Page 1

The Official Magazine of Somerset Chamber of Commerce

February / March 2017

Cyber Essentials scaled up to tackle rise in cybercrime 18 | FEATURE


Somerset Chamber pledges support for Armed Forces


An interview with Greg Saunders, Chairman of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce


GCSE students smash national benchmark


CONTENTS First Word Patron News Chamber News Focus On Members Area Feature #Well Connected The Big Interview Members News Town Chamber News

4 5 6-9 10-11 12-17 18-19 20-21 22-23 24-29 30

Disclaimer The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the chamber. This publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format (including, but not limited to, any online service, any database or any part of the internet), or in any other format in any media whatsoever, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in the magazine, Somerset Chamber do not accept any responsibility for any omissions or inaccuracies it contains.

Somerset Chamber of Commerce Equity House Blackbrook Park Avenue Blackbrook Business Park Taunton, Somerset TA1 2PX

Editorial and advertising: E: T: 01823 444924 Printers: PrintGuy, Somerset Design by: Thoroughbred Design & Print, Somerset







We are social @chambersomerset Watch us on You Tube Find us on Linkedin


Get in touch FIRST WORD


Carla Tier

Marketing and Communications Manager T: 01823 444924 | M: 07702 537630 E:

A big and warm welcome to the first Somerset Chamber magazine of 2017, renamed Somerset Voice and very much reflecting the Chamber’s fresh new look. I am delighted that our new branding has been so well received since its introduction in January, clearly echoing our strong ties with the British Chambers of Commerce.

Scarlett Scott-Collins

Here at the Chamber, we are keen to continually develop our offering for the benefit of our members, and the Somerset economy, helping you to connect and grow, and influencing government and policy makers on your behalf.


I trust you will have noticed that over the last few weeks we have been sharing elements of our ‘Business Manifesto for Somerset’ through Somerset Pulse, our fortnightly e-newsletter. The manifesto focuses on what really matters to businesses with key actions for the Chamber to lead on in terms of delivery and influence. I would like to thank the many that have helped shape and contribute the Chamber’s thoughts in preparing the manifesto, which will be landing on your doorsteps in mid-March. I look forward to catching up with you at one of our events in the near future.

Marketing Coordinator

T: 01823 444924 E:

Alistair Tudor

Membership Sales Manager T: 01823 444924 | M: 07912 054195 E:


Loren Gray Events Manager

T: 01823 444924 | M: 07821 950379 E:

Brooke Gilbertson

Business and Administration Apprentice

Dale Edwards

T: 01823 444924 E:


Hinkley Supply Chain

Chris Langdon

Hinkley Supply Chain Project Lead

OUR PATRONS Contact us to find out what benefits Somerset Chamber Patrons receive. T: 01823 444924 E:

T: 01823 443425 | M: 07771 791736 E:

Sam Evans

Business Liaison Officer T: 01823 443425 | M: 07525 809274 E:

Alan Windsor

Hinkley Supply Chain Data Coordinator T: 01823 443425 E:

General Enquiries

Hazel Hutchison

Office Manager and PA to CEO T: 01823 444924 E:


PATRON NEWS Chamber Patron Wessex RFCA helps Somerset business to sign the Armed Forces Covenant Somerset based Candlelight Care, has become the 190th South West organisation to adopt the Armed Forces Covenant, with the assistance of Somerset Chamber of Commerce Patron, Wessex Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA). The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation, ensuring that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. Businesses, from soletrader to multinational, public bodies or charities who wish to support the Armed Forces community can sign the Covenant and publicly declare their commitments.

A wide variety of organisations, including Somerset Chamber, have signed the Covenant, pledging their support to the Armed Forces community. Candlelight Care offers homecare and live in care services, and the Covenant will cover its bases in Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire. Wessex RFCA Regional Employer Engagement Director Rachael Brannagan said “It’s fantastic that Candlelight Care joins nearly 200 businesses across the South West that have pledged their support by adopting their own Armed Forces Covenants; it’s been a pleasure tailoring the pledges to the individual

businesses to make them relevant and mutually beneficial.” Candlelight Care’s covenant includes working with service leavers and veterans as well as service spouses to provide a flexible working environment and employment opportunities taking into account the unique demands placed upon service personnel and their families.

New state of the art Scoreboard for Somerset County Cricket Club The scoreboard was first opened back in 1981 and was operated entirely by hand. Back then it required at least two people to work it but in more recent years it was digitalized and operated electronically.

The following year Justin Langer made a triple century as Somerset amassed 850 for seven declared against Middlesex, their highest ever total at Taunton.

In the 35 years that it was in operation the old scoreboard witnessed a number of record breaking and historic scores.

The old scoreboard is making way for a new state of the art board.

The first big innings it recorded was in 1985 when Viv Richards set a then record individual highest First Class score for the County. His 322 was made in less than a day against Warwickshire. In 2006 Cameron White hit 116 not out as Somerset recorded the highest ever T20 score of 250 for three against Gloucestershire.

In more recent years Chris Gayle hit a stunning 150 in 2015 against Kent in the NatWest T20 Blast.

The old scoreboard is making way for a new state of the art board.

This is part of Somerset County Cricket Club’s long term commitment to continue to offer first class facilities for members and also to enhance our status as one of the top venue’s for hosting match day hospitality, conferences, Christmas parties and so much more.



CHAMBER NEWS Red Berry MD announced as new Somerset Chamber Vice Chair Managing Director of Red Berry Recruitment, Helen Lacey, has been announced as the new Vice Chair of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, having been voted in by the Board of Directors at the Chamber’s December board meeting. A successful local business woman, Helen has been a Somerset Chamber director for the past two years. She founded Red Berry Recruitment in 2007, which now has offices in Shepton Mallet, Yeovil and Bridgwater, and she is also Chair of the Somerset branch of the Institute of Directors. Helen’s appointment comes as a result of the previous Vice Chair, Greg Saunders from Clarke Willmott, being elected as the new Chair at the Chamber AGM in November. This followed the departure of Graham Knight, who stood down after completing the maximum permitted three years in the role.

Commenting on her appointment, Helen said, “A couple of years ago it was suggested by Graham Knight that I put myself forward as a potential Board Member for the Chamber. I was delighted to be voted in and so far have enjoyed a wonderful two years on the board. “I felt this was the right time to put myself forward for the Vice Chair role, to support Greg in taking over from the wonderful work that Graham has done and to support Dale and the Chamber in whatever capacity I can. I am very much looking forward to seeing the Chamber grow even more over the coming years!” Newly appointed Chair, Greg Saunders, added, “I was delighted when Helen put herself forward for the role of Vice Chair. I cannot think of anyone more able for the role and she was unanimously appointed by the Board. I look forward to working closely with Helen, Dale and the team to continue the ongoing fantastic work of the Chamber in 2017 and beyond.”

Somerset Chamber re-accredited to the British Chambers of Commerce Somerset Chamber of Commerce has had its accreditation to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) confirmed for a further two years following a stringent assessment process. The BCC assessment, which is the Chamber equivalent of an Ofsted inspection, examines the quality and performance of all areas of the business, from member services to governance, operational performance, finance and risk management. Somerset Chamber has grown significantly since its first accreditation in 2011, with plans in place to support continued growth over the coming years. Dale Edwards, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber, said, “I am delighted that we have received re-accreditation from the BCC, which recognises the consistently high standards of service quality and performance we have achieved. “With Somerset Chamber being one of only 52 accredited Chambers in the UK, it provides our members with the knowledge and assurance that we are a thriving Chamber with a clear objective to support the growth of our members and the Somerset economy as a whole.” Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of BCC, commented, “The strength of the accredited Chamber of Commerce

network rests on our shared commitment to members, to the places where we do business, to helping firms trade, and to giving business a voice locally, nationally and internationally. “It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Dale and the Somerset Chamber team on their re-accreditation, and on delivering consistently high standards of quality and performance for Chamber members.” Being part of the BCC Accredited Network amplifies the voice of Somerset Chamber, enabling the views of Somerset businesses to be heard at a national level. It also opens up new business opportunities in local, national and international markets and enables Somerset Chamber to provide a high level of business advice, services and financial benefits to its members.



