On - No Reply On average, 10% of the UK population will move house in a year. During the chaos of moving, contacting every company and organisation that you have ever bought from or donated to is not always your highest priority. Through our AMIGO platform we can review the name and address information and ensure they are not contained in our suppression list of people we know have moved. For certain contacts we even have the ability to link the individual with their new address enabling you to remain connected. We also understand that records being entered into your CRM system can be subject to human error. We have the ability to review the address information you have captured
and validate it against the Royal Mail’s Postal Address File (PAF). This process ensures the correct street name, town, county and postcode are used to boost the delivery success and open up opportunities to generate savings on postage. The databases we utilise include: • National Change of Address (NCOA) This file contains approx 9.5 million records of new and old addresses. It is compiled by the Royal Mail using re-direction requests from householders. It can be used as a Gone Away File or to track and trace • Postal Address File (PAF) A file that contains every address in the UK and can be used to cross-reference data. Compiled by the Royal Mail
Mailing the Living Most important of all is ensuring that you don’t email or mail someone who has passed away. This can cause distress for close relatives. Surveys reveal that 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.
We cross-reference names and addresses with records of those who have recently passed away. The records we use include: • The Deceased Register (TDR) This file is collected in collaboration with local registrars throughout the UK at the time a death is registered • The Bereavement Register (TBR) This file is collected in collaboration with local government registrars, law firms, hospitals and funeral directors throughout the UK within 7 days of a death The methods described are just some of the ways that we ensure that data records are clean and accurate. We also have bespoke software and other ways to ensure records are up-to-date. Can you afford to not check your data?
Web: www.novadirectmail.co.uk Email: email@example.com Tel: 01444 231400 Next time - Targeting your right audience
18th October 2017 THE ARORA HOTEL, CRAWLEY
Donâ€™t just Meet the Buyers get yourself connected The Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers Programme brings together Buyers and Suppliers to help each other grow their businesses. For Buyers, you will have the opportunity to meet new Suppliers of the products and services you need as well as explore ways to solve your procurement issues.
For Suppliers, you will be able to access the kind of businesses you simply cannot reach elsewhere, with face to face meetings with their procurement professionals.
From June 2017, there will be a programme of free Seminars to help you understand how to engage with Public Sector and large businesses that are seeking new suppliers as well as improve your general sales processes.
t: 01293 813889
MEET THE BUYERS Save the Date - 18th October 2017
he Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers event brings together Buyers and Suppliers to help each other grow their businesses.
One of the most difficult aspects for any business is getting in front of the decision maker. It is a battle to find out who you need to talk to, and once you do, you have to navigate around the dogged gatekeepers. This is an event that brings the right people together and makes the process straightforward and easy. For Buyers, you will have the opportunity to meet new Suppliers of the products and services you need as well as explore ways to solve your procurement issues. For Suppliers, you will be able to access the kind of businesses you simply cannot reach elsewhere, with face to face meetings with their
procurement professionals. From June 2017, there will be a programme of free Seminars to help you understand how to engage with Public Sector and large businesses that are seeking new suppliers as well as improve your general sales processes. On the day you will be able to spend time with the types of businesses you just donâ€™t see out and about. Date: 18th October 2017 Venue: The Arora Hotel, Crawley For more, please call 01293 440088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
EVENTS WITH A HEART Eastbourne’s Hydro Hotel has put together a diverse calendar of fun events, all of which help raise money for good causes.
2017 Calendar Friday 19th May 2017
Murder Mystery Dinner
Murder Mystery Dinner
hether it is a dinner in the chaotic company of Del Boy, Rodney and Uncle Albert or a night of stirring opera, the events at Hydro Hotel have one thing in common - part of the ticket price is donated directly to both St Wilfrid's Hospice and Chestnut Tree House. St Wilfrid’s Hospice provides tailored end of life care both in the community and at the hospice, supporting patients living with a terminal illness, and their family and friends. They provide hospice care to the communities of Eastbourne, Pevensey, Seaford, Heathfield, Uckfield, and everywhere in between. Chestnut Tree House is the children’s hospice for East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and South East Hampshire and cares for 300 children and young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive lifeshortening conditions.
“Murder in the Pharaohs Tomb” The evening includes welcome drink reception, three course dinner with coffee and professional entertainment from “The Company Upfront” in full period costume. £46.00 per person
The evening includes : 3 course dinner with coffee and mints and professional entertainmen t from “The company upfront ” In full period costume
Tickets £46.00 per person and are limited to 60 guests
Murder Mystery Dinners
Tickets are non refundable in the event of cancellation unless the tickets are re–sold.
