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SURREY

BUSINESS THE OFFICIAL SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE MAGAZINE

ISSUE 43 OCTOBER 2021

INFLUENCERS FORUM Scaling your business Gatwick looking forward Travel to Antigua PEER LEARNING You are not alone

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

Tim Norwood, Gatwick Chief Planner + Tim Manly, Head of Hurst College

THE BIG STORY

SPECIAL CLIMATE ISSUE

IT’S NOW OR NEVER


SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE CONNECTING PROMOTING SUPPORTING & REPRESENTING YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS

CALL US TODAY AND JOIN SURREY'S MOST INFLUENTIAL BUSINESS NETWORK @SURREYCHAMBERSOFCOMMERCE

@WWW.SURREY-CHAMBERS.CO.UK

@SURREYCHAMBERS

01483 735540

@SURREYCHAMBERSOFCOMMERCE

@SURREYCHAMBERSOFCOMMERCE


O C T O B E R 2021

CONT ENT S

INFLUENCERS FORUM

62 LEGAL

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26 Integrating the vaccinated and non-vaccinated A Covid dilemma 94 When words fail me

EVENTS

TECHNOLOGY

15 Making your website accessible is a win-win that makes business sense 80 The Importance of Zero Trust Why you need dynamic user and device authentication

14 Seven tales, four actors, one life-affirming journey 20 Sussex business awards 24 Surrey business awards 83 Trio of event partnerships

BUSINESS PROFILE

22 The Dentalessence family

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

58 Caring about carers 74 170 years of excellence 90 Gatwick is looking forward

104

CHARITY FOCUS

78 Support Chestnut Tree House

BIG STORY SPECIAL CLIMATE ISSUE

32 The blind lemming race to annihilation 36 A bad air day 37 Rivers of blood 38 More water, less land 40 Boosting skills training in sustainable industries 42 The facts 44 The Bitcoin hazard 46 The EV ticking timebomb 48 Meat will be the death of us 50 Ethical Accreditation 52 What can we do? 54 The Pledge

ECONOMY

84 NatWest’s market analysis

104 Antigua: land of 365 beaches 109 Trouble in paradise

112 PLATINUM

112 Volvo V90 recharge

MEDIA GROUP

86 Gateway to success 92 Step on the great accelerator!

FINANCE

89 How residential property developers can prepare for tax increases 98 EU introduces new e-commerce VAT system

BUSINESS

97 Case Study: Animondial 100 Peer Learning: You are not alone

MOTORING

PLATINUM

INNOVATION

TRAVEL

PEST CONTROL

103 Pest problems in new builds are more common than old properties

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

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CRITICAL LABOUR SHORTAGES HIT ECONOMY It is difficult to know what to focus on as we head towards the winter, with some key challenges facing us. As furlough comes to an end, we are facing a number of shortages, probably the most impactful in the short-term being fuel, brought about by a shortage of HGV drivers. Chambers of Commerce have been warning Government about critical labour shortages for months now – not just in the food and haulage industries but in hospitality, construction, the care sector and elsewhere in the economy. In fact, every business we speak to is struggling to recruit. We are constantly looking for case studies so that we can demonstrate to government the issues on the ground. We are also on the look-out for a new member of our team to help us grow our membership base. This is an exciting opportunity so feel free to share it with friends, family and colleagues.

ALL CHANGE AT WESTMINSTER

We watched with interest as the Prime Minister re-shuffled his cabinet. We have three local MPs in the cabinet as well as Angela Richardson MP joining the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Minister for Intergovernmental Relations Rt Hon Michael Gove MP. We are pleased to hear that Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP remains as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP is Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor (paid), and Secretary of State for Justice. We will work to feed local business thoughts and ideas to these key Ministers as well as to all of our Surrey MPs.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

❛❛ Chambers of Commerce have

been warning Government about critical labour shortages for months now – not just in the food and haulage industries but in hospitality, construction, the care sector and elsewhere in the economy ❜❜

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The decision to simplify the traffic light system in England was very welcome news for our businesses in the travel sector and beyond. Firms will also be pleased to see the changes in the testing system which should substantially reduce the costs which have been a significant barrier for both business and leisure travellers. Overseas market access is key for many firms and these changes should help boost the twoway flow of people and freight which is so vital for commerce. Businesses have been cut off from some overseas customers and suppliers for more than 18 months and they urgently need to


reconnect. As an organisation that supports importers and exporters, we are doing everything we can to encourage and support international trade amongst our businesses. We know that navigating trade documentation can be complicated, but Surrey Chambers has the expertise to support any business trading internationally including acting as their agent for Custom Declarations.

LOCAL ACTIVITY

The Surrey Chambers team is busy planning an exciting 2022 with events and activities to meet the needs of our Business Community. We are encouraging businesses to complete our events survey to make sure that we provide what they want. We are always happy to hear feedback. There are

currently some fantastic programmes available for businesses to help them grow and succeed. One is the Peer-toPeer scheme, which brings like-minded groups of businesses together to solve each other’s challenges. Surrey doesn’t often have access to these funded programmes, so we are encouraging local businesses to take advantage of them. As always, the Surrey Chambers team is here to make sure your voice is heard and that you don’t miss out on opportunities to help your business succeed. Surrey Chambers of Commerce can be reached on 01483 735540, info@surrey-chambers.co.uk, @surreychambers www.surrey-chambers.co.uk

Louise Punter CEO Surrey Chamber of Commerce

AND WHILE YOU’RE HERE... Platinum Media Group enjoys the largest circulation of any business magazines in the UK, reaching over 720,000 readers across the South East and this includes 468,000 online readers. If you can’t wait for the next issue then jump onto our social media platforms and join the conversation.

@platbusmag Platinum Media Group www.platinummediagroup.co.uk

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JOIN THE CHAMBER

SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

DON’T JUST JOIN – JOIN IN! Why being a member of Surrey Chambers of Commerce is good for business, locally, nationally, and globally

Surrey Chambers of Commerce is a local hub to access a broad offer of business support, we are: ■ an independent SME ■ a non-profit organisation ■ a private limited company ■ owned by its members. ■ committed to supporting Surrey businesses. At Surrey Chambers of Commerce, we have solutions to help your business to: ■ CONNECT through events, introductions, and wide-reaching social networks, spanning the globe. ■ SUPPORT essential services such as HR, H&S, legal and tax cover included in your membership fee plus exclusive low-cost benefits and access to funding. ■ PROMOTE To help grow your market, your profile, and your bottom line. ■ REPRESENT We feed YOUR views to government, hold them to account and push for change. We are uniquely placed to help businesses of every size and sector, from micro-one-person businesses to our county’s largest employers, we are all

in it together, locally, nationally, and globally. Chambers is the only business support network that helps British businesses build relationships on every level. So, no other membership organisation can compete! Did you know there is a wider international community too? British Chambers of Commerce represent our members in over 40 countries around the globe. We call this our Global Business Network (GBN).

DO YOU IMPORT OR EXPORT GOODS AND SERVICES? WOULD YOU LIKE TO START?

SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE IS NOT A GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT

Every Chamber of Commerce and its members are represented centrally by British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). We are all apolitical and independent of government. However, the BCC provides a respected voice to the business communities they represent. Based in Westminster, this ensures our priorities and concerns are heard in the corridors of power. Policymakers and parliamentarians regularly seek out our opinions. It is thanks to this lobbying activity that we have been helping to shape the UK’s business agenda for more than 160 years.

Surrey Chambers of Commerce offers International Trade advice and services. Including customs declaration certification and documentation. So, if you import or export goods and services; or if you would like to start then contact us on 01483 735540.

❛❛ Our focus is local,

our influence national and our reach global ❜❜

Email: sarah.butcher@ surrey-chambers.co.uk Visit: www.surrey-chambers.co.uk Call: 01483 735540


Importing? Exporting? We can help take the stress out of customs declarations for your goods ChamberCustoms is the customs training, advisory and brokerage service delivered through Surrey Chambers of Commerce and across the UK Chamber network. Our customs declaration service is for UK importers and exporters, of all sizes, in every region of the United Kingdom. With direct links to the HMRC Customs handling system and all inventory linked ports, we can guarantee that your goods, no matter where they enter or leave the UK, will be cleared for onward transportation smoothly.

We offer:

A high level of compliance and assurance for customers Confidence on tariff and data entry to remove fiscal risk; backed by the technical expertise of the market leader in this sector A wealth of international trade experience and expertise from across the trusted Chamber of Commerce network Contact the ChamberCustoms team at Surrey Chambers of Commerce now

customs@surrey-chambers.co.uk l 01483 735549 Helping traders to keep on trading


MEET THE COUNCIL SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

What does it mean to be on the Council of Surrey Chambers of Commerce? Being on the council provides an opportunity to: ● Represent your area and sector by sharing your views and those of your clients and network Influence government departments both locally and nationally via the British Chambers network ● Grow your network with other leaders in business and the public sector ● Pass on your knowledge and experience to help the economic growth of Surrey ● Learn from your peers and gain from their experience and knowledge to help your business ● Help the Chamber team to provide the activities and services needed by Surrey businesses to succeed ●

CONTACT

*info@surrey-chambers.co.uk

:www.surrey-chambers.co.uk

@Surrey Chambers of Commerce

GRANT BOURHILL

CEO of Surrey Research Park

Hear from three of our newest members as to why they decided to join the Council.

We are now living in a world where the rate of technological and societal change is unprecedented. The twin crises of climate and environmental sustainability add ever greater urgency to the need for global solutions. The business environment is fundamental to driving change, but it faces extreme challenges. The role of the Chambers of Commerce as a convening force, as well as a representative business voice into Government, is crucial. I am motivated by creating a dynamic, leading innovation network across the region. I want to help support businesses and business initiatives throughout Surrey by linking to either the Surrey Research Park business community, or the wider innovation ecosystem including the University of Surrey. Second, through the Chambers of Commerce, I want to be exposed to the views of a wide crosssection of Surrey businesses, with the aim that I can help drive an even better support environment for our vibrant, innovation community.

CHRIS HURREN

Guildford Office Managing Partner of RSM Surrey Chambers of Commerce provides a forum to allow amazing outcomes, and by joining the council I hope to be able to share some of my experiences, contacts, and knowledge to help make Surrey an even better place for us all to work and live. RSM are a leading provider of audit, tax, and consulting services to middle market leaders, globally and from our Guildford office my team of 150 professionals work with a wide range of clients from fast growth start-up businesses to large corporates, across a broad spectrum of sectors. I care passionately about the local business community, but for me it is the people that make the difference. Whether that is from my team, students who have yet to embark in a career, the businesses we work for or the charities that we work with. Individually we all do great things, but if we work together, we are amazing.

MATT LETLEY

Managing Director & Co-Owner of Redbox Group Matt says, “I’m honoured to have been asked to join the Chamber Council and I hope to help the Surrey Chambers expand its membership, so more businesses can benefi t from their support. For me, the last 16 months exemplifies what the Surrey Chambers is about, opening up access to a community of like-minded people who openly share ideas and they act as a collective voice on behalf of UK businesses to the Government. I look forward to becoming an active Council member.” Matt has 22 years’ experience working within the business services sector. He takes great pride in using the business to give back to society and improve the environment through the services their business provides.


NEWS

CHAMBERS NE WS REDUCED COVID-19 TESTING PRICES FOR ALL CLIENTS We are pleased to announce that we have secured improved rates with our government-approved laboratory testing partner and have been able to share this with our clients across all the types of tests we offer as from Monday September 6th. Our rates for in-clinic testing will be amongst the lowest prices in Surrey. The UK government has made it a condition of any international travel that individuals take a test before travel and on your arrival in the UK. The number of tests needed to be taken depends on whether you arrive from a green or amber country as well as your vaccination status. As demand has increased and the

market has matured we have been able to streamline our clinical provision and operation which has enabled us to secure improved terms and rates with our government approved test laboratory. From September we will provide personalised, professional, safe and secure Covid-19 testing for antibody, antigen and PCR swab screening for ‘Fit to Fly’ and ‘Test and Release’, and Day 2 return testing at very competitive low prices.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE PANDEMIC: THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF BRICS The last two years have been extraordinary. As we continue to live with the pandemic, we naturally take a living-in-the-moment approach. Unfortunately, we run the risk of losing broader perspectives. For instance, it’s easy to forget that this year was the twentieth anniversary of the acronym BRICs, coined by Lord O’Neill, former chief economist at Goldman Sachs.

supported by a vast population and growing productivity. These two things are the key factors in the vector of economic development. It is important to continue finding ways to proceed

For further information about the personalised and professional services we provide, please contact us at: www.surreycovidscreening.co.uk E: office@surreycovidscreening.co.uk or call us on 01932 558441

along this vector, not reject it. Developed countries must shift from a mentor role and prepare for the inevitable arrival of co-competition. Advanced economies will need to simultaneously cooperate and compete with emerging economies, not only in traditional fields, but in sophisticated areas such as quantum computing and biomedicine. To paraphrase the conclusion of Jim O’Neill’s famous “Building Better Economic BRICs”, published in November 2001, it was previously “time for better global economic BRICs”. Now is the time for building better understanding of global economic BRICS as we gear-up to cooperate with them.

The BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India and China – were supposed to become an engine of the world economy in the years after the term was created. This prediction has proved largely correct. 20th years of using the BRICs acronym has taught us that unleashing a country’s full economic potential is not straightforward, but is steady, if

Single tests: PCR Test (Fit to Fly – Test to Release – Day 2 Return) £119 Rapid Antigen £59 Package deals: PCR Fit to Fly & return PCR Day 2 £189 Rapid Antigen & return PCR £149

Dr Saori Sugeno, Teaching Fellow in Business Studies, Surrey Business School

With this in mind Surrey Business School has a new, free, webinar series, “Doing Business in Emerging Markets”, the first webinar in series features Lord O’Neill. Visit: https://bit.ly/sbsbem1

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NEWS

HOW A CYBER-ATTACK CAN AFFECT YOUR REPUTATION Increasingly sophisticated hacking methods mean even the most secure businesses can be at risk. Unfortunately, an attack can damage your reputation. Sarah Hawes shares how LOSS OF TRUST

If contacts on your system were compromised, you would be duty-bound to inform your customers. Many could take their business elsewhere.

CONFIDENCE

Even if an attack does not directly affect a customer database, it still sends a message to the public that your systems are not secure which could undermine your reputation and perception of your company.

FUTURE BUSINESS

Within the public sector, organisations have strict rules about the businesses they work with. An attack would have to be declared and could result in your company being blacklisted.

PRODUCTION

At worst, all of your systems could be affected and inaccessible. You will need to at least reset passwords and accounts and put new secure measures in place, all of which takes time.

HERE ARE FOUR MUST-DOS FOLLOWING AN ATTACK: Tell affected parties asap Don’t be tempted to keep the incident a secret, to buy you time. The sooner those affected are informed, the sooner they can take their own additional steps to protect their information. Leaving them in the dark for longer than necessary will only cause anger. Go above and beyond Offer help directly to customers. Provide contact details and make your team available, offering extra services such as extended business hours or a dedicated webpage/phone number.

❛❛ Even if an attack does not directly affect

a customer database, it still sends a message to the public that your systems are not secure which could undermine your reputation and perception of your company ❜❜

Issue an honest public apology Even if you don’t have all the details, issue a genuinely remorseful response as soon as you can. Be transparent, explain what has happened and how you are rectifying it. Use simple language and avoid jargon. Provide further updates as soon as they are available. Urgently review any scheduled marketing or PR activity A full-page advert declaring ‘Trust us to look after your family’s assets!’ is not a good look in the days following an attack. Either pull any immediate upcoming ads or replace them with your official response. Similarly, remove or amend planned social media posts that would now be deemed inappropriate.

Sarah Hawes Izzy PR www.izzypr.co.uk

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SURRE Y CHAMBERS E VENT CALENDAR OCTOBER ONWARDS….

PRESIDENT’S CELEBRATION EVENING 2021

HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT AFTERNOON NETWORKING

Thursday October 14th | 18:00-20:00 Guildford Harbour Hotel, Guildford, GU1 3DA An opportunity to come together over a glass of bubbly and celebrate all that you, our wonderful members, have achieved over the past year. The journey may have been challenging but from challenges come opportunities and we have been privileged to witness the incredible resilience and sense of community from the businesses of Surrey. Click here to book

Wednesday October 20th | 14:30-16:30 Hog’s Back Hotel & Spa, Farnham, GU10 1EU Surrey & Hampshire Chambers of Commerce invite you to Have Your Cake and Eat It! An afternoon tea networking for businesses located on the Surrey and Hampshire border. The perfect opportunity to grow your business connections by meeting a wide range of companies from locations cross-county! Click here to book

SOUTH EAST CONSTRUCTION EXPO

BUSINESS BREAKFAST

Thursday October 21st | 12:00-14:00 South of England Events Centre, West Sussex RH17 6TH We are pleased to announce that we are joining forces with Sussex Chamber of Commerce to bring you this opportunity to enjoy lunch and networking with like-minded people whilst attending the South East Construction Expo. The event will be a great opportunity to establish new working relationships and to catch up with existing business friends and connections. Click here to book

Monday November 8th | 08:00-10:00 DoubleTree Woking, GU21 8EW Our Business Breakfasts are a wonderful opportunity to meet a range of Surrey businesses over a delicious breakfast, and with a calendar bursting with interesting and stimulating events, we are sure you will find topics that are current and relevant to you and your business., we run our Business Breakfasts monthly so you can start your day with networking, hearing from a possible guest speaker, whilst most importantly, all over a breakfast! Click here to book

CHAMBER NETWORKING LUNCH

WOKING


SURREY YOUNG PROFESSIONALS NETWORKING

NETWORKING SOUTH EAST

Thursday November 18th | 18:00 – 20:00 Tudor Antiques, 144 High St, Guildford, GU1 3HJ We’ve all been new to an industry before; new to a company, new to a social scene, new to networking. But it’s not always easy and doesn’t come naturally for many. And yet it’s something we all do on a daily basis. So, we thought, why not change this as early on as possible? Join us for cocktail making and canapes! Click here to book.

Wednesday November 24th | 10:30 – 12:00 Event Location: Virtual Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset, and Isle of Wight Chambers of Commerce are delighted to present our second Networking South East virtual networking session on the 24th November, 2021. Our first Networking South East launched in May earlier this year and we were delighted not only by the large attendance we had, but also by the value this virtual event gave businesses. This series of events is created to connect the businesses of the southern Counties. Click here to book

MEMBERS NETWORKING EVENING

VIRTUAL SPEED NETWORKING

DORKING

Thursday November 25th | 18:00 – 20:00 Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking, RH5 6AA Each month, we like to invite our current members to join us at this free event to get together and catch up on the happenings of the previous months business calendar. Running from 18:00 – 20:00, Members Networking Evenings are the perfect opportunity for an informal, relaxed gathering with members you already have relationships with and those you don’t. Click here to book

Thursday December 2nd | 10:00 – 11:00 Event Location: Zoom Our Virtual Speed Networking sessions are the perfect opportunity for you to build connections in a virtual environment, and is designed to accelerate business contacts. Spend a few minutes per attendee and be moved onto another as we make our speed networking virtual through the ingenious invention of Zoom and its breakout rooms. Click here to book


EVENTS

SEVEN TALES, FOUR ACTORS, ONE LIFE-AFFIRMING JOURNEY October 16th– November 6th St Nicolas’ Church, Guildford

The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina) with two rarer stories of The Darning Needle and The Puppet Showman. MATT PINCHES, Co-Founder and Chambers Council Member: “Once again we’re very grateful to the Chambers members for the vision and generosity they show through their support. We receive no core funding from central or local government, which means subsidy and charitable support are essential to our business model. Our corporate supporters are often the difference between us being able to realise our artistic ambitions and not. As theatre, and its delicate infrastructure of freelance work slowly returns, that support has never been more vital. We’re delighted to welcome back Experience Guildford and KJ Smith Solicitors this Autumn”.

This Autumn the award-winning Guildford Shakespeare Company invite you to join them on a musical journey and some of the best-loved tales of all time. A young girl, her worldly belongings in a small rucksack, takes refuge in an old church... in her hands she cradles her only friend. Into this solitary world comes a warm-hearted gentleman. Together, and with the help of a box of matches, they ignite their imaginations and take us on a musical journey full of light and laughter. For almost 200 years, the tales of Hans Christian Andersen have become some of the most-treasured stories we have all grown up with: The Snow Queen, The Little Mermaid, The Tinderbox, The Steadfast Tin Soldier... the list is endless, and their delight continues. This autumn GSC are bringing seven of them to life in a brand-new stage adaptation with original music and lyrics, staged in the Victorian St Nicolas’ Church, in central Guildford. The shows runs for 26 performances.

Annabelle Terry

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James Camp

Inspired by the story of The Little Match-Girl and set in the present day, GSC Associate Playwright ANT STONES (Grimms’ Fairy Tales, Alice in Wonderland), weaves together four other favourite tales (The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes,

Postponed from last Autumn, Tales from Hans Christian Andersen follows in the five-star footsteps of GSC’s other classic retellings of family favourites Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows and Grimms’ Fairy Tales. “Today is my 70th Birthday and you’ve made me feel seven again!” Audience Member, 2016.

❛❛ Our corporate supporters are often

the difference between us being able to realise our artistic ambitions and not ❜❜

Jonathan Oldfield

Sara Hazeml

Tickets £18.50-£26.50 (children under 16 £16.50) Relaxed Performance October 30th Audio Description November 6th.


TECHNOLOGY

An astonishing 98% of websites fail to be fully compliant with the web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG). Now is the time for your business to start taking it seriously

Making your website accessible is a win-win that makes business sense WHAT IS WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY AND WCAG?

WHY WASN’T MY SITE BUILT TO BE ACCESSIBLE?

For the majority of website owners full compliance as part of the build process simply isn’t economically viable due to cost or technical limitations (i.e. CMS frameworks, drag and drop builders, third party themes, plugins etc.). The cost of making a website fully compliant is usually more than the cost of building the site in the first place.