Somerset Chamber becomes 180th South West business to pledge support for Armed Forces Somerset Chamber of Commerce has become the 180th South West business to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging its support for Veterans, Reservists, Cadets and the wider Armed Forces community. By signing the Covenant, Chief Executive Dale Edwards endorsed the Chamber’s support for those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces and their families. Co-signing the pledge at the Chamber’s office in Taunton was Lt Col Peter Bates OBE on behalf of Col James Coote, Commander SW. The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise ensuring that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. Businesses of any size and industry can pledge their support. Dale Edwards, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber, said, “On behalf of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, I am delighted and honoured to have signed the Armed Forces Covenant. The Chamber recognises the value of all armed services personnel past and present, including their families, who greatly contribute to the fabric of society and business. The whole Chamber team looks forward to upholding the principles of the Covenant and working in partnership with Wessex Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association, amongst others, over the coming years.” Jon Beake, Regional Employment Engagement Director for the Wessex Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association, said, “It’s fantastic that Somerset Chamber has joined the 1,300 business organisations across the UK to become the 180th in the South West to pledge their support to those involved with the Armed Forces by adopting their own Armed Forces Covenant. It’s been a pleasure discussing how it should be tailored to make it relevant for Defence and for the Chamber to provide mutual and tangible benefit. “Somerset Chamber’s Covenant includes supporting the employment of Veterans, Service spouses and Reservists and, as a result, the Chamber may be rewarded with a Defence Employer Recognition Award in the near future. “The support offered by individual businesses and benefits gained from ‘Partnering with Defence’ through the Armed Forces Covenant will be different for all and is a great way for businesses to highlight their support to their customers, employees and the wider community. I invite every employer to get in touch to emulate Somerset Chamber of Commerce in publicly declaring their support for the armed forces and their families.”

Businesses interested in finding out how they could benefit from pledging their support to the Armed Forces community should contact Jon Beake, the Regional Employment Engagement Director for the Wessex Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association, on 01823 250110 or email





KEY FINDINGS Q4 2016 The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Quarterly Economic Survey – Britain’s largest and most authoritative private sector business survey, based on more than 7,200 responses from firms across the UK in Q4 2016 – shows that the uptick in Q3 in the manufacturing sector has been sustained in the final quarter, and more service sector firms are expecting growth than they were just after the EU referendum.

“As we start 2017, businesses are continuing to trade through the uncertainty, and are looking to seize opportunities as they arise. Our findings suggest that business communities across the UK remain resilient, and many firms are expecting continued growth in the months ahead. Inflation has emerged in our survey as a rising concern for many businesses. Both manufacturing and services firms say they are under pressure, particularly from the rising cost of inputs, which is squeezing margins and may weaken future investment. Overall, our findings suggest growth will continue in 2017, albeit at a more modest pace. The government must act strongly this year to support investment and improve the business environment – both of which are crucial to boosting business confidence, and therefore further growth.” Dr Adam Marshall Director General, British Chambers of Commerce


Somerset Chamber urges businesses to take part in Quarterly Economic Survey Somerset Chamber of Commerce is urging businesses across Somerset to take part in the first Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) of 2017. Sent out in February, June, September and November each year, the survey gives businesses an opportunity to share their experiences of trading in order to provide insight to policymakers on the local and national economy. The QES is one of the largest and most respected independent business surveys covering every region and nation in the UK. It acts as an economic indicator and often highlights underlying trends in the economy long before other surveys pick them up. Findings from the QES help influence the government, independent local economists and the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, which uses the results as an important benchmark when setting interest rates. From a Somerset perspective, the responses also provide a solid platform on which to convey key messages about the local economy’s needs. The results from the online survey are fed to the British Chambers of Commerce and its accredited Chambers, one of which is the Somerset Chamber of Commerce.

Dale Edwards, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said, “The QES is a powerful tool that represents the voice of business to Government. This is a time for Somerset businesses to have their say and I would encourage as many businesses as possible to respond to it, helping to retain its reputation as a reliable economic indicator and a vital agent for lobbying.” The survey, which is completely anonymous, takes just a few minutes to complete and comprises 17 tick box questions covering topics including employment, prices, confidence and investment, as well as topical issues. To take part visit quarterly-economic-survey.htm The survey remains open until 13 March 2017 and the results will be published on the Somerset Chamber website in April 2017.





ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2017 28TH FEBRUARY 2017 QEII CONFERENCE CENTRE, LONDON Join us in London on 28th February for the BCC Annual Conference to hear influential political personalities and business leaders debate the most significant issues affecting the UK business community, focusing on three key themes:

To find out more about our other speakers, see our programme here As a Chamber member, you can receive a 60% discount on tickets. Book now to attend one of the most highly-anticipated events of the year.

• Growing Business in the Regions and Nations • Brexit: Turning Uncertainty into Opportunity • Keeping the UK Competitive – vision 2030






r u o g n i c r u o s t Ou y t e f a S & h t Heal … s e i t i l i b i s n o resp ! t h g u o h t a n o w t h e r e’s

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT US: 13 Worlebury Park Road, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, England BS22 9SA Telephone: 01934 417901 Mobile: 07591052590 Email: WWW.CSCLTD5.COM



Understanding the productivity puzzle Increasing productivity remains one of the crucial ingredients to improving the economic landscape for manufacturing clients here in the South West. Encouragingly most manufacturers understand the key obstacles to improving productivity, namely investment in skills, innovation and new technology. Businesses recognise this is an issue that needs to be tackled, however the common perception is of a problem for the wider economy and sector, rather than something that needs to be addressed within their own business. A measure of clients at Lloyds Bank have fed back that a more highly skilled labour force is the key thing that they are looking for to drive faster productivity growth. Wage concerns and the ability to attract the younger generations into the manufacturing sector also act as barriers, however greater investment into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills and apprenticeships are acting as drivers for improvements. Any investment into upskilling labour also needs to be coupled with a pro-investment tax system that actively encourages manufacturers to invest in science and innovation. Targets for investment spend are typically diverse however new machinery and automation remain priority areas. Businesses seem confident that they have the plans in place to boost productivity however the reality is that more needs to be done to ensure that Britain competes on a wider global

level. The UK’s productivity output remains significantly below some of our global competitors. Whilst clients recognise the need to look at their own productivity levels, they are also seeking support from central government to create the stable economic conditions to drive growth and investment, lower taxation and critically reduced regulation. As the UK and the manufacturing sector in particular navigates its way through uncertain head winds, it is important to continue to look for productivity gains within our own businesses. Chris Loach, South West Area Director at Lloyds Bank

Are you ready for Digital Tax in 13 months? Making Tax Digital (“MTD”) is HM Revenue & Customs’ (“HMRC”) plan to make the UK the “most digitally advanced tax authority in the world” and will mean significant changes to how and when we all deal with our tax affairs. Planned changes will come in from as early as April 2018 – just 13 months from now. The main proposals are: •

A mandatory requirement for all businesses and landlords to keep their records digitally.

Making quarterly uploads of business results to HMRC, instead of just yearly.

Better use of information already provided by third parties such as banks, employers and pension providers.

The ability to pay your tax earlier, if you want.