£46.00 per person Performed by
Guests are seated at tables of 8 and pre-order for dinner is required before the event Special rates for overnight accommodation available £49.50 per person bed and breakfast Reservations are essential
as numbers are limited
To book please call 01323 720643 Hydro Hotel, Mount Road, Eastbourne. East Sussex, BN20 87HZ Email: sales@hydrohotel. com wwww.hydrohotel.com
£2.00 from each ticket will be shared between St Wilfrid's Hospice and Chestnut Tree House
Welcome drink reception and three course dinner followed by a performance by Gary Goodmaze as the iconic Freddie Mercury £55.00 per person
Friday 16th June 2017
The evening includes a three course dinner with coffee and professional entertainment from “Comedy Dining”
Freddie Mercury Tribute Evening
Have a look through the Hydro hotel’s events calendar – there is something for everyone.
Friday 2nd June 2017
“Only Fools and 3 Courses”
Join us for an evening of Murder and Mystery
The Company Upfront
Both are great charities who work very hard to help both the patients and families during very difficult times.
Phone: 01323 720643
Friday 19th May 2017 “ Murder in the Pharaoh's Tomb”
£46.00 per person
Welcome drinks recep tion and 3 course dinner followed by a performance by Gary Goodmaze as the iconic Freddie Merc ury
£55.00 per person £5.00 from each ticket will be shared between St Wilfrid’ s Hospice and Chestn ut Tree House
Guests are seated at tables of 10 and pre-order for dinne r is required before the event Special rates for overn ight accommodation available £49.50 per person bed and breakfast Advance reservation required and seats will be pre-allocated at the time of booking. ● Hydro Hotel ● Mount Road ● Eastbourne ● BN20 7HZ ● Sales Telephone: 01323 746105 Reception Telephone: 01323 720643 Email: sales.office@h ydrohotel.com Web: www.hydrohotel.com
Events Diary Thursday 13th July 2017
Hydro Ladies Luncheon Club Welcome drink reception, three course lunch with wine followed by a fantastic talk by Peter Pyemont on the Wimbledon history £25.00 per person
FRIDAY 7TH APRIL 2017
Welcome drinks receptio n, 3 course luncheon with wine followed by a fantastic talk called “Glad to be Grey” by Lady Crabtree
£25.00 per person ~~~
THURSDAY 13TH JULY
Welcome drinks receptio n, 3 course luncheon with wine followed by a fantastic talk by Peter Pyemont on the history of Wimbledon
£25.00 per person ~~~
Thursday 13th July 2017
Cameo Opera Dinner
THURSDAY 19TH OCT OBER 2017
Welcome drinks receptio n, 3 course luncheon with wine followed by a presentation from Ian Shearer from “Fizz on Foot” about Wines with tasting available.
£25.00 per person
£2.00 from each ticket will be shared between St Wilfrid's Hospice and Chestnut Tree House
Welcome drink reception, three course dinner with coffee and professional singing from classic opera musicals £49.00 per person
Thursday 14th September 2017
Shirley Bassey Tribute Evening
To book please call our Sales Team on: 01323 74610 5 Hydro Hotel ● Mount Road ● Eastbourne ● BN20 7HZ Telephone 01323 72064 3 Email: sales@hydroh otel.com Web: www.h ydrohotel.com
Welcome drink reception and three course dinner followed by a performance by Julia Martin as the iconic Shirley Bassey
Expect a BIG FUN NIGH T OUT in a friendly party atmospher e with some of the finest come dy actors in the land, profession ally produced to the highe st standards with your enjoy ment at the top of the menu .
£55.00 per person
Friday 13th October 2017
“Only Fools and 3 Courses” The Sequel Comedy Dinner The evening includes a three course dinner with coffee and professional entertainment from “Comedy Dining”
£2.00 from each ticket will be shared between St Wilfrid’s Hospice and Chestnut Tree House
Join us for the dinner even t of the year, which combines fine food and comedy action, served up ONLY FOOLS AND HORS ES style.
An evening of chaos and mayhem with an extra large portio n of comedy is the order of the night .