The WCAG is a set of internationally recognised guidelines detailing how a website should behave to make it accessible to people with disabilities. In summary your site should be available to all users, including those with disabilities such as vision or motor impairment, epilepsy, or ADHD.

WHY SHOULD MY WEBSITE BE ACCESSIBLE?

WHAT ARE THE BUSINESS BENEFITS?

The legal requirement If you’re based in the US or EU, or your website is targeting users in these regions, your website is legally required to be accessible. In the UK, commercial and SME websites’ accessibility rules are covered by the Equality Act 2010 that states website owners must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make their site accessible to people with disabilities.

Protection from legal action Website accessibility claims against businesses are on the rise and increasing year-on-year.

It’s the right thing to do By making your website accessible for all, you’re giving equal opportunity to access online resources that significantly help our everyday lives. 20% of the population live with some form of disability, and yet only 2% of the internet is currently accessible to them.

Opportunity and increased revenue With 20% of the population, or 1.3 billion people globally, living with a disability; there is a potential reach of nearly £6 billion annually.

Brand exposure and awareness One of the most valuable benefits to UK organisations making their website accessible now is the opportunity to reach 20% more of the population by having an inclusive ethos.

Learn more by visiting www.akikodesign.com/accessibility

Websites are often dynamic in nature and part of an ever-changing environment, so what may be compliant today, might not be in a week’s time. Therefore it’s also not a one-off piece of work, but more of an ongoing requirement.

AN AFFORDABLE SOLUTION

Akiko Design offers WCAG compliance without costly website development, using AI technology to automatically adjust your existing content to make it available to users with vision or motor impairments. Now is the time to get ahead of competitors, open up new revenue streams and support the disabled community, with what was once an extremely expensive investment, now an affordable opportunity with pricing from as little as £49 per month.

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Christmas at Foxhills Sharing the spirit of Christmas among family, friends or work colleagues has become part of the Foxhills tradition for the festive season. Never more so has it been more important or anticipated than 2021 following all the missed celebrations last year due to lockdowns and restrictions. Which is why Foxhills is going bigger than ever before and transforming the estate into a winter wonderland – with an extensive range of events, dining options and cosy getaway packages throughout November and December for you to enjoy with loved ones. Situated just minutes from the M3 and M25 in Ottershaw, the 400-acre estate dates back to the 1780s and the stately 19th-century Manor House adds a sense of history to the resort’s extensive leisure, dining and hotel facilities. Looking for somewhere to host an extra special Christmas celebration this year? Look no further. Visit foxhills.co.uk for further information and bookings.


POLICING SURREY

SURREY POLICE POLICING SURREY By Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend One of the key roles I have as Police and Crime Commissioner is to represent the views of those who live and work in Surrey and how our county is policed. The principle of ‘policing by consent’ is one of the cornerstones of how police forces up and down the country operate. But to achieve that it is crucial we listen to our communities about what they want and expect from their police service. I am currently in the process of putting together my Police and Crime Plan for the next three years and I want to hear what our residents and businesses have to say about policing in their local area and what they believe should be included. The Police and Crime Plan will set out the key priorities and areas of policing which I believe Surrey Police need to focus on during my term of office and provides the basis for how I hold the Chief Constable to account.

A lot of work has already gone into developing the plan and my deputy PCC Ellie Vesey-Thompson has been busy consulting with a number of key groups such as MPs, councillors, victim and survivor groups, young people, professionals in crime reduction and safety, rural crime groups and those representing Surrey’s diverse communities.

I want to ensure ❛❛ that my Police and

Crime Plan is the right one for Surrey and reflects a wide a range of views as possible on those issues that are important to people in our communities ❜❜

As you might expect some common themes have emerged and have given us some clear foundations on which to build the plan. We are now moving into the stage where we want to seek the views of the wider Surrey public and are launching a brief survey where people can have their say on what they would like to see in the plan. It only takes a few minutes to complete and I would like as many people as possible to give us their views and help us shape the future of policing in this county. So please do visit the front page of our website at www.surrey-pcc.gov.uk or check out our social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see how you can get involved. Surrey is a fantastic place to live and work and I know from speaking to people in every area of the county how highly they value our policing teams. I am committed to using this plan and working with the Chief Constable to ensure we have a policing service the people of Surrey can continue to be proud of.

My office will shortly be launching a public consultation to gather the thoughts of people across the county on what priorities they feel should be represented in the plan. I know from speaking to residents across Surrey that there are issues that consistently cause concern such as speeding, anti-social behaviour and the safety of women and girls in our communities. I want to ensure that my Police and Crime Plan is the right one for Surrey and reflects a wide a range of views as possible on those issues that are important to people in our communities.

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NEW MEMBERS

Surrey Chambers of Commerce welcomes its latest member companies When you join Surrey Chambers of Commerce, your company details automatically get listed on this page alongside fellow new members. What a fantastic way to let the Surrey Business community know you are out there and ready to get those all-important connections.

CHERITH SIMMONS LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT T: 01932 856565 cherithsimmons.co.uk Contact: Peter Waddell

GEP ENVIRONMENTAL LTD

BLUE DOT DISPLAY LTD

T: 01962 600205 www.gepenv.co.uk Contact: Mark Weeks

CAPITAL VIEWPOINT LTD T: 07808 742301 capitalviewpoint.com Contact: Duncan Meares

T: 01483 861168 www.bluedotdisplay.com Contact: John Lloyd

GET AHEAD SURREY

T: 01483 338985 surrey.getaheadva.com Contact: Joanne McGowan

All new Chamber members are entitled to a one-off 50% discount for a company profile within this magazine. Contact lesley@platinummediagroup.co.uk for more details

If you are looking to join Surrey Chambers, then please do get in touch with either: sarah.butcher@surrey-chambers.co.uk or tom.woods@surrey-chambers.co.uk or call 01483 735540. We look forward to hearing from you!

FOLLOW THE SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA...

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SURREY CHAMBERS EXECUTIVE PARTNERS

Haines Watts

Taylor Wimpey

Contact: Daniel Morgan

Contact: Antonis Pazourou

Tel: 0208 5495137

Tel:01494 558323

www.hwca.com/accountants-esher

www.taylorwimpey.co.uk

Projectfive

Charles Russell Speechlys

Heathrow Airport

Contact: Steve Coburn

Contact: Rebecca White

www.heathrow.com

Tel: 01276 455455

Tel: 01483 252525

www.projectfive.co.uk

www.charlesrussellspeechlys.com

RSM UK LLP

Royal Automobile Club

Royal Holloway University

Contact: Lianne Street

Contact: Emily Goodyer

Contact: Dr Elton Xhetani

Tel:01483 307000

Tel: 01372 276311

Tel: 1784 443667

www.rsmuk.com

www.royalautomobileclub.co.uk

www.royalholloway.ac.uk


The Platinum Club has been the region's leading peer-to-peer business networking event for CEOs, Managing Directors and Senior Directors of many of the leading companies across the South East for over 12 years. And it is finally back with the first event of 2021 taking place on October 28th at the Grand, Brighton. Limited memberships are available and to apply, please contact maarten@platinummediagroup.co.uk

The Platinum

for Leaders and I

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❛❛ The Platinum Club is unique in the manner in which it is run and the high level of guests that attend. There is no other networking event quite like it and l ensure if l only attend one such event, it is the Platinum Club ❜❜

❛❛ The Platinum Club is a fantastic networking event. There is always such a great turnout of diverse businesses and it is hosted in such a way that all you need to do is relax and wait to be introduced to everyone in the room. The most important networking event of the month ❜❜

❛❛ I make sure l never miss an event and thoroughly enjoy the evening ❜❜

ALAN HARBER REGIONAL DIRECTOR, LLOYDS BANK

KATIE GIBSON MANAGING DIRECTOR PIER RECRUITMENT

GARY CHOWN FORMER REGIONAL DIRECTOR NATWEST BANK


Business Club

Innovators in Business

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+

❛❛ The networking highlight of the month and never to be missed ❜❜

❛❛ The Platinum Club is all l could ask from a networking event, superbly run and full of high level decision makers ❜❜

KEITH JACKMAN MARKETING DIRECTOR MERCEDES-BENZ

RICHARD KENDALL-TOBIAS CEO BLUE DIAMOND SECURITY

THE PLATINUM CLUB


BUSINESS PROFILE

Dr Shal Anand

Dr Sachin Anand

The dental industry faced mammoth change amidst the global pandemic the gap between the great and the average widening more than ever. What exactly is it that separates the two? Dentalessence share their experience of how they began, where they are going and the ongoing battle of changing the ‘age old’ perception of dentistry

THE DENTALESSENCE FAMILY If you took a national survey of how people feel about visiting the dentist, it would be safe to say that the majority of that feedback would be negative. “When we decided to embark on this journey, opening a group of practices site by site - altering that perception was our sole focus. It’s an all-encompassing task, requiring all arms of the business to be in sheer synergy.” Synergy which starts at home. As a brother-sister partnership, owners Dr Sachin Anand and Dr Shalini Anand share an inherent talent in dentistry and more importantly, it’s compassionate delivery. Sachin says “I decided to buy my own practice as a principal when the new NHS contract kicked in during 2006. It seemed like the right time for me to venture off with my own ideas and aspirations. Knowing that Shal was due to qualify a few years after this, it would

22

allow us to then move forward with further plans to expand as a brother-sister team.” In 2009 the pair branched out, acquiring a second practice in Weybridge, followed by a third in Worthing, a fourth in Sompting and then their latest acquisi-

tion in Haywards Heath. Shal says “Our current focus is streamlining our processes, making the patient journey as simple as possible and our delivery seemless. The goal is to be regionally recognised as the best dental practices in Surrey and Sussex, which we feel we have made headway towards”


BUSINESS PROFILE

WE BELIEVE THE RECIPE FOR AN OUTSTANDING SERVICE IS A WONDERFUL CONCOCTION OF: The right team; Many of our staff members have been with us for years and are like family to us. We have a very diverse mix of staff and clinicians, bringing a plethora of skills and personalities to the brand. We take a lot of time to get to know each of our staff members on a personal level as best as possible, supporting them and understanding their personal needs. As a result; they each comprehend and buy into the ethos of the business. Our clinicians take the time to deliver an informative and calm service, explaining everything in detail every step of the way. It is not uncommon to see our patients emerge from our surgeries raucously laughing! We know that a visit to the dentist isn’t going to be the highlight of someone’s day, so we go the extra mile to make it as pleasant as we can!

Feedback: Sachin and I each work across the five practices, meaning we have a microscopic perspective (pardon the pun!) of each of the sites and learned in our infancy that no feedback is bad feedback! We listen intently to what our patients have to say. We pride ourselves on being ‘patient-led’, if something isn’t being received well publicly, we simply change it. Our staff are confident in relaying feedback and we are not too proud to change what isn’t perfect. Compassion: We strive to make each patient feel valued and cared for. We understand a “one size fits all” approach absolutely does not work in this industry and that each patient has their own individual needs and expectations. Taking the time to get to know these and tailoring the service to those requirements, is imperative for a healthy and long-term patient/dentist relationship.”

It is not uncommon to see our patients emerge from our surgeries raucously laughing ❜❜

❛❛

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR DENTALESSENCE? “It goes without saying that the pandemic threw some very unforeseen and unavoidable spanners in the works. We have worked hard to navigate through those challenges and are extremely fortunate to say that the road to repair has not been as harrowing as it may have been for some. That being said, we are under no illusion that further change will need to be embraced in this ever-evolving situation, so it’s difficult to accurately forecast exactly how we will grow from here. Technology in dentistry is pretty fast-paced and the market is regularly stunned with the next innovative creation, so even when it appears we’re stood still, the business is expanding; adding various digital methods and alternative treatments to its repertoire will be the main focus for now. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE SUPPORT FROM YOUR BANK DURING THE PANDEMIC? We have been banking with Natwest Business for over 7 years now. Charlotte Winbolt is our account manager and her customer service has been second to none. I can say this with full confidence as we have business accounts with other banks and the service from Natwest stands out by far. They keep in touch with you on a regular basis to check if your business needs are being met. During the pandemic, they were very forthcoming in providing financial support to help our business recover. They have a great understanding of our sector. What we know for certain though, is that we’re committed to continuing to strengthen the brand in the areas which we currently operate, with the possibility of adding a few more to the litter! Watch this space.”

detalessence Worthing 19a Broadwater Street West, Worthing 01903 823 838 worthing@dentalessence.co.uk dentalessence Burgess Hill 69 Station Road, Burgess Hill 01444 232 292 burgesshill@dentalessence.co.uk

dentalessence Sompting 43 Busticle Lane, Sompting 01903 754224 sompting@dentalessence.co.uk

detalessence Weybridge 39 St Mary’s Road, Weybridge 01932 857 998 weybridge@dentalessence.co.uk

dentalessence Haywards Heath 49 Hazelgrove Road, Haywards Heath 01444 452112/ 01444 458847 haywardsheath@dentalessence.co.uk

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SUSSEX BUSINESS AWARDS

THE BIGGEST EVENT IN THE BUSINESS CALENDAR CELEBRATING 32 YEARS IN 2021 THURSDAY DECEMBER 2ND 2021 THE GRAND BRIGHTON

LINE N O S T E K R TIC U O Y K O O B S.ORG.UK

ARD W A B S . W WW

£95 individual or £900 for table of 10 Ridgeview sparkling wine reception Three-course meal with wine Awards presentation Entertainment and networking

• • • • •

Presented by one of the best TV comedians in the UK

ZOE LYONS

SPONSORED BY NEWS FOLLOW ALL THE LATEST

PLATINUMBUSIN

PROUDLY SPO


THE JUDGING PROCESS The Sussex Business Awards, celebrating 32 years in 2021, have drawn a record level of entries and the judging process now begins. The judging process, organised by the Platinum Media Group, remains one of the most comprehensive, rigorous and reputable in the region – ensuring that the awards remain the most respected in the county’s business community. The shortlist will be announced in the next issue of Platinum Business Magazine, so so stay tuned for all the news. ROB CLARE MCIBS ACIB CHAIR OF JUDGES Rob is Chairman of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce and a Chartered Banker with over 30 years’ experience of working with growing businesses. He is co-owner and founder of Innovation Capital Team LLP and holds a number of director roles in the UK from food brands to fintech.

ADRIAN ALEXANDER Partner FRP Advisory

KIRSTY SADLER Area Director, SME Banking South East Lloyds Bank

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PROF PAUL NIGHTINGALE Associate Dean University of Sussex Business School

NIGEL LAMBE CEO Sussex Innovation Centre

PAUL CANNONS Divisional Director, Investment Management Brewin Dolphin

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JAKE STANDING Business Advisory Partner Kreston Reeves

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LEGAL

As workplaces open up after nearly 18 months of home working, employers are facing a new raft of dilemmas created by Covid-19. Abigail Maino reports

INTEGRATING THE VACCINATED AND NON-VACCINATED

A Covid dilemma While some businesses may continue to keep their teams working predominantly from home, for others, there is a real need to encourage employees back into the workforce. With the majority of people now vaccinated, the risk of transmission in the workplace is mitigated, but what happens when employees choose not to be vaccinated, creating anxiety amongst their vaccinated colleagues? The short answer is that, by law, employers cannot force their staff to be vaccinated. There is an exception for staff in care homes where vaccinations have been made compulsory, but even that legislation has a number of exceptions to it.

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With the prospect of offices having a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated staff, employers are now looking at how to handle the delicate situation when the vaccinated person does not want to sit, or even enter an office, where there are colleagues who have not had the vaccination. A considered approach is always recommended. The first step is for the employer to have a conversation with the vaccinated employee to understand their particular concerns and whether those

The onus is on the employer to consider all options carefully before any formal action is taken ❜❜

❛❛


LEGAL

Difficult issues could arise and the best thing for an employer to do is to be clear in advance ❜❜

❛❛

those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated. For example, if vaccinated staff have to cover for unvaccinated colleagues who become ill. The best policy for employers is to be clear from the outset. Employers have to assume that they are not going to be able to compel employees to be vaccinated and there is going to be a minority who will be unvaccinated. Difficult issues could arise and the best thing for an employer to do is to be clear in advance what will happen when those issues arise so there are no surprises. Finally, employers have a legal responsibility to carry out Covid-safe risk assessments to ensure the health and safety of their workforce so that the steps have been taken to reduce the risk of transmission, as far as this is reasonably practical. concerns could be eased by some kind of adjustment in the workspace, for example, sitting in a different area, installing additional screening or ensuring extra ventilation. One option open to the vaccinated employee might be a flexible working request if they have the required length of service. The employer would then need to carefully consider their request in line with the relevant legislation. Although employees may well argue that they have been working perfectly well from home for the last 18 months, there is a recognition now that homeworking has, in many cases, been an imperfect solution. If, after all options have been looked at, the employee then refuses to come back to work, the onus is on the employer to consider all options carefully before any

formal action is taken. These considerations include whether there was a specific underlying reason, such as a disability, which would potentially require an employer to objectively justify the requirement for the purposes of the Equality Act or consider reasonable adjustments. If the conclusion is that the employee could reasonably be required to return to work, then it is possible the next stage could be an investigation for misconduct for failure to follow a reasonable management instruction. However, many employers have, to date, been quite cautious before taking any formal action like this, in view of the changing landscape of Covid. Most prefer to have a dialogue to see if alternative solutions can be found. Even in situations where the entire workforce is back in the office, there is still a minefield of tensions that could arise between

Ultimately vaccination is only one of a series of measures to manage the risk of transmission in the workplace. The reality at present is that we don’t know whether the vaccine efficacy will reduce in time, or whether there may be new variants that could impact the effectiveness of the vaccine. That’s why it remains so important to implement the other guidance in the workforce.

Abigail Maino is a Partner in DMH Stallard’s Employment team. She can be contacted on 01483 467412 or by email at abigail.maino@dmhstallard.com dmhstallard.com

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FOLLOW ALL THE LATEST NEWS

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SURREY

MEET THE JUDGES BUSINESS AWARDS

2021

Following a record-breaking number of entries, the judging process for the 2021 Surrey Business Awards has now begun. The judges are a vital element of the event, as they are the basis of the robust entry process that ensures the awards remain the most respected in the region. They will now decide who is worthy of being chosen as one of the best businesses in the region. The shortlist will be announced in the next issue of Surrey Business Magazine, so stay tuned for all the news.

FREE TO ENTER

CELEBRATING THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE COUNTY’S BUSINESSES VIEW CATEGORIES AND ENTER ONLINE

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MARK CHRISTIE Director Commercial Banking NatWest

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SPONSORED BY SURREYAWARDS | #SUBA21


COP26

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on October 31st – November 12th 2021

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26. The four main targets are: 1 Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach 2 Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats 3 Mobilise finance 4 Work together to deliver

That’s the official line out of the way and now for some reality. Sadly, they have very little hope of achieving anything for, as usual, there will be hours of talks, hours of procrastination, days of countries saying what they can’t do followed by years of failure of leadership, failure of will, and the continuation of bribery in third world countries from logging companies, mining companies and toxic landfill use. The Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 had most of the same goals, just about all will be missed.The USA pulled out and China had no intention of actually agreeing to anything. It is generally accepted that we do not have a a cat in hell’s chance of keeping the planet’s temperature rise to under 1.5 degrees.

❛❛ It’s a little like the west gorging

on ice-cream and then telling the poor countries to do all the exercise ❜❜

30

So what’s the problem? If we leave out the obvious one of useless politicians, then the main problem is us - the general public. We talk a good game, we all agree this is serious, we all agree something has to be done urgently - but by someone else!


COP26 The developed west, who caused most of these problems, needs to stump up hundreds of billions of dollars each and every year to pay less developed countries to preserve their forests. Brazil alone makes $2.75 billion from logging in the Amazon and they log an area the size of Switzerland every year. The price is high for what humans have done over the past 100 years and, it would appear, that most are simply not willing to pay it. Look what happened when one UK newspaper mentioned there might be a shortage of fuel at petrol stations. Poorer countries are being told by the west to reduce their land clearance, stop chopping down their rainforests, preserve their wild animals, stop burning coal, stop dumping plastic and much more. Can you imagine their disgust at being told this by the very countries that have been encouraging and paying them to do it for 100 years, have been raping their resources to fuel our drive to modernisation and industrialisation and have enjoyed all the fruits without a thought for them and the poverty and deprivation many of them

suffer. Now we have cocked it all up we are telling them that they must stop trying to do what we have been doing for generations. It’s a little like the west gorging on ice-cream and then telling the poor countries to do all the exercise. In 2021, Earth reached a bleak milestone: The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere hit 150% of its value in preindustrial times, according to the U.K. Met Office. To prevent the worst effects of climate change, the world needs to decrease net emissions of carbon dioxide to zero by 2050. That is ZERO in 29 years time. But even if we were to achieve this goal, it wouldn't put a sudden brake on the temperature rise, because it takes time to see the effects of CO2 reductions on global temperatures; the negative impacts of global warming will continue for decades. Depressed? Yes, we all should be. In this special feature on the Climate Catastrophe, we have highlighted just a few of the major problems facing us all. Not future generations but us, today, right now.

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COP26

THE BLIND LEMMING RACE TO ANNIHILATION By Maarten Hoffmann, Master Scuba Instructor, PADI, BSAC, CMAS In a previous restaurant review when l had the time to be the self-appointed restaurant critic, I admitted that I don’t eat fish. An odd admission for a restaurant critic, and I have been endlessly questioned over the statement ever since; the standard question being, ‘Why? Don’t you like the taste of fish?’ I have a very personal reason for my views, but I will get to that later. It has absolutely nothing to do with my taste buds, as I quite like the taste of some fish. It has to do with a moral imperative.My 20 years’ living in the tropics developing diving resorts, and my blinding fury at the total and indefensible ignorance of all of you who do eat vast amounts of fish.