If you are self-employed, a business owner or landlord and your annual income (not profit) is more than £10,000, you will need to keep your business records digitally. You can do this using either Excel or an accounting package capable of uploading information electronically to your HMRC Digital Tax Account (“DTA”) each quarter. Cloud-based

accounting software such as Xero or QuickBooks is expected to integrate with MTD. HMRC are looking to bring some businesses and landlords into the new system from as early as April 2018, although some smaller businesses may not have to apply the new rules until April 2019. Now is a good time to familiarise yourself with your DTA, so that you are ready for the changes. We can help you get started if you are not already keeping your records digitally. Tracey Watts, Partner at Albert Goodman


Barristers become more accessible


Most people know what a barrister looks like, having seen them dressed in a wig and gown in TV shows like Rumpole of the Bailey, Silk or North Square. Surprisingly however, the majority of people don’t realise that they can instruct a barrister directly without needing to go to a solicitor first. Barristers tend to provide advice or representation; they don’t do the same role as a solicitor. What’s more, going direct to a barrister can often be up to 30% cheaper than going via a solicitor. In fact, the rules changed quite a few years ago but barristers have not been quick to market the change. Now Chamber member Clerksroom, has decided to take on the challenge and spread the word. Clerksroom applied to a TV company for an opportunity to go on a reality show called Disruptive Pitch, where disruptive technology companies pitch against each other to a Dragons’ Den style panel. The judges from leading UK companies voted Clerksroom Direct the winner of episode three and invited the team back to the live final at ExCeL in London, which will be held in March during the Cloud Expo Europe 2017 event.


Battens Solicitors welcomes new legal expert Battens Solicitors - one of the largest law firms in the South West - is pleased to announce the appointment of specialist employment solicitor, Katy Ponsford. Miss Ponsford, who undertook litigation paralegal work at Lyons Davidson before specialising in employment law at BPE, will be working on behalf of employers and employees advising on contracts, policies and procedures, quiding employers through the numerous changes in employment legislation ’, and negotiating settlement agreements. A fan of the intricacies and fast-paced world of employment law, Katy has a particular interest in long-term sickness and mental health in the workplace. Her knack for managing complex cases and her attention to detail will add strength to Battens already enviable employment law expertise. Dawn Galle, Head of Battens Employment Team said: “Katy brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge and I know our clients will appreciate her sensible and supportive approach in providing employment and HR advice. I’ve no doubt she will be a great asset to Battens.” Katy Ponsford said: “I am looking forward to getting to know our existing clients and spreading the word about what a great team we have and our no nonsense approach. Clients should know that if they come to us we will get them the best possible outcome we can.”

Stephen Ward, Managing Director of Clerkroom, Taunton


Working hard for your business We are passionate about helping you grow your business profitably. We have established and dedicated teams giving a highly specialised service through a focused and personal approach.

„ „ „ „

„ Wealth Protection „ Pensions and

Accountancy and Audit Personal and Business Tax Outsourced Accounting Services Financial and Cash Flow Modelling


„ Corporate Finance „ Financial Planning*

Online Accounting Solutions from Albert Goodman

01823 286096 *Albert Goodman Chartered Financial Planners is a trading style of Albert Goodman Financial Planning Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority










MEMBERS AREA New Somerset Chamber member, Auditel, delivers highly effective cost management solutions to organisations throughout the country. On 1 April 2017, the water industry in England will follow Scotland by deregulating to allow competition for all business customers.

How will deregulation work? The existing regional water companies will continue to manage the delivery of clean water and the return of waste water for treatment. Customer service and billing, however, will be deregulated, allowing different organisations, or retailers, to compete for these services.

How will this affect businesses? Businesses will have choice which should drive lower prices through competition and innovation in services. The level of discount is not expected to be large to start with, perhaps around 3-5%. However, customers with large numbers of sites, particularly across different water regions, will make administrative savings by consolidating their suppliers and billing and payment arrangements. Additionally, the introduction of better metering and logging will improve billing accuracy and reduce the risk of leaks not being spotted.

Who are the water retailers? You can expect to see new brands competing for your water supply. Many will be re-branded versions of the existing water companies, whilst others will be new players. In Somerset, the incumbent supplier is Wessex Water, who have rebranded their retail arm to Water 2 Business. Currently there are 14 suppliers with licences to offer retail services • Affinity for Business • SES Business Water • Business Anglian Water • Source for Business • Business Stream • South East Water Choice • Castle Water • SSWB • Clear Business • Three Sixty • Cobalt Water • Water 2 Business • NWG Business • Water Plus

What do I do if I want to participate? If you want to see what price or service a retailer can offer, you would need to contact them and provide details of the water supplies you currently have, i.e. site addresses and details about the current usage and type of meter (if you have one). Details of the new retailers can be found by clicking here. Alternatively, you could contact an independent intermediary who could manage this for you. How else can I save money on my water bills? 1. Use less – check out the advice provided by your existing supplier who is obliged to provide advice on how you can reduce your water consumption. It is often easier than you think. 2. Check that you are not being overcharged – often businesses are charged for rainwater run off that is not going back into the sewerage system, i.e. soaking into the ground or running into rivers. 3. Make sure your rateable value is correct as some water rates are based on this. Be aware business rates are changing in April so there could be a double impact if your rateable value is incorrect.

How can I find out more? If you are interested in finding out more, the official website for Water Deregulation is Open Water. There you can find the contact details for the retailers that are licenced to supply water. Chris Barrett, independent business cost management expert based in Somerset.




Mindful Employer Somerset Six new networking events across Somerset will be launched in March 2017, a collaboration between Trading Standards Devon and Somerset, New Leaf Life Design and Mindful Employer. In the UK almost one in three people have experienced mental health issues while in employment. Mental illhealth is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1,035 per employee per year. These six events aim to raise awareness of mental health for employers of SMEs in Somerset. 6pm to 8.30pm Networking and a Talk - Employers only event Monday 20 March The Old Ship Aground, Minehead Monday 27 March Highbridge Enterprise Centre, Highbridge Monday 10 April The Lighthouse, Frome Tuesday 25 April Red Brick Building, Glastonbury Tuesday 16 May Yeovil Golf Club, Yeovil Thursday 29 June COACH (Centre for Outdoor Activities and Community Hub), Taunton

For a mentally healthy workplace to be built, it is essential that we are there to support those in distress to access help quickly, and those who have recovered from mental health problems, to stay well and enjoy their working life. SME Employers in Somerset £15.00 plus VAT Buy With Confidence Members £5 plus VAT Somerset Chamber of Commerce have some free places first come first served The talk will be given by Becky Wright New Leaf Life Design Contact

THE 2017 AWARDS are coming; are you ready to celebrate your business journey? The prestigious Taunton Deane Business Awards will be once again showcasing successful businesses throughout Taunton Deane. To enter is simple, visit the website and select your category, fill out the application form with your story and submit it. We have even given you some hints on what you might like to include! CELEBRATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS!

NEW CATEGORIES for 2017 1. Digital Innovator Sponsored by A.C Mole & Sons 2. Customer Excellence Sponsored by Mecca Bingo Taunton 3. Exporter of the Year Sponsored by Santander 4. Growth Business (growth over two years) Sponsored by Amicus Law 5. Best Employer Sponsored by Claims Consortium Group 6. Best Marketing Campaign Sponsored by White Knight Marketing 7. Corporate Social Responsibility Sponsored By Carly Press 8. Start Up (up to 2 years) Sponsored by Somerset Web Services 9. Young Entrepreneur of the Year (25 or under) Sponsored by Richard Huish College 10. Creative Industries Award Sponsored by ArtsTaunton

Closing date for applications 31 March 5pm




Meet the Neighbours Devon



Our ‘Meet the Neighbours’ Business Lunch is back by popular demand, with us teaming up for the first time with Devon Chamber of Commerce. These events offer great networking opportunities as we welcome businesses from both sides of the border. Join us for a superb two course lunch followed by tea and coffee at Woodbury Park, Exeter. Time: 12.00 Venue: Woodbury Park Golf Course, Exeter Cost: £22.00 (members) £32.00 (non-members)


Vodafone Ignite: Smarter Working Solutions



Vodafone UK will be hosting free 60 minute one to one sessions for chamber members to identify how you can work smarter. Looking at your use of people and technology, they will work with you to tailor a ‘Unified Communications’ solution to help you work more flexibly, increase productivity and be more responsive to the needs of your clients. Time: Hourly appointments from 9.00-17.00 Venue: Somerset Chamber Office, Taunton Cost: FREE (members only)

In association with

In association with

Sponsored by

Thursday Thursday

Somerset Young Professionals (SYP)