Only Fools and 3 Cours
es @ £46.00 per person
7.00pm for 7.30pm in
£46.00 per person
Only Fools and 3 Cours
Thursday 19th October 2017
Hydro Ladies Luncheon Club
Sequel @ £46.00 per person
7.00pm for 7.30pm In
Both evenings include
the Garden suite
the Garden suite
a 3 course dinner with
Tickets are non-refundable
coffee and professional
in the event of cancella tion. Pre-order for dinner is required . To make a reservation contact the Sales Office: 01323 746105
Welcome drink reception, three course lunch with wine followed by a presentation from Ian Shearer from ‘Fizz on Foot’ about wines with tasting available £25.00 per person
Sunday 5th November 2017
Dinner with a Bang 3 course dinner in the Garden Suite followed by sparklers and a fireworks display in the grounds of the hotel £35.00 per person
Welcome drinks recep tion and 3 course dinner follow ed by a performance by Ivor Potter as the iconi c Elvis Presley
£55.00 per person £5.00 from each ticket will be shared between St Wilfred ’s Hospice and Chestn ut Tree House
Thursday 16th November 2017
Elvis Presley Tribute Evening Welcome drink reception and three course dinner followed by a performance by Ivor Potter as the iconic Elvis Presley £55.00 per person
Guests are seated at tables of 10 and pre-order for dinne r is required before the event Special rates for overn ight accommodation available £49.50 per person bed and breakfast Advance reservation required and seats will be pre-allocated at the time of booking. ● Hydro Hotel ● Mount Road ● Eastbourne ● BN20 7HZ ● Sales Telephone: 01323 746105 Reception Telephone: 01323 720643 Email: sales.office@h ydrohotel.com Web: www.hydrohotel.com
THE PRICE OF IMAGERY How much does a professional commercial photographer cost? by Sarah Walker-Bennett, Artemi Photography
nfortunately, there is no simple answer, and it’s certainly not an off the shelf service. Most professional photographers don’t work 40 hours a week taking pictures, as they spend a lot of time before and after the shoot sourcing props, developing image ideas and the creation of the shoot, creating quotes, editing, doing post production and uploading onto viewing galleries. Then there is the financial investment. Professional photography equipment is not cheap and includes full frame cameras, good lighting, support equipment and professional software which has to be upgraded every few years. A professional photographer must also invest in their portfolios, marketing and
advertising. Let’s not forget also the costs of a studio and running a business.
• Amateur: £25 – £50 per hour (working on the weekends as a second job)
To help, below is a list of the most common types of photographer and what they generally charge. A professional photographer who works full time for their total income is going to be more expensive, than a person who does it for a hobby. However, remember you get what you pay for, so asking a hobbyist to create images for a national newspaper campaign might not be the best choice. You might save money in creating the images but will they be usable and will you end up having to pay a professional commercial photographer to redo them?
• Student: £50 – £100 per hour (studying photography)
• Hobby: Free or under £100 (working in their free time)
• Semi-Pro: £50 – £150 per hour / £10 – £20 per image (part time photographer) • Professional: £75 – £250 per hour / £25 – £100 per image (full time earning photographer, this is their main income, they have invested wholly in their profession) Most event photography is based on an hourly or day rate. Commercial photography is normally charged on a per-project basis.
Copyright and Images As soon as a photographer clicks the
Photography shutter, they own a copyrighted image. When you pay a photographer to create images for you, the copyright doesnâ€™t automatically transfer with the purchase. This is when a licence or usage rights come into play. The licence will be dependent on how and where you plan to use the photographs. A photograph created for a local newspaper advertisement does not demand the same fee as an image for a national campaign. The value of the image will be higher and professional photographers will charge a premium for more conspicuous use. I tend to charge a percentage sliding scale, meaning someone only running a local campaign will pay less than a national company running a large campaign worth ÂŁ50,000 upwards. All my images are licensed for two years use. Photographers create supplementary income from their photographs, so the fee will be recharged every one-two or maybe five years depending if the images are still being used for marketing purposes. Most licences will have an initial usage period with a view to renegotiating after the agreed period. So, when you ask, how much does a professional commercial photographer charge, maybe what you need to ask yourself is what do I need a professional commercial photographer for? Is it important I get the best images for my company and products I can? Do I need them for printed material and online? How long will I want to use these images for? Then, take a look at the many different professional commercial photographers on the market and meet and chat with at least three, then decide which one suits you and your marketing budget.
he first luxury connected watch, introduced by TAG Heuer, bearing the label ‘Swiss Made’. The connected Modular 45 is connecting Swiss traditions to the future.
