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SUFFOLK

DIRECTOR suffolkdirector.com

SUMMER 2016 Protecting The Director EU: In/Out East Anglia One Hidden Gems The Last Word: Raedwald

B U I L D James Hopkins plans for the future

FC1 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SPRING 2016


WELCOME

Independence… That’s a good thing right? Here at Suffolk Director we have cut the cord, we no longer incorporate the IoD Suffolk and are now a fully independent publication. Like all relationships, in life and in business there’s an ebb and flow, and after over a decade working as the IoD Suffolk’s branch publisher, we feel there’s a strong business case to go it alone. Bidding farewell is imbued with sadness, but also with opportunity. The business landscape has changed and where once there were unified voices, we now face a multitude of options vociferously clamouring to be heard. Making sense of this and bringing insight and clarity to the business community in Suffolk is our challenge. Join us, a fully independent voice, in print and online. Jonathan Tilston Publisher

Contents 2 BUILD James Hopkins plans

7 Protecting The Director Landlord and Tenant Relations

9 Tax Avoidance 10 Young Director 11 Business Partners 13 EU: In/Out The EU referendum, commentary and opinion

22 General Practice 23 Sport & Business Build... It’s been fun being independent for this issue... But, it’s been a lot more work. Rather than eight central pages from IoD Suffolk, we’ve now got an open book. This edition we’ve chosen to fill that with EU: IN /OUT. Both feel like such daring steps. A thirst for partnership. A thirst for freedom. When the dominant partner gets too strong, too controlling is it fun any more? Is it too great a risk to part? The most important thing? To put forward your point of view. To vote, to speak up and be heard. Huge thanks to all our daring contributors. Thank you also to James Hopkins, ScottishPower Renewables and ABP for the Ports of Ipswich and Lowestoft. We uncover more of Suffolk’s gems.

24 East Anglia ONE 28 Hidden Gems Ports of Ipswich & Lowestoft

32 The Last Word Raedwald

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James Hopkins Master planner, house builder, philanthropist, farmer

B U I L D 2 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


BUILD

James Hopkins is Executive Chairman and owner of Hopkins Homes, Suffolk and East of England’s largest independent house builder, unique as a competitor to the national house builders operating within the region. In a career spanning almost 40 years, James’s working life has always been in sales. First, fine art at Christies, then fish from near Southwold to London and now Hopkins Homes to Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Hopkins Homes came into being in the mid 1980s, when James spotted a gap in the Suffolk and Norfolk housing markets: the desire for traditional, timeless country homes but without the hassle of maintaining an old property. Quality modern homes designed and built to stand the test of time. For many in the construction industry, it seems to be about quantity. Not so for James. James’s focus is always on the bigger picture, something articulated at the time of the general election last year when he put forward his five-point action plan for overcoming the UK housing crisis:

1. Ensure there is a common understanding of the need for housing across the country, so everyone works towards a single agenda 2. Make the link between housing growth and community benefits more explicit so good quality developments enhance a neighbourhood and, depending on their size, bring new facilities and community assets 3. Invest in the infrastructure - schools, roads and health care services - with Government as well as developers contributing 4. Improve the environment for residents by insisting on quality to create attractive developments 5. Speed up the planning process. Without these points being addressed urgently James said, “Not only do we face the prospect of a generation of younger people unable to buy their own homes but on the other end of the scale there is a totally inadequate supply of homes for those looking to downsize in later life. Quite simply we won’t have places for people to live.

3 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


BUILD

James believes good design is critical: both in consideration for the existing environments and then the building’s proportions of brick to window, use of quality materials, down to type and spacing of gutter brackets and a front door perfectly sited and in proportion. “Councils are pleased to see us,” says James “I think they see us as bringing value to their areas of responsibility.” For example, when adding 30 new homes to the village of Snape, Hopkins Homes made a donation of £5,000 towards tackling speeding traffic. This was part of a larger £25,000 contribution to the Parish Council for traffic calming measures, sports, play and recreational facilities. “In my experience,” he continues, “Planning applications for new homes are more often than not resisted by local people already with homes who worry about increased traffic and pressure on local services and can see no direct benefit to them of more houses. As a result it takes far too long to get permission to build and our shortage of housing continues. “In contrast, communities and developers should be united in a common objective: the discussion about the details of house type, public open space, design features and service provision, not the principle of whether there should be any houses at all. “Both property developers and planning authorities have a duty to create sustainable developments that benefit both residents and the wider local communities. Handled badly new developments can create an ‘us’ and ‘them’ situation where newcomers are despised rather than welcomed. Handled well and in partnership developments can bring obvious benefits to everyone involved. This also involves putting people’s needs first, making it easier for them to get onto the housing ladder without having to relocate to other areas. Melton Park, Woodbridge is a great endorsement of the Hopkins Homes’ approach. Melton Park, previously St Audry’s Hospital, now provides the location for a handsome head office building, a new community of 200 new homes and a golf course. The work here began in 1995 and was completed in 2008. 4 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016

James takes enormous pride in what’s been created at Hopkins Homes, now a premier brand in Suffolk and the wider region: “ We are not just building attractive, traditionally crafted and sustainable new homes, we are also creating a new community or extending and enhancing an existing community, aiming to improve and support that neighbourhood in any way we can.”

Philanthropist James’s community and philanthropic work extends far further than the areas where Hopkins Homes are built. His first experience of charitable work was as a young adult helping in a night shelter for the homeless in Lowestoft; a grounding experience that taught him about vulnerability and about the deep deprivation at grass roots level in Suffolk and its surrounding counties. In Suffolk, James channels much of his charitable attention through the Suffolk Community Foundation, a central hub for the delivery of funding to the places where it is most needed in the county. Other methods are used in other parts of the East of England. James has been involved with the Suffolk Community Foundation from its early days when it was established just over 10 years ago. He describes the work of the Foundation as an excellent way of busy business people being able to channel charitable giving to the people in Suffolk that need it most.