Business Professionals in your 20s and 30s join us for our next SYP event with Guest Speaker Abbie Kench, Director of the Team Experience. Abbie will discuss her experiences of setting up her business and the power of networking and building relationships. Time: 18.30 Venue: Gothelney Farm, Bridgwater Cost: £20.00 (members) £40.00 (non-members)

Debt Recovery Seminar


Are you experiencing late bill payers? Is this affecting your cash flow? Want to save time on chasing outstanding money? This seminar in partnership with Clarke Willmott LLP will cover everything from the debt recovery process, your legal options and practical tips for credit control. Time: 10.00 – 13.00 Venue: Clarke Willmott Taunton Office Cost: £30.00 (members) £60.00 (non-members)

In association with

In association with



Business to Business (B2B) Dinner Wells


MEMBERS AREA *All costs include VAT unless otherwise stated


Our next Business to Business Dinner of 2017 takes place in Wells. Join us for a three course dinner in a friendly and relaxed setting with multiple opportunities to network throughout the evening. Time: 19.00 – 22.30 Venue: The Swan Hotel, Wells Cost: £30.00 (members) £60.00 (non-members)



Meet the Chamber Taunton

20 April

Recently joined the Somerset Chamber or interested in joining us? This lunch time networking event will give you an insight into Somerset Chamber networking events as well as short presentation on the benefits of membership. Time: 12.30 – 14.30 Venue: The Holiday Inn, Taunton Cost: £20.00 (members) £20.00 (non-members)

In association with

Wells Chamber of Commerce

Sponsored by


Apprenticeship Levy Clinics



Is your business prepared for the Apprenticeship Levy? Working in partnership with Chamber patrons Yeovil, Strode and Bridgwater & Taunton College, Somerset Chamber are organising events at each of the three colleges for our members to find out more on this key topic. Further details coming soon! Time: TBC Venue: Strode, Yeovil and Bridgwater & Taunton College Cost: FREE (members only) In association with


Cybercrime Business Breakfast

25 April

Join us for a breakfast update with Guest Speakers Geoff Revill and Durgan Cooper of the South West Cyber Security Cluster (SWCCC). They will present on the latest changes to the General Data Protection Regulations as well as top tips on how to prevent cyber threats. Time: 07.30 – 10.00 Venue: Kilver Court, Shepton Mallet Cost: £18 plus VAT (members) £30 plus VAT (non-members)

In association with




New Members

Welcome to our newest members of the Somerset Chamber.

OFX Group Finance Jarrod Cole T: 02076144136

Workflow Group Office Services Leigh Hammond T: 01454 877538

JP Rata Ltd Mgnt Accountants Accountancy Jon Rata M: 07833285741

We Hear You Charity Melissa Hillier T: 01373 455255

Aspect 3Sixty Health and Safety Richard Milton T: 01823 271703

Porcelanosa Property Services Scott Squire T: 0525966271

Bridges Electrical Engineers Ltd Engineering Curtis Bartlett T: 01761 419337 Singer Instruments Engineering Harry Singer T: 01984 640226 Reminiscence Learning Charity Fiona Mahoney T: 01823 323752 Proposito Financial Planning Ltd (Taunton) Finance Russell Haworth T: 01666 861194 Heritage Automotive Transport Andy Cain T: 01179765050 Auditel Business Consultancy Chris Barrett T: 01823 429990 Watbeck Ltd Food & Drink Michael Beckett T: 01761435152

Latcham Direct Ltd Design Print Garry Ford M: 07738764014 Albion Resolutions HR Services Emma Shelton M: 07967638305 Bruton Chamber of Commerce Amanda Riley Pickthall T: 01749 813 916 East meets Southwest Hospitality (OLD) Dominic Stead T: 01823 673373

Commercial Chambers Law Rod McDonagh T: 01174 031100 Summer Lodge Country House Hotel Hotel & Restaurant (OLD) Kevin Reid T: 01935 482031 Netitude Ltd ICT Sarah Barnard T: 01373547049 Wincanton Transport Stuart James M: 07831717498 ATI Recruitment Ben Stocken T: 01278 247561 Moot Management Consulting Ltd Business Consultancy David Easterfield T: 01225 683603 Inspired to Achieve Ltd Skills & Training (OLD) Debra Scarratt T: 01935 404588

The Corporate Lets Company Property Services Julie Jordon M: 07812385541

New Leaf Life Design Health and Wellbeing Becky Wright M: 07590 684888

Ariel Motor Company Engineering Simon Saunders T: 01460 78817

Savills (UK) Ltd Property Services Peter Grubb T: 01823446989

Capra Marketing Marketing / PR Bill Hodgson M: 07711 715311

Somerset Building Control Partnership Planning Services Donna Tring T: 01749 341429

Pro365 Limited Health and Safety Duncan Irons T: 01225 588111

Travel Counsellors Hotel and Tourism Jill Chamberlain T: 01823 478710 jill.chamberlain

JSM Associates Recruitment Jeremy Money T: 01934 312 155

Marsha Miles Consultancy Business Consultancy Marsha Miles M: 07850680027

ACC Silicones Ltd Manufacture Julie Guest T: 01278 411400 Morson International Recruitment Marie Rayner T: 0161 707 1516

For more information on Somerset Chamber membership and what we can do for your business, please contact Alistair Tudor, Membership Sales Manager on 01823 444924 or email



Latest Member to Member Offers


Member Profile

As a member of Somerset Chamber, all member business employees are able to take advantage of our great range of member to member offers. To post your own offer or to view all our member to member offers, visit:



Beehive Self Storage Ltd

Holiday Inn Taunton


Beehive Self Storage Ltd is offering 10% discount off their self-storage. Call 01460 243100


Somerset Chamber members receive a 25% discount off all pre-booked function prices and related bar prices on the night. Call 01823 281680



Somerset Businesses Against Crime

JaLee First Aid Training


Somerset Chamber members receive an introductory 25% off their first subscription to one of their Watch schemes. Call 01823 272277


JaLee is offering Somerset Chamber members 10% discount on any course bookings - this includes both in-house and scheduled courses for groups or individuals. Call 03303 230 240



The Bid Coach Ltd



Somerset Chamber members will receive a 25% discount off standard day rate fees. Call 01963 240555


Free review of banking facilities, International Trade finance requirements and 1 hour free business planning sessions. Call 07717 808226

Name: Harry Singer Company: Singer Instruments Job Title: CEO / Managing Director Singer Instruments is headquartered in Somerset, on the edge of Exmoor, and makes robots for biotechnology. Here we find out a little more about one of our newest Chamber members‌ What does Singer Instruments do? We design and manufacture bad-ass cancer fighting robotics. Seriously, our products accelerate science in laboratories in over 50 countries, for customers like NASA, Nobel Laureates such as Sir Paul Nurse, Cancer Research UK, and the top thirty universities in the world. Tell us what makes you special Singer Instruments invest heavily in in-house research and development, continually refining our agile approach to rapid prototyping and product development. Customer feedback sits at the heart of feature prioritisation, and we have our own laboratories across three continents, enabling us to surf at all the best breaks, and to reduce design cycles and optimise applications for different markets. What is the driving force behind your business? We are motivated by our growing contribution to breakthroughs in human health and renewable energies. And cider.



Cyber Essentials scaled up to tackle rise in cybercrime On 6 February 2017, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) released the latest version of its Cyber Essentials scheme. The objective of the Cyber Essentials programme is to make the UK a safer place to do business and in the South West we are no more immune to the threat posed to our companies than anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, the threats against us increase and the National Crime Agency has warned that Cybercrime has now surpassed all other forms of crime in the UK. Whilst media attention focuses on large scale attacks, small and medium businesses do not have the budgets that big companies do and therefore can be easier to infiltrate. Cyber Essentials enables businesses to reduce the threat from unsophisticated and untargeted attacks by 80% and it achieves this by implementing simple yet effective controls surrounding the use and protection placed around our digital assets.

The five controls for Cyber Essentials are: 1 Firewalls and boundary gateways - Ensure that only safe and necessary network services can be accessed from the Internet.