For almost 160 years, Swiss avant-garde watchmakers TAG Heuer has been building its heritage on pushing boundaries and breaking the rules; harnessing mental fortitude to overcome technology restraints and creating daring watches and chronographs. Long-lasting partnerships with motor racing teams and its charismatic ambassadors drive the brand to break new ground when it comes to watchmaking conventions, and, as a consequence, master time with unparalleled precision. TAG Heuer’s motor racing DNA, as well as the amazing champions who belong to its dream team, reflect the brands core values of teamwork, mental strength, courage and ambition. Its slogan #DontCrackUnderPressure is far more than a claim – it’s a mind-set. As a result of this, in March this year, TAG Heuer unveiled their second generation of connected watches with its partnership between Silicon Valley technologies Intel and Google, Android Wear. This watch is at the forefront of the latest technologies, combining connectivity and smart technology with Swiss watchmaking expertise. This watch is powered by an Intel® Atom™ processor Z34XX Series and operates on an Android Wear™ platform. The Connected Modular 45 is a “Swiss watch which embodies the luxury codes of tomorrow” and enables you to connect to the future with its simple, smart modular design. Designed and engineered in the same spirit and with the same high standards as a luxury Swiss-made quality luxury product, the Connected modular 45 benefits from almost 160 years of TAG Heuer’s expertise, savoir-faire and heritage. With specially developed apps you can track your steps, the number of calories burned, view maps, read messages, manage your time and so much more with its stunning high definition AMOLED screen. Measuring an elegant 45mm in diameter, its design is primarily that of a traditional watch - which encapsulates key characteristics of the legendary Carrera - with lugs, a strap, buckle and case, however as the name suggests all these are all interchangeable elements. This customisation will enable a multitude of combinations to choose from. Not only a digital connected modular watch, change the heart of your watch from a connected to mechanical by purchasing a Swiss mechanical movement module, why not tailor your watch to suit your mood? W. Bruford are proud to be the sole stockist of the Connected Modular 45 in Eastbourne. Discover more from TAG Heuer and Connected Modular 45 in-store or online at www.wbruford.com, or call Simon our Watch Sales Manager to arrange an appointment on 01323 725452.
11-13 Cornfield Road. Eastbourne BN21 3NA 01323 725452 www.wbrufordscom email@example.com
EVENTS DIARY EASTBOURNE - 01323 641144 Tuesday 16th May 2017 Business Breakfast Meeting Speakers: Gavin Fletcher Lawn Tennis Association and Kathy Gore OBE Friends of Sussex Hospices The Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne Wednesday 17th May Eastbourne unLtd AGM Main speaker Richard Garland of the RICS World Council “Eastbourne’s place in a fast changing world” The Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne Wednesday 24th May General Election Hustings The Birley Centre, Eastbourne Tuesday 6th June Business Breakfast Meeting Speakers: Pennie Radcliffe of Variety The Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne Tuesday 20th June Business Breakfast Meeting Clare Dobson of Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery Towner Eastbourne Wednesday 28th June “Bourne to be Wild” Harley Davidson Ride Out Eastbourne Terminus Road Friday 30th June Last Friday lunch Mama Mi, Grove Road, Eastbourne Tuesday 4th July Business Breakfast Meeting Adrian Bull East Sussex NHS Trust The Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne Thursday 6th July Bank of England Economic Review The View Hotel, Eastbourne Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th July Hot Air Balloon Festival Hampden Park, Eastbourne
LEWES - LewesChamber.co.uk Thursday 11th May 2017 Business Breakfast Meeting Pelham House Hotel Thursday 8th June Lunchtime Networking The Dorset Public House
JAGUAR XF By Motoring Editor, Maarten Hoffmann
he XF was the first effort by the then new owners of Jaguar, Tata, who purchased the company from Ford when they didn’t have a clue what to do with it. That might go down in the annals of history as the most fortuitous purchase in history, as look what
Tata have done with this famous and much-loved, iconic British brand. They rebuilt it into a Stuttgart-threatening monster. The effect of the original XF was pretty seismic as it was well built and drove beautifully. For me, a tad of an old man’s car, but that has been erased by the rapidly changing range of cars Jaguar now offer. The new XF is predominantly aluminium and therefore lighter, yet bigger inside. The new Ingenium engine appears in this model for the first time and the difference is obvious. It drives beautifully, is stable and sure-footed, smooth and agile and looks gorgeous. I really like the seating position. Not quite sure what it is about it, but there is the feeling of lying down and calmly pointing it where you want it to go and eating up the miles. Inside, the roofline and wheelbase have been fiddled with, therefore conveying a sense of space. With 24mm more for the passengers’ knees and 15mm for their shoulders, it now has the rear space that it should always have had, and that sense of space has been realised. The seats are supportive and move wherever you want them, and the 10-inch InControl touch screen offers everything needed, including touch screen navigation, which, l really feel, is the way to go. All this is backed up by a quad-core processor that likely has more computing power than the one used to send Neil Armstrong to the moon. Outside, the overriding rule is that it should be instantly recognisable as a Jag. Tick. And this is the first Ian Cullum-designed Jag to replace a Callum-designed Jag, after his F-Type replaced the XK - a sad sad loss and a great gain. The body is very slippery in a drive for efficiency;
TECHNICAL STUFF “The effect of the original XF was pretty seismic as it was well built and drove beautifully.”