All fish are endangered, and when they are gone, so is the human race. Long before climate change, nuclear war or ISIS get us, the lack of fish will do for us all. Yet, despite overwhelming evidence, the world still consumes billions of tonnes of fish every day with gay abandon, in a selfish and ignorant lemming charge over the cliff to annihilation. An international team of ecologists and economists has made an incredibly scary prediction. In just a few short decades, the world’s oceans will be empty of fish. While that dire prophecy may seem a little alarmist, the scariest

❛❛ In an attempt to draw

attention to this ecological tragedy, l was ‘requested’ to leave the country and my life was threatened if I ever returned ❜❜ thing about it is that it is backed up with good ol’ science fact. It was published in Science, a publication that, if nothing else, does not publish rumour or emotive stories. Cue terror in the streets? No, just total ignorance.

I took this shot of Hammerheads at El Bajo before you ate them all

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Back in 2006, a study was produced by a man named Boris Worm (whose hilarious name should not detract from his horrible prediction), a man with a PhD from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Along with colleagues in the UK, US, Sweden and Panama, Worm has predicted that by the year 2048, the ocean will be devoid of fish – which, if it


COP26

❛❛ Yet, despite overwhelming ev-

idence, the world still consumes billions of tonnes of fish every day with gay abandon, in a selfish and ignorant lemming charge over the cliff to annihilation ❜❜ team of researchers looked at the history from the past 1,000 years in 12 different coastal regions around the world. Then they analysed fishery data from 64 marine ecosystems and how nearly 50 protected ocean areas recovered after their protection. The news was not good. Overfishing, habitat loss, climate change (yes), and pollution are driving numbers of most species into a faster and faster decline. Keep in mind that this study was published back in 2006, but since then not much has improved. When the study was released, just over 1% of the ocean was deemed protected. As of last year, the World Database on Protected Areas – run by the United Nations Environment Programme – reported that only 7% of the ocean is protected, and much of that is only token protection that isn’t effectively enforced. “This isn’t predicted to happen,” said Nicola Beaumont, a PhD at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK, “This is happening now”

This one boat catches this amount five time a day – there are estimated to be 4.6 million fishing boats in the world

occurs, would effectively end life as we know it on planet Earth. That is 27 years from now folks! In an effort to discover exactly what would happen to the world if there were no more fish in the ocean, the researchers analysed all kinds of data. What they found was much worse than they suspected. “I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are – beyond anything we suspected,” Worm said.

The team of researchers responsible for the study said that the loss of species isn’t a slow moving phenomenon, either. We’re accelerating the problem even as we talk about fixing it. And it’s not only an issue of food for humans, just in case you’re thinking that no fish only means no more cod and chips. Everything in the ocean plays a vital role; think of it as the greatest balancing act ever, and everything involved depends on everything else to stay in sync.

After doing 32 thorough experiments on a variety of marine environments, the

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COP26

❛❛ It takes four kilos

of dried fish to feed one kilo of farmed fish – you do the maths ❜❜

Human beings are the proverbial brick in the washing machine, if you will. Species in the ocean play a vital role in our own survival; among their accidental benefits to human life is filtering toxins from the ocean and controlling algae blooms, which, if left uncontrolled by nature, can have disastrous effects on the planet. (see the Sargasso issue on page 109). Of course, mass slaughter and over consumption are not the only problems. Climate change, created by humans, also plays its part. Around 50% of the oxygen we breathe is present in the atmosphere thanks to phytoplankton (photosynthetic organisms that live on the surface of oceans). People often think that trees are the reason we have breathable air, but without phytoplankton, oxygen would decrease by about 50%. Scientists estimate that the oceans absorb around a million tonnes of carbon dioxide EVERY HOUR. As a result our seas have become 30% more acidic than they were 30 years ago. This increased acidity plays havoc with levels of calcium carbonate, which forms the shells and skeletons of many sea creatures, and also disrupts reproductive activity. These threats have led to the phenomenon of ocean acidification being dubbed global warming’s ‘equally evil twin’. The acidity of seawater will increase dramatically and that would alter the rain that falls on our crops. Our livestock eat grass and crops.

Shark fins drying on an apartment roof, replenished every three days obsessively diving at a site called El Bajo, that my eyes were opened. El Bajo is a seamount, a mountain under the sea that reaches to within 30metres. of the surface having risen from the depths, and famous for schooling Hammerhead sharks. This social display of up to 3,000 Scalloped and Great Hammers circling the mount is one of the most awe-inspiring sights l have ever witnessed. Now bear in mind that with economically vital dive tourism, all fish, but especially the headline act, are worth far more alive than dead. Eat it once and it’s gone or charge people to view it a thousand times. The maths don't lie.

No fish – no crops – no livestock – no humans. Simple.

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

If we were to lower consumption it would give us the time to reduce emissions, but at this rate you will have eaten them all long before we get the chance.

❛❛ This isn’t predicted

In my youth, l lived all over the world but it was whilst developing a Scuba Resort in La Paz on the Sea of Cortez in Baja California, Mexico and living my life

Nicola Beaumont PhD , Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK

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to happen... This is happening now ❜❜

What I found changed my life forever. A large mound of juvenile Hammerhead heads. The stink was appalling and I counted 750 in eight piles. Why just the heads, I wondered, until I questioned one of my dive staff and learnt that their bodies go into ceviche, which is a cheap local dish sold by the hundredweight to tourists and natives alike. They were fully aware they were legally banned from using shark, so they chopped the heads off, finned the carcass and pulverised the lot so that no one would know. A friend of mine dived there last year and over the course of 14 dives he didn’t see one single Hammerhead. Not one... This is the problem. Take the babies and there are no more of anything. I was so furious I started the Cortez Conservation Club, and after taking guerrilla action day after day – including cutting gill nets, sabotaging boats, handing leaflets to tourists, pestering the authorities and publishing pictures – in an attempt to draw attention to this economic tragedy, l was ‘requested’ to leave the country and my life was threatened if I ever returned. I did leave but only a few miles down the beach into Belize where l continued my rabid actions.


COP26 planet’s ever-expanding population, munching their way through the world’s fish stocks at a rate that can never, ever, be replenished. It’s a chain. Think of a necklace – remove one link and the entire thing falls apart. Now imagine that the links can never be re-created – there we have the problem. No matter how smart we humans are, we cannot replicate a species once it has gone. When one type of fish has gone, it will begin the rapid collapse of the entire system. Three comments I heard with annoying regularity when I used to lecture on this subject were: ‘You eat cows, pigs and sheep, what’s the difference’? For any of you out there who might be thinking the same thing, your total ignorance defies belief. We can count the cows and know exactly how many we have. We can help them breed and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You cannot count fish, and when they are gone, they are gone and we will never know it until some lump of lard sitting in a sushi restaurant eats the last one.

❛❛ I have been informed by the

legal team, I cannot print my reply. Total, blindingly stunning, stupendous, embarrassing ignorance! ❜❜ Now we have thousands of factory boats across the globe netting 100,000 fish at a time, the Japanese government slaughtering whales, dolphins and every single fish species no matter how foul or diseased. Whilst on the subject, 10 years ago their fishing boats reported a dramatic fall in the catch of Blue Fin Tuna, so favoured by those who like to eat raw fish (Sushi), so instead of investigating and launching urgent research, they simply agreed to a raising of the price of Blue Fin, which sent every ablebodied captain rushing to the boats. Utter madness. This year a world record was set for the sale of a single large Blue Fin Tuna - $3.1 million US Dollars – FOR A SINGLE BLOODY FISH! They will not be content until they have eaten every last one and will then proceed to eat everything else in the ocean. The same goes for every other fish eater amongst this

The second is: ‘Oh, there’s plenty of fish and they will never run out’. The words I have for you on this question I have been informed by the legal team, I cannot print. Total, blindingly stunning, stupendous, embarrassing ignorance! The third is: ‘No problem, we can survive on farmed fish’. Farmed fish eat their own waste, so go right ahead. Also, it takes four kilos of dried fish to feed one kilo of farmed fish. You do the maths! It is too simplistic to say ’stop eating fish,’ but for pity’s sake, reduce your fish intake and give them time to recover. It has been shown that if humans ate 50% less fish, the ocean stocks could recover within 25 years. But no, you are all too busy to bother with silly things like this; therefore, you will join the other lemmings and eat them all. What will you tell your grandchildren when they ask, ‘Grandie, where have all the fish gone?’ Your response: ‘We ate them all’. There might be time. Reduce your fish intake by 50% and show this article to your children. Or die.

My son Ben and l releasing a Loggerhead turtle, rescued from becoming Turtle soup

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COP26

A BAD AIR DAY Recent research has concluded that the air quality in an office can seriously impact the focus and mental agility of those who work there. A study that included 300 office workers in six countries found that higher concentrations of fine particulate matter in the air and lower ventilation rates were associated with slower response times and reduced accuracy on cognitive tests. The study mainly focused on a kind of pollution known as PM2.5, which is made up of particles under 2.5 micrometers long and is now known to be significantly damaging to our health. Whilst PM2.5 was the focus, the study also broadly looked at the levels of carbon dioxide, which were found to increase in poorly ventilated spaces. Those who conducted the study commented that they had observed impaired cognitive function at concentrations of PM2.5 and carbon dioxide that were often detected indoors. The

36

study also calls for a cut to the legal limits for particulate matter by more than half, as was laid out in The Times' campaign for a new Clean Air Act. Two tests were used, both showing different things. The first required participants to identify the colour of words displayed on a computer screen: the word 'yellow' might appear, but in the colour green. The measure aims to tests cognitive speed and the ability to focus on relevant stimuli when irrelevant stimuli are also presented. The second test involved basic maths questions.

The results were striking, with performance on the colour based test being markedly poorer when high levels of carbon dioxide and PM2.5 were present, whereas results on the maths-based test decreased in quality only when there was more carbon dioxide in the air. This isn't the only study that has looked at a similar area though, with multiple studies being conducted in the past to show supporting results. One such example tracked 2,400 students on the day of their exams in a London University. It found that air quality in the hall on the day of the exam could have a sufficient impact to change the class of degree gained. Another study looking at 400,000 exams taken by Israeli teenagers showed that exams taken on relatively polluted days were associated with a 3% decline in students' test scores. The latest research was published in Environmental Research Letters.


COP26

RIVERS OF BLOOD When it comes to climate change, everyone is swift to focus on the fragility of our world, though what is often forgotten is how easy our political structures can shatter; simply put, before the environment kills us, we will kill each other. The fact that climate change affects our available potable water is well known so I won't labour the point any further. What I will talk about, however, is the international and geopolitical consequence of that, and why we will almost certainly be drawn into wars once more over such a basic resource and water. The existence of wars for resources is a simple fact of our species, resources that will make us as nations 'better' or 'stronger' than those around us. In fact, some would say that the most primary reason for society is to protect and secure more resources under a social contract for our continued existence and improvement as people. Today is no different, so much so that there is a simple adage that "if there is oil, the USA will invade.” We need to act now if that phrase is not to change to “if there is water, then everyone will invade!” The difference when it comes to water is that never before has there been a threat that will permanently affect the global reserve when concerning essential resource gathering, pushing each society, group and nation closer to the onset of war. Beyond that, like any war, the number of displaced people will disrupt each surrounding nation's water supply, even if we start to heavily invest in desalination facilities – Lebanon is a prime example today.

stating that billions of people will face hunger and widespread chronic food shortages as a result of failures to tackle the climate crisis in the very near future.

Wars over water have happened before, we need only look to the Water Wars which occurred in the Middle East between Israel and its neighbours over the countries projects involving the Jordan River to see the truth in that. The change now is that we see an ever increasing number of people who are at risk of collapsing into water wars; the UN released a report in November last year

❛❛ If we don't act now, rivers

will run with blood and farmers will reap a red harvest ❜❜

It would be nice to believe that the international community wouldn't allow relations to degenerate into wars for water supplies, after all, the Water Wars I just mentioned happened over half a century ago. Sadly that hope is little more than romantic idealism, and simply serves to delay any meaningful effort to prevent the bleak future that lies ahead. Even now tensions grow in our world over water, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which has just entered its second stage of filling, serves as a pointer to what the future holds, with Egypt threatening war over the blocking of the rivers flow. If we don't act now, rivers will run with blood and farmers will reap a red harvest, all just for a drop of the liquid that gives us life. In our greed and lust for domination we have burned the world with oil, and now, after the world is ablaze with the fruits of domination, we strike the match that will ignite the wars for water.

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MORE WATER, LESS LAND By David Bagnall We've heard much about rising sea levels around the globe and the troubling figures which point to 2100 as a bench mark. Whilst they are indeed troubling, 2100 always seems far off, almost of no concern to those of us who are living today: it's certainly unlikely that we today would be around then, so why should we care? If you have adopted that way of thinking, perhaps the maps that show areas at risk of coastal flooding by 2050. Recent research has shown that huge swathes of the British, and global, coastline data was incorrect, causing the global average coastal land height to be on

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approdimately two meters higher than they are in reality. This means that many who live along the coast live vertically closer to the sea then was first believed. When considering something which is beginning to be as consuming as the ocean is, two meters is a huge amount. However, more pressing than the direct affects of the 3.6 mm annual sea level rise, and certainly more destructive to many more people in the UK, is the effects this has on areas that are at risk of coastal flooding.

❛❛ This represents hundreds of thousands of homeless British people ❜❜


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The maps shown on these two pages relay the areas that are deemed now to be at risk of coastal flooding by the year 2050. These are conservative estimates taken from Climate Central, a non-profit focussed around sea level change. Large areas of Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire are predicted to be below annual coastal flood level by 2050, including an area the size of London spanning nearly 70 km in-land. This represents hundreds of thousands of homeless British people.

also spread to more adverse weather and violent storms. The second of these two is the most important when looking at these maps. Over the past 50 years, a disaster related to weather, climate or flooding has occurred every day on average, causing US$ 202 million in losses each, according

to a report from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). The report also expressed that these disasters have increased five fold over the same 50 year period, and whilst some of this has to be due to better reporting abilities, the vast majority is due to to climate change; a trend we are now at higher risk of in the UK.

Other than a statistical error, how does this have anything to do with climate change? The answer to that is in two parts. Firstly, and most obviously, the sea will be higher and therefore able to reach more land internally. Secondly, the affects of climate change

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BOOSTING SKILLS TRAINING IN SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIES By Julie Kapsalis The national and international attention around the forthcoming COP26 brings a valuable opportunity for colleges and employers to come together to try to address some of the skills challenges around development (and in turn economic development) in related sectors. Chichester College Group (CCG) and FE Sussex successfully led a consortium across eight further education and sixth-form colleges, in partnership with Sussex Chamber of Commerce as the lead employer representative body, in a bid to boost skills training in sustainable industries. The outcome is we have recently secured more than £7 million funding as part of the Government’s Local Skills Improvement Plans and Strategic Development Fund pilots.

Collectively we identified six crosssector priority areas where we need to develop capacity and expertise in skills: construction (decarbonisation agenda); horticulture and agriculture (food production and visitor economy); creative, IT and digital; engineering and electric vehicle infrastructure development; hydrogen and alternative energy production techniques (looking at waste and water); and carbon literacy (particularly in terms of raising awareness of opportunities within the sector with young people). The bid responds to the carbon neutral agenda (post-2020 Paris agreement), the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, and the Government’s targets for carbon neutral operation by 2035 – and our own strategic objectives:

❛❛ The funding will enable us to

invest in specialist new teaching facilities across the eight colleges ❜❜

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n Upskilling the workforce (at level 3 and above) to enable significant progress to be made towards meeting the net zero agenda. n C reating centres of excellence in teaching and learning for green technologies. n Ensuring the curriculum reflects local and sub-regional employer needs of skills development. n D riving relationships between employers and colleges. n Training staff to specialise in skill shortage areas and sharing this expertise peer to peer. n Devising modular sets of specialist digital curriculum resources common to all colleges. n Seconding college staff to employers for upskilling in current technology and working practices. n Paying for employers to deliver specific specialist aspects of skills shortage areas. The colleges – Bexhill College, Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) College of Richard Collyer, East Sussex College Group, Greater Brighton Metropolitan Group (GB Met), Plumpton College and Vardean College – are now working together to deliver five projects following the announcement in July:

n A lternative energy and hydrogen technologies (led by CCG). n L and management strategies and practices for environmental land management schemes (led by Plumpton College, with Brinsbury College). n Electric vehicle training centres (led by GB Met). n Decarbonisation academies in Sussex (led by East Sussex College Group). n E stablishing carbon literacy and sustainability awareness (led by BHASVIC). Through these projects we aim to accelerate the development of green tech

skills across Sussex. The funding will enable us to invest in specialist new teaching facilities and expertise across the eight colleges, and in turn support the curriculum offered by the colleges with a focus on long-term skills priorities of local areas. I can only echo the comments of our Chief Executive Shelagh Legrave CBE upon the funding announcement: “This is a fantastic boost for skills training and development across the whole Sussex region. Businesses have been struggling to recruit people with the right skills, and while colleges do a fantastic job in skills training, there are some industry gaps where the right equipment or expertise may not be available to deliver the best training. Working collaboratively with partners at other colleges across the whole of the Sussex region reflects the need to develop a region-wide approach to improving skills training and will hugely benefit young people and employers in our local areas.” We are extremely proud to be one of eight trailblazers across the country to pilot some of the key recommendations of the ‘Skills for jobs: lifelong learning for opportunity and growth’ white paper which was published in January. There is every opportunity for further collaboration, across sectors, as we move this agenda forward.

Julie Kapsalis is Managing Director at Chichester College Group, Chair at Coast to Coast LEP, and a former Director of the Institute of Economic Development

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THE FACTS Every item of plastic ever produced is still on the planet

The planet lost an area of tree cover larger than the UK in 2020

79% of recycling ends up in a landfill Environmental impact of bottled water is up to 3,500 times greater than tapwater

It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef

The biggest 100 corporations produced 71% of the worlds carbon emissions

More than 90% of all Amazon rainforest land cleared since 1970 is used for grazing livestock

NASA found that 2010-2019 was the hottest decade ever recorded The worst impacts of climate change could be irreversible by 2030

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People eat up to 11,000 pieces of plastic per year when eating fish

Earth’s glaciers are losing 390 billion tonnes of ice and snow a year Acidity levels in Earth’s oceans have increased by 30% since the Industrial Revolution

More than 1 million species are at risk of extinction by climate change

Up to 200 million people will be displaced by climate change by 2040

Heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires have doubled in the last 40 years

In only the last decade, 476 species have gone extent 18.6 million tonnes of clothing were dumped in landfills in 2020

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THE BITCOIN HAZARD By Roxy Costello-Ross

With cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin becoming increasingly popular in recent years for their ease, ingenuity and potential for making profits, even replacing more traditional money management methods for some, one question is yet to be answered: are the benefits of Bitcoin worth its bad effects on the environment?

Cryptocurrency is created by code and works in many cases by awarding coins to computers that add transactions to the blockchain, also known as mining. The process of mining, however, generates significant quantities of electronic waste, and while not every cryptocurrency uses this method, enough of them do for it to be considered a new environmental issue. Mining also tends to become less efficient as the price of cryptocurrency increases, meaning the network will consume more computing power and energy to process the same number of transactions - a major concern for environmentalists. According to researchers at the University of Cambridge, 65% of

❛❛ Printing money may

just be more sustainable ❜❜

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of electronic waste per annum. In 2021, the BBC reported that Bitcoin uses 121 Terawatt-hours of electricity every year more than the entire country of Argentina.

❛❛ Bitcoin mining accounts for

about 35.95 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year ❜❜

bitcoin miners are also located in China, a country that generates most of its energy by burning coal which contributes significantly to climate change. A report by CNBC stated that bitcoin mining accounts for about 35.95 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, around the same amount as New Zealand! Proof-of-work blockchains used by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies record transactions by a distributed network of miners rather than storing account balances in a central database. The specialised computers record new blocks, created by solving cryptographic puzzles. While this mechanism makes cryptocurrencies more secure, it requires astronomical amounts of energy to keep

up. As well as this, a 2019 study suggested that the hardware used to support these methods becomes obsolete roughly every 18 months, creating even more waste. This specialised computer hardware cannot be used for any other purpose, and so it is estimated that the Bitcoin network generates between 8,000-12,000 tons

But is printing money any better than cryptocurrency? According to the World Wildlife Fund, mills across the world produce 400 million tons of paper each year, some of which is used in the printing of banknotes, causing deforestation that is responsible for about 12% of all greenhouse gas emissions. The Bank of England, however, made the switch to polymer banknotes, and while the materials used are arguably less sustainable, a study by the BoE found that plastic banknotes only have to last 1.33 times longer than traditional ones to achieve a lower global warming potential and that they could last up to 2.5 times longer and are recyclable. So yes, printing money may just be more sustainable. Whether in favour of cryptocurrencies or against them, there is little doubt that Bitcoin and similar blockchains use enormous amounts of energy, much of which comes from burning coal and other fossil fuels. Advocates have argued that Bitcoin’s energy needs to come from renewable sources, and though these figures are disputed, there is no denying that mining is now a major factor in increasing carbon dioxide emissions, even in the best-case scenarios.

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THE EV TICKING TIMEBOMB By Roxy Costello-Ross The appeal of electric vehicles (EVs) has increased dramatically as people become more educated on the negative environmental effects caused by fossil fuelled cars, but are they really any better? As we take a closer look, it becomes clear that EVs also have a substantial carbon footprint. Can the effects of mining lithium, cobalt and other metals for rechargeable batteries be justified for the benefits of electric cars? Making these vehicles uses an incredible amount of energy, scientific studies have shown that manufacturing electric cars generates more carbon emissions than building traditional ones; factories end up using vast amounts of energy and can

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often produce large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions in the process. The Union of Concerned Scientists has calculated that manufacturing a mid-sized EV with an 84-mile range results in around 15% more emissions than an equivalent gasoline vehicle and that for larger, longer-range EVs travelling more than 250 miles per charge, manufacturing

emissions can be as much as 68% higher. Electric cars can only be as green as the energy that you charge them with. This means that, while we still use non-renewable sources for electricity in the UK, electric cars will have already contributed to carbon emissions before they are ever driven. In 2025, however, all of the UK’s coal power plants will have been closed – a significant step in the right direction for more sustainable fuel. This being said, the Government is supposedly keen to replace these coal-powered plants with fracking or nuclear plants, neither of which are green alternatives. While electricity itself is a clean fuel, the generation of electricity in plants run with fossil fuels means that there will always be an environmental impact of buying and using electric cars. If we can make our energy


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from renewable sources, however, EVs seem as if they would be the obvious choice compared to petrol and diesel cars. In New Zealand in 2017, 82% of energy for electricity generation came from renewable sources, but one should not assume that electric cars in New Zealand are wholly sustainable overall or have a close-to-zero carbon footprint. To make a true comparison, we need to consider the life cycle analysis of the cars, that is all the emissions of carbon dioxide during vehicle manufacturing, use, and recycling. During the manufacturing stage, emissions from the lithium-ion batteries alone were estimated to be 3.2 tonnes. The emissions from manufacturing an electric car are higher than fossil-fuelled cars if the vehicle life is assumed to be 150,000 kilometres, but for complete life cycle emissions, a study in China found that EV emissions are 18% lower than traditional cars. It was also found in several studies that over all phases of a life cycle, fossil-fuel cars generally emit more carbon dioxide.