2 Secure Configuration - Ensure that computers and network devices are properly configured to: reduce the level of inherent vulnerabilities - Provide only the services required to fulfil their role

3 User Access Control - Ensure user accounts: are assigned to authorised individuals only

- Provide access to only those applications, computers and networks actually required for the user to perform their role

4 Malware Protection - Restrict execution of known malware and untrusted software, to prevent harmful code from causing damage or accessing sensitive data.

5 Patch Management - Ensure that devices and software are not vulnerable to known security issues for which fixes are available.

In addition to the above original controls, the NCSC have also included controls to protect against the threats focussed against websites, hosted environments and the use of personally owned equipment used within the business environment. The government has enforced Cyber Essentials as a requirement for awards of some contracts within their supply chain, however if you do not need the certification of Cyber Essentials for this, it is still highly advisable to implement the controls as a form of best practice to protect your company and any client’s data you may hold on their behalf. Durgan Cooper, Director of Information Security at CETSAT



Cyber Crime April breakfast 7.30am briefing – Somerset Chamber of Commerce

Join Somerset Chamber of Commerce for a breakfast update on the latest changes to the General Data Protection Regulations as well as top tips on how to prevent cyber threats. There will also be plenty of opportunity to network.

Kilver Court, Shepton Mallet

Geoff will start by giving an introduction to GDPR and the impact to us all over the coming years. Geoff brings a mix of deep technical cybersystems knowledge and

The Somerset Chamber of Commerce have teamed up with the Institute of Directors and the Southwest Cyber Security Cluster to bring you the following Cybercrime Breakfast briefing.

The speakers for this event will be, Geoff Revill and Durgan Cooper of the South West Cyber Security Cluster (SWCCC).

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) & privacy implementation comprehension to the SWCSC. Having worked to help some of the most innovative systems and software companies go to market, he now manages events co-ordination on the SWCSC steering committee. His passion is to drive towards a better, safer more personally empowering Internet. He sees a future where our personal data is no longer traded without our explicit control; the first step is to protect what is already out there.




Top tips for smartphone security Smartphones have overtaken laptops as the most popular device for getting online, Ofcom research has revealed, with record ownership and use transforming the way we communicate. Recent studies show that smartphone usage has now eclipsed that of desktop computers and laptops, especially in younger people. According to the report from Ofcom, two thirds of people now own a smartphone, and they are using it for nearly two hours every day to browse the internet, access social media, manage their banking and shopping online. With the vast amount of activities we can do on our smartphones now, we have to take extra care when it comes to security.

Below are 5 tips for keeping your devices secure: 1. Set a password/pin/lock screen Having no password on your mobile device is like leaving your front door open. It means anyone can pick it up and gain access to your emails, photos and any other personal data stored on the device. We recommend setting up a six-digit password or Pin – Always remember, the longer the password, the harder it is to hack. On an Android phone tap Apps – Settings – Lock screen and security - Screen lock type – Pin. From here you can enter a sixdigit Pin to keep your device secure.

Durgan Cooper is Director of Information Security at CETSAT, a managed service provider and bespoke software development house which he founded in 2001. Passionate about technology, Durgan has kept abreast of the evolving IT security threats over the past decade and now works with corporate, SME and government agencies where he advises on cyber security risk reduction. He will give an introduction to Cyber Essentials and current threat landscape. Bookings can be made via the IOD website here or for queries contact E: T: 01823 444924

The latest iPhones (running iOS9) prompt you to set up a six-digit Pin from the start. On an iPhone using an older version of iOS, you can still upgrade to a six-digit Pin - tap Settings – Touch ID and Passcode – Enter your current passcode – Change Password. You’ll then be prompted to enter your current passcode one more time before creating a new one 2. Keep your mobile operating system up to date Whether you are running iOS, Android or Windows Phone, it’s always best practice to ensure your device is running the latest Operating System because a lot of security loopholes and bugs will have been fixed. Most manufacturers allow you to set your phone to check for updates automatically, so always make sure this box is ticked. Be aware that these updates will be rather large in size so it’s best to kick these off when you are at home using your own internet connection as you may incur data charges from your network provider. 3. Take care when using public Wi-Fi Using public Wi-Fi networks means you don’t have to use up your data allowance when out and about. But take care when using these free networks, as it’s possible for an attack to happen when you’re using an unsecured Wi-Fi connection. This is known as a ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack and involves a hacker intercepting your logins, passwords or financial information as you use Wi-Fi. Its recommended that you avoid logging into your bank or entering any credit card or personal details while using free networks. If you do need to check your bank account or make a payment, use your 3G or 4G connection instead – it’s much more secure. 4. Disable applications from untrusted sources and don’t root or jailbreak Whilst it can often be a nice idea to download and install apps that aren’t found on the App Store or Google Play Store, these apps tend to be the ones that are infected with malicious code. Google, Apple and Microsoft, as well as the likes of BlackBerry, keep

tabs on the apps that are on their app portals. This means apps that contain malicious code are likely to have been removed before you install them. Apple especially are very strict on what apps make it to the App store. Rooting your Android phone or jailbreaking your iPhone can also prove really dangerous, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is because it breaks down your OS and provides you access to the basic code within and if you can get access, malicious code has a much easier route to making changes too. If you’re familiar with the world of rooting and jailbreaking then you’ll have taken measures to ensure the security of your device - so make sure you’re certain you know what you want when altering your handset. 5. Keep location settings enabled In the event of your device being lost or stolen, having location settings enabled will allow you to track where your device is. Using iOS to find your device On iOS there is the ‘Find my iPhone’ app which is exceptionally easy to install and use, and a similar technique is available via Android. Using Android to find your device This doesn’t require an app, just navigate to Google Play via a web browser, click the settings wheel and hit Android Device Manager. From here you can locate, ring, lock and erase your device if needed. For Windows Phone go via and log in with your details to spot its location on a map and make it ring, display a message or erase the whole device. If you’re still rocking a BlackBerry, you can use the BlackBerry Protect tool to achieve a similar thing. This needs to be preset on the BlackBerry device, however. Written by Cosmic |



BUSINESS TO BUSINESS DINNER, TAUNTON Guests networking and enjoying dinner

BUSINESS TO BUSINESS DINNER, TAUNTON Dale Edwards - Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Helen Lacey - Red Berry Recruitment, Trish Caller- Genius PR & Events

BUSINESS TO BUSINESS DINNER, TAUNTON Pictured (L-R) Nevil Horne - Mailadoc, Rod McDonagh - Commercial Chambers


Pictured (L-R) Neil Gregory, Kevin Phillips - Vodafone Allan Covey - Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd


Guests deep in thought learning about advanced Microsoft Excel

Pictured (L-R) Pat Flaherty - Chief Executive, SCC Dale Edwards - Chief Executive, SCoC David Hall - Councillor, SCC



BREAKFAST WITH SOMERSET COUNTY COUNCIL Pictured (L-R) Fee Bellamy - Outposts Ltd, Alistair Tudor - Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Simon Williams - Financial Health Accountants

BREAKFAST WITH SOMERSET COUNTY COUNCIL Pictured (L-R) David Mann & Dean Holloway, Towergate

BREAKFAST WITH SOMERSET COUNTY COUNCIL Pictured (L-R) Helen Lacey - Red Berry Recruitment, David Hall - Somerset County Council


BREAKFAST WITH SOMERSET COUNTY COUNCIL Pictured (L-R) Dean Howard - SDS Ltd, Alistair Tudor - Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Loren Gray - Somerset Chamber of Commerce




THE BIG INTERVIEW An Interview with… Greg Saunders, Chairman of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce

Greg Saunders is the Chairman of the Chamber, as well as being a Commercial Litigation Partner and Notary Public at Clarke Willmott LLP in Taunton. He has been on the Board of the Chamber for just over 3 years and was made Chairman at the AGM in November 2016.