BUILD

“Letters requesting help arrive most days, every week and it is impossible to give all of them the attention they need or deserve. By channelling these requests through the Foundation, we can be sure that each request is being properly considered.” In December 2015, Hopkins Homes launched a new £250,000 endowment fund with the Suffolk Community Foundation to support good causes across Suffolk. The fund will last in perpetuity delivering grants to the most disadvantaged in society: the homeless, displaced and the most vulnerable. Known as the “Hopkins Homes Building Communities” fund, it offers two rounds of grant funding per year, with grants to individual organisations ranging in value up to £2,000. James and his wife, Selina spent a week visiting all the prospective beneficiaries in April. The fund is a significant and generous donation and helps the Suffolk Community Foundation increase corporate involvement, which runs at only 10% of the Foundation’s fund raising at the moment.

Farming and conservation James has 10 years farming experience and is passionate about locally produced and sourced food. Alongside this he has restored hedgerows, recreated headlands on arable fields, provided a haven for wildlife and planted thousands of trees. Rare breeds are raised producing beef and lamb to be sold locally. It’s all sustainable with grass grazing in the summer and silage and vegetables at other times.

Facts & figures The Hopkins Group starts life with the purchase of one single cottage in 1985 Bought for £14,000 and sold for £21,000 In the past 20 years Hopkins Homes has completed: More than 75 developments Almost 5,000 new homes Hopkins Homes is currently working on: More than 25 developments Almost 2,500 new homes - 1,000 of which will be built this financial year Hopkins Homes employs: 120 staff at its offices in Melton, Woodbridge 1200 jobs throughout the construction supply chain in 2015 alone During the last decade Hopkins Homes has: Completed or are currently working on more than 1,200 affordable homes – around 30 per cent of all properties A further 1,000 affordable homes planned as part of future developments Won 52 house builder awards, including Development of the Year at the Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2015 Completed over 75 developments, has 25 developments under construction with plans through to 2020 and beyond. That’s 6,500 new homes for the East of England.

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PROTECTING THE DIRECTOR

Landlord and tenant relations Many business leaders – for perfectly obvious and valid reasons – concentrate on running their business, rather than the premises out of which their business operates. The only time that property is likely to come to the fore, is when it is being acquired or disposed of. If the property is leased, then one important consideration is whether the lease is protected by the 1954 Landlord and Tenant Act, or not. The ’54 Act gives tenants of business premises statutory protection when their lease ends including the lease just continuing beyond the contractual term end date until brought to an end under the Act, a right to an automatic lease renewal or compensation if renewal is refused on certain grounds , and , with the 1927 Act, compensation for improvements. For those reasons, many landlords like to exclude the statutory protection. At the start of a lease, the tenant will want to bear in mind that if the lease is excluded from the ’54 Act, it will not be able to automatically renew, if it wants to stay at the property. It can negotiate with the landlord in the open market, but the landlord may claim a premium rent, knowing that the tenant will face hassle and extra costs of moving elsewhere. If a lease protected by the ’54 Act is coming to an end, the tenant should discus tactics with its advisers. Should it sit tight and allow the statutory tenancy to continue when the contractual term ends - as may be better if rents are rising – or does it start the process for a lease renewal? The ’54 Act contains provisions for interim rents to be payable, which have altered the tactics here, but it is vital to get proper advice. If the landlord has served notice under the ’54 Act bringing the lease to an end, but offering a new lease on specified terms, the tenant will want to consider how to respond – if at all. It can keep its options open down to the last day under the

landlord’s notice. If the landlord has served notice to end the lease and refused a renewal, the tenant will need to see whether the landlord’s ground(s) for objection are likely to be sustainable if the tenant challenges them. The most popular grounds for objection by landlords are either that the landlord wants the property back for its own occupation, or that he wants it back to demolish or reconstruct the property, or that there have been substantial breaches of the tenant’s obligations. What is important, is to remember that the landlord has to make out its ground of objection at the time of any court hearing – not when it served its notice. A tenant who thinks the landlord is on shaky ground, may want to get him into court quickly, before he can assemble all his evidence. Having good relations between landlord and tenant is usually good for business – of both. What is vital, however, is to ensure that if any notice is received, it is acted on and proper advice taken, rather than ignoring it.

For more information please contact David Rayner at Birkett Long LLP on 01245 453826 or email david.rayner@birkettlong.co.uk

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TAX AVOIDANCE

Tax avoidance – the good, the bad and the ugly… By Fiona Hotston Moore – partner, Ensors Chartered Accountants