Lithium mining also requires extensive amounts of water, approximately 500,000 gallons per tonne of lithium, affecting ecosystems specifically in the Atacama Salt Flat in Chile – the world’s largest lithium extraction site. Already being one of the driest places on earth, mining activities consumed 65% of the region's water, causing many problems for local farmers. There is also the potential for toxic chemicals to leak into the water supply, which occurred in Tibet in 2016, killing countless fish, cows, and yaks that had been exposed to the contaminated water.

❛❛ For some EVs

manufacturing emissions can be as much as 68% higher than other cars ❜❜

Research is however ongoing for a low-energy and environmentally friendly way to recycle these batteries. Currently, recycling lithium-ion batteries is complicated and inefficient. In some cases, batteries are shredded and separated into their components so that some materials may be reused. Many batteries still function after they are removed from vehicles and can be converted for use with solar PV systems. While electric vehicles do have some impact on the environment, they are still a good option for reducing your carbon footprint but as with every new invention, it might be years from now until we realise the true impact of electric cars and by then, the world will have produced hundreds of millions of them and we could be back where we are with fossil fulled engines.

Lithium-ion batteries are a major power source in many electronic devices, including electric cars, which has contributed to a 58% increase in lithium mining worldwide in the past decade. While there seems to be very little risk of lithium being mined out in the near future, there is a huge environmental downside to its extraction. While the demand for lithium increases exponentially, the price inflates, doubling between 2016 and 2018, and according to consultancy Cairn Energy Research Advisors, the lithium-ion industry is expected to grow from 100-gigawatt hours (GWh) of annual production in 2017, to almost 800 GWh in 2027.

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MEAT WILL BE THE DEATH OF US By Roxy Costello-Ross The meat and dairy industries are two of the most substantial causes of climate change in the world today, yet they are also arguably two of the most ignored. Unfortunately, when it comes to food many people will not budge on their chosen diets, even If they are contributing to a trail of destruction across the planet; from climate change to forest fires and even human rights abuses. In the UK, the majority of meat bought is mass-produced in intensive factory farms such as JBS – the largest meat processing company in the world. Supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, as well as popular fast-food chains like KFC and McDonald’s buy their

meat from companies that are owned by JBS. Through its meat production, JBS produces around half of the carbon emissions of massive fossil fuel companies such as Shell or BP and is spearheading deforestation in the Amazon. To make matters worse, suppliers to JBS such as cattle ranch and soya producers in Brazil have been found to have a history of profiting from modern-day slavery. The industrial meat industry is the single biggest cause of deforestation globally as it requires a huge amount of land to sustain itself. Forests are deliberately slashed and set alight, particularly in

❛❛ The industrial meat industry is the single biggest cause of deforestation globally ❜❜

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South America, to make space for grazing cattle and crops to feed the billions of farmed animals in the UK. When this happens, immeasurable amounts of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere and fallen trees are left to rot or are burned, creating further emissions that massively contribute to climate change. If deforestation in the Amazon continues at its current rate it will no longer be able to sustain itself as a rainforest. This will cause mass devastation for the people and animals who live and depend on the forest and could lead to less rainfall, therefore affecting drinking water and irrigation across South America.


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properly, they can degrade local water resources and unsustainable dairy farming can lead to the loss of prairies, wetlands, and forests - all ecologically important areas. Most people are not educated on some of the practices that go on in dairy farms today, and how the food they eat actually gets onto their plate. From an ethical standpoint, dairy cows are some of the most mistreated and abused animals out there, being forcefully impregnated from a young age and throughout most of their lives until they are slaughtered when they can no longer produce milk.

❛❛ Producing just

one gallon of milk takes 683 gallons of water ❜❜

Not only this, but the amount of water needed to grow crops for animals to eat, drink, and clean factory farms is enormous, and growing every day as the amount of farmed animals increases. A single cow being used for milk can drink up to 50 gallons of water per day, which doubles in hot weather, and producing just one gallon of milk takes 683 gallons of water. Industrial meat is the most inefficient way to eat food, as over a quarter of the world’s entire land area is used for grazing or growing food for those animals – crops that could’ve been used to feed people. By switching to a plant-based diet, one person can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water, and in countries like the UK it is paramount that we cut down on our meat consumption; if we aren’t eating 70% less meat and dairy by 2030 we cannot prevent a climate breakdown. Greenpeace is calling on supermarkets such as Tesco to halve the amount of meat in their stores by 2025 and replace industrial meat with plant-based food options. These supermarkets play a huge role in encouraging and supporting unsustainable meat and dairy consumption, especially by buying meat from suppliers linked to deforestation, and this needs to be stopped.

The global demand for dairy products has increased dramatically in recent years, partly due to population growth, rising incomes and the urbanisation and westernisation of Asian diets. At any given moment, circa 264 million dairy cows are living on dairy farms around the world. All of these cows and their manure will produce tons of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. According to the USDA, the waste from just 200 dairy cows produces as much nitrogen as the sewage from a community of up to 10,000 people. If manure and fertilisers are not handled

These cows will produce an average of 600 million tons of milk. Male cows are often torn from their mothers soon after birth and slaughtered as it is cheaper than raising them, and others will go on to be raised for veal. Because of the urbanisation of cities, there is a major disconnect between these industries and the everyday person, and it is well east time that we are all educated on the reality of where our food comes from so that, hopefully, the next time we do the weekly shop we can make more informed decisions.

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ETHICAL ACCREDITATION IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT By Tiffany Kelly, Beyond Bamboo

If achieved, accreditation can provide businesses with a legitimate USP and reinforce their sincere commitment to protecting the planet.

Many consumers now see ethics as a key element when purchasing both on and offline. In 2019, ethical consumerism and finance in the UK alone reached record levels £98 billion. Great news for ethical and sustainable businesses. But there is a downside.

For sustainable businesses to thrive, it is essential that they stand out from the greenwashing and make it easy for consumers to understand what they are buying and how their product is more sustainable and less environmentally damaging than a competitor. Keen as consumers are to purchase ethically, they need the choice to be made easy for them – not something that requires mountains of research and doublechecking. They need to be able to trust the businesses they choose.

With so many companies jumping on the sustainability bandwagon, there is an increasing amount of greenwashing. This is making it harder and harder for the genuinely sustainable companies to stand out and be noticed, and, in turn, almost impossible for consumers to be sure that what they are buying is truly ethical and sustainable. What may look ‘green’ on the surface, could have unethical supply chains or additional ingredients that are not sustainable - and who decides what is green anyway? In order to mitigate this problem, genuinely sustainable businesses are looking to external accreditation as a way to restore trust among consumers. This external audit evaluates the whole supply chain – not just the final product.

This is becoming increasingly important as consumers continue to change their spending habits to focus on not just cost but an additional three separate elements of business that relate to social, environmental and economic growth or triple bottom line reporting: people, planet and profit. So how can businesses create this feeling of trust with their customers? Whilst some ethical businesses may be tempted to opt for the cheaper route of self-accreditation, this is best avoided.

❛❛ Whilst some ethical businesses

may be tempted to opt for the cheaper route of self-accreditation, this is best avoided ❜❜

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Consumers are already suspicious of claims that are not backed up with evidence and are wary of greenwash. In some cases, claiming green credentials without offering any proof can do more harm than good as consumers question the veracity of the statements thereby making them question other claims made by the company too. It is important to make sure that your organisation really understands and has bought into the value of accreditation. According to a report by Shelton Group 2018, 86% of consumers say companies should take a stand on social and environmental issues. Both consumers and investors are flocking to companies that demonstrate sustainability but will actively block those they believe to be greenwashing. The right accreditation will make your business instantly attractive to both, increasing your profitability and your opportunity for growth. So how can you choose the right accreditation scheme and certification for your business? Here are four things to consider:


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Ensure the accreditation process is robust Where does it come from? Who created it? Do they have the expertise to vet both the brands and the products that are being offered? The Beyond Bamboo supplier accreditation, for example, looks at the whole supply chain from start to finish providing a ‘full service’ that reviews all aspects of the chain and provides support for further development towards sustainability moving forward. This added support can really help businesses make progress on packaging which is a massive contributor to environmental waste. In 2017, the UK generated 9.3 million tonnes of packaging waste.

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Do your research because customers that care will Some well-known accreditors have eroded consumer trust due to poor policing and a lack of transparency. For example, the Red Tractor food labelling scheme whose motto is “safe, traceable, and farmed with care” was exposed in 2019 by an animal rights charity as untrustworthy after ‘shocking abuse’ was filmed undercover at certified farms. This type of exposure will make consumers think twice before purchasing from any businesses involved in this scheme in the future

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tiffany Kelly is founder of Beyond Bamboo, a global community of sustainable products, services and suppliers working as a collective to restore and rejuvenate the planet. With a marketplace, a B2B supplier portal, a knowledge hub and a team of passionate people dedicated to triple bottom line reporting, Beyond Bamboo aims to help us all do well by doing good.

Collaboration is key, working with accreditors that collaborate with like-minded organisations to share best practice and hold one another accountable gives further security A great example is the Sustainable Spa Association which has partnered with other sustainable hospitality organisations to provide a community and hub for sustainable procurement. These networks of organisations are growing and more and more are working towards the same goal: to go beyond sustainable and reverse the damage caused by climate change. By collaborating with one another they are sharing knowledge and best practice, they are able to offer a more robust accreditation, and they demonstrate transparency.

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Find an accreditation service that is aligned with your mission and purpose If triple-bottom line reporting is important to you - accreditation will need to cover both sustainability (environmental impact) and ethics (people and community). Once you have researched the accreditors, set up a call with the three organisations you like most and don’t be afraid to interview them. Drill down into who they are and what they stand for. Ask them to explain what the process will be and the level of support that is on offer. This will allow you to get a feel for the people you will work with as well as the service on offer and ensure that you have an accreditation service that not only draws in consumers, but also feels good to you as a business. Achieving a respected and recognised certification has been proven to drive growth by giving the consumers peace of mind and making purchasing choices simpler. A survey conducted by Futerra demonstrated that 88% of consumers would like brands to help them make more environmentally friendly and ethical choices. So, from a sales perspective, robust and trusted accreditation is a no brainer, but there it also has an additional benefit: it helps to attract talent. In a recent survey (Fast Company Report) more than 40% of millennials reported that they would choose an employer because of their sustainability performance.

REFERENCES

www.ethicalconsumer.org/research-hub/uk-ethical-consumer-markets-report Futerra Survey: www.forbes.com/sites/solitairetownsend/2018/11/21/consumers-want-you-tohelp-them-make-a-difference/?sh=afe776869547 www.fastcompany.com/90306556/most-millennials-would-take-a-pay-cut-to-workat-a-sustainable-company www.beyondbamboo.online Twitter: @beyondbambooRT Facebook: @beyondbamboo.online Instagram: @beyondbambooglobal www.linkedin.com/company/ beyond-bamboo-global

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WHAT CAN WE DO? It is time to stop waiting for politicians to do something about the environment. It is time to stop thinking that someone else will sort it out. They won’t. It is up to you, me and every other human on the planet to act. By Maarten Hoffmann Not by being an idiot and sitting on the M25 – that is totally counterproductive and results in 30,000 people at a time hating you, your cause and your blind stupidity. Making people miss births, deaths, weddings, funerals, meetings, vacations, hospitals, birthdays and more does not help their cause. Sit outside parliament, MP’s homes and surgeries, government offices and the like. The law makers, not us poor folk just trying to make a living. In addition, the hours of static traffic is actually increasing the pollution issues ten-fold. Rather, donate money to NGO conservation agencies, use your vote to throw out any MP that does not fully commit to change, cut down flying, driving, buying new clothes, buying plastic crap

❛❛ We can make a

difference but it takes sacrifice – a small sacrifice compared to the planet becoming uninhabitablee ❜❜

and eating meat and fish, put a sweater on and turn off the heating this winter, stop wasting food, insulate your home, throw out that log burning stove, up-cycle, stop drinking bottled water, fit solar panels to your home, obsess over every drop of water you use and teach your children to live differently. These might feel like small things but there are 67 million of us in the UK so that would make a significant difference. Then if all citizens of Europe followed suit, that’s another 447 million and so it goes on. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE but it takes sacrifice – a small sacrifice compared to the planet becoming uninhabitable. Sadly, in my opinion, there is no stopping it. We have done far too much damage to reverse it before nature destroys us all but if we can delay it, that might give technology a chance to catch up and mitigate the worst of the effects - possibly.

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THE PLEDGE When their time comes, many of the richest people on Earth have committed to giving away the bulk of their fortunes. Education, poverty and the arts have traditionally benefited from philanthropy, attracting billions for important causes. But increasingly, nature and the climate crisis have become a focus of giving.

Last week, a group of nine philanthropic foundations made the largest ever donation to nature conservation, pledging $5bn to finance the protection of 30% of land and sea by the end of the decade. Swiss businessman Hansjörg Wyss, also a major donor to progressive causes in the US, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos were among the billionaires behind the Protecting our Planet challenge. In effect, the money covers the estimated cost of the 30% goal for this decade, one of the 21 targets included in the draft Paris-style UN agreement for nature currently being negotiated. It also includes plans to eliminate plastics pollution and reduce pesticide use to slow species extinctions. “We can solve the crisis facing nature,” Wyss said at the launch. “But it’s going to take the wealthiest nations and the wealthiest individuals committing to reinvest our enormous bounties here on Earth, safeguarding nature and protecting our lands, waters and wildlife.” Despite high-profile examples, environmental philanthropy remains dwarfed by other areas, accounting for only about 8% of giving, according to the NGO Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. Contributions explicitly to conservation and to protect biodiversity have been even more neglected. But there are signs that this is changing.

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Before his death in 2015, The North Face co-founder Douglas Tompkins bought enormous areas of Patagonia and his widow Kris continues their conservation work, helping to create in Chile one of the largest protected areas in the world. Danish billionaires Anders and Anne Holch Povlsen, Scotland’s largest landowners, plan to rewild vast areas of the Highlands. And the growing urgency of scientific warnings over the twin climate and nature crises have meant more are following in their footsteps. “None of us can do everything but everyone must do something,” says Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, worth an estimated $10bn, who created and funds the World Economic Forum’s trillion tree initiative to plant and restore forests around the world. “That is why so many new initiatives are being created and also why I am aggressively funding 1t.org.” When they announced the $5bn for the 30x30 target, the foundations emphasised the importance of rights-based conservation and indigenous communities. New indigenous-led protected areas in Canada will be created in the James

Bay, Hudson Bay and Labrador Sea regions, home to beluga whales, polar bears and walruses. Through his Earth Fund, Bezos said he would initially focus on high-impact projects in the tropical Andes, the Congo Basin and the Pacific Ocean in regions that have already demonstrated a commitment to protecting human rights. How money is spent and the focus of the philanthropy can be controversial. But Basile van Havre, the UN diplomat responsible for drafting the agreement on nature for this decade, which will be at the heart of the Cop15 UN biodiversity talks in Kunming, says philanthropic donations allow governments to focus

❛❛ Despite high-profile examples,

environmental philanthropy remains dwarfed by other areas, accounting for only about 8% of all giving ❜❜


COP26

Dr Rebecca Gooch, senior director of research at Campden Wealth says: “Wealth holders are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of environmental conservation, as threats such as deforestation, pollution and biodiversity loss increase.” Ben Goldsmith, brother of the UK environment minister Zac Goldsmith, is among those leading calls for wealthy individuals to step in and commit to tackling environmental degradation in the UK. In June, he signed up to a letter calling for the country’s richest families to invest in nature. In 2020, individuals and charities in the UK gave £250m to environmental causes, less than 4% of total charitable funding.

on the many more billions in harmful environmental subsidies that need to be repurposed, and make difficult decisions on agriculture, pesticide use and pollution. “It’s a massive amount coming from non-government entities. Governments should do the lion’s share of the increase in funding but I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a big amount coming from non-government organisations,” Van Havre tells the Guardian, adding the donations will create momentum around the talks, and contribute to the estimated $700bn a year financing gap for nature. “They’re mainly interested in the 30x30. But this is fine. We can spend that money on 30x30 and we allocate other funds to other priorities.” A 2020 survey of philanthropists by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and Campden Wealth, whose respondents had average net wealth of $1.2bn, showed education and poverty were more popular focuses of giving among

Wealth holders are ❛❛ becoming increasingly

aware of the importance of environmental conservation, as threats such as deforestation, pollution and biodiversity loss increase ❜❜ the super-rich, with the environment registering ninth in terms of priorities. But Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ CEO, Melissa Berman, says that is changing. “It is still an extremely small part of philanthropic flows, including in the US,” she says. “Traditional categories were that people thought about conserving land and water. They thought about conserving species and then only relatively recently, people started thinking differently about the environment in terms of climate change.”

Unlike some philanthropic causes, Goldsmith explains that a big benefit of supporting rewilding and conservation schemes is how much can be achieved with modest amounts of money. “It’s really cheap to fix nature. Nature is an incredibly powerful force. It recovers itself very quickly if you give it space. It’s not like building a hospital brick by brick, machine by machine. No huge investment is required to make things happen with nature. It’s actually relatively modest.” Berman is optimistic that the announcement last week could bring change in the way big donors choose to spend their money. “The big hope is that [the $5bn donation] inspires lots of people who are on the sidelines with lots of philanthropic resources to recognise that this is the right moment to stop thinking about it and start acting,” she says.

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Diversified Portfolios

Contact us to arrange a complimentary consultation Visit www.pmw.co.uk or call 01372 471550. Copyright © 2021 Partridge Muir & Warren Ltd, All rights reserved. The value of your investments can fall as well as rise and you might not get back the full amount invested. Partridge Muir &Warren Ltd. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Company number 952508. Registered office: Aissela, 46 High Street, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9QY. Tel: 01372 471550 Telephone calls may be recorded.


That Are Just Right


INTERVIEW

Terry Hawkins, CEO of Crossroads Care Surrey, gives us an insight into his experiences heading a charity

CARING ABOUT CARERS What drove you to change your career path to work in the care sector as a whole and from this, were there any major challenges that you had to overcome in the changing work environment? Having enjoyed success with other leading charities across the UK supporting people, I was asked to join Crossroads Care Surrey in January 2020 with a view to making transformational change. As you can imagine, what I wasn’t expecting was a global pandemic just nine weeks into the role. As you will be aware, Coronavirus landing on UK shores impacted the health and care sector enormously. Our primary concern was for our beneficiaries. We needed to suspend our core care service in the home and our community activities. A dire situation, which required us as a business to react quickly to ensure we could continue to provide services to support our beneficiary base and sustain the charity’s financial viability.

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We diversified our offer of providing other suppor t ser vices including befriending calls and outreach support. Bizarrely, we found ourselves in a position where we were providing help to not only our existing carers but to those most vulnerable and older people living alone who could not get help from their regular support services. Has your reason for working shifted now that you work with a not-for-profit? If so, in what way, and have you seen any changes to the way you approach your work? In working for a non-profit, the biggest reward is seeing the tangible outcomes, the distinct difference you make for the people you are supporting. In my long career in a commercial environment, I was driven by improving products and

The biggest reward is seeing the tangible outcomes, the difference you make ❜❜

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services for commercial business, generating income for the board and shareholders. Success and profits were great, but there is always an expectation to deliver more, especially in a fast-moving business like publishing. In the three main charities I’ve worked for, I’ve very quickly become passionate about each cause, I could see the demonstrable impact of the work we were doing to transform people’s lives and it feels good to know you’ve been part of something special. In this sector, many people who work for charities do so because they have a desire and belief that they can help the people they are supporting. So as a manager, you must take a different approach to how you work within that culture, especially when introducing transformational change. There is a need to take a subtle and controlled lead, ensuring that you take the team with you across every step of the journey, ensuring they are comfortable and that they understand the reasons that you are making the change.


INTERVIEW

As someone who is focused on transformational change, what would you say have been the largest changes that you have put in place since you joined Crossroads Care Surrey? When I joined, it only took a few short weeks to see the significant changes that were required to bring the charity to a better way of working. First and foremost, for Crossroads to remain sustainable we needed to improve our processes, have a competitive edge to complete for statutory funding, and to develop new opportunities to drive supporting business income. Initially, we made some simple changes like moving to an app-based VOIP telephone system enabling our workforce to work remotely. We introduced a cloud-based CRM to control our data and improve communications with our key stakeholders including most importantly our beneficiaries.

We have increased our reach by 190% and engagement with new supporters by 57% in the last year alone ❜❜

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the story, they can begin to resonate with our work. So, with a full rebranding exercise, including the redevelopment of our website and improved communications we have increased our reach by 190% and engagement with new supporters by 57% in the last year alone. We also made significant improvements to the staff structure with new minimum 20 -hour contracts with enhanced career progression for all caring employees. Our employees are now in a better place to support more

carers, more often. Additionally, all caring employees have mobile technology with a new digital care planning platform called Access Care Planning. The app records care plans digitally in real-time, recording care duties and responsibilities – we are no longer reliant on paper-based communication, internally, or with our client carers.