Born in West Bromwich in 1976 (yes the 40th birthday ‘celebrations’ are still a sore point more than six months later!) he has worked as a Solicitor since 2000 originally in Birmingham and Manchester and relocated to Somerset in 2011. He lives just outside Taunton with his Wife Kate and 2 children: Issie who is 7 and Bobby who is 6. His hobbies include taking his children to birthday parties, taking them to see their friends and running what appears to be a stunningly unprofitable taxi service generally. He has also recently taken ownership of a Labrador puppy called Betty who may actually be part feral given the amount of scratches and sharp teeth marks on his hands.


When you were at school, what did you want to be when you grew up? I can say with all honesty that being a solicitor did not cross my mind until I was about 17. Like most young boys, I dreamed of being a professional sportsman. I loved football but was never good enough. I loved tennis too (and still do) but again, I was nothing more than a reasonable amateur. I don’t remember wanting to do a proper job for a living as a child!

What was your very first job? I worked in a factory in the Black Country called Oddbolt. I was paid £2.25 per hour. My job was very much warehouse based with some occasional data entry tasks. I did a few jobs as a student – cutting sheet metal, making lamp posts in a foundry amongst others. Anything to earn a bit of cash.

What is a typical day for you like at Clarke Willmott? As I am a litigator, it is rare for me to have a ‘typical’ day. The kind of work I do varies. I can be advising a business on a breach of contract issue or shareholders in an internal dispute and then get a call to advise the NFU on a judicial review against Defra. However, my day is mainly spent on the phone or sending emails with the occasional client meeting thrown in for good measure. It is never boring!

How does it feel to be Somerset Chamber’s new Chairman? I am immensely proud of the achievement. I am determined not to let anyone down now!

What made you want to take on the role? I have always been a big believer in what the Chamber of Commerce can do to help the business community. I was a member of the board of the Black Country Chamber many years ago and I think it is a brilliant way of understanding what is going on where you live. Anyone that knows me will know that I am not one for being quiet in meetings. I have a compulsion to get involved and try to make things happen and without doubt, being Chairman for the next 3 years will give me the best platform to do that.

What are your plans for the Chamber over the coming months? To help our Chief Executive with the launch and implementation of our business manifesto and make sure that we deliver on those plans. That is not straightforward but we have a dedicated team that will do everything we can to do so.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges the Chamber community will face over the next 12 months? The biggest issue will be uncertainty. The final investment decision on Hinkley Point C was obviously fantastic news for the region and I know a lot of Somerset businesses will benefit. However, there are many businesses that will not have anything to do with HPC who are concerned about Brexit, the situation in the US and so forth. The Chamber, through its affiliation with the BCC will continue to lobby central government on these issues and all I would ask Chamber members to do is to keep us up to date with events that are happening as that information is really helpful to feedback.

Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies? I used to be a pretty good cornet player in my youth. Time for that has sadly disappeared but my daughter has just started to learn at school so maybe I will get it out of the garage and start playing again. Watch out if you attend the Chamber office Christmas coffee morning in a year or so. If I catch the bug again, I might be stood in the corner belting out carols for your entertainment!

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? I really struggled with this question until I went to an assembly at my daughter’s school the other day. It was featuring her class and the teacher said that they had a saying on the wall: There is no such thing as FAIL. It is just the First Attempt In Learning. I thought that was absolutely spot on!



MEMBER NEWS Clarks Village announces new charity partners for 2017 Clarks Village is proud to announce its two Charity Partners for 2017: Cancer Research UK, and Somerset Wildlife Trust. As an integral part of the community, Clarks Village strives to facilitate and support local activities and families, and the chosen charities will form part of its fundraising work for 2017. Throughout the year, Clarks Village will work with these charities to fundraise and raise awareness through events, having charity pots in all shops and eateries, and working with them on dedicated marketing and social media campaigns. Clarks Village will be supporting the Wells Area Fundraising Group for Cancer Research UK, who bring together the local community around Wells, Street and Somerset by organising parties, family fun days and skydives to raise vital money and awareness. All in order to beat over 200 types of cancer, bringing forward the day when all cancers are cured. Becky Trout, Local Fundraising Manager for the charity in West Dorset and Somerset, comments, “Every two minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. With the crucial help of Clarks Village Management team, staff and visitors, we’re working to fund research which will help more men, women and children to fight and survive the

disease. Our research is global, but it has a local impact – every day, people in the South West, and all across the UK, benefit from our work and the fatality rates from cancer in the South West have fallen by over a fifth, over the last 20 years. We’re very excited to be chosen and look forward to working closely with the team!” The second charity is Somerset Wildlife Trust, working to protect and preserve vulnerable wildlife and habitats for over 50 years. Right on Clark’s Village’s doorstep are two of the Trust’s nationally important wetland nature reserves, Westhay Moor and Catcott, and the hope is that outlet visitors will also visit these reserves when travelling to the Village. Director of Fundraising & Marketing for Somerset Wildlife Trust, Katie Arber, says, “Somerset’s wildlife is part of what makes living, working and visiting the county so special. Being one of Clark’s Village’s chosen 2017 charities gives us a unique opportunity to engage with their staff and the large number of people who visit the Village. Through running wildlifethemed events, we will increase the funds we have to support wildlife conservation here in Somerset and grow our 18,000-strong membership, so Somerset’s wildlife has a stronger voice at a time it is in need of greater public support.”

Across the year, both charities will be involved with annual events such as the Easter and Summer activity, and Christmas Extravaganza, as well as individual fundraising days and activities. The Clarks Village Management Team will also be personally supporting the two chosen charities, by donating some of their own time to fundraising activities over the year. Commenting on the new charity partners, Chris Davis, Centre Manager for Clarks Village, says, “It was an incredibly tough decision to make, as all charities that entered were truly worthy of our partnership, but we’re delighted for both Cancer Research UK and Somerset Wildlife Trust to be on board for 2017. Both are fantastic charities who do invaluable work for the community, and are close to our hearts at Clarks Village. “Throughout the year, Clarks Village works hard to ensure we meet the needs and demands of our local community and valued customers, and we will celebrate and promote these charities. We’ll also work in partnership with our charities to maximise their planned activity and share this with our visitors, to ensure their messages are truly shared and heard. It’s an exciting year and we hope our guests will join us in supporting them!”

GCSE students smash national benchmark Students taking English GCSEs at Weston College have smashed national benchmarks with exceptionally high pass rates.

The students were a combination of new learners to the College and returning learners, who have previously failed to obtain the C grade required to progress to further education.

Of the 23 students who took their GCSE English exam before Christmas, 20 achieved a grade C or above, putting the pass rate at 87% – miles ahead of the 27% national benchmark.

“I’m immensely proud of my students and am confident that they have paved their way to successful futures.”

These results are a huge cause for celebration, and go to show how Weston College supports its learners to achieve. Kelly O’Connor, Subject Area Manager GCSE English, said: “These results just go to show how hard work really can pay off.

Weston College offers several options to support learners who have previously not taken GCSE English, or haven’t achieved a C grade.


College Principle recognised in new year’s honest list Bridgwater & Taunton College Principal, Mike Robbins, has been awarded an OBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List for his services to education. Mike, was Vice Principal at Bridgwater College for 15 years, before becoming its Principal for nearly 5 years prior to its recent merger with Somerset College in Taunton. He has worked in the further education sector for 40 years, including colleges in Kent and one in London prior to moving to Bridgwater. Mike said, “It’s a great honour to be recognised in this way and it obviously also reflects all that has been achieved by the College and its staff over a long period. It would not have happened without the support of all those who have worked so hard professionally for the benefit of our students and those who have supported me personally”. Derek Randall, Chair of the Governing Body, who initially nominated Mike

for the Honour added: “This is a richly deserved award and reflects Mike’s outstanding contribution to the success of the College”. For further information please contact Kelly Thorne, Events Manager, Bridgwater & Taunton College on 01278 441216.

Brazz – Taunton’s famous town centre restaurant, bar, cafe – reopens after full refurbishment Taunton’s popular town centre restaurant, bar and café, BRAZZ, has now reopened after a six-week closure following a full refit.

the walls of BRAZZ pay homage to its top suppliers, featuring pictures of the provenance of the food offered on the menu.