Model tested: XF 3.0 V6 S Engine: 2995cc Power: 271 bhp Performance: 0-62 - 5.1 seconds Top Speed: 155 mph Economy: 34.0 mpg combined Base price: £39,330.00 As tested: £59,780.00
order it in the right colour, with the right
arrange the XF, Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and
wheels (and the big engine), and this is a very
E-Class Merc together. On paper it has a lead
as it is cheaper to insure, predicts a higher
The 296bhp engine is a world-class drive, and all six-cylinder XFs get configurable dynamics, which quickens shift times on the eight-speed auto and remaps the throttle response and steering. Sure, it has borrowed some stuff from the XE parts bin, but only the good stuff, it would appear. It is a very good all-rounder and only backto-back comparisons will tell if we have a new class leader. What a perfect excuse for me to
residual value and offers two five-year service
“It is a very good all-rounder and only back-to-back comparisons will tell if we have a new class leader.”
plans - a 50,000 miler costing £525 and a 75,000 miler for £750. That, if nothing else, shows that this car is aimed squarely at the business sector; add in around 50mpg in normal driving and you can see that Jaguar might have a case for the title. Throw in the optional four-wheel drive and, finally, Germany has a contender. A little corker.
LASER FOCUS By Maarten Hoffmann
he Ford Focus has been around since 1998 and they have played around with it in various guises ever since. The original ST was much loved and with its 2.5 litre engine it was a corker of a hot hatch.
As with all technology, Ford have managed to put a 2.0-litre engine in the new ST that produces 247bhp which, as you can image in such a small car, is mightily impressive and somewhat scary. I don’t scare easy so off l went like a scalded cat. The ST is a softer version of the epic RS but it loses none of the appeal. The fullon Recaro seats are tremendous and hold you in place like super glue. All Ford interiors are well laid out and here is no exception with the additional turbo boost dials sitting high. The drive is excellent but with all front wheel-drive hot hatches, you will feel some tyre scrabble as it tries to get off the line but certainly not as bad as most. 60mph arrives in around 6.5 seconds and short shifting will remedy most of the scrabble. The drive is firm but not harsh and it is very stable in corners unless you inadvertently unleash the gas pedal mid-bend - then you get what you deserve – an early visit to a ditch.
TECHNICAL STUFF Model tested: Focus ST3 Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged
They have aimed the ST firmly at the Golf GTl in terms of ease of everyday use and speed and they have made a good fist of it.
Trim levels come in ST1, ST2, and ST3 and although the ST1 does not come with full leather, xenon’s and climate control, you still get that brilliant engine and save over £4000 against the less powerful GTl.
Top speed: 154mph
Ford have managed speed, great kit level and style and trounced the competition and there is an estate version and (god help me) a diesel version.
Price from: £26,885.00
Performance: 0-62 6.5 seconds Economy: 39.2 combined
I wonder if that will be called the STD?
“They have aimed the ST firmly at the Golf GTl in terms of ease of everyday use and speed and they have made a good fist of it.”
“The ST is a softer version of the epic RS but it loses none of the appeal.”
Motoring - Classics
Classic Car Investment
PORSCHE 928 by Maarten Hoffmann
FACTS AND FIGURES Production: 1977 – 1995 Variants:
2-door Coupe 4.5 V8 4.7 V8 5.0 V8 5.4 V8
Average now: £24,995.00 Potential now: £38,500.00 Future potential: 12% - 20% pa
he Porsche 928 was a revelation to me when l first bought one back in 1992 and having owned a 911 SC immediately prior l, like many others, considered that to be the ultimate Porsche. After ten minutes in my 928 GTS in fire engine red with oatmeal interior with a thumping great 5.0 litre engine, l was hooked. The 928 is now climbing in value with an average 2.8% uplift in value per quarter, therefore around 1% per month. 12% increase per year for a lump of metal sitting in your garage that you can spin round in every weekend, is none too shabby and many predict the annual price rise to be 20%. The 928 was produced from 1978 – 1995 and was originally designed to replace the 911 and was only the seventh ever frontengined Porsche, and was the company’s first V8 production model. The finished car
debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 1977 and went on sale in 1978 to much acclaim but slow sales. Purists were put off by the watercooled front engine and everyone else was deterred by the high price and the fact it was more expensive than the 911. Nevertheless, it went on to win the 1978 European Car of the Year and much praise for its beautiful design and futuristic features and l for one think it is a truly beautiful car. The drive is silky smooth with titanic power under your right foot, four seats and a hatch back – the ultimate autobahn cruiser. Today you can pick up a high mileage example for as little as £16,000 but don’t. Go for a model with under 80,000 miles and you will pay around £30,000 and if the appreciation rates continues, it will be worth a minimum £40,800 in three years’ time.
928 S/ S2
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 TOP GEAR SIMULATOR EXPERIENCE
THE F1 SIMULATOR EXPERIENCE
Tickets are free but you must pre-register here: www.brightonandhovemotorshow.com
COMPETITION THE BRIGHTON & HOVE MOTORSHOW is back and returns to the Amex Stadium on June 10th & 11th 2017. We have so much taking place over the weekend and here is the launch of an exciting competition, courtesy of Porsche Mid-Sussex, to spend a day at the home of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone driving an exhilarating model from this iconic manufacturer. HOW TO WIN? Thatâ€™s simple. Pick up the event programme on the day, all of which will be numbered, and if your number is selected, you win this incredible experience. Simple.