Tax historically has been a fairly benign topic but in recent weeks’ tax avoidance and evasion has been a hot topic for the British press. So what has changed? Well, in essence, tax avoidance remains legal and involves structuring your affairs to minimise your tax liabilities within the law whilst tax evasion is illegal and is a crime which can result in criminal sanctions including imprisonment. Tax law does, of course, change every year as the Treasury introduce new legislation with the objective of raising more taxes and balancing the public sector budget. However, historically, measures intended to address tax avoidance have been announced in advance and have been subject to consultation and potentially prolonged challenge in the Tax Tribunal and Courts. Furthermore, our tax legislation is UK centric allowing tax payers to avoid the impact completely by some nifty, offshore structuring. What has changed over the last decade is, however, the public and media sentiment towards tax avoidance and, in my view, it is this which is moderating the attitudes and behaviours of both individuals and multi-nationals when considering how to structure their tax affairs. Whilst there is an obligation on Boards to consider how they minimise tax liabilities and thus maximise shareholder returns within the law, we have seen multi-nationals challenged in the media about how they structure their affairs and voluntarily choose to pay more tax to protect their reputation and customer footfall. In recent years I have advised many individuals and companies who have invested in tax investments such as film schemes. Those individuals often invested on the back of what appeared to be sound tax advice perhaps including a legal opinion from tax counsel. Unfortunately, after years of wrangling in the Tax Tribunal and Courts those tax payers

are now facing potentially large tax liabilities and media attention. It is often the media attention and concern about reputational damage that convinces the tax payer to drop their fight rather than continue the legal process. In the aftermath of the Panama Papers leak we have also seen politicians choose to publish their personal tax returns in an effort to prove their innocence amidst suggestions that our Prime Minister has himself been the beneficiary of tax avoidance. However, what has been disclosed in relation to Cameron is only that he benefited from an offshore fund on which he then paid UK tax on his income and a lifetime gift from his mother to avoid inheritance tax. The lifetime gift is in fact routine tax planning adopted by many wealthy UK taxpayers. Aside from this, the simple flaw in the assertion that publication of tax returns means there is no evasion is the question of what’s not on your return rather than what is on the return. If you are seeking to evade tax you do not publish the details of those assets and income stream on your UK tax return. In conclusion, the crux of the issue is that our Politicians need to work together globally to implement the robust tax law needed to ensure multi-nationals and the ultra-rich pay appropriate taxes based on where their economic and physical activity resides and not where they choose to nail a brass plate. Fiona Hotston Moore is a partner at Ensors Chartered Accountants ensors.co.uk Fiona.hotstonmoore@ensors.co.uk 9 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


YOUNG DIRECTOR

Arya: “pure, precious and noble” Jordan Holder interviews Lina & Jenny Hogg, the mother and daughter duo behind Arya Candles Jenny, you quit your job to pursue Arya? I didn’t enjoy it. I wanted to work towards something I loved so I redirected all my passion to Arya. It was liberating! We love the freedom to make our own choices. Principle goal? Lina: Exquisite products helping to create a better world Jenny: Encourage other businesses to help the local and global community around them. Just Suffolk? Lina: International. Jenny: We’re in France, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, America. We want to keep growing. Why? Jenny: Arya Candles was born out of a power cut, two creative minds and several old candles. After running out of candles, we decided to create our own by recycling old wax. It then became a Christmas craft project making some candles using sustainable soy wax. Lina: The name Arya didn’t come from Game of Thrones. It’s a Sanskrit word meaning “pure, precious and noble”: a perfect representation of our brand and ethos. We create our candles, by hand, in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. We are both passionate about empowering women, and about the environment. That is why we use wax from sustainable, ethical sources, and why we sponsor women from war-torn countries with sales of our candles.

What challenges face start-ups? Jenny: To have the right support and perseverance is really important. Lina: It’s critical that the government continues to provide affordable finance. Top 3 tips? Jenny: Don’t be afraid to voice your ideas, no matter how crazy they are. Lina: Don’t let others put you off. Get your finances right! Arya is working with Portcullis Market Access to launch their new brand of candles in the Summer. Together they will support the brand in launching a business with a strong ethos of ‘giving back.’

How about mother and daughter in a work in environment? Lina: It works very well, I think! We understand our strengths. Jenny is active with Social Media, photography and website as well as the finance. My focus is communication. I love meeting new people! Jenny: We are also friends, and business partners. Lina, you’re already a successful business person, why start again? I love a challenge. Jenny and I have always wanted to work together. 10 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016

Jordan Holder Account Executive, Portcullis Market Access & IoD Committee Member jordan@portcullismarketaccess.com


BUSINESS PARTNERS

Winsor Bishop Suffolk Director’s publisher, Jonathan Tilston meets Sophie Fulford, managing director of Winsor Bishop, and Mark Hearn, UK managing director of Geneva-based watchmaker Patek Philippe, to talk about why independent family businesses make such good business partners customers to engage directly with the Patek brand, it is decorated with subtle soft furnishings and elegant dark wood and the response so far is overwhelming.” One of the reasons Sophie and Mark cite for why family businesses, these two in particular, are such good partners for each other is that you can talk directly with the key decision-makers or owner rather than through line management and then wait for the next board meeting.

Winsor Bishop was first established in 1834 and has been situated at its present site on London Street, Norwich for 180 years. It’s renowned for having one of the finest watch portfolios and diamond jewellery collections in East Anglia. Patek Philippe was founded in 1839 and is Geneva’s oldest independent family-owned watch manufacturer. As the last family-owned independent watch manufacturer in Geneva, it enjoys total creative freedom to entirely design, produce and assemble what are considered some of the finest timepieces in the world. Working together since 2004, Winsor Bishop has made a significant investment into what is now the largest Patek Philippe VIP Boutique outside of London. Describing Winsor Bishop, Mark Hearn says “Winsor Bishop is a family business with great heritage and history and that is extremely important to us. When we were looking for a stockist in East Anglia, to us there was only one choice. The new VIP Boutique area creates a very special destination for our customers.” Sophie Fulford adds “The new salon, allows us to offer a luxurious and contemporary area for our