The original BRAZZ caused a stir when it was first launched by Kit Chapman in 1998. Its new incarnation, designed by Kit’s daughter-in-law Annabel Chapman, will do as much and more, injecting an easy style and a dash of metropolitan chic for today’s customers.

New BRAZZ has appointed a new manager in Adam Lee, a passionate and charming host who began his career at the world-famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore. His most recent posts have included the Michelin starred Hakkasan restaurant in London and Street XO by renowned Spanish chef, David Munoz.

Annabel, wife of Chairman Nick Chapman, has designed an innovative space with some exciting features including a fabulous four-tier chandelier carrying 33 lights which hangs from the dome over the restaurant, and a long, tan Chesterfield banquette which strikes a classic, homely feel. Under multi-award-winning Chef Liam Finnegan, the new menu continues to support local food and drink producers. All the old favourites continue to be served with the addition of some new dishes, while

Managing Director, Marc Mac Closkey, said, “Adam possesses the very rare combination of extensive food and drinks knowledge with a friendly and relaxed style, We are very excited about the transformation of BRAZZ into a vibrant, modern restaurant, bar and café, and Adam will make the perfect host to welcome our guests and make them feel at home.” BRAZZ is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner … as well as for coffee, snacks, afternoon tea, cocktails and parties.



Put a spring in your step at St. Margaret’s Great Somerset Walk

Last year the walk raised nearly £9,000 in sponsorship and this year St. Margaret’s is hoping it will raise even more. The walk takes place on Sunday 26 February and is a 13km walk around Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor. St. Margaret’s is asking you to dust off your walking boots and help them raise sponsorship, to support 3,200 patients and their families each year. This spectacular walk is guaranteed to be a great day out for all the family, including the fourlegged kind. Meandering through woodland, emerging onto open moorland all with the backdrop of the calming lake, the walk truly is breath taking! So whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll and picnic with the family, or a fast paced challenge with friends, the Great Somerset Walk has something for everyone.

For more information and to register, visit and search ‘Great Somerset Walk’ or call 0845 345 9671. Prices have remained at £15 for an adult ticket and £10 for a child’s, and includes a free t-shirt, goody bag and medal. Blow away the cobwebs and join St. Margaret’s at this fantastic event.



Some of the best of British Cheeses make their debut in The Philippines with British Embassy launch the Philippines-based supplier of fine wines and foods to leading restaurants, hotels and specialist retailers. The launch was marked by a cheese and wine tasting event at the official residence of the British Ambassador in Manila, which was attended by over 100 guests from major hotel and restaurant groups, influential food bloggers, local press and embassy officials.

Somerdale International, the leading exporter of British cheese to over 50 countries around the globe, has for the first time commenced the export of a range of great tasting British cheeses to The Philippines. Somerdale’s entry into the new market will see it work in partnership with Bacchus Epicerie,

Bacchus will initially stock great tasting traditional cheeses such as the award winning ‘Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve’ Cheddar, Somerdale’s unique ‘Il Truffelino’ which combines the creamy texture of Classic English Cheddar with the complex and luxuriant flavour of Black Summer Truffle, as well as that most quintessential of British cheeses, Blue Stilton. Reaction to the British cheeses being sampled was very positive with many

looking forward to using them in the future. For example, David Pardo de Ayala, General Manager at Discovery Hotels and Resorts commented: “These are the most wonderful cheeses I have tasted in a very long time. I am certain that Manila will soon fall in love with your products, and we look forward to working with them in our hotels and resorts.” Di Jones of Somerdale International, commented, “We are delighted to be supplying our British cheeses to The Philippines for the first time. Although currently a relatively small market, there is a growing demand for fine foods and wines in The Philippines and we believe that our great tasting and distinctive cheeses will be popular, especially with upmarket restaurants and hotels. Looking ahead, we see South East Asia as being an important emerging market for our products and we will continue to develop relationships with key distributors in the region.”

Claims Consortium Group appoints CIO to lead its technology transformation Claims Consortium Group has appointed former Zurich director Steve Grieve as Chief Information Officer. The £45m claims handling firm, which won Digital Insurance Initiative of the Year at the British Insurance Awards in 2016, believes the appointment will extend the company’s ability to capitalise on digital opportunities in the insurance sector. “Steve’s appointment to the board as CIO is a significant step for our business,” said Jeremy Hyams, CEO of Claims Consortium. “He will lead our digital expansion and our continuing innovation in the IT arena. “Fundamental to our growth is the development of our Synergy®

claims technology, which supports our extensive claims handling portfolio. The insurance industry has acknowledged that Synergy is transformational through our BIA award, and we’re ready to exploit its full potential.” Steve commented, “Having worked with the board and management team for the past six months I have witnessed their drive and vision to make the insurance customer experience truly exceptional. IT will be a major factor in this, and my role is an exciting opportunity to lead developments in the digital space that will help the company excel in its goals.”

at Executive and Board level, Steve specifically brings a wealth of IT security, transformation and strategic experience to Claims Consortium He was most recently with Zurich Insurance Plc as Business Operations Director for Personal Lines & Endsleigh, and has been working with Claims Consortium since July as a Non-Executive Director.

In addition to 30 years of experience in General Insurance, including roles

For more information see




Yeovil College apprenticeship awards celebrate apprentices and employers Apprentices and employers from across Somerset, Dorset and the South West have won awards at the annual Yeovil College Apprenticeship Awards, held at Haynes International Motor Museum, Sparkford on Tuesday 7 February 2017. Thirty-five outstanding apprentices received prizes in a range of categories, highlighting the varied apprenticeships available across Yeovil College. They included Business, Customer Service, Clinical Healthcare, Engineering, Professional Cookery, Hairdressing, Plumbing, Carpentry, and Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair. For the first time, an award was given for the Outstanding Contribution to Yeovil College. This year’s Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Bronwyn Tyson for her significant achievements whilst completing her Electrical & Electronic Engineering Apprenticeship. Bronwyn is a fantastic example of everything an apprentice can achieve with some determination and hard work. She has won several awards this year as judges recognise the importance of her role not only as a great ambassador for Apprenticeships, but also for Engineering; she is a STEM ambassador (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), and has worked with a primary school to ignite a passion for engineering in the next generation. Emily Fox-Williams secured the Yeovil District Hospital Healthcare Support Services Level 2 Apprentice of the Year title, which she adds to her Highly Commended award in the Rising Star of the Year at the Yeovil District Hospital iCare Awards this month. During the ceremony, feedback from employers and lecturers was read out to the audience to highlight the pride felt by many about the students’ achievements. Six exceptional employers were also recognised for the key role they play in supporting and nurturing apprentices; Unwin, Systemagic, Free Range

Business and Accountancy Services, Old Mill Accountants and Financial Planners, Salon Fish and Dorset County Council.

Bronwyn Tyson (Yeovil College Overall Apprentice of the Year winner)

The event was attended by apprentices’ friends and family, Principal John Evans, senior College staff and local dignitaries, as well as representatives of many local businesses, and the Chief Executive Officer of Somerset Chamber of Commerce. John Ponsonby, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters Ltd, gave an enthusiastic speech as guest speaker, really hitting home with “An Apprenticeship is just the start of a journey of life-long learning”. As Leonardo Helicopters have a team of more than 100 apprentices, he is only too aware of the need to future proof the workforce with a sound partnership and quality employees. It was therefore fitting that he was to award four of his own colleagues with the Outstanding Contribution to Yeovil College award for their hard work in securing the loan of a Super Lynx 300 helicopter to Yeovil College by Leonardo Helicopters Ltd. The evening highlighted the opportunities that apprenticeships offer, and the rewards apprentices can reap. Mark Bolton, Director of Employer Engagement at Yeovil College, said, “Businesses are starting to think about how they can build their employees from the bottom up and apprenticeships offer a very real and sensible solution to this problem. They enable an employer to recruit a young person into a role who has the right attitude, who wants to learn. We are working with businesses with apprenticeship vacancies that are crying out to be filled.” So, if you or a young person you know is sitting at home wondering what to do with their lives, talk to the Yeovil College Apprenticeship team and have a serious think about how an apprenticeship could work for you.