THE PRIZE THE PORSCHE EXPERIENCE enables visitors to be instructed through a variety of different situations in wet and dry conditions, as well as simulating ice and snow driving with the use of specially constructed surfaces. The Driving Experiences are designed to focus on a particular type of driving, model of Porsche or driving environment. Whether you are looking to attain new skills, polish up some old ones or just have a great time driving they can help find the right course for you. The Driving Experiences are all undertaken in one of our Porsche vehicles prepared to the highest standards. The aim of the Driving Experience is to improve your driving skills on an ongoing basis, enabling you to drive more safely and deal more effectively with hazards on the road. Some of our courses are more focused on motorsport, from the basic fundamentals to professional driving skills. The courses are clearly structured and build on knowledge from the previous level â€“ each level must be completed in turn before graduating to the next. The Porsche experience entitles the winner to a choice of Driving Experiences, driving either the Boxster, Cayman, 911, Panamera, Cayenne or Macan on the Porsche Tracks and includes breakfast and lunch. The winner must hold a valid, full driving licence and must be between 18 and 80 years of age. If the winner has any convictions on their licence, this must be revealed ussex before the selected day as restrictions may apply.
A TASTE OF SOUTH AFRICA by Lucy-Ann Prideaux, co-founder of Fizz on Foot
have a special connection with South Africa, and in particular Cape Town, where my family have lived for over 30 years. In fact, it’s where my love of wine first began. From the green, lush vineyards of Constantia at the foot of Table Mountain, to the rolling expanse of the winelands around Paarl and Stellenbosch, South Africa produces some of the best wines in the entire world… in my humble opinion that is! South Africa has a rich wine history, dating back to the mid 1600’s, and can be traced
back to the explorations of the Dutch East India Company. A supply station was set up in Cape Town and the planting of grapes and vineyards, and, of course, the production of wine soon followed. Groot Constantia is thought to be the oldest vineyard, which is where my featured wine comes from… but more about that later! The wine regions located near the coast (e.g. Constantia, Stellenbosch, Paarl) have a largely Mediterranean climate and are heavily influenced by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
They benefit from strong sunshine, and a dry heat. Winters are quite cold, and certainly wet, but rarely does frost present itself as a problem. The Cape Doctor (a strong wind current) brings gale force winds to the Cape, but this has a positive benefit to the winelands, in that it minimises the risk of mildew and fungal disease, as well as tempering the humidity that inner cities experience. The vine growing season in South African is between November and April, with harvest months in February and March, which is a fantastic time to visit South Africa, and travel the wine route!
Lucy-Ann Prideaux is co-founder of Fizz on Foot, the South East’s premier Walk and Wine Tour Company. She previously enjoyed working as a wine tour guide at two renowned wine estates here in the UK, Bolney Wine Estate in Bolney, and Denbies, in Dorking, Surrey. She’s completed the WSET Intermediate and Advanced Certificates in Wine and Wine Production, at Plumpton Agricultural College, and continues to build on her knowledge of “world wines”, viniculture and viticulture by attending tastings and wine fairs, and of course visiting many wine estates and hearing of the winemakers “little secrets”!
Wine Column spicy undertones. It is totally organic and the recipe and methods used by winemaker Boela Gerber is the almost identical to those used centuries ago. It was a favourite, I hasten to add, of Napoleon Bonaparte, and if it’s good enough for him, it is surely good enough for us! If you’ve never tried a sweet, dessert wine, Grand Constance would be a “grand introduction” to these decadent wines. Sip it with your after-dinner cheese board laden with a good English cheddar and maybe a few grapes, or as I wouldn’t hesitate to do… drop an ice cube into a small glass, and savour it as an aperitif!
The hotter, inland regions of Breede, Olifants, Orange River, and Klein Karoo, are likened to places such as California and Australia, whereas the cooler sites of Elgin and Walker Bay are more akin to Burgundy or Piedmont in Italy. As such, different styles of wine are produced in these contrasting areas, with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay in cooler, coastal areas, and Shiraz and Bordeaux blends shining in warmer sites.