We also set about raising awareness of the plight of those who give care unpaid and share the story of how we help. When the public can see themselves in

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INTERVIEW

What makes Crossroads Care Surrey special? We are not like other care providers; we do not provide domiciliary care on the clock. We are unique because the professional care we give supports unpaid carers to have a regular weekly respite break, to enjoy quality time away from a caring responsibility and to balance life with peace of mind that a loved one is in the safe, reliable hands of the Crossroads service.

We are unique because the care we give supports unpaid carers to have a regular weekly respite break ❜❜

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Assuming that fundraising is the largest problem area, as with most charities, what programmes have you put in place for such fund-raising and how, and why, should local businesses get involved with the charity? Care is an expensive business and as a charity, we rely heavily on a mix of income sources to be able to deliver our core services. This includes support from local government and the NHS as well as the more traditional fundraising sources such as trust and grant-making organisations, local corporate businesses, the community, and individuals. With Covid in 2020, we were not able to partake in community fundraising initiatives in our community, with many of our own events and that of our supporters cancelled. However, we have been lucky enough to benefit from increased income through specific Covid funding. One such fund supported our core costs including the additional expenses of PPE, staff salaries and the shor tfall of predicted fundraised

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income. Another fund supported a specific project to help carers and their families benefit from befriending calls and outreach services during the lockdown periods. In 2021 and since the easing of restrictions, we have done a great deal to shift our fundraising strategy towards individuals and our growing community of supporters, including local corporate businesses. With two in every three people caring during a lifetime, it is important that employers recognise that there may be unpaid carers within the workforce, and they need to be able to offer them the support they need with the flexibility to balance their work with a caring responsibility. We can help employers through a range of suppor t measures which include training to implement carer friendly policies, and in return, we would encourage corporate businesses to get involved with our work through an active community social responsibility pro gramm e and to e n c ourag e employees to volunteer, fundraise or donate through their work.

In the age of Covid, what has been the most challenging thing for your staff and yourself at Crossroads Care Surrey, and have you found that the way in which you carry out your care has changed? Many families we support, have not felt confident to have our carers in their home, especially when cared for loved ones were vulnerable and older. As frontline care providers, our professional carers followed strict infection control measures and to date are still wearing full PPE, but for many lacking confidence, this was not enough. However, now the vaccination roll-out, many families now have increased confidence to receive support again, with referrals increasing 100% since pre-pandemic levels. We know there is a long way to travel to where we want to be to help more all unpaid carers across Surrey. We are stronger as one and we are very much looking forward to working with businesses in Surrey as part of our membership to Surrey Chambers of Commerce.


WE’RE BACK

at Woking Leisure Centre

13 October 9.30 - 4.00 Woking Means Business is back and has moved to Woking Leisure Centre with the usual wide range of exhibitors, seminars and the Woking Borough Council pre show breakfast. To attend the Council Breakfast it is essential to pre-book on the show website www.wokingmeansbusiness.com Admission to expo and seminars is free, with 3 hours free parking.

For further information, visit the show website or contact the organiser, Paul Webster at paul@websterconsultancy.co.uk

Presented by

www.wokingmeansbusiness.com


BUSINESS

INFLUENCERS FORUM On the subject of upscaling your business, every business that wants to grow needs to adapt through a period of growing pains where new challenges and risks need to be navigated. For businesses to survive and grow it's important that the directors are fully prepared when exploring new options to ensure the necessary foundations are in place. This takes good planning, sufficient funds and a large dollop of courage. Not all businesses want to grow, some are content with their level of business and the time they are prepared to put in, but in the majority of cases, growth is fundamental to their very being. Few can upscale their businesses without help and sound advice and that is why we are here today with a panel of experts to explore the subject of upscaling your business.

MAARTEN HOFFMANN The Platinum Publisher

Maarten Hoffmann is the facilitator for the Platinum Influencer Forums

LESLEY ALCOCK

Commercial Director, Platinum Media Group Lesley is a marketing professional, having spent many years with Capital Radio in London and the Observer Newspaper, and was instrumental in the launch of the Observer Magazine.

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INFLUENCERS FORUM

NIGEL LAMBE

MELANIE HANNAY

MARK ATTWOOD

Supporting a range of commercial businesses and entrepreneurs, providing products and services, connectivity and relevant thought leadership through our professional team of dedicated Relationship Managers. Experienced both in banking and private business as a qualified Accountant and Risk Professional. melanie.hannay@natwest.com

Mark is an audit partner and leads Kreston Reeves’ Growth Advisory Service. With clients across varying sectors throughout the world he has considerable knowledge of the issues they face. This insight together with his expertise in market trends allows Mark to support businesses looking to build, refresh or renovate their growth plans. Mark.Attwood@krestonreeves.com www.krestonreeves.com

JAMES O'CONNELL

CLAIRE MASON

JEREMY O’HARE

James is a Brighton-based commercial lawyer, with experience of working in the City and in Hong Kong. He has created and sold several businesses of his own, and regularly works with companies looking to scale up. James has a diverse case-load: from advising companies on the use of nonfungible tokens to monetise their digital assets, through to working with foreign companies setting up in the UK to, more locally, assisting the fast growing Sussex wine industry. joconnell@mayowynnebaxter.co.uk www.mayowynnebaxter.co.uk

Claire is an entrepreneur, NED and founder of award-winning global thought leadership consultancy Man Bites Dog. Claire and her team deliver strategic content, campaigns and communications to help business brands shape the next economy. With a passion for entrepreneurship and sustainable development, Claire holds Board Directorships at economic development organisations including Coast to Capital LEP and is Entrepreneur in Residence at The British Library Business & IP Centre, supporting its mission to democratise entrepreneurship. claire.mason@manbitesdog.com www.manbitesdog.com

CEO of Sussex Innovation Centre Nigel Lambe is Chief Executive of Sussex Innovation, a business incubator owned by the University of Sussex. Nigel's role involves advising a community of nearly 200 ambitious start-ups from idea to exit. Nigel specialises in working with SME directors to get the right culture, leadership team and operational processes in place for their business to scale nigel.lambe@sinc.co.uk sussventures.sinc.co.uk www.sinc.coluk

Partner, Mayo Wynne Baxter

Regional Director, Commercial Business at Natwest

CEO, Man Bites Dog

Partner, Kreston Reeves

Senior Information expert, Business & IP Centre, British Library Jeremy O’Hare is a Senior Information Expert at the British Library’s Business & IP Centre with many years’ experience of supporting SMEs to scale. Currently, he presents the Centre’s series of intellectual property workshops and one to one clinics. Previously he worked as a Relationship Manager for Innovating for Growth Scaleups, a business support programme for established and growing businesses delivered by the British Library. bipc@brighton-hove.gov.uk www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/bipc

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Nigel, as the CEO of SINC, you must have had more than your fair share of experience of companies trying to grow, I suppose the uneasy question is: How do you go from artisan to CEO? NL: It’s a great place to start. What I would say is that we see an awful lot of CEO’s and MD’s coming to us each year and I’m cautious of the conversations that start “I want to grow my business: I need more money.” They always focus on the idea that if they had more resources they could grow the business, when you get into it, that may be one of the factors, but it is only ever one of the factors. It’s much more likely to be the management team not having a broad enough depth, it’s probably that the CEO hasn’t evolved their role in the last 10 years and doesn’t understand why they are operating the same scale of business or a host of other reasons. Everybody thinks that innovation is the new product, the new widget, but actually, very often the value in innovation is in internal processes, how you go to market, how you develop your brand. It can be very much behind the scenes - the process, the positioning of your product - much more than just trying to find a new product that nobody has thought of before.

Jeremy, the same question to you, at the BIPC your remit is the growth and upscale of businesses, how do you go from artisan to CEO? JOH: The first, most important thing is to get out of your own room and go somewhere else to get talking to other people: take a step outside the business. It’s an old mantra that a lot of people know but you have to start ‘working on the business rather than working in the business’, and take that time out to do just that, which is a great first step in terms of being able to take the ambitions wherever you want them to go.

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Melanie, from the bank’s point of view, I assume you are very often inundated with companies coming to you with the next great idea and a loan request – how do you work out the wheat from the chaff? MH: Working with customers on a relationship basis is a key part of that, so Nigel has just talked about the management team, and I think that is a very important aspect, but there is a stage even before that which is the individual really understanding where they want to go with the business. When they say that they want to grow it, what do they mean? Do they mean to grow it and have a lifestyle business, do they really mean grow it and scale it and potentially look to sell or grow and become a large corporate. I think that makes a big difference if they can understand that early on, they need to surround themselves with the right people that will support and share their own experiences of growing. Also, that will cause hard decisions around potentially removing someone that they recruited who they know because as you scale your business, you want to professionalise and start to change a dynamic of that outside-in thinking. At NatWest we look at what we can do to support you; what do you come to tell us about your business, are you thinking about the risks involved as well as the opportunities, are you mitigating those and in what ways? If we see all of that and like all of that, then we will try to support the business, potentially even if they are not ready today, so what can we do to offer you support through our other channels.


INFLUENCERS FORUM

Everybody thinks that innovation is the new product, but actually the value in innovation is in internal processes ❜❜

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Mark, being a large regional accountancy firm, I imagine Kreston Reeves has many business approaching them to say ‘look we’ve got this funding from the bank and we are going to make 10 million in a week, help us get there!' MA: Yes, in business these days, whereas they used to solely focus on profit and loss, and what money would be generated through it, there has been this huge shift in the mindset of not just focussing on P&L. What I mean by that is you look at the likes of Facebook, huge amounts of value have been generated through their balance sheet, so although their P&L look quite weak, there are people falling over themselves to invest. However, if you look at it under typical financial statistics the accounts don’t tend to show that true value. There is this shift in focus in not only looking at P&L but looking at the underlying IP, the assets, the group of assets and what income they can generate because it’s not always shown on the balance sheet.

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James, from a legal point of view, you are a Partner at Mayo Wynne Baxter, a large law firm, is your take much the same? JOC: I agree with everything that has been said so far, but from our particular perspective one of the things we will be asking is “what do you mean by growth and in what timescale?” similar to Melanie’s comment. Are you saying “I’ve got this and want to turn it into this”, or are you saying “I’ve got this and want to begin a journey to that”, and that might be a journey taking quite a few years. Often what we are doing is putting a structure in place that will help with new staff, that will help with investors even though you don’t need it yet, think about practical things, like the number of shares a company has got. The main thing we encounter is what is it you want, if you want to become the Ferrari after being a bicycle it’s not going to be your company anymore and that’s a real dynamic tension that a lot of people have to face. How do I get this business to be a Ferrari but actually run as if it is my corner shop: the answer is that you can’t.

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Building out a really diverse management team is now definitely proven to be more successful than building one where everyone looks very similar ❜❜

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CM: I’d love to pick up on what a number of people have raised about the importance of this growth mindset, and I think there are a couple of areas where for SMEs this is particularly important. The first pivot point is when you start, make sure you start right, and the second one is when should you look to make that leap to scale. What we find is that if people start a business that is inherently local, and then it becomes regional and later national to global, you have to remake the business every time you jump one of those hurdles. However, if your original vision is on a growth mindset, and you decide to be born global, your business will be much more successful and scale much faster. Similarly, if you start a business with the view to make it scalable from day one, so you harness digital technologies and so forth, again you’re going to have much faster journeys. Starting your business right is incredibly important, we are obviously in the Business and IP Centre today and taking advice from these kinds of people is really important. NL: I agree, but also if you have a homogenous team with a lot of people that look like you it is much less effective than bringing in a diverse team in terms of background, age and gender. Building out a really diverse management team is now definitely proven to be more successful than building one where everyone looks very similar. MA: To bring that point into a real-life example, I have met a company recently that suffered during Covid, their turnover fell by 70%. Rather than panic, they delved down into their internal process, what they did was re-organise their senior structure. They have bounced back, and their internal performance is so much better that they are going to turnover somewhere in the region of 7-8 million when they were in the region of 5 million, and their headcount is down by 20 because their processes are that much better.

Jeremy, would you say that there are still holes for businesses to jump into? JOH: Absolutely. I’m so glad you came to me at this point because I think we have a need for good data and good information, especially in the climate we are in right now. All the industries are in flux and people just need good research and good professional insight from different providers and consultancy experts as well, but good data is really important. Having a place like the BIPC here and around the country is really important, getting people enough information to see where the next trends are, for example, we have micro reports on the back of Covid on all sorts of different sectors. From that point people can start getting a sense of where the next trends are. There are absolutely new niches, I think it’s a combination of real-world experience backed up by a bit of desk research. After that, you can really ascertain where your position is in relation to everyone else amongst all the challenges that we are facing.

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How do you prepare for a challenge like Covid when trying to scale your business? MH: Thinking about a lot of the conversations we’ve had with businesses through the pandemic what has become apparent is that those who have a plan B or maybe even a plan C, so those that have really done that strategy piece and thought about the scenarios of the what-if. Obviously, the what-if of Covid was never one of those scenarios quite to that extent, but what if tomorrow someone comes along and takes this bit of a market away, how do you intend to respond to that? JOC: I’ve seen so many business plans that have a plan A and a plan B, and the truth is that even the production of a document like that is a serious undertaking, so you tend to say what if the lights go out and there is a fire in your building. People simply don’t have the money or the time to plan for something that wasn’t expected to happen. What I do come across is people’s businesses which exist because of regulation, a compliance officer, most of the HR industry, the list continues. I’ve been in this game a while, the law changes all the time and it’s changing ever quicker. What happens if that regulation changes, what happens if your business ceases to exist? There’s no natural demand for it, so what then? That’s where it becomes very pertinent in our world.

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MA: One of the sets of people that I saw to be particularly successful through Covid were those who understood their business model to a whole new level. There was one particular person who was in a highly regulated market. Actually, their market just fell away, and rather than just sitting there and worrying about it, they took the product out and asked what they were good at. They were good at risk assessment and process, so they then looked at the opportunity and need within the Covid sphere and realised that there will be something in the entire market that needs those qualities that they excel in. They went into a whole new sector, created a business, and their turnover for last year was 4,000% higher than before. Actually, what I have seen is that you can’t plan for the likes of Covid, but what you can do is understand your skill sets and deliver them into different sectors which helps diversify your business and risk balance across various sectors. JOH: I agree, but more than that, picking up on all of these previous points, doing this early on is far more a guarantee of long term success when you are hit by a crisis. By that I mean, all of these are growth issues, but they are also foundation issues. Build your model early on to think in this sort of way, we encourage this at BIPC. I think it is fair to say that gone are the days of a 500-page business plan, they just don’t work, particularly for our world today. Having a model on a smaller canvas working with that and working with a value proposition, being agile and adapting to the world and challenges that come up. This is all baked into the business from a very early foundation level so when they grow with scale the mistakes can be ironed out rather than having to create the whole area when your business is under threat. Having a network of people who have been there and done things, and are able to advise on what you should do is invaluable, this is where the business centres across the country can really help.

I’ve been in this game a while, the law changes all the time and is ever changing so what happens if your sector ceases to exists? ❜❜

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CM: What we are seeing is an increasing balance between planning and agility, so on a planning side having a really flexible but strong structure is really important, and if you can involve your whole management team in your business plan canvas then you’ve got many perspectives to build a more fully rounded and agile business strategy. It’s not just about the centre and databases, it’s almost like the human library as well. Why make mistakes when you can learn from other people? There’s a network of peers and entrepreneurs who have done it before who can make sure you don’t hit those same hurdles. Then on the other side, once you have done your plan, agility is absolutely critical. What we have seen in our clients recently, globally, is that they are having to get used to being professional advisors and experts that don’t have all the answers, as you said everyone was surprised by Covid.


INFLUENCERS FORUM

James wrote a really good piece last month for this magazine on dangerous mentors. James – what’s your view on mentors? JOC: When they are right, they’re indispensable, but there are a lot of sharks out there. Even if they offer good advice, what they want in return is out of all proportion to the advice. They also tend to be people who have done their thing, and are now throttling back and coast for a time; these are the worst people to look ahead at the coming changes. Mentors, I find, for the most part, unless they are very good, come in at a few hours a week and support the vision of the CEO or artisan. Only the good ones tend to challenge what is going on because they don’t want to lose the easy gig. Saying no sometimes puts them at a risk, but it is what needs to be done. I’m slightly cynical, but when they are good they are fantastic. NL: Having been a mentor for 10 years, I feel that there are a couple of things to note. One is that it is a profession and it shouldn’t be a retirement gig, which tends not to work out. Also, it’s an awful lot about chemistry, so whenever I was a non-exec or mentor of a business I would never have a contract. If anybody ever wanted to stop working with me they just stopped. There was no tie in, or deal, it’s about mutual value. If you keep delivering value and they appreciate it, it works. I’ve walked away from probably half of my assignments because I actually thought they wanted to change but wouldn’t. What you need is someone who is willing to challenge, who is willing to look at the long game and figure out how to create value and have a CEO and management team who are willing to change in order to deliver that.

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Where do I find a genuine mentor then? JOH: You can apply, if you are London based, to the British Library Mentoring Programme that we run here. We work particularly with mentees that are at startup or even at prestartup revenue, and we match them with businesses and founders that have been through our scale-up programme. The mentee makes the decisions, with the mentor challenging and providing a perspective based on their experience. It is very hard, I think it comes back to that idea of finding that relationship and finding that trust, we can do that through the British Library, we can look at doing that by matching people through the mentoring scheme.

Should a mentor take shares in the company? CM: My perspective would be that you should have a mentor for your own leadership and management, you should not have a mentor for the business. I think that there is a very clear line. I’ve benefited hugely over the years from some fantastic mentors but they have helped me with management and leadership challenges that I have been having, they didn’t tell me what to do. As an entrepreneur, you have to have some very strong core values, when you are younger and you are starting out you can often be made to think that you should do things, even though it might be against what you think is right and your values. You need to learn not to listen to this and instead do what you think is right for you and your business. I think it is unhelpful to have a mentor that is focused on the business, instead have a mentor that is focused on you. NL: I think that is right. Another thing that is extremely important is that a mentor should take you on a part of the journey, that’s probably a two to three year timeframe. You will probably need a different mentor for the next stage, and then the next stage going on. You don’t want anybody locked in with equity at any point in the journey, actually what you want is different mentors for different points in your journey.

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Moving onto IP, how important is IP to you and how difficult is it to protect? JOH: I think it is very important, especially to know what it is and why to protect it. There is a lot of confusion around intellectual property in general about whether something is able to be realistically patented at all. It’s crucial because it is an asset that grows with the business, it’s more than a trademark, it represents the brand of the business. IP also includes the know-how that sits within the business, you could also include the contacts, confidential and sensitive information the business has, and it’s good to name them and see how to protect them, how to defend your position within the market, and what is the most economical way of doing that and where growth can be built-in. It is extremely important to nail this as early on as possible so that it doesn’t come back to bite you later on.

JOC: I would agree. However, I would say that patents are a rip-off, don’t go anywhere near those unless you have very deep pockets. Other than that, if you don’t own the right to your brand then what do you have? Nothing. Who your business is is often your trademark along with your reputation. If you nail that down at the start as Jeremy says, then you will be in good stead. As startups, it’s easy to not take this seriously when you begin with close friends, but in four years time when you start to make money there is something to fight over, it becomes difficult to pick out who owns what. The truly valuable IP is the trademark and the things you can’t register. If you are a small business person make sure that you own the IP and not the company, so that later on when investors come in they can’t take everything and you have a few tricks up your sleeve to bargain with. MA: I feel that IP is extremely important to the value of an entity. The downside is that the accounting doesn’t take it into account very well. If you can identify certain things, like pieces of software, that are sitting within your entity, and you can demonstrate that that particular piece of IP will create cashflows off the back of it, that is going to maximise the value of the entity should you sell it. Don’t just focus on P&L, but focus on the balance sheet as I said earlier.

NL: Just a counterpoint to what has been said. Whilst I entirely agree with everything that has been said about it being crystal clear with documentation around who owns what, I think for some startups, the biggest asset a company has is speed. People spend far too much time worrying about patents and trademarks, but what I would say is that you need to get to market and test whether that’s what people want. Uber is not dominant because they protected their IP, they are dominant because they raised billions and went on a land grab, they got out there first. CM: Going back to what I was saying earlier about establishing to how you want to continue, if you do go to trademark, make sure you register your name globally as far as it’s possible to do so if that’s how far you want to go with your business. We see a lot of bad actors who realise your name is doing well in one sector and then take it in another.

Make sure that you own the IP and not the company, so that later on when investors come in you have a few tricks up your sleeve to bargain with ❜❜

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BUSINESS INFLUENCERS FORUM

How do I learn to work on my business and not in my business? JOH: The first thing you must do is set out a time to do this. A lot of people have a certain day where they will state that they are not available at a certain time, you have to get into that habit of carving out time where you are bobbing your head above the parapet to see what is going on in the battlefield of the market. That allows you to be more up to date and understand the trends that are going on. NL: Firstly I don’t think anybody should run a business that doesn’t have someone that they can go and talk to ‘offline’, I think that it is invaluable to find the right person to do that. It’s also about creating the time as Jeremy said, Bill Gates famously creates two weeks a year to just read and thinks about his business, whilst not a lot of people have the luxury to take that long, taking out a significant block is important. JOC: First of all, don’t take the adage as a given. If you are in the startup stage, working in your business is actually how you understand your market, opportunities and clients, and you can get too divorced from that. One other point I have is to seek feedback from your staff members throughout your business, they have a wealth of perspectives and diverse thoughts that you can use.

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INFLUENCERS FORUM

Seek feedback from your staff members throughout your business, they have a wealth of perspectives and diverse thoughts that you can use ❜❜

❛❛

Unfortunately, that’s all we have time for today. Does anyone have any final words of advice to any reader who is thinking about starting or scaling a business? JOH: One is to be encouraged to feel that you are not alone and that this is not a solo endeavour. Get the advice and info you need as early as possible, where possible become a sponge, talk and meet with as many people as possible, whether it be through our network or others. I think it is important to realise that as a founder, you won’t have all the skills, you might be good at one thing or a couple of things, but nobody can be good at everything, so we need to rely on others and buy in expertise. Finally, don’t lose sight of your vision, you can take different paths to get there, but don’t let it go. NL: Crisis breeds innovation, this decade will have more innovation when it comes to business than any other part of our lives, if you think of something, be brave, go and do it what’s the worst that could happen? MA: Lots of people start off with a plan, but the worst thing they can do is stick it in a bottom drawer and forget about it until they are asked. We have mentioned vision, focus, and longterm thinking and all of these combine to mean we need to refresh our plan as we go along, it can’t become stale.