Dorset County Council, Large Employer of the Year

Andrew Symes, Hairdressing Level 3 Apprentice of the Year

Free Range Business and Accountancy Services – Commitment to Skills winner

Outstanding Contribution to Yeovil College Award - Ashley Crowdie, Oliver Jennings, John Ponsonby, Ben Molloy and Jack Morris of Leonardo Helicopters Ltd

For more information on Apprenticeship vacancies with Yeovil College, visit

All winners with Principal John Evans and John Ponsonby (MD, Leonardo Helicopters Ltd)



Richard Huish College is the best college in the area. It’s official! In the latest league tables published in January 2017, by the Department for Education (DfE), Richard Huish College has excelled in all categories and surpassed all colleges in Somerset and North and Mid Devon. The league tables set out comparisons on college performance at A level in the following categories: • Average grade (the average grade of all students in all subjects taken) • Value added (The increase or decrease in all student’s achievement based on their predicted outcomes from GCSE) • Number and percentage of students achieving AAB or higher in facilitating subjects (Maths, English, Sciences, Geography, History and Modern Foreign Languages). These are subjects that the top universities in the country more frequently require for entry to degree programmes • Grade points for a student’s best 3 A levels. Universities look at the best three grades as entry criteria, so the DfE uses this measure to compare results across the country Huish has a wide catchment area for students, drawing from Uffculme School, Tiverton High School, West Somerset College and Huish Episcopi Academy as well as schools closer to Taunton. This is because Huish outperforms all the local Somerset colleges and Exeter College, a claim which is validated by the league tables:

Facilitating Subjects - Huish students also topped the tables for the percentage of students achieving AAB in at least two facilitating subjects with 16.3%, beating the next best college, Exeter, who scored 11.8%.

challenged. They are well informed when making their choices of a study programme and are guided to choose what suits their talents and strengths, and will also open doors to the future. All of this, combined with the excellent teaching as evidenced by Huish’s ongoing status as an Ofsted outstanding college, makes Huish the best college in the area for sixth form study. This success is now recognised by the Department for Education with the publication of these league tables.”

Grade Points – In A Levels, Huish had a point score of 32.08, the highest of all the colleges, with the average grade a student achieves in their best three A levels being B-. The Times Educational Supplement (TES) has also, for the second year running, nominated Richard Huish College for its Sixth Form College of the Year Award, praising it particularly for its support for students and provision of enrichment. Principal, John Abbott commented “At Huish, we put our students at the heart of everything we do. Students are happy, well supported and

DfE PERFORMANCE DATA FOR SUMMER 2016 - Published 19 January 2017

Type of College

Number of students at the end of A Level study

Average Grade

Value added A level

Point Score*

Achieving AAB or higher in at least 2 facilitating subjects

Grade and points for a student’s best 3 A levels

Richard Huish College






16.30% 560 students


Strode College

Tertiary College





11.60% 301 students

C+ 34.72

Bridgwater and Taunton College






1.20% 243 students

D+ 24.75

Yeovil College






5.80% 52 students


Exeter College

Tertiary College





11.80% 608 students

C+ 34.19

All funded Schools and Colleges






C+ 33.79


National Average for Schools and Colleges

A levels - Huish has the highest average grade of C+, higher than other local colleges who recorded between C and D+ average grade. The national average is a grade C.


Vocational subjects - the average grade at Huish was a Distinction*, higher than any other local college.

Richard Huish College

Value Added Vocational - Huish scored a positive result of +43, meaning that students performed significantly better than their GCSE results indicated. This is a direct comparison to other local colleges who recorded scores down to -0.49.


* Points Score is based on the challenge and size of the qualifications.

Type of College

Number of Level 3 Applied General Vocational Students

Average Grade

Value added

Point Score*






Tertiary College





Bridgwater and Taunton College






Yeovil College






Exeter College

Tertiary College





All funded Schools and Colleges





Strode College

National Average for Schools and Colleges

The DfE League Tables 2017 can be accessed here:




Smart Recruitment gives back to local communities in celebration of 25 years in business Smart Recruitment, a subsidiary of the Wise Recruitment Group, is proud to be taking part in the anniversary celebrations of the Group, which has clocked up 25 years in business. The Wise Recruitment Group was established by husband and wife team Keith and Janet Robinson in 1991. Throughout the Nineties, they grew their company by opening market town branches across the South West. In 2008 they acquired Smart Recruitment, another independently owned agency with branches in a similar geographical area. In celebration of their 25 years in business, the company would like to give back to the communities in which it operates by partnering with the Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW)

charity. CHSW provides hospice care for children with life-limiting conditions, providing exceptional and much-needed support to the families that are affected when their children are very poorly. The charity offers a wide range of care, from respite and short breaks to emergency, palliative and end of life care. The Wise Recruitment Group aims to raise £25,000 for CHSW during 2017, with a range of events across the year designed to involve the local community. The first companywide challenge is to raise £2,500 by

cycling 2,500 miles across the branch network. The challenge, ‘Pedal for Life’ has already started in the Group’s Truro branch, and will be arriving in the Smart Recruitment region on 27 February. The bike will spend a month in the area, in Yeovil, Dorchester and Poole – plenty of time for local people to come along and support a great cause, as well as giving any keen cyclists a chance to win the ‘Fastest Mile Challenge’. For further information on how you can get involved in the charity events taking place this year, check out Smart Recruitment on Facebook or contact your local branch below: Yeovil – 01935 310020 Dorchester – 01305 230050 Poole – 01202 665522



Bruton Chamber of Commerce The Bruton Chamber of Commerce formed a new Executive Committee in September 2016 and established its key goals for 2017:

of specialist volunteers, Chamber members and Town Councillors across its Tourism, Utilities and Apprenticeships objectives.

1. 2017 Business Rates Revaluation 2. Tourism 3. Utilities 4. Inward Investment 5. Apprenticeships 6. Business Ambassadorship

The Chamber holds monthly Jelly co-working events for microbusinesses and freelancers and on 24 March the CEO of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, Dale Edwards, will be hosting a Meet the Chamber networking event at The Chapel in Bruton.

In January, the Chamber held a Business Rates advisory panel, with helpful representatives of the SSDC Business Economic Development and Business Rates teams. We have three active power teams; formed

In shaping our business ambassador offering, we hit on a winner with the launch of our Chamber Monday Briefing. This short, pitchy bulletin of

Affiliate Town Chambers & Business Associations Axbridge Chamber of Commerce T: 01934 733078 | E: Bridgwater Chamber of Commerce T: 01278 228004 | E:

local business news, with a member product or service promotion, is circulated each Monday morning to over 250 local businesses, as well as to the local press. The feedback on this has been overwhelmingly positive, with the Chamber growing from 16 to 43 members!

For further information, or for bookings to the Meet the Chamber event, please contact:

Levels’ Best Community Interest Company T: 01935 851280 | E: Shepton Mallet & District Chamber T: 01749 681413 | E: Somer Valley Chamber of Commerce T: 07530 042627 | E:

Bruton Chamber of Commerce T: 01749 813291 | E:

Taunton Chamber of Commerce T: 01823 230898 | E:

Cheddar Chamber of Commerce & Industry T: 01934 742326 | E:

Wells Chamber of Commerce T: 01749 685236 | E:

Crewkerne Area Business Chamber T: 07935 737001 | E:

Wellington Business Association T: 01823 673245 |

Exmoor Business Group T: 01643 851895 | E:

Wincanton Businesses Together T: 01963 34327 | E:

Frome Chamber of Commerce T: 01749 342255 | E:

Wiveliscombe & 10 Parish Business Group T: 01984 684777 | E:

Ilminster Chamber of Commerce T: 01460 240554 | E:

Yeovil Chamber of Commerce T: 01935 804999 | E:


Profile for Somerset Chamber of Commerce

Somerset Voice - February/March 2017  

Somerset Voice - February/March 2017