The entry price for a gentleman’s Patek Philippe is £10,000 and £8,000 for a lady’s. People know a lot about the brand and Mark feels that this has a lot to do with their advertising. The same clear message it has used for two decades: ‘You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation’. Sophie says: “I feel very much the same about our business; that it is my sister’s and my responsibility to protect, grow and nurture Winsor Bishop for generations to come. Our decisions are based on the business being here for the next hundred years.” This long-term decision-making is what both Patek Philippe and Winsor Bishop share. Business partnerships take time to develop, in this case 12 years, with the recent creation of the Patek Philippe Salon reaching a new and exciting level. The two firms have a strategic partnership, there is no financial interest in each other’s businesses but they determine the joint strategy together and develop a business plan. This works over a threeyear period. It is entirely based on trust. Objectives are reviewed every 6 – 8 weeks. For both businesses quality comes first: an accountant might not take some of the decisions the partnership takes but Winsor Bishop and Patek Philippe have the confidence to make decisions based on trust and a long-term vision. 11 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


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SUMMER 2015

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Robert Gough swims against the tide

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James Buckle breaks the cycle

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Minnie Moll shares

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James Hopkins plans for the future

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IN/OUT EU: IN/OUT

Are we yearning for a truth that cannot be found? The State of Play (1st June 2016)

IN

46%

OUT

43%

UNDECIDED

11%

Source: https://ig.ft.com/sites/ brexit-polling/

The EU has presented us with such an emotive subject. We’ve read and listened to many impassioned arguments for IN and OUT. Should we leap with joy and take a gamble into unknown or should we resist risk and pull back from the brink? Here we attempt to present a balanced view of the facts put forward by both sides. This is supported by the opinions of loyal and new contributors to Suffolk Director. These opinions are the contributors’ own rather than the team at Suffolk Director. A massive thank you to all. SUMMARY POINTS FOR IN

SUMMARY POINTS FOR OUT

• While many EU rules are a burden, other benefits of membership outweigh them

• Growth of the EU’s interference in UK affairs

• Leaving will involve many changes that are unknown and unpredictable • Extrication could be hugely costly and take 10 or more years • Immigration makes a positive contribution to national life

• The UK should be free to manage its own affairs • Avoidance of a massive financial cost of EU membership • The end of onerous contributions to the EU budget • The ability to control immigration

13 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


EU: IN/OUT

Some factual commentary The procedure for exiting the EU is documented in the Lisbon Treaty of 2009. Once a country has decided to leave the EU, it has two years to renegotiate its agreement with the EU. This timeframe can be extended by mutual consent. Once an exit is made, control is regained over agriculture, fisheries, justice, home affairs, regional funding and trade. With uncertainty comes a lack of investment, currency rates and stock markets are likely to fall. A weaker pound increases the cost of imports, causing the Bank of England to choose: lower interest rates, or raise rates to support the pound? London may lose its status as a financial centre of influence. If the vote is lost, there could be a leadership election, possibly a general election. Scotland wishes to remain in the EU. Northern Ireland will be OUT and southern Ireland will be IN. The UK pays more to the EU than it receives. Only Germany and France pay more. UK contributions have risen as the EU has opened to less wealthy countries. About half of UK exports go to the EU. If the UK is OUT, we will still need to trade. We could join the European Economic Area and still pay a contribution to the EU plus additional, as yet unknown, tariffs. We are faced with a simple choice: IN or OUT but the number of considerations and possible outcomes are infinite and largely unknown. Whichever direction we go, the other direction will also be unknown.

Now the debate VOTE IN Ben Glassman Portcullis Public Affairs VOTE OUT John May, Chairman Business for Britain East of England 14 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016

IN

Ben Glassman Portcullis Public Affairs

Free Trade with the EU All UK companies are currently able to sell goods and services, with minimal barriers and no tariffs, to our EU neighbours – a market of 500 million people. As a result, we gain £24bn a year of investment into Britain. Our membership of the EU does not come for free. Our annual net contribution is equivalent to £340 for every household. However, the CBI calculates that the trade, investment, jobs and lower prices that come from our membership is worth £3,000 per year per household: that’s a return on investment of almost 10:1. No one can know for sure what new trading arrangements we will reach with EU members if we vote to leave. The UK will be in a poor negotiating position – at present the EU buys half of all UK exports (54% of goods, 40% of services) but only sends 7% of its exports to us. We need to retain some kind of trading relationship with EU members and may be forced to accept very unfavourable terms. The uncertainty generated by exit will endure for years while a deal is being arranged. Trade deals between the EU and non-EU states typically take between four and nine years to agree, and until an agreement is finalised the doubt will cause economic harm to the UK by deterring investors who will be unwilling to risk money. The uncertainty generated by exit from the EU will also adversely impact on our trading partners within the EU, and that will harm the UK’s interests by reducing demand capacity for our exports. The damage we unleash on other EU members risks a vindictive response when it comes to determining any tariffs or bureaucratic requirements an independent UK would be required to pay – and any protectionism or impediments to trade will harm UK exports, pushing up domestic prices and depressing spending.


EU: IN/OUT

The CBI estimates 3 million jobs in the UK are linked to trade with the EU and 74% of British exporters operate in other EU markets. Each of those individuals and companies are exposed to direct risk. The danger is particularly acute in financial services. The sector contributes £127bn to the UK economy and big companies, such as JP Morgan, have indicated they would consider relocating to a country within the EU if the UK left. It only requires a small initial movement for a domino effect to follow, eroding London’s place as the financial centre of the World and causing a big drop in our financial services income. Frankfurt would be the most likely beneficiary. Suffolk also runs a particular risk: due to its location, a higher than average concentration of exporters are based locally. Moreover, many of these are based in the food, drink and farming industries – areas over which the EU has historically behaved in a very protectionist way. This poses a serious risk to local companies (eg Birds Eye, Bernard Matthews, Greene King and Adnams Brewery) and innumerate local farms. Jobs in the sector make up 7.5% of the workforce in Suffolk and many would be under threat purely from loss of free trade – if loss of financial support from the Common Agricultural Policy is factored in (£4bn a year) many farms would face ruin. It is also worth remembering that it was the EU that forced France and Germany to lift bans on British beef in the 1990s – there would be no requirement for the EU to intervene in a similar scenario in the event that the UK left. Our ports may also suffer.