JOC: From a lawyer’s perspective, most businesses are about people, and will succeed or fail based on those people in the business. Make sure your house is in order, that those foundations are strong before you try to go further. We have spoken a lot about directors, but what about your shareholders? CM: Think about what will make your business scalable from day one, have you set it up to be international or national from the start? Also, get all the help you can get, we spoke about the BIPC and all the programmes that exist, use them. Challenge your own assumptions as well, do you need to borrow that money? Could you bootstrap and start on nothing? MH: There have been some great comments here already, but I’d just say have an idea of what you want to achieve, do you want to be a growth business or one for your lifestyle? Those are two different things and require different action plans. Also, don’t assume you know everything about it, take all the advice you can get and use it to your advantage to put you one step ahead.

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INTERVIEW

170 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE For more than 170 years, Hurst College has taken on the task of educating selected individuals from our youth, moulding and shaping them to be fit for the world which lies ahead, no matter the turmoil it may be in; especially in recent years. With its long history there inevitably comes peaks and troughs in the school's performance, though few today could say that the school sits anywhere other than at the height of its performance, even winning the Sporting Achievement award in the 2020 Independent Schools of the Year Awards. What is it that makes such a school rise so high? It's in search of the answers to this question that I went to the stunning school grounds in West Sussex to talk to its head, Tim Manly. By Maarten Hoffmann

It doesn’t matter how brilliant you are, or not, what we care about is your level of engagement ❜❜

❛❛

Given the school's long history, when did the school go co-education? It's been over 25 years now. It was co-ed when I arrived, though quite a small percentage of girls then, probably no more than 30%. We've reached a stage now where I think we are at the equilibrium point in terms of scale, just shy of 1300 in the school. 50/50 boys/girls, 50/50 boarding and day in the Senior School, so we are now of a scale that is sufficient to do all the things we want to do, but not so large that things become Darwinian with restricted access only to elites. As parents, what we all want for our children, though they may not always want it for themselves, is that fundamental level of engagement with every single option that is on offer. This is combined with a culture that signals to a pupil that "It doesn’t matter how brilliant you are, or not, what we care about is your level of engagement, and through that engagement, you are going to grow and learn about yourselves, you're going to develop in all sorts of ways, you're going to make friendships and you're going to enjoy life." I think we are at that stage now, and if we were larger, there is a danger of limited opportunities and "if you're not good enough you're not getting on stage, you're not getting on a team." I have a choir of 140 here, and although they may not all be world class singers, they have a great experience and that is what counts. We have over 20 drama productions in a normal year and that's great. In their future lives our children will need those key skills of being able to stand up on stage, address an audience, make a speech, engage with a group of people under pressure.

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INTERVIEW What are your views on co-ed versus singular sex education? I do not have a particular view as to which is better. I think it's more about the general culture of a school and making sure that whichever kind of school your children are in that there is a culture and a confidence individually that enables all pupils, our daughters and sons – I've got two daughters and two sons - to be themselves and not to succumb to peer pressure of any sort. So, I don't have a major view on it. Excellence in schools comes in many different shapes and forms. We have to touch on it, I don't want to labour it, but the two years we've had with predicted grades and algorithms etc, how did it work for you with the grades this time around? We will forget the first year which was a disaster. I agree, the management of the grades by the Government was incompetent. This time around, though, we had a very clear sense of what we would do. We had rigorous testing all the way through because we thought that we would be pushed on our assessment, we also suspected that there would be grade inflation. The most important thing for us was to complete as much of the programme as we could, because these students are likely to study their A-level subjects at university. Also, it was important to test them sufficiently to nail down the knowledge as well as have the data to back up the grades. Do you believe that there is going to be any stigma around the Covid generation concerning their grades? I think it will be forgotten pretty quickly, and people will instead focus on the degree result they achieve. I don't think there will be a huge stigma, but it slightly depends on what happens next. The real problem is if we go back next year to the 2019 levels of grades, then the current year group may believe they are the poor relation of the previous year. Then we have a problem. Arguably, if the grading system is changed around (numbers instead of letters at A-level, letters instead of numbers at GCSE) so they can't be directly compared with what has gone before, then it might work.

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INTERVIEW

What's your view on the debate that is going on at the moment about reverting back to the old exam process, or do we go on to a hybrid of teacher assessment and exams? All outcomes need to be independently assessed under rigorous conditions. The standard exam process does this. You can assess independently but we must ensure that those exams or coursework are sat under conditions that are not subject to any sort of influence. Having said that we know that sometimes on the day people don't do as well as they should have done. Ideally, a hybrid is attractive (formal externally marked exams and internally school assessed material) but you have to get it so that the coursework is done faithfully and throws up reliable data but, how to do that without vast machinery of checking and cross-checking?

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Something I spotted on your site the other day was 'should entrepreneurism be taught in school?' Personally, I would remove the question mark because so many clients I speak to are saying it is so difficult to find young graduates because they just don't know what's what in the business world, they're not ready for the workplace. Educationally they are sound, but they just have no idea how to come into the workplace. I don't understand why it's not taught. Over the years, we've had many students taking Business Studies, joining our award-winning career placements scheme or on the Young Enterprise programme who have shown themselves to be really good at planning, producing, selling and marketing, and you can then see them thinking "I can do this." For Young Enterprise, it's teambased and not just about bringing out the best in yourself but also about bringing out the best in other people, and that's

probably a better life lesson. If you look at the Steve Jobs of this world, they've all got other people in the mix who have made it together, and that skill of being in a team and working together is the best lesson. My only question is, should it be taught at school? This isn't me dodging the question but it's about much more than commercialism, it's about individuality, that personality, how you perform as an individual and your ability to recognise and take risks which are going to pay off. It's whether you can take people with you on the journey and whether you have the energy and resources to carry on through the really tough times, knowing that you are not a failure. Sometimes I say to my younger students, who don't make it into the senior school with scholarships, that it's better to take a knock now, knowing that you're more or less in the right place and so be better prepared for when the big opportunity comes.


INTERVIEW Diversity and inclusion, do you have the same wave of gender questioning as everybody else, and how do you deal with children who are going through that level of change? It's a very complex and emotive area and it's one where you have to tread very carefully. The good side of it is that pendulum has been pushed quite a long way, as it often has to be when you need to bring about change, whether that be on challenges surrounding race, gender or sexuality. In one sense I see it as very healthy that we have moved away from a time when, for instance, 'gay' was used as a slur to a world where that is completely unacceptable. As with any movement, there has to be a balance struck between what is healthy, open and constructive dialogue that protects certain individuals, and what becomes aggressive campaigning.

We are a school where I don't want anybody feeling like they are being put in a box, put down, or not allowed to be themselves. I hope that we manage this agenda with intelligent caution because there is no doubt that in school of 1300 I will have children here who are questioning, and that is a perfectly healthy thing to do. Equally, I don't want there to be a dominant 'cancel culture' which means that these things become very difficult to approach. It's not an easy area for schools, I go back to where I started, it was an area due for change and the environment now is much kinder and healthier than ever before. I want the children here to grow up as happy and healthily as possible, in their own way. Therefore, I want to keep an even balance, so that if someone feels they have an issue they can talk about it openly, as an individual, not as a part of a campaign.

I think we can see that schools like us are going to have to do more to be seen to be a part of the public good ❜❜

❛❛

Anything you would like to say that I haven't brought up? One area I believe is very important is the how the last 18 months of Covid have massively highlighted the tension between advantaged/disadvantaged, independent/public sector. We are endeavouring to set up a multi-academy trust, which is going to see us linking a small number of primary schools, and ideally a local secondary, to work with them in a way that opens up the horizons and experiences of people both at Hurst and in the associated schools. I also hope that this lessens what I think can be a slightly negative perspective of places like Hurst which is that we are insular and self-absorbed. Schools like this are going to have to do more to be seen to be a part of the public good. That's an interesting area to watch. Given the responses of Tim Manly, and his clear focus on the culture and team spirit of the school as a whole, doing away with the all too typical elitist mentality of independent schools in the country, its no surprise that the grade percentages between A*-B at A-level sit at 91% of the cohort, with GCSE equivalents being just 1% less. Though these grades aren't the only thing that makes Hurst special, it's the whole ethos of the school: mutual support and encouragement to try, whether you succeed or fail. Perhaps others should start taking notes.

For more information: www.hppc.co.uk

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CHARITY FOCUS

SUPPORT CHESTNUT TREE HOUSE Without your support, children’s hospice care wouldn’t be possible. From helping families through some of their toughest times to being there when they need it most, every penny you or your business raises or donates to Chestnut Tree House will make a big difference. Your support helps local children and young people with life-shortening conditions and their families across Sussex.

moment, that you’re the only person in the world hurting. The silence around you becomes intense and the outside world becomes a blur.” In May 2018, Joshua was stillborn, “Joshua’s birth was silent, even though I knew he would be sleeping, I still waited for a cry, and there was nothing.”

FIONA’S STORY

In 2017, Fiona fell pregnant with her third child, Joshua. Throughout the pregnancy, Fiona, who had two children, Benjamin and Lottie, at the time, knew that something was not right. “I was complaining of no movement throughout my pregnancy, so, at eight months pregnant I went for a private scan” says Fiona. “They soon rushed us for an MRI scan where we found out that Joshua had brain damage due to Toxoplasmosis.” Toxoplasmosis is an infection that can damage a baby’s eyes, nervous system, skin, and ears. “We discovered that Joshua’s brain had started deteriorating due to the Toxoplasmosis,” explains Fiona, “and that he would die during birth or a few hours after labour. “When you have the news your baby has no chance of life, it seems, at that

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At this difficult time, the family were supported by their local children’s hospice, Chestnut Tree House, where they were able to spend some special time with Joshua and say goodbye in their own way. “I will forever be grateful for Chestnut Tree House. They gave me time to spend with Joshua and do all the things I’ve done with my other children – read a book, change his clothes and spend time cuddling him. “The staff were incredible, they had so much respect, not only to me but for Joshua too. It was the simple things that made such a difference. They would talk to him, spend time with him,

and even knock on the door before entering the room. “Chestnut Tree House is so special to us. We have a pebble in the gardens there with Joshua’s name on, and it’s the place where we go to reflect. It is where Joshua spent his final days on earth. “Giving birth to a precious child that you have carried and dreamed about raising, knowing they have no chance of life, is the worst thing ever. I don’t think we would have got through what we have been through without Chestnut Tree House. They gave us the strength to pull through in such a difficult time.” Every year, the family celebrates Joshua’s birthday in his memory, “We have cake, candles and have a tea party in his memory. Joshua is very much part of our family home, and we are lucky enough to have his birth certifi cate and photos of him around our house.” Speaking about why she wanted to share Joshua’s story, Fiona says, “The hardest thing I’ve ever faced was leaving hospital after birth without my baby. There is always, and always will be, an emptiness I carry, but I want to make Mothers and Fathers know that they are not alone.”

If you are affected by Fiona’s story and would like to talk to someone, please email hello@chestnut.org.uk To find out how you can support Chestnut Tree House so that they can continue providing vital care and support to people like Fiona and her family, please visit www.chestnut.org.uk.


It’s finally time to bring that idea to life. Join NatWest’s free online Business Builder course today to start turning your idea into a business tomorrow. Search NatWest Business Builder to sign up


TECHNOLOGY

THE IMPORTANCE OF ZERO TRUST Why you need dynamic user and device authentication Ancient tactic, modern threat. Assume the arrow is already over the wall. By Scott Nursten, CEO, ITHQ Centuries ago, armies might fire letters attached to arrows over the wall into a besieged city, promising a reward to anyone who opened the gates. In 2020, a Tesla employee was contacted by a Russian cybercriminal, promising to pay $1 million if they helped infect the company’s system with malware. (Luckily for Tesla, this employee blew the whistle.) The point is, an ancient tactic was used in a modern setting, highlighting the vulnerability still posed by insiders. Combatting this threat means applying the tenets of Zero Trust, based around the presumption that you’ve already been breached. If the enemy is already inside your defences, your firewall is useless. If they are disguised as someone with all areas access, how will you catch them out?

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THE OLD TRUST ZONES ARE GONE

Zero Trust is a new form of security architecture which has replaced the old ‘trust zones’ network design. As a rule, the more exclusive the access to a zone, the higher the trust. A general low-trust zone carried few access requirements. A private zone with more stringent access requirements carried higher trust, while your financial zone, for example, would be accessible to only a few people and would therefore be your highest trust zone. Trust implications might mean data wasn’t encrypted inside the highest trust zone, or that location alone would act as proof that only the right users were in there. With more attacks exploiting the trusted user, their laptop or phone, you can no longer trust authenticity of identity based on access level alone.

The answer now is to create policy decisions and enforcement points across your networks. In other words, replace trust zones with Zero Trust: controlled, conditional, dynamic access in multiple places. Your staff are trustworthy. Hackers pretending to be your staff are not Zero Trust has garnered negative reactions because people infer a lack of trust in their staff. Let’s be clear: this is not about mistrusting individuals in your building. This is about verifying that every user and device on your network is the person and device you expect it to be. Just because a person is logged in as ‘Sam’ doesn't mean it is really them. Without multifactor authentication, biometrics and additional checks, we can't determine authenticity of user or device. Standard access to your cloud-based environments and SaaS platforms, is usually via a username and password, maybe an MFA token: all of which are possible to hack. IP addresses too are no longer suitable as trusted identifi ers. The only way to authenticate reliably is at user and device level every time access is requested. Hence, the rise of Zero Trust.


TECHNOLOGY

❛❛ Just because a person is logged in as ‘Sam’

doesn't mean it is really them. Without multifactor authentication, biometrics and additional checks, we can't determine authenticity of user or device ❜❜ THE FOUR TENETS OF ZERO TRUST

n Always assume a hostile environment Assume that all devices, user accounts and any other resource could be used against you. The imperative is to have clear policy enforcement and decision points requesting regular verification. n Never trust, always verify It looks as though Sam is using Sam’s laptop, but how do you know for sure? Verify the user and their device using a variety of factors. n Always presume a breach Behave as if the adversary has already breached your wall. Penetration testing and firewall scanning will do nothing if you are locked inside with your adversary. Everyone must verify who they are across every area of your network, regardless of access level. n Scrutinise explicitly Your controlled access must also be dynamic and conditional. Dynamic variables give administrators the ability to

grant or deny access to network resources. Conditional access is policy-driven and usually works on the basis that if a user requests access, then they must complete an action. Include behavioural observation wherever possible. For instance, a ‘user’ might have a username, password and MFA token but be trying to access your network from China or trying to access restricted areas. Any unusual behaviour should automatically fire out additional verification requests.

LOG EVERYTHING

Cybercriminals remove all trace of their activities to prevent them being caught for their crimes. They destroy access attempts immediately after successful infiltration: the cyber equivalent of wiping down every surface to remove their fingerprints. If you log data in off-site, immutable stores and analyse it at machine speed you know what is always happening across your environment, catching bad actors in the act and identifying vulnerable user accounts. Their access then leaves indelible traces that can be used as evidence.

QUESTIONS FOR IT

n How do we verify our users and devices? n How often do we request authentication? n Can you show me evidence of how we do this? n Can you show me all our access logs? It should be obvious to all users, including business leaders, that zero trust verification exists across the organisation. If you can get straight onto your network with just a username and password, or once on there, you can access even your most sensitive data, alarm bells should be ringing. Don’t make the mistake of choosing ease of access over security. If you can access everything on the network easily, so can a hacker.

For more information, feel free to get in touch with me at transform@ithq.pro www.ithq.pro

}}NEXT MONTH’S TOPIC TIPS FOR BETTER CYBER RISK MANAGEMENT

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Selling, buying or starting a business? Call us on 0800 84 94 101 Offices across Sussex

www.mayowynnebaxter.co.uk


EVENTS The power of social media is at the heart of many relationships. Looking for a friend? Why of course, you turn to Facebook. Fancy looking for luuurrrve?? Try Bumble, or Tinder... But what about the sparks of a relationship in the events industry?

TRIO OF EVENT PARTNERSHIPS Well, one Friday afternoon, Sonny Cutting, founder of Network Xpress, was scrolling LinkedIn for some keynote speakers for his new event. The Sussex Business Show, hosted in Ardingly, West Sussex was soon to be launched and Sonny was on the lookout for some new talent. He was also looking for other expos to promote regionally, in Hampshire and Surrey, to see if anyone would be keen to partner up. After all, the recent decimation of the events industry during Covid has taught us we are stronger together, that we all need to help each other and collaborate. Sonny started by emailing a friend who was running The Hampshire Business Show - Josh Mitchell. The first event partnership came to fruition properly in January 2021; both Sonny and Josh had the same business goals and each wanted to grow their B2B shows. This exciting partnership went one step further with Sonny creating a brand-new event to showcase his services. Sonny had, for a long time, wanted to get into Hampshire, Surrey and Kent as a region, but he didn't want to host a show, as running even one event for the Sussex region was enough. The logistics of running a single tradeshow and event takes a huge amount of time, effort and people power. So Sonny approached business expo organiser, Paul Bridgland of the Surrey Business Expo. It took a simple introduction on LinkedIn to get the ball rolling, and

(From left to right: Paul Bridgland of the Surrey Business Expo, Josh Mitchell of the Hampshire Business Show, Sonny Cutting of the Sussex Business Show and Steve Page of the Surrey Business Expo enjoying lunch at The White Horse in Easebourne. Browse the Sussex Business Show website to learn more about this new event partnership. that single intro led to Paul calling Sonny directly within a few days - he was keen to work together.

partnership, all supporting, collaborating and growing each other’s event businesses.

Few expo event organisers create partnerships, and previous failures in their respective local areas of Sussex and Hampshire meant Sonny and Josh were even more determined to make the collaboration a success. By looking at regional events, further afield, has opened doors for The Sussex Business Show and for the Hampshire Event as well.

Only time will tell how successful collaboration will be long term, but the beginning is looking incredibly promising. From small acorns oak trees can really grow.

Sonny met recently with the event organisers to brainstorm, and create a vision for this year and 2022. The partnership is already paying dividends with Sonny, Josh and Paul now in a mutual events

For more information go to sussexbizshow.com or call 01273 833 222

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ECONOMY

SOUTH E AST BUSINES S ACTIVIT Y INDE X

sa, >50=growth since previous month 70 60 50

› K E Y F I N DI NG S

40

n Softer uptick in output and new orders

30

n Rate of job creation peaks at near 25-year high n Input prices rise sharply but the rate of inflation softens

20 10 2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

2011

2013

2015

2017

2019

2021

Sources: Natwest, IHS Markit

NATWEST'S MARKET ANALYSIS DEMAND AND OUTLOOK

NEW BUSINESS INDE X

New order growth moderates for the third month running

sa, >50=growth since previous month – August 2021 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Sources: Natwest, IHS Markit

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Private sector firms in the South East recorded a rise in order book volumes for the sixth successive month during August. According to panel members, the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions and the resumption of some business operations drove the latest uptick. That said, the rate of growth eased for the third month in a row and was the softest in the aforementioned sequence of expansion. New business growth across the UK as a whole outpaced that seen in the region.


ECONOMY

❛❛ Headcounts rose at the

quickest rate in almost two-anda-half decades while cost inflation moderated for the first time since last November ❜❜ OPTIMISM REMAINS STRONG AND HISTORICALLY ELEVATED

As has been the case since the start of the Future Activity Index in July 2012, sentiment regarding output in the year ahead remained in positive territory. Despite softening from that in July, the degree of optimism was far above the long-run average, and among the strongest in the series history. The passing of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the associated recovery in both domestic and international demand, underpinned hopes. Sentiment in the region was much stronger than the UK average.

› COM M E N T STUART JOHNSTONE

Managing Director, London & South East, Corporate & Commercial Banking

“Latest data revealed a moderation in business activity growth in the South East's private sector, with softer inflows of new work recorded in August. Yet, following a series of easing restrictions in the months to July, and the sharp subsequent expansions earlier on in the summer, the slowdown came as no surprise. In fact, we can draw many positives from latest survey data, one being the surge in staffing levels. Headcounts rose at the quickest rate in almost two-and-a-half decades while cost inflation moderated for the first time since last November. "Nevertheless, input prices continue to reflect intense supply chain disruption that the global economy is currently facing. Reports of staff and skill shortages, as well as the lingering implications of Brexit suggest the situation is likely to persist into the final quarter. However, to cope with rising backlogs and recovering demand in domestic and international markets, firms will continue to engage in hiring activity over the months ahead, though this may come at a cost to inflation.”

INPUT PRICE INFLATION MODERATES FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE LAST NOVEMBER

EMPLOY MENT INDE X

sa, >50=growth since previous month – August 2021 65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

Average cost burdens faced by private sector firms in the South East remained sharp in August. In fact, the increase was the fourth- strongest in the 25-year history of the survey. Firms mentioned that higher fuel and wage prices as well as material shortages exerted upward pressures on costs. That said, the rate of inflation softened for the first time since November 2020, and was at a threemonth low.

Sources: Natwest, IHS Markit

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INNOVATION

How a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between the University of Sussex and Gunnebo Entrance Control is advancing security gate technology

GATEWAY TO SUCCESS Capturing students’ silly – and sensible – walks through a tunnel of sensors will help to provide key information for the development of new-generation security gates used in businesses and airports. The activity is part of a joint project between the University of Sussex and Gunnebo Entrance Control (GEC), a design and manufacturing company of security gates. Research by experts in computer vision and sensor technology at the University

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initiative to encourage the sharing and development of university research with business. Kate Thorpe, Deputy Head of Business Engagement at the University of Sussex, said: “It’s exciting to see innovations at the University applied to real world settings and great to have an opportunity for students to see the results of industry and University collaboration first hand too.”

is helping to develop an algorithm for detecting ‘people flow’ through speed security gates.