“It was a favourite of Napoleon Bonaparte and, if it’s good enough for him, it is surely good enough for us!” Wine-making in South Africa focuses on the grape varieties of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and proudly, on their signature grape, Pinotage (a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault). Cabernet Franc, having previously been used as a blending grape, is fast becoming very fashionable in the wine world, and in South African, wine-makers are favouring this to make varietal wines, and with much acclaim too.
from the “Stellar vineyard”, near the Olifants River region, to the gorgeous Champagne-style sparkling wines (Methode Cap Classique/MCC wines) such as those from Haute Cabriere, or the Colmant Winery in the Franschhoek Valley. Instead however, I am going to tell you about the oldest wine in South Africa, from (yes, you guessed) the oldest vineyard, Groot Constantia. Groot Constantia produces
Some other excellent value-for-money South African wines to seek out in your local supermarket, include Boschendal Chardonnay or Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon, Graham Beck sparkling wines, De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc or Cederberg Chenin Blanc. Featured Wine – Groot Constantia’s Grand Constance - available from Grand Wines Direct
many great wines, but possibly their most famous is a sweet wine made from Muscat grapes, called Grand Constance. This is the same grape variety that produces the renowned sweet wines of Rutherglen, and Beaumes-de-Venice. To make these sweet wines, Muscat grapes are left on the vine, until almost raisin-like. After fermentation and pressing, the wine spends a couple of years in barrels. Grand Constance is a truly delicious, exceptionally “smooth wine”, with interesting
Now, to be honest, I could sing the praises of many wines of South Africa, from my most recent find, an organic merlot
Tel: 01323 737271 Mobile: 07971 851777 Email: Info@fizzonfoot.com www.fizzonfoot.com
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
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.battlechamber.org.uk
• 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
Federation of Small Businesses
environment for businesses to operate in – irrespective of their size, sector or age.
www.hastingschamber.co.uk 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.
www.fsb.org.uk/eastsussex 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.
Wine Tastings Evenings Chapter 12 Wine Bar & Restaurant are working with Fizz on Foot to host two evenings every month. Every first and third Thursday in the month will be a a wine tasting of different wines from around the world all served with canapés, paired perfectly to compliment the wine.
Walking and Wine Tasting Tours
Please book at Chapter 12 in advance on: 01323 351898. The next dates are 4th and 18th May. Only £12.00 - £15.00 per head depending on the selection of wines.
Fizz on Foot offers escorted walking tours in the beautiful Sussex Downs area, with the focus on visiting some great vineyards on route and enjoying tasting fine English wines. The one to four day tours are all full board with some including visits to local historical sites. Full details are on our website.
Local deliver ie in 48 hours s
Gift vouchers now available from £25.00, £50.00 through to £200.00. Also, local produce hampers available at £50.00 upwards. Our one day mid-week Taster Tour including lunch and wine tasting is now £89.00.
fizz on foot @fizzonfoot @fizzonfoot www.fizzonfoot.com email@example.com
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THE BIG LAND GRAB by Maarten Hoffmann
uba. A beautiful island in a shining sea inhabited by intelligent, honest and downright good folk. Suffered they have after years of posturing revolutionary figures who, with the aid of the Soviet Union, held the country in their icy grip and sentenced the population to a life of poverty and communist propaganda. Imagine that you have begged, through rum-tinged tears and cigar smoke, for trade ties with America to be reinstated so that you could drive, not crawl, to your job at the tobacco factory. Imagine if the first things you actually got after the recent resurrection of said economic ties was not the shiny new roads and 21st century technology but Donkey
Bum, the Child Catcher and the man who got Tangoâ€™d! The talentless vanity project that is Kim Kardashian and her philosopher-lite, barking mad accessory Kanye West, breezed into Havana within six days and demonstrated to the Cubans what they had been missing. The Child Catcher that is Karl Lagerfeld wafted into town with trollies full of dollies for a fashion show, along with 400 fashion editors who spent their time complaining of the awful hotel rooms, ghastly food and lack of decent Wi-Fi. The original orange Tango man, hotel billionaire Sol Kerzner, will no doubt buy up the finest beaches and construct horrific themed
Atlantis Hotels, complete with authentic Cuban nights so that guests donâ€™t have to venture outside its walls and deal with the undeveloped horror of the real world. And not to worry, even if you go off piste and book your own journey, as McDonalds have 43 sites leveraged and KFC, Taco Bell and Chucky Cheese are not far behind. Within a decade, the US will consume Cuba, following the blueprint of what they did to Hawaii. Economically invade, wipe out their culture, replace it with their own, reinvent theirs into entertainment, and proceed. Trouble is that American culture, an oxymoron if ever l heard one, is totally vacuous. Or at least, that bit that will invade Cuba.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, JFK Centre for the Performing Arts or the Boston Symphony Orchestra will be conspicuous by their absence, and Cuba’s entire heritage will be fully appropriated and turned into tacky merchandise as hundreds of enormous, heavily basted, pink-pant-suited Floridians arrive and it becomes a vacation park before anyone has blinked. Most distressing of all was the arrival of the first cruise ship with 700 obese passengers waddling down the gang planks, loudly requesting directions to the nearest Ben & Jerrys and Starbucks. Cuba is a time warp, the likes of which might only ever be found again when North Korea falls. Due to the blockade by the US after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the isolated island is a time capsule and could have been a stupendous human experiment in the reversal of our culture vandalism - and it’s not just the US, as we’re all at it. They have just perfected the art of totally talentless, vacuous celebrity and a culture centered on copious amounts of food, guns, sport and conspicuous consumption. Today’s self-absorbed stars will never grasp the severe problems that dog
the country, the poverty, crumbling buildings, human rights abuses and, with the exception of their health system, failed public services. They will lead a tribe of ignorant, self-absorbed tourists, who will pay top dollar so that giant corporations can pay bottom dollar and imprison the once proud Cuban’s into wage slavery, washing hotel sheets, manning the vast kitchens and keeping the pristine hotel lawns and golf courses watered. It’s nothing but cheap labour for the continuation of conspicuous consumption. The British did it in India and now the Yanks are at it.