International Trade Negotiating as a leading part of the World’s largest trading bloc gives the UK power it would not achieve on its own. We benefit from free trade agreements with 50 countries around the world – if we left the EU we would have to renegotiate those agreements as well, and we are likely to obtain a worse settlement given our weaker trading position: a UK outside the EU would not be as high a priority trading partner for most countries. Currently, the negotiating power of the EU allows it to tackle regulation and competition issues with international companies more effectively. The current inquiry into Google Android is a prime

example. The UK would not necessarily be able to protect itself from unfair practices. The UK also risks a loss of investment from nationally significant foreign investors. Ford and Nissan have already suggested they might relocate UK offices and factories to locations within the single-market in the event of a UK exit, and others will be less likely to create new investment: no company has come forward to say they will expand.

Immigration Exiters argue that these risks are ‘a price worth paying’ for an end to free movement: but there is no country that retains access to the single market and avoids migration requirements or payments to the EU. This ignores the benefits of the freedom of movement to UK trade. Immigrants, especially those from the EU, pay more in taxes than they take out. And many jobs – particularly minimum wage jobs in areas like Suffolk – such as manual crop harvesting, are performed by EU migrants but would not necessarily be done at all without them. British workers have proven unwilling to do these jobs at the same wage level threatening the sustainability of the local agricultural market. It would also be more difficult and expensive for UK exporters to travel into Europe to find potential sellers of raw materials or buyers of finished products. The ease and low cost of intra-European travel – through cheaper flights under the Open Skies Agreement and the elimination of roaming charges – provides much overlooked benefit to the UK. If the UK left, we would still face the same issues that we do today – except we could no longer turn to the EU for assistance. Immigration and industrial crises would remain, but we may find our neighbours are far less willing to cooperate.

Peace Finally, it would be foolish to overlook the role the EU has played in securing peace in Europe. Despite a history of warfare in Western Europe there was never been war between two EU, EC, EEC or ECSC members, since the founding of the original Community in 1952. Beside any moral and utilitarian benefit, the peace the EU brings provides unquantifiable economic benefit. 15 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


EU: IN/OUT

OUT

John May, Chairman Business for Britain East of England

It is now 41 years since Britain last had the chance to vote on our membership of the European Union. In 1975, the ballot paper included the words Common Market. That is what people in this country thought they were signing up to - a network of friendly countries trading freely with one another. The EU has relentlessly turned itself into something far more worrying for Britain’s future, a centralising organisation that takes away ever more powers for itself and away from nation states. Each European treaty we have signed since we joined has seen more powers flow to Brussels. This process has continued like a ratchet, with no powers ever flowing back. There has been no chance for people to have their say in such a fundamental change to how the laws are made that affect all our lives.

Leaving would bring major advantages Helping businesses - regulation from the EU costs our businesses £600m every week. Only 6% of UK firms export to the EU, but 100% have to comply with these burdensome rules. One third of employers in the East of England believe EU regulation hinders their work. Once we leave, we can free up our entrepreneurs and all our businesses so they can focus on driving growth and creating jobs. Control of our laws - 60% of our laws now come from Brussels, with the EU in control of our trade, our borders and our democracy. We need to be able to control the regulations that affect our businesses rather than follow rules set for 28 very different countries. Control of our global trade - the EU is a shrinking market for Britain. Our exports of goods and services there have fallen from 54% of the total in 2006 to 44% today. We are already far more open to trade with the rest of the world than anywhere on the continent. Malta is the only EU state that sells a greater share of its exports outside Europe than we do. If we vote to leave we will be free to build on our 16 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016

global outlook by negotiating our own free trade deals across the world. Currently, the EU controls our seat at the World Trade Organization. It is risky to leave our trade in the hands of Brussels, which has to try to find a common negotiating position among 28 very different countries. The TTIP negotiations with America are hanging in the balance. Talks with India started in 2007, stalled six years later and have got nowhere since. It will be in the interests of the EU to keep trading freely with Britain once we leave. They sold us £68bn more of goods and services than we sold to them in 2015. They will not want to sabotage their own businesses by closing the door on their best customer. Meanwhile, we will be free to strike deals with other countries to make sure our businesses have access to fast-growing countries around the world. Individual nations often find it easier to negotiate than unwieldy blocks like the EU. Australia has recently completed deals with China, Japan and South Korea. Well managed, fair immigration - we will be able to create a fairer, far better controlled system that welcomes people based on what they can offer Britain. Currently, because of EU open borders, we have no control over who comes here from Europe. It is simply a free-for-all. It is a clear public priority to have some kind of control over immigration and the government was elected pledging to keep numbers down to the tens of thousands. The result is that it has become far more difficult than it should be for talented people from outside the EU to get visas to work here. By leaving, we will end the chaotic immigration that so worries the public while also making it easier for skilled people to come here from outside Europe. We should welcome the people based on their talents not their passports. This will be a huge gain for businesses. Our money, our priorities - the EU costs the East of England £1.98bn a year. That is 16 times the region’s entire highway maintenance budget. Britain as a whole sends Brussels £350m every week and despite government attempts to bring the European budget under control this is officially forecast to go up to £400m in 2020.