The project is led for Sussex by Dr Phil Birch, Reader in Engineering at the University, and Professor Daniel Roggen, Professor in Wearable Technologies. They have expertise in the development of infrared devices to track movement.

University students are among those providing the moving bodies required to test the effectiveness of the equipment at Gunnebo’s UK laboratory in Maresfield, East Sussex.

Facilitating the knowledge transfer between the University and Gunnebo is Dr Peter Overbury, a Sussex graduate whose post-doctoral work has focused on security analytics.

The two-year collaboration is partly funded by a grant from Innovate UK through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), a government

Peter says: “My role is to take the KTP project all the way through the development of a sensor/machine learning algorithm for the detection of people


INNOVATION

❛❛ To stay competitive, we have to innovate all

the time. Customers expect new things, so we are always looking at ways to improve our products ❜❜

in gates. That also flows into other things, such as increasing gate logic so we can ease users going through. He adds: “It’s so rewarding to see how academic research can be applied and enhanced in a commercial element. Gunnebo may give me feedback that their customers would like a particular type of cabinet – perhaps one with more glass that doesn’t impede vision. But that presents a challenge for incorporating sensors and other technologies. Gunnebo, which began in Sweden in 1764, is a worldwide leader in the development, design and marketing of security gates for sales to airports, metro and public transport, stadia and mass transit, office and building security, with 90% being exported globally. The company focuses on protecting people, assets and buildings by controlling access, using passage barriers and detection systems. It manufactures indoor and outdoor gates, from simple turnstiles to advanced speed gates and security revolving doors. Detection technology is key to the company’s product offering because it is pivotal to balancing security, safety and

speed. Improved detection will therefore be of direct benefit to the gate users and provide enhanced protection while optimising throughput, whether they be attending their office workplace or checking in for a holiday at the airport. Developing a new generation of ‘speed gate’ (the fast-flow type used in airports and businesses) will position Gunnebo as a disruptor and raise the bar for industry. Like many companies who benefit from the KTP, working with universities in the development stage means they can bring in knowledge and different levels of expertise. Iain Port, VP R&D and Operations at Gunnebo, says: “To stay competitive, we have to innovate all the time. Customers expect new things, so we are always looking at ways to improve our products – from introducing sensors that detect speed as people approach barriers, to incorporating cameras and thermometers to detect body temperature. “About four years ago we employed a technologist to advance our technological platform. By doing that, we found that we were getting exposure to lots of new things, but we didn’t have the horsepower to develop and commercialise them quickly.

“Our intention is to differentiate ourselves from a technology point of view and transfer some advanced technology development knowledge into our R&D team in parallel. This will help Gunnebo continue to develop new market leading products.” The two year KTP project began in 2020. Kate says: “To win KTP funding, the two organisations working together identified a challenge, that Gunnebo wanted to address, matched it with the academic expertise at Sussex and together we compiled an application for Innovate UK funding.” The ambition for Gunnebo is to grow sales >10% pa to become global number one by 2023. Connecting with expertise from academics at the University of Sussex Sensor Technology Research Group will address current security challenges and embed knowledge in the R&D team at Gunnebo to enable future product development post-KTP. The partnership demonstrates how all parties can benefit through the commercialisation of research taking place at the University. Dr Sue Baxter, Director of Innovation & Business Partnerships at the University of Sussex , says: “I’m delighted that we have formed this partnership with a local company that has potential for worldwide adoption. Our work with Gunnebo illustrates the competitive edge that can be achieved for companies by working hand in hand with universities.”

Visit www.sussexmba.com

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Celebrating 200 years of history This year we are celebrating 200 years of our history. We’re using this as an opportunity to celebrate what all our people collectively do for our clients, colleagues and communities. Our people make Kreston Reeves, they are our greatest asset. Visit our website to find out more www.krestonreeves.com/200


FINANCE

By Daniel Morgan, Managing Partner, Haines Watts Esher

How residential property developers can prepare for tax increases

losses in other areas. It’s possible that the bigger companies may start to reject work that they consider too small which could open up opportunities for developers looking to scale up.

The residential property sector has been hit by a number of challenges in recent years and particularly following the pandemic tax rises appear more and more likely. With the number of changes that are coming in over the next few years it is vital to make sure you are on top of your business’s tax planning. WHAT IS THE NEW PROPOSED TAX? The government has published a draft legislation on a new proposed time limited tax to be charged on the profits of companies carrying out residential property development. The purpose of this tax is to help pay for remediation works required on unsafe cladding on residential flats. The rate of the tax and the allowance are yet to be announced so any planning at this stage will be tricky. It is designed to target the big hitters, an allowance figure of £25m has been mentioned but is yet to be confirmed. We can expect further details to be announced during the Autumn Budget with the tax to be introduced in April 2022. Consultation on this tax will run until October 15th, you can make your voice heard here.

HOW CAN BUSINESSES PREPARE? With a number of increases on the horizon from corporation tax increasing in 2023, dividend tax and a likely increase in capital gains tax it’s more important than ever for property developers to streamline their tax affairs. WHO DOES IT AFFECT AND WHAT WILL THE IMPACTS BE? It’s important to note that this tax will apply to a wide scope of assets and activities. The nature of property development also means that profits can end up stacked in lump sums rather than a steady flow. This means more developments could be included than initially expected. Accurate forecasting of your cash flow can alert you if this seems likely. It’s tough to make predictions about how this tax will impact the sector although some early speculation has suggested that the uncertainty this tax causes may delay schemes. I think this is unlikely as delays of this nature cause

It’s important that you ensure you are claiming on all reliefs available to you. Many are still underutilised as businesses don’t believe that they will qualify. I have found that most businesses qualify somewhere and these reliefs can be key to unlocking cash. Key reliefs for property which should be reviewed on each site owned, or when potential sites are being considered are: n Research & Development n Land remediation relief n Capital allowances Tax planning has never been more important and I’d really recommend that you make sure you are maximising all reliefs available.

If you’d like to talk about streamlining your tax planning visit our website or get in touch. www.hwca.com/accountants-esher T: 020 8549 5137 E: esher@hwca.com

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INTERVIEW

GATWICK IS LOOKING FORWARD We all know that the aviation industry has taken a massive hit due to the pandemic and airports are no exception. Gatwick Airport is vital for our region and, as usual, they have not stood still but are actively planning for the future. The government might have given the permission for the third runway at Heathrow, over which there are serious doubts as to whether they will now actually build it, but Gatwick is not taking that one lying down and are forging ahead with their plans to bring their standby runway into routine use for departures only, which will greatly increase their capacity and further cement the UK’s target of being a global trading partner. I caught up with Gatwick’s Chief Planning Officer, Tim Norwood to find out how these plans are going. By Maarten Hoffmann

Remind our readers of what these plans are? I would be delighted to. The airport has an existing standby runway which is currently only used when the main runway is undergoing maintenance or on the rare occasion that there is an emergency. Our proposal is to bring this runway into regular use for departing aircraft only. The new runway will only be used for short haul aircraft and for take-off only but will increase our passenger capacity from the 46 million who used the airport in 2019 to around 75 million 2038 with we have to go through a full public consultation that is under way now but we have confidence that we will be able to convert this runway. We encourage everyone in the region to get involved and go to www. gatwickairport.com. All comments must be received by 11.59pm on December 1st 2021.

The runway works, new terminal and all support infrastructure will cost around £500 million and not a penny of that comes from the public purse as it will all be funded by the airport and our shareholders ❜❜

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As you know, there will be people complaining of extra noise, so how will the airport deal with that issue? The noise impact of the airport has been steadily falling for many years now with the introduction of new aircraft that are less polluting and much quieter. We are committed to a ‘noise envelope’ which means that even with this increase in capacity, the surrounding noise will be no more than it was in 2019 due to the advance in engine technology. Aircraft are getting quieter and quieter with each new design, they are also less polluting and we are not too far away from electric planes which really will be a gamechanger. I fully sympathise with people who are disturbed by aircraft noise but we are an island nation and we need to trade, now more than ever, and that is very difficult to do without world-class airports. Our job is to minimise that disturbance in every way possible as these people are our passengers, our employees and our support businesses. The long-standing government policy is very clear – ‘airports should make best use of existing facilities’ and that is exactly what Gatwick is doing with this plan. I am also proud to say that the airport itself will be carbon net-zero by 2040 and l believe that to be a tremendous achievement.


INTERVIEW I understand you need to move the new runway 12 metres – that sounds very simple but l am sure it is far from simple. Indeed, it is far from simple but in short, we will be adding 12 metres of tarmac to the northern edge and removing 12 metres from the southern edge, and then repainting the centre line. As far disruption to the airport operation, much of this work will be done overnight, as with so many runway tasks we presently undertake, and will cause very little disruption.

There was also the argument that there was so little unemployment in the Crawley area therefore where are the new airport staff going to come from? That’s a very good point but the pandemic has greatly changed that with the local unemployment being as high as it has ever been. These people need jobs and Gatwick is the largest local employer. The local colleges need employment for their students and we are working hard with them to ensure that we assist in the training of these students to ensure they are ready for the jobs that will be waiting for them. This is not just pilots, but engineers, planners, retail staff, baggage loaders, drivers, security, IT and so much more. We are working with local colleges to ensure they have the skills required for the jobs of the future. We need local jobs for local people and don't want to see our young people being forced to take the train to London every day. We expect to create 18,400 additional local jobs by 2038 and this can only be tremendous for the area.

What about road improvements for this increase in passengers? We are proposing significant upgrades to three road junctions to greatly ease the flow. At the south terminal roundabout, we will create a flyover; at the north terminal roundabout we will create a partial flyover which will separate the local traffic from the airport traffic and greatly improve the movement for local people so that they don't get held up with the passenger traffic. The third junction is the Longbridge roundabout that will improve the general flow of traffic. Rail services and facilities are already being improved with a £156 million project which will lengthen the platforms, increase lift capacity, new entry and exit and new ticket hall so this change will be highly significant. By 2023, the station will look totally different and be far more efficient.

EXISTING NORTHERN RUNWAY

How long will the new runway take to get into operation? We would like to get permission by 2024, start work around 2025 and operational by 2029. This will also have the benefit of giving more time for the aircraft manufacturers to really excel with these new, quieter planes - the day will come when we have near silent planes with zero emissions and with the speed of technology, that might not be that far away. How much is this all going to cost? The runway works, new terminal and all support infrastructure will cost around £500 million and not a penny of that comes from the public purse as it will all be funded by the airport and our shareholders. The UK government wants the country to be ‘open for business’ and at Gatwick Airport, we are playing our part to ensure we are a globally trading country that punches above our weight – and you cannot do that without world-class airports.

NEW RUNWAY

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INNOVATION

STEP ON THE GREAT ACCELERATOR! Throughout the next year, Sussex Innovation is launching a series of live events across the South East, offering a comprehensive toolkit for start-up founders to refine their business model. Join the Business Hot House Great Accelerator for a programme of intensive training, held across two days in the company of other growing businesses If you’re a fast-growing start-up based in or around Horsham, Chichester, Brighton & Hove, Worthing or Haywards Heath, Sussex Innovation’s expert team are coming to town with a packed two days of workshops to help jumpstart your business. Sign up now to reserve your free place at the Business Hot House Great Accelerator. THE SPECIALIST INNOVATION CONSULTANTS WILL DELIVER A SERIES OF SESSIONS INCLUDING:STRESS-TESTING YOUR BUSINESS MODEL Interrogate the key building blocks of your business with the Business Model Canvas, a one-page plan to help you

rapidly road test new concepts or explore necessary changes to an established model. Delivered by Simon Chuter, an experienced start-up mentor and sales and marketing specialist with a background running his own charity fundraising business. PITCHING YOUR BUSINESS Learn how to tell your story clearly and effectively, engaging investors, partners, customers, employees and media with your values, vision and mission through a well-chosen narrative. Led by Joseph Bradfield, a content and communications expert with experience at one of the country’s biggest PR agencies. BUILDING AND LEADING YOUR TEAM Find the right plan to scale your business successfully by understanding the key concepts in recruitment and management, and how they help keep your employees motivated and aligned behind the same ambitious plans. With Nigel Lambe, Sussex Innovation’s CEO and a veteran of leadership teams ranging from Small Batch Coffee to PepsiCo.

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INNOVATION REBOOT YOUR SALES AND MARKETING Explore tactics to reach and convert your customers on a small business budget, and get your marketing department focusing on the activities that deliver the best return on investment. Delivered by Helena Jevons, a strategic marketeer with experience in blue chip brand management at the likes of GSK and Kraft Heinz. TRANSITIONING TO NET ZERO Get prepared for the sustainability challenges of the next decade, with a session focused on the incoming regulation that will help UK businesses target net zero carbon emissions, and the steps you can take now to get ahead of the curve. With Anya Ledwith, Chartered Environmentalist and founder of sustainability consultancy Eshcon Ltd.

FINANCIAL PLANNING MADE SIMPLE A crash course in navigating risk and managing your cashflow, with advice on how to model best and worst-case scenarios and the key figures that every investor wants to see. With business finance expert Neema Amin, who heads up the investor matching service Suss Ventures.

MAKING IDEAS HAPPEN Future-proof your business by learning how to encourage a creative mindset and realise successful ideas from within. A masterclass in innovation strategy led by Tanya Popeau, a former advisor to Nesta’s innovation in international development strategy and the United Nations’ Asia-Pacific Innovation Fund.

If you’re an ambitious start-up with plans to grow, contact Sussex Innovation to find out more about the Great Accelerator and be the first to hear when it visits your area. Go to https://bit.ly/3CZ4VrR

ALREADY SCALING? CHECK OUT THE BAMBOO CLUB If you’re already turning over more than £200,000 and on the fast track to growth, Sussex Innovation’s peer-to-peer network group may just be right for you. The Bamboo Club brings together regional business leaders in East Sussex for a programme of masterclasses, group action learning and one-to-one mentoring, incorporating new and emerging business management theory. The Bamboo Club comes fullyfunded through the Business East Sussex Growth Hub, and is recruiting now for next year’s cohort. Find out more here.

Visit www.sinc.co.uk The Business Hot House is funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding The Bamboo Club is part of the Business East Sussex Pivot Programme, managed by the Business East Sussex Growth Hub on behalf of East Sussex County Council and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.

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LEGAL

Tim communicates only through dance, Sue by morse code and Obi by mime – can they form a contract? By James O’Connell

WHEN WORDS FAIL ME Although one shudders to think what hellish performance art might be ‘perpetrated’ by such a collaboration, it is possible for the three to form a contract communicating only via their respective skills. Generally speaking, the law doesn’t care about the form by which a contract is concluded (smoke signals anyone?) provided the five criteria for forming a contract (set out below) have been met.

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Most businesspeople think of contracts in terms of written documents. But many contracts involve neither writing nor speaking, e.g., using a self-service till in a supermarket – those contracts are created by actions which demonstrate intention to be bound by an agreement. Dance, mime and doing morse code on a torch are all types of action.


LEGAL

In my experience even the most honest of people can still be subconsciously prone to remembering things in a way that is, shall we say, not necessarily to their disadvantage. Further, if an HMRC (tax) Inspector wants to see the agreement, they might get annoyed at having a torch turned on-and-off rapidly in their face for two hours whilst someone dances around a mime trapped in an invisible cell.

Most businesspeople think of contracts in terms of written documents, but many involve neither writing nor speaking ❜❜

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So, the main hurdle faced by our artistes will be the limits imposed by their chosen mode of communication – as Jane Austen would surely have written had she been a commercial lawyer: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that it is hard to convey a conditional share buy-back clause through interpretive dance.” A contract is just an agreement that the law will enforce. All contracts are agreements, but not all agreements are contracts. To create a contract: 1) someone must make an offer, 2) someone must accept that offer, 3) there must be something of value (consideration) exchanged between them (hence the notional £1 often seen in contracts), 4) there must be an intention to create a legal relationship, 5) there must be enough agreed terms to have a workable contract.

There are (inevitably) second division criteria too: for example, courts will not enforce agreements to do illegal things like selling cocaine, and the parties involved need to have ‘capacity’ (e.g., toddlers and those with serious dementia don’t have it). The two other disadvantages our artistes face are: (a) How can they be sure they are agreeing the same thing? and (b) How they can record with certainty what has been agreed?

So: n be careful - it is easier to form a contract than most people think, and so unintended contracts happen every day when one side sees an advantage in pressing the point, n an ongoing negotiation by email or even text (mime-based negotiations sadly being a lost art) could unintentionally crystallise into a binding contract once (1)-(5) above are metso do make lavish use of the phrase “subject to contract” during discussions, n make sure you get your terms in before the contract is formed. Anything raised after the contract is made is irrelevant. If the deal is sealed on the phone, then it’s too late to follow up by sending on your terms and conditions by email. And don’t forget to dance the allimportant ‘Prices are exclusive of Value Added Tax’ clause.

James O’Connell, Partner E: joconnell@mayowynnebaxter.co.uk T: 01273 223209 Mayo Wynne Baxter www.mayowynnebaxter.co.uk

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BUSINESS

CASE STUDY ANIMONDIAL

Daniel and Helen met while both working for an international NGO focused on wild animal protection. Fuelled by their shared ethos and passion for species protection, they set up their own company Animondial in 2018. Animondial specifically works with the tourism sector, providing advice and guidance to travel businesses to encourage responsible animal-friendly tourism to better protect animals, all with an aim to reduce biodiversity loss and climate change.

The pandemic has crippled the travel industry, with most destinations experiencing a 75% drop in tourism and recovery is slow. However, this pause in

operation has allowed businesses to take stock and consider how their pre -pandemic actions may have impacted the natural environment. Daniel explains that Covid-19 is a zoonotic disease, a disease that jumps from other animals to humans, a situation that has been exacerbated by the overexploitation of wildlife and the degradation of nature. With over 60% of emergent diseases zoonotic, actions must focus on the responsible and sustainable use of animals, an end to illegal wildlife trade and the protection and restoration of biodiversity in order to better protect nature, lessen climate change and prevent future zoonotic diseases outbreaks. Post-pandemic Animondial is focused on three key outputs: development of Animondial’s Animal Protection Network to bring support and benefits to grassroots animal protection projects across the world, delivering opportunity with the travel industry and helping to sustain

Animondial encourages everyone to travel responsibly. Only travel with tour operators that take sustainability seriously and, importantly, seek to better protect animals and nature. Daniel says, “We cannot rely on governments ‘to do the right thing’, businesses too need to step up. In fact, everyone is responsible, responsible decision-making will make the world a better place”

CREDIT: PETER YUEN

60-70% of all travel tours involve animals to some degree, whether that be viewing or interacting with animals in a captive or wild environment. Animondial seeks to ensure tourism activities do not negatively impact the animal, the natural environment, customers or the locals. For example, Animondial is working with the tourism sector to empower local communities, better protect fragile habitats and prevent the illegal selling of souvenirs made from animals to unknowing tourists. Encouraging the tourism sector to be a force for good, Animondial is mobilising national, regional and global businesses to identify and minimise their negative impact on animals and nature, and through their operations, bring greater value, and therefore protection, to animals and nature.

the local community livelihoods in the most biodiverse destinations; the creation of an evaluation tool that helps tour operators minimise negative impact and maximise output to better protect animals and nature in the destination; and building on the 30 by 30 initiative, to protect at least 30% of land and ocean by 2030, Animondial is encouraging governments to enhance efforts to build back better for animals and nature.

Check out animondial.com for more information.

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FINANCE

Rupert Moyle, Partner and Head of VAT

Colin Laidlaw, VAT and Duty Director

Time to review if you are using it effectively for your business?

EU INTRODUCES NEW E-COMMERCE VAT SYSTEM The new e-commerce VAT system introduced by the EU on July 1st impacts the treatment and compliance associated with supplies of goods to and within the EU, in particular those sold to EU consumers (B2C). It is intended to ease the administrative burden and aid the collection of VAT in the EU and the new rules affect both EU and UK suppliers. As the festive selling period approaches and with attention here in the UK being focused on broader supply chain issues including driver shortages, have you considered the impact these VAT changes will have on your business, cash flow, stock management and broader supply chain in particular: n A re you meeting your compliance obligations within the EU? n A re you actually ‘over-doing’ your obligations, as these new rules simplify things? n Are you considering the effect your compliance is having on your customers and whether this is the best approach?

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EFFECT ON UK BUSINESSES In terms of what these changes could mean for UK businesses:

n In respect of a business established in Northern Ireland, its sales are above the €10,000 threshold.

n T here is an important distinction between consignments up to €150 and those in excess of this value. There are administrative considerations for collecting VAT within this threshold and more challenging obstacles to overcome for clearing goods through customs where imports exceed €150.

n In respect of a business established in Great Britain, it has any distance sales it makes between EU member states.

n Goods which are sold from outside the EU to consumers in the EU will be subject to VAT in the member state of import. A VAT amount collected from a customer on import may come as a surprise to them – the use of Import One Stop Shop, where applicable, can help to avoid this issue.

Businesses should consider how the changes may affect them, including whether the new schemes can be used to avoid customers incurring any unexpected VAT costs. Where the new schemes are utilised, costings and website terms & conditions would need to be reviewed for EU VAT that would become due at the point of sale.

n Goods which are sold from within the EU (including Northern Ireland) to consumers in other member states will be subject to VAT in the member state the goods are delivered to, where.

One Stop Shop registration can be utilised to avoid multiple VAT registrations in the member states where VAT may be due on such sales.

The Gov.uk website includes a number of examples of these new rules in practice.


FINANCE

AN OUTLINE OF THE E-COMMERCE VAT CHANGES: n A One-Stop Shop (OSS) has been introduced to allow VAT to be collected under a single registration, for B2C, intra-EU, distance sales of goods – those that are located in one EU member state and are then sold to consumers in other EU countries – as well as collecting VAT on certain services supplied by non-EU established businesses to consumers. A non-Union OSS scheme exists for similar sales of goods and services but where the seller is not established in the EU. n An Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) has been introduced for the collection of EU VAT on goods imported into the EU (and where the consignment is up to €150). The existing Low Value C o nsig n m e nt Re li ef ( LVC R) , exempting goods up to €22 from import VAT, has now been removed.