“The talentless vanity project that is Kim Kardashian and her philosopher-lite, barking mad accessory Kayne West breezed into Havana within six days and demonstrated to the Cubans what they had been missing.”
I have seen it first-hand, having lived in a couple of so-called ‘third world countries’ close to US borders. They can’t help it, but it’s like a Tsunami of bad taste coupled to their urgent need to populate the entire area with their own food outlets and hotel chains. Look at Hawaii. Look at Cabo san Lucas in
Mexico. Look at the Bahamas. Of course, Cuba needs trade to develop and prosper, and with beautiful sandy beaches, a superb climate and land as cheap as chips, they are on a hiding to nothing, but what a missed opportunity. If only the West could give them trade, technology and financial support for the regeneration of services, Cuba would surprise the world. When Columbus arrived in 1492, there had already been a civilisation in place since the 3rd century A.D. Only when La Pinta, La Niña and the Santa Maria landed did the trouble start. Even now Cuba has one of the lowest internet penetration rates in the Western Hemisphere, and this, over all else, is what has kept the culture, heritage and their passion alive. We should foster it and not eradicate it with bubble-gum bullshit that will be gone faster than it took to create. La Cuba es muerta. ¡Viva la Cuba!
Institute of Directors
By Dean Orgill, Chair of Sussex IoD and Chairman of Mayo Wynne Baxter www.mayowynnebaxter.co.uk • www.iod.com
n a world (now go back and read that in your best ‘voice over man’ intonation), where uncertainty reigns, where the old rules no longer apply, where no-one can predict the future and the unthinkable is happening every day, running a business presents more challenges than ever before. So why am I about to suggest that you set yourself another challenge? Do you not already face enough challenges to keep you going for a lifetime? Yes, you probably do. But I would suggest that taking on an alternative, completely different challenge will alter your perspective, give you a different focus and help you meet the existing challenges with a different approach. Meeting our financial targets in order to keep clients, customers, shareholders, investors and/or financiers happy, presents a large scale challenge. Along the way will be smaller hurdles such as contract issues, transport delays, illness to key people and so on. However, I would suggest that you may be
able to face all of those with a more positive perspective if away from all of that, you face a personal challenge, one that is just for you but is potentially outside of your comfort zone. It could be intellectual, creative or physical, but it might be something alien to your normal role and its requirements, so that you have to utilise different parts of your brain and/or body. As a ‘desk jockey’, I like to set myself physical challenges, as an incentive to ensure that I get the exercise that will hopefully help maintain my health and fitness. A targeted challenge will push me out to train on those days or evenings when the comforts of the sofa and the TV seem enticing, particularly after a busy day. Once I am ‘out there’ exercising, the concentration required simply to keep the legs moving can help relax the brain too. I know I am by no means alone in that. The growth in running, and more recently cycling, as activities for age groups who not so long ago would have thought themselves well ‘past it’ has been massive in recent years.
But other pursuits can also work. Learning to draw or paint, learning a musical instrument, taking up dancing or studying a different language, can all help to engage different parts of the brain and so bring a fresh perspective to the ‘routine’ issues. Even if you do already have a hobby, there can still be benefits of trying something fresh. I recently took on a challenge to learn sword-fighting for a charity event. It had some familiar elements, but many were wholly different to things I had done before. Those elements gave a fresh angle on the sports I already participate in, and a different outlook to some situations that I would not have encountered otherwise. Historical European Martial Arts may not be the challenge for you – but there will be one that offers a lot to you if you seek it out.
JUST A THOUGHT Where is the boundary for your comfort zone?
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Source: OAG schedules 2016
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The official magazine for the Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex. Issue 3 - May 2017 - June 2017. A profile of David Dimbleby, news on th...