EU: IN/OUT

The British rebate, designed to correct some of the unfairness in the way the EU is funded, cuts nearly £5bn a year from that bill. But the EU does not regard it as sacrosanct. We have to haggle every year over how much we get back and it is paid a year in arrears. We get back around half of our contributions in grants to farmers and under schemes like regional development funds. If we leave, we will not have to cut a penny from people who currently receive money and would still have billions left over every year to invest in our own priorities. We can use the money to improve funding for the NHS, for schools, for science or infrastructure or it can be used to cut taxes for entrepreneurs. The point is that the choice will be ours. Food and farming is one industry that is vital to the economy in Suffolk and farmers are some of the biggest recipients of EU grants - but they also run businesses that are tied down by forests of Brussels red tape. It is striking that in a recent Farmers Weekly poll nearly twice as many backed leaving the EU as supported remaining. Opinion in farming as in the rest of the business world, especially among SMEs, is far more divided than official organisations often claim. The EU is now making plans to turn the eurozone into a full political and economic union. If we stay inside the Union, we will be on the fringes of an emerging superstate, with diminishing influence but still subject to all the restrictions that membership imposes. Voting to leave is not about pulling up the drawbridge. It is the opposite. By connecting up to the rest of the world we will no longer be putting all our eggs in one basket, confined to a declining corner of the global economy. By taking back control of our trade, our borders and our democracy we will be increasing the opportunities for our businesses to create new prosperity and jobs. It is the safe option for Britain’s future. It is vital we seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that Britain will have on June 23. If we vote to leave the EU we will change Britain’s direction for the better as an outward-looking, successful modern country in control of its own destiny.

Reality Check Some facts & figures Budget The often mentioned figure of £350m per week does not include a rebate, or discount, on what the UK has to pay. In 2014 the UK would have paid £18.8bn without the rebate but ended up paying £14.4bn. The estimate for 2015 is £12.9bn. This is £248m per week, or £35m per day. The UK then gets money back in grants and payments from the EU. Some flow through the public sector, and mainly go to support farmers and poorer areas of the country. In 2015 this was estimated at £4.4bn, or £85m per week. More money, such as research grants, goes directly from the EU to the private sector. The UK does get back less than half of the money it pays to the EU in most years.

Immigration In the 12 months to September 2015 net migration of citizens from the rest of the EU was 172,000. Net migration from the rest of the world was 191,000. The EU makes up less than half of net migration. Overall net migration was 323,000, because at the same time 40,000 more British citizens left than came in. EU nationals of working age are more likely to be in work than UK nationals and non-EU citizens. About 78% of working age EU citizens in the UK are in work, compared to around 74% of UK nationals and 62% of people from outside the EU.

Size of the EU Potential candidates for EU membership are Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. There are also two more potential candidates, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. Sources: Full Fact fullfact.org Office for National Statistics ons.gov.uk BBC bbc.co.uk/news/politics/eu_referendum The Guardian theguardian.com/politics/eu-referendum 17 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


EU: IN/OUT

Tim Clarke Executive Coach of Tim Clarke Associates (UK) Ltd “There is a clear case for remaining in the EU and one which has been supported by a wide range of industry practitioners, scientists and heads of state. The only response from those wishing to leave has been that all these views are ‘wrong’. Detailed debate on issues such as ‘red tape’ has revealed little more than the cost of labeling products - which will be required anyway for trading in Europe. We will have to negotiate a trade deal, which will not be on any better terms than now. We would have to accept free migration within Europe in any case. Given the advantages we already hold on border issues and the euro, combined with agreement to the UK not having to integrate further, staying in must be the obvious choice”.

Stephanie Harrod Managing Director, Harrod UK Ltd, Lowestoft “I have always thought we should stay in as to leave seems to be a leap into the dark which is far too risky for business and the economy.”

18 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016

Robert Gough Managing Director, Gough Hotels “Gough Hotels, as a major regional company, thrives on a strong and stable economy. In recent years we have seen healthy signs of recovery and a good environment for business growth. Many of our clients want to see this growth continue and stability maintained, which gives them the platform and the confidence to do business in Europe as well as globally. The current uncertainty has created a period of cautiousness and we hope that come post referendum in June we will see a lift in activity as that uncertainty is relieved. It is clear that some European companies are awaiting for the referendum result before committing investments in Britain. Our business does thrive on employing good and well qualified people and therefore access to a large workforce is important to us. Equally vital is access to the best of European products and our hotels in Bury and Ipswich have a high reputation for the variety and quality of the wine list much of which comes from Europe. We would not be keen to see any potential trade tariffs cause upward pressure on prices. Gough Hotels has also seen, as part of our role in promoting the region as a tourist destination, plenty of excellent examples where European funds have made significant improvements to the quality of the product especially in rural locations and this source of funding helps us continue the work to improve the perception and experience of visitors coming to Suffolk.”


EU: IN/OUT

Paul Weeks Business Owner, Weeks Foods Ltd “I wish we would leave Europe. I am in favour of a common market but not in a European superpower. If we stay in Europe I think all the indicators show that further integration is the direction of travel and further loss of sovereignty for Britain. As I have seen Mr Cameron gain no real changes to our relationship with Europe as a result of recent negotiations I have come to this conclusion. I think further integration is bad for Europe and without tax harmonisation the project will eventually fail. I think Britain is better as far away from this organisation as possible when this happens although the fall out will be dramatic for Britain anyway. If Britain leaves Europe no one really knows the consequences, but we do know the consequences of staying and I would like to take the risk of leaving. I think from my business point of view I see no obvious problems. I think a Britain free from the shackles of Europe will be revitalised and will quickly start working on new trade deals. Opportunities will arise to make up for any loss of business that occurs from being outside Europe. As we may find it harder to be competitive with exporting due to higher tariffs we may find that imports slow down giving more opportunities for UK manufacturers. It will be an exciting new era for Britain and we can prepare for life after the European project implodes.”