❛❛ Are you actually 'over-doing' your obligations, as these new rules simplify things? ❜❜ n  E xisting, member state specific, distance selling thresholds for goods sold B2C within the EU have been removed and replaced with a new EU-wide threshold of €10,000, however, the threshold does not apply to businesses established outside the EU. n Special rules have been introduced in respect of certain B2C sales of goods facilitated via an Electronic Interface (EI) such as an online marketplace whereby, for VAT purposes, the EI is required to collect the VAT due on sale to customers; the EI is deemed to have both received the supply from the supplier and to have made the supply of goods to the consumer.

If you would like to find out if you are impacted by these new rules, then please contact us on 0330 124 1399 or visit www.krestonreeves.com Rupert Moyle, Partner and Head of VAT and Duty rupert.moyle@krestonreeves.com Colin Laidlaw, VAT and Duty Director colin.laidlaw@krestonreeves.com

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BUSINESS

PEER LEARNING: YOU ARE NOT ALONE I hope that a summer break has meant that you are able to return to work refreshed and energised for the months ahead. That said, if you are leading your own company, or acting in a senior role in an organisation, it can feel lonely. You’re often responsible for key decisions, and knowing the buck stops with you can feel like a burden. If you’re an entrepreneur or founder, you are also used to coming up with the ideas. But sometimes it would be good to feel that someone else could contribute to problem solving. This is particularly the case after the last 18 months. Concerns about the future of business have been combined with economic uncertainty and a background of worries about our own families.

The difficulty is knowing who is in a position to understand where you’re coming from when you talk about the business challenges you face. While they are supportive, friends and family won’t know exactly how it feels to be in your position, and you may not want to worry them if you have concerns on your mind. It might not be possible to share your thoughts and challenges with anyone in your business, for the same reasons. Equally, discussing challenges with professionals outside the business is not something many feel comfortable doing, either. We all want to be able to present our companies with confidence and it can be hard to admit when times are tough. So what can you do at times like this? Have you considered turning to those who are in the same position as you? A peer network, or peer learning group, is an excellent way of drawing on the experience of those who share the loneliness of leadership.

❛❛ A peer network, or peer learning

group, is an excellent way of drawing on the experience of those who share the loneliness of leadership ❜❜

Time and again we at the MD Hub have seen the benefit of MDs and C-suite executives meeting to share views and experiences. At the most recent session I facilitated, the group was reflecting how helpful they found it to share experiences and insights. They all run very different companies, varied in size, age, sector and location, but they have similar challenges and concerns. So what can you expect from a peer network?

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BUSINESS

❛❛ What seemed nearly impossible

at the beginning of a session can feel really achievable by the end of it ❜❜ 5 BENEFITS OF PEER NETWORKS n It is very tempting to give lots of advice about how to tackle a problem. One of the key strengths of peer learning, however, is that the purpose of questions from others is to gain insight, not information. In discussing an issue, peers are encouraged to ask questions that help you reflect constructively on your situation. n During discussion, questions and insights from your peers can help you think about a challenge in a different way. What seemed nearly impossible at the beginning of a session can feel really achievable by the end of it. n The different views and perspectives of those in your group can help you resolve challenges in your work. Being open and honest about differences of opinions can be difficult, but it is the role of the group facilitator to make sure that everyone’s voices are heard.

n Something I often say when working with teams on organisational and business change is that ‘no one in the room is wiser than the whole room’. The same goes for peer learning. By being open about your challenges – and insights – with the others in your group, you can all draw on a level of shared wisdom that is rarely found in business. n Many of the peer learning groups facilitated by the MD Hub have been working together for a good many years. Lasting relationships are formed across the groups and the level of trust between members is high. And though discussion is often intense, there is a lot of laughter, too. Sarah Willcox facilitates workgroups for the MD Hub and runs Fairisle Projects and Change, supporting clients to deliver effective change.

MD Hub are delighted to be supporting the Coast To Capital Growth Hub in delivery of its second Peer Networks programme. To find out more visit www.c2cbusiness.org.uk/member/-peer-networks.html You can find out more about the MD Hub at www.mdhub.co.uk

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PEST CONTROL

PEST PROBLEMS IN NEW BUILDS ARE MORE COMMON THAN OLD PROPERTIES With many new properties being built on greenfield sites and agricultural land, wildlife habitats are disappearing forcing species such as rats and mice to relocate and adapt Paul Bates, Managing Director of Cleankill Pest Control, explains: “These rats and mice have lived happily in the countryside and now we are building on their homes. Unfortunately destroying habitats means pests are invading homes and gardens and becoming more visible than before.” Property owners might automatically assume that older buildings would suffer more pest infestations than new builds, but that is not the case according to the latest data from Cleankill Pest Control. The Surrey-based company has seen a surge in calls to rodent problems in new homes and building sites as developers rush to complete new housing estates across the South East. Paul Bates, explains: “There is such pressure on builders that sometimes holes around pipes are left unsealed and they leave gaps in stud walls making it easy for rodents to get in. “Also, many homes are being built with breezeblocks which have perfect sized channels running through them and a rough surface which makes it easy for rodents to grip. The breezeblocks act as mice motorways and enable the furry

creatures to travel around the internal structure of your house unnoticed.” “On some of the large new estates people start moving in before work has finished and the unfinished sewers are an open invitation to rats. The last thing people expect when they move into a new property is a rodent infestation – it’s very distressing for them,” Paul added. Cleankill Pest Control deals with ‘distress’ pests such as wasps, fleas and bedbugs as well as preventative maintenance against public health pests such as mice, rats, cockroaches and pest birds such as pigeons and seagulls. The company prides itself on a fast and efficient service and aims to be recognised as a market leader for innovation, ‘green’ and new pest control techniques.

Launched in 1995, Cleankill Pest Control has grown year on year and now has several thousand clients throughout London, Bristol, Buckinghamshire, the South East and across the UK. Cleankill is the only pest control company in England to achieve a Gold Investors in People accreditation.

For more information go to www.cleankill.co.uk or email info@cleankill.co.uk to a free survey or price comparison.

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TRAVEL

ANTIGUA LAND OF 365 BEACHES By Tess De Klerk Travelling to the Caribbean in August this year was... different. Things felt reserved and strained, which is no great surprise considering the pandemic. I suppose we were naive in imagining a typical pre-pandemic type of Caribbean vibe on an island economy affected by Covid and, I hate to add, an especially aggressive influx of sargassum seaweed to the southeast of the island where we stayed. Fortunately, with 365 beaches to choose from we only had to hop in our Jeep to find some of those fabled golden white sands and aquamarine waters.

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TRAVEL

TRAVEL TIPS n Check sargassum predictions n Book a rental vehicle - the best way to explore the island offerings. n East Caribean dollars and US dollars are accepted everywhere and both use the same dollar symbol ($) but prices won’t necessarily be listed with the necessary USD or XCD, therefore it's worth checking before paying. n M ake sure to pack only oceanfriendly and reef-safe sun care. n Keep in mind that Antigua has a tropical savannah climate with recurrent droughts; use water sparingly.

HIT THE SILKY SOFT SANDS All beaches in Antigua are open to the public with varying degrees of accessibility. You're never far from the water on this small island (circumference of 55 miles) with a shoreline indented with a multitude of beaches, lagoons, and natural harbours. Some beaches enjoy the Caribbean's calm waters while others pick up on the choppiness of the Atlantic. Our one week trip only covered a dozen or so beaches and we liked them all. We avoided the southeast due to the presence of sargassum.

small-ish steel fishing boat and a much older wooden wreck. The clear, calm waters are good for snorkelling. HERMITAGE BAY Hermitage Bay is well named; a dirt-track tumble took us to a hidden beach with nothing for miles around except for a quiet, understated resort nestled away. You'll find a small reef, not two metres into the azure water, teeming with small tropical fish. The beach is covered with shells and coral of all sizes that will keep both children and adults amused for

hours. Take your own food and drink since the resort only serves its own guests and there truly is nothing but lush green hills and white beaches all around. FFRYES BEACH We liked Ffryes beach with its rocky outcrop and white sandy beaches on both sides. Livelier than my two previous suggestions with non-motorised watersports available and the lovely Dennis restaurant. I recommend the succulent goat curry or fresh lobster.

GALLEON BAY Our favourite had to have been Galleon Beach since I was lucky enough to snorkel with critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles. These two beauties were calmy chomping away at sea sponges and coral reefs, aware of me and not fearful in the slightest. I hovered around with them for so long that I ended up with the worst sunburn I've had in years. It was worth it! Galleon Beach also boasts two shipwrecks in relatively shallow waters, one

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TRAVEL

THINGS TO DO SHIRLEY HEIGHTS; VIEWS, VIEWS, VIEWS Arguably the best Instagram spot on the island with spectacular views over English Harbour. Famous also for its Sunday parties under the setting sun with rum flowing, BBQs going and steel drums playing late into the night. The partying had not yet restarted when we visited but by all accounts, well worth it. Hopefully, the merriment will be back once all restrictions have been lifted. VISIT THE RAINFOREST As mentioned, Antigua has a relatively dry climate and you might miss the rainforest altogether if you don't make a point of spending time there. It is part of the Wallings nature reserve and to be found in the south of the island. Book a

guided tour with local guides through Hiking Tours or zipline through the beautiful, lush forest. SPEND A DAY AT ENGLISH HARBOUR AND NELSON'S DOCKYARD English Harbour provided a huge military advantage to Britain and was instrumental in its naval success in the Caribbean. Nelson's Dockyard is a working Georgian dockyard that was awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2016. The Dockyard Museum, located in the former Admiral’s House, presents visitors with exhibits regarding the dockyard’s history and current archaeological research on the island. The area also offers shops, art galleries and restaurants - from smart to shanty - to peruse for a day.

❛❛ Prickly Pear Islet and Great Bird Island are perfect for your modern day Robinson Crusoe fantasies! ❜❜

CHARTER A CATAMARAN AND EXPLORE DESERTED ISLANDS You'll find a number of smaller islands in the waters of Antigua. Some might have a resort or a house or two while others are entirely uninhabited. Prickly Pear Islet and Great Bird Island are perfect for your modern day Robinson Crusoe fantasies! TRY THE WORLD'S BEST PINEAPPLE You absolutely MUST try the famous Antigua Black Pineapple while there. It is a sweeter variety with golden fruit and lower acidity than most other pineapples. I never knew a pineapple could taste that good!

CONCLUSION In all honesty, I left Antigua feeling as if our experience was a bit half-baked. Not because we failed to immerse ourselves but rather because we seemed to have visited at a time when the island was still emerging from, what had clearly been, a very challenging 18 months. Many facilities were still closed or run down and local people were subdued, sometimes seeming a tiny bit shell-shocked. It was my first time in Antigua so it's impossible to compare to previous visits but that was the feeling I had. It didn't help that our resort's beach was blighted by sargassum seaweed either, but, did I have a good time on an island in the Caribbean sun? Of course I did.

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TRAVEL

TROUBLE IN PARADISE By Tess De Klerk

Flying over the Caribbean Sea, we noticed large swathes of brown floating in the otherwise glistening waters. We kept staring out of our little window and the large brown patches just kept coming. Looking backwards from our high vantage point, looking forward as far as the eye could see, swathes of brown patches. Seafoam maybe? But the scale of it made that unlikely. We soon had our answer; sargassum seaweed – the scourge of the Caribbean

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TRAVEL Now tons float up to shore, smothering seagrass meadows and coral reefs, choking beaches, harming human health and decimating tourist economies.

Since 2011, vast quantities of brown, bladdered, gas-filled seaweed have washed up on Caribbean coastlines, from the Lesser Antilles to Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula. Pre -2011, the cyclical algal blooms were largely beneficial while providing floating habitats for shrimp, whales, migratory birds and some 120 species of fish. Sea turtle hatchlings and juvenile fish would find shelter in the "golden floating rainforest" and nature was in balance. That was before the bloom exploded in size and volume; scientists using

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NASA satellite data recently clocked the floating seaweed belt at 5,549 miles long! Now it entangles turtles, fish and dolphins too, fatally preventing them from surfacing for air. The sargassum belt has been observed for as long as sailors have traversed the Atlantic, but in the past it has floated out at sea with small patches arriving at beaches, supporting the preservation of shorelines and sea banks.

And it reeks! Sargassum itself isn't toxic but as it decomposes it releases hydrogen sulphide thus smells of rotten eggs and attracts swarms of insects. It turns crystal clear waters into a sulphurous brown mess. Swimmers can't get into the water, sometimes boats can't leave ports and locals tell of damage to household electronic equipment from the gases. Added to that, exposure to sulphide is blamed for neurological, respiratory, dermal and digestive symptoms. No wonder then, that Barbados declared the sargassum influx a national emergency in 2018.

❛❛ Navy boats, manned by 300 personnel, now harvest sargassum from barriers installed at sea. As of May 2021, they’re collected 10,000 tons of it ❜❜


TRAVEL affected by the large amounts of sargassum choking the environment. Fisheries from Florida to Mexico are concerned that the continued proliferation of algae in the Gulf will lead to a drop in fish stocks, potentially dealing a massive blow to the industry.

BUT WHY THE EXPLOSION? Research gathered over the past decade has revealed three possible factors: Amazon discharge, Saharan dust clouds and warming temperatures. Vast areas of heavily fertilised farmland and industrial-scale agriculture now exist where natural Amazonian forest used to be. Sewage and fertiliser run-off ends up in the Amazon River and flows out to sea, essentially over fertilising the Tropical Atlantic with excess nitrogen. Nutrients also pour into the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River across which, climate change has caused dramatic increases in downpour and thus, runoff. Saharan dust clouds that blow across the Atlantic Ocean is also believed to contribute to the explosion. The dust contains iron, nitrogen and phosphorus that fertilises plankton and algal blooms. These thick atmospheric dust plumes corresponded with a sargassum spike in 2015 and the worst incursion of sargassum in 2018. A 30-year climate analysis by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revealed an overall warming trend of sea temperatures in the Caribean and Gulf of Mexico, with the most significant occurring over the past 15 years. Sargassum thrives in warmer water. Climate change also increases the upwelling of nutrients from deep ocean waters at the other end of the sargassum belt in West Africa. Researchers are also exploring changes in ocean currents, which may be another contributing factor.

Some areas use offshore netting or floating bumpers to block or catch the seaweed which is then either diverted to 'sacrifice spots' or scooped up by expensive specialist boats and disposed of on land but as Rosa Rodríguez-Martínez, a researcher at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México tells us “None of the disposal sites, however, have been adequately prepared to avoid leachates (contaminated liquids) from reaching the aquifer,” The cost of collecting and disposing of the rotting mass of algae off of Caribbean beaches peaked at US$120 million in 2018, and that number could rise considering the increasing amount of seaweed growing in the Atlantic. H owe ve r, the tourism industry is not the only one

In 2019 the Mexican president enlisted the navy to help stop the tide of seaweed before it hit the coastline. Navy boats, manned by 300 personnel, now harvest sargassum from barriers installed at sea. As of May 2021, they’d collected more than 10,000 tons of it. CAN THE PROBLEM BE SOLVED? It is important to note that the severity of the bloom ebbs and flows from year to year and area to area. One year a specific island might be hit particularly badly while the swathes might miss that same island entirely the following season but governments are expecting algal blooms to be as frequent as hurricanes – the new normal. Scientists and engineers have developed software and monitoring systems to predict where sargassum will make landfall, with varying degrees of success. Communities have innovated ways of using it ranging from soap-making to biofuel and fertiliser. Some Mexican entrepreneurs are compressing the seaweed into bricks, used for construction but these small scale operations will hardly put a dent into the yearly deluge of pelagic seaweed. In the long term, lasting solutions will come only through addressing climate change and the nitrogen footprint left by human activities.

ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS It was heartbreaking watching local people trying to stem the tide of mountains of seaweed with spades and pitchforks. The backbreaking work seemingly having no effect, their pristine beaches ruined. Our resort had heavy machinery working from dawn to dusk, some days achieving visible progress only to have even more sargassum pile up overnight – the work seemed pointless. We heard reports of seaweed six feet high, rotting in the Caribbean sun. The sulphurous scent of decay and unsightly mountains of seaweed is driving tourists away en masse from regions that depend on the industry.

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MOTORING

VOLVO V90 RECHARGE By Maarten Hoffmann, Senior Motoring Editor

The staid image of Volvo cars is long gone and they continue to produce world-class vehicles. Having been one of the first to offer plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains in its saloons, estate cars and SUVs, Volvo enjoyed an early lead over its mostly German rivals for anyone looking to cut their company car tax and fuel bills with an executive car they could plug into the mains. There’s now a lot of competition for plug-in hybrid fleet business, as well as much greater relative importance placed on those plug-in hybrids by the company car tax system, and model prices have steadily fallen. My recent review of the XC40 Recharge proved they have got it spot on as it is now in my top three EVs. Now the big one, the V90 estate that has always been famed for being able to move a house, so cavernous is its interior. It does not disappoint. The build quality is the remarkable thing of the sort you really only find in German cars. It is wellbuilt, solid as a rock on the road and just slightly less cavernous than before. Fundamentally the V90 is a big family estate, much like the Mercedes E-Class Estate, BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant. You will notice that this is the only non-German car in the lineup and it truly deserves its place at the top table.

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This is a proper plug-in hybrid which pairs a 2.0-litre petrol engine with a 11.6kWh battery for up to 36 miles of electric range (claimed). What it doesn’t do is use the engine as a generator to supply more electricity therefore, when the battery is tapped out, you get no more until you plug in. They have sacrificed an amount of interior space for style with the sloping roof line but it is still huge and if you need more space, get a van.

The interior is an oasis of calm that makes navigating Britain’s poorly surfaced, narrow, congested road network feel about as irritating and stressful as a meditation session. You are superbly insulated from the outside world and that cache of priceless antiques in the back will be as safe as houses. Every V90 has a 2.0-litre engine with some form of electrical assistance. All the Bs – the B4 (petrol or diesel), B5 (petrol) and B6 (petrol) – are mild-hybrids, while the T6 Recharge is a plug-in. Every V90 has an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The B6 and T6 are both all-wheel drive (the latter because the e-motor drives the rear wheels) while the rest of the range is front-wheel drive.


MOTORING

TECH STUFF a Rizla paper between them. Snob value will push you toward the Merc whilst bullet proof safety in crash tests might nudge you towards the Volvo. Whichever you select, you cannot really go wrong.

If it’s outright speed you’re looking for, then l suggest you look elsewhere. The V90 T6 (335bhp, 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds) and B6 (296bhp, 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds) are certainly brisk, but remember this is a big, plush Volvo estate we’re talking about and it really does not beg you to push it - it’s more a waft than a blast. It is a superb car in which a couple of hundred miles will be achieved in supreme comfort with no worries along the way. Its main rival, the Mercedes E-Class Estate will have a fight on its hands with this as it’s tough to squeeze

The interior is well laid out with few knobs as just about everything is controlled via the nine-inch screen. It is all easy to get your head around and the comfort level is high. The Volvo interiors are getting better and better. There really is only one reason l would not buy the Volvo – the key fob. A small thing you might think but we are all used to knowing exactly where the lock/ unlock buttons are on our fobs which we press without looking or thinking about it. Not so the Volvo. The large fob is totally blank on both sides and for some odd reason they have put the tiny buttons down the side of the fob therefore it is impossible to hit the right one

MODEL TESTED: V90 Recharge PHEV T6 AWD R-Design ENGINE: 2-litre plug-in POWER: 253bhp + 87 SPEED: 0-60mph 5.6 secs TOP: 112mph ECONOMY: 104.6mpg (claimed) PRICE FROM: £41,645 AS TESTED: £66,675

without putting it up to your eyes. Yes, really that small, and examining them before hitting the right one. Annoying, unnecessary and totally pointless. Apart from that, it is a superb car worth every penny of the money and will likely outlast you. Still it’s big enough to use as a hearse so there’s another couple of bob saved.

❛❛ It’s a superb car worth every penny of the money and will likely outlast you. Still it’s big enough to use as a hearse so there’s another couple of bob saved ❜❜

PLATINUM

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*BUSINESS USERS ONLY. Based on an EQA 250 AMG Line Auto. Advance Rental of £2,175. 8,000 miles per annum. 48 month (9+47) Contract Hire agreement. All rentals exclude VAT at 20%. No ownership option. Vehicle condition, excess mileage and other charges may be payable. Rental includes Vehicle Excise Duty for the contract duration. Orders/credit approvals on selected models between 27 July and 30 September 2021, registered by 31 December 2021. Subject to availability, offers cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Some combinations of features/options may not be available. Sandown Surrey and Hampshire Limited & Sandown Dorset and Wiltshire Limited are appointed representatives of ITC Compliance Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (their registration number is 313486). Permitted activities include advising on and arranging general insurance contracts and acting as a credit broker not a lender. We can introduce you to a limited number of finance providers and do not charge fees for our Consumer Credit services. We may receive a payment(s) or other benefits from finance providers should you decide to enter into an agreement with them. The payment we receive may vary between finance providers and product types. The payment received does not impact the finance rate offered. All finance applications are subject to status, terms and conditions apply, UK residents only, 18’s or over, Guarantees may be required. Image for illustration purpose only. Based on EQA 250 Sport. [1] The indicated values were determined according to the prescribed measurement method – Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Figures shown may include options which are not available in the UK. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) require mains electricity for charging, range figures determined with the battery fully charged. Figures shown are for comparability purposes; only compare with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. Figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the starting charge of the battery, factory-fitted options, accessories fitted (post registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. Further information about the test used to establish fuel consumption and CO2 figures can be found at www.mercedes-benz.co.uk/WLTP. [2] Specified voltage and current values refer to network infrastructure and can be limited by the vehicle. Times are from 10–80% charge using public rapid charging at 100 kW.

Profile for Platinum Business

Surrey Business Magazine - issue 43  

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