Stephen Britt Managing Director, Anchor Storage Ltd “Like my father and grandfather before me, I have been involved with international trade, primarily based around imports, most of my working life. This has allowed me to experience at first hand the ways in which the EU has singularly failed to encourage free trade but more to the point, how they actively discourage it with thinly veiled protectionism through duties, levies and regulations. For a country more reliant on Global trade than other parts of the EU, a vote to leave on Thursday 23rd June will allow Britain much greater scope and opportunity to negotiate mutually beneficial trade agreements with other countries around the world.”

Paddy Bishopp Co-founder, Paddy & Scott’s Cafes Ltd “Slightly sitting on the fence there are pros and cons for being in Europe for our business but the main thing for us is consumer confidence. We are already seeing a pause in buying behaviour as people wait and see. I believe that voters will vote out and we will see a time of adaption but long term we will hopefully come out stronger. The main stability we need as we buy our coffee in dollars is currency and this is why the vote for me needs to be right for the financial stability of this country.” 19 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


EU: IN/OUT

James Buckle Farmer and Business Owner

James Hopkins Executive Chairman, Hopkins Homes “Any business wants stability and certainty and my big fear about leaving is the years and years of uncertainty it may bring. The main concern is we just don’t know what will happen. I believe we are stronger within than outside. Inside we have a stronger voice.
  In my sector, construction, one of the biggest problems is skills shortage, finding enough labour to build houses. We turn the tap off to labour coming from Europe and it could have disastrous consequences for us in the East of England. It could cause house prices to drop and it will be much harder to deliver the much needed houses this country needs. We need to do what we can to help young people get on the housing ladder, leaving the EU will make this harder.”

“It is unbelievable that this is even up for debate. Most farmers rely on EU subsidies to survive and anyone thinking that an urban biased UK Government would continue with the same level of support is in cloud cuckoo land. The EU has got to make it difficult for us if we decide to leave, if they make it too easy others will follow. We will not be able to choose the bits we like and ignore those we don’t. One of our biggest issues is the calibre of people representing us, they don’t seem to realise that Europeans negotiate over a glass of wine after the meeting by which time the UK is on the train home. 
 
 I am a gambling man, but the uncertainty of what happens if we leave is a risk I cannot believe people are prepared to take. As a businessman I take a lot of risk but I would not take this one Assuming that we can negotiate similar trade deals on our own is an error, the world is a very different place and the protectionism rhetoric is getting louder.”

Fiona Hotson Moore Partner, Ensors Luke Morris Partner, Larking Gowen “We know that 79% of business activity in the UK is wholly internal to these shores. Of the 21% that depends on overseas commerce, trade with the EU accounts for some 10%. In other words, for the sake of the 10% of the UK economy that is linked to the EU we must apply 100% of EU rules to 100% of UK businesses. It’s all a bit sledgehammer and nut. This wouldn’t be so bad, but its policy of harmonisation means the EU pursues regulation as an end in itself, rather than as a response to an identified need. Ask yourself if the UK were not already a member of the EU, would we vote to join? There would, of course, be arguments to suggest we should, but they are not economic ones.” 20 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016

“The challenge is most of us don’t know enough to reach an informed decision and government will rely on scaremongering to deliver a no vote. There are some plausible arguments for leaving. Whilst scaremongers will claim an exit will cause major damage to our exports. No evidence supports this. We import £5 of goods from the EU for every £3 we export. Our EU partners are unlikely to disrupt trade. An exit could boost our competitiveness by: facilitating deregulation and reduced compliance enabling the UK to negotiate its own trade agreements with the rest of the world; allowing the UK to flex its immigration policy to reflect business needs and eliminate the current discrimination between EU and non EU migrants; and our £11bn net contribution to EU coffers saved.”


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GENERAL PRACTICE

Running a medical practice in 2016 Andrew Burwood

All businesses have succession planning issues but it does feel now that general practice is facing its biggest challenge to-date We all know how difficult it is to obtain a same day appointment with our Doctor, but why is this the case? Allow me to highlight the key issues: • A shortage of Doctors in Suffolk. • GPs taking early retirement and fewer new Doctors choosing General Practice. • An expanding population. • An increase in age expectancy. • More patients being seen by medical practices rather than attending hospitals. • Increasing pressures on funding. The vast majority of medical practices are run by GPs in partnership holding a GMS (General Medical Services) contract with the NHS. It is possible for a limited company to hold a GMS contract but practices tend to avoid going down this route as it presents the NHS with an opportunity to put the contract out to tender which could result in the contract being lost. The GPs are therefore unable to benefit from the more favourable tax benefits of trading via a company. With effect from April 2016, the average practice (with a patient list size of 7,460) receives £88.82 for every patient registered with them. Additional funding is provided for extra services provided (for example, flu jabs and immunisations for children). On the face of it, this sounds a good deal. But what about funding for those patients who frequently attend the practice for help with and management of existing conditions? And those who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction? There is none. Now consider practice costs. Staff alone on average cost £50.22 per patient. Medical expenses (such as professional indemnity fees, medical disposables etc) cost £9.22. It doesn’t leave very much for practice investment and paying the Doctors, does it? 22 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016

As reported in the East Anglian Daily Times last month, two practices in Ipswich have closed their patient lists because of sustainability issues. This puts further pressure on neighbouring practices and there is a chronic shortage of newly-qualified Doctors wishing to embark on a career in general practice... Speaking of newly-qualified Doctors, you will know that strikes have taken place in recent weeks. There are two opposing views in the profession over Jeremy Hunt’s proposals should he win: The deal is least attractive to female GPs who no longer get paid extra for working weekends so it may encourage more of them back to general practice for a work:life balance and five day working. Conversely, it opens the door for seven day access in primary care which may work to start with as it will mop up some of the pressures at the weekend. However, we all know that, in the longer term, if you open longer it just means more people will want access to the services available. General practice really is facing a huge challenge. Andrew Burwood FMAAT, FCCA, ACA Partner 01603 624181 larking-gowen.co.uk andrew.burwood@larking-gowen.co.uk This article is designed for the information of readers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, information contained in this article may not be comprehensive and recipients should not act upon it without seeking professional advice. Larking Gowen is registered to carry out audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

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TECHNIQUE

Sport & Business Stuart Robertson

Sporting technique and business practice Being involved in sport will teach any individual some important lessons that they can take into battle on the business field. This experience may have been gathered from team sports and can teach the principles of working within a team, sharing responsibilities, enlisting help from others, leadership skills, correct delegation of duties so that all achieve the desired outcome. There will be others that have gained other life skills from the more individual sports such as cycling, running or golf. These will have helped teach the principles of self-discipline, correct goal setting, consistency of training, working with a coach or mentor, becoming internally motivated, developing mental strength or focusing energy. If any of these are required within your everyday duties in your working world it would be sensible Director 05 2016_Layout 1 13/05/2016 11:06 Page 1 to Suffolk find out from any prospective employee whether

they participate in any sport and which ones. If you are able to match your workforce with those skill sets, to the task in hand, there will be more chance of having the task completed on time and on budget with the participants enjoying their time while fulfilling the role. As a business within the service sector with many ‘customer facing’ individuals, we actively look for people with the correct attitude first and through our ongoing training have helped them develop their basic skills into skills that we know our customers demand. This investment in our staff has proved invaluable in helping to improve customer feedback and has allowed us to further develop our business. Stuart Robertson Head PGA Professional and Director The Doctorgolf Academy Ufford Park Woodbridge Suffolk, IP12 1QW mail@doctorgolf.co.uk 01394 383480 / @doctorgolf247

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EAST ANGLIA ONE

East Anglia ONE An investment of £2.5 billion By Charlie Jordan, ScottishPower Renewables ScottishPower Renewables is about to transform Suffolk and the East Anglian region into a world leader in offshore wind energy with its ambitions to develop four significant projects over the next few decades. This will deliver huge local investment, job creation and training opportunities. East Anglia ONE, a £2.5 billion investment, is the first of the ScottishPower Renewables East Anglia projects progressing towards construction and will provide enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of over 500,000 homes, that’s the majority of Suffolk and Norfolk. 102 wind turbines will be installed in the North Sea, approximately 30 miles off the coast from Lowestoft. An offshore substation will be constructed near the turbines to collect the electricity generated and convert it to a form suitable for transfer to the shore. The electricity will be transported to shore at Bawdsey via two offshore export cables, each around 53 miles in length and then connected to specialist onshore cables. The onshore cables will be run underground, rather than constructing pylons. A major decision, and significant investment, for ScottishPower Renewables which has spent many years in planning; considering the best route and working closely with landowners, environmental stakeholders and officials from the local authority. A specific Code of Construction Practice is agreed with the local councils and will be strictly adhered to. At the same time as the onshore cable route works for East Anglia ONE, ScottishPower Renewables will install ducting for the next project in the pipeline, East Anglia THREE, so that cables can just be ‘pulled through’ with no need for further major construction works. The onshore cable route is 22 miles long and will carry the electricity to a new substation to be 24 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016

constructed adjacent to the existing substation at Bramford, in order to connect the offshore windfarm to the National Grid. East Anglia ONE will create thousands of jobs, both for ScottishPower Renewables and for its supply chain partners. ScottishPower Renewables is working towards the target that at least 50% of the total £2.5billion investment will be spent in the UK, a significant contribution to our local and wider economy. The Port of Lowestoft is to be the operations and maintenance hub for the 30 year life span of the East Anglia ONE project, an agreement worth £25 million Part of the investment will go towards a state-of-the-art operations control facility, which will also be used for the management of the construction process. Further investment will be used for modifications and upgrades to the port and surrounding harbour area to ready it for this project as well as the planned future projects. Great Yarmouth Port will be the construction and turbine installation base for East Anglia ONE Great Yarmouth will see £5 million invested in its harbour to prepare it for supporting construction works in 2018. When the time comes, turbine components will arrive at Great Yarmouth Port ready to be assembled and shipped out to the windfarm site.


EAST ANGLIA ONE

Local involvement As part of its commitment to the region, ScottishPower Renewables has worked with a significant number of companies and is developing many local partnerships. Over the last year, supply chain events have been held at a number of locations and £100,000 worth of sponsorship put in place with the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) for five events throughout 2016. A detailed Skills Strategy for East Anglia ONE has been created and agreed with local councils setting out plans to develop a skilled local workforce who can access the employment opportunities within the offshore wind industry. The University of East Anglia has become part of the ScottishPower Foundation scholarship scheme and four postgraduate scholarship places will be funded at UEA by ScottishPower Renewables. These places are available to postgraduate students looking to continue their education in energy engineering or environmental studies. The education of young professionals is vital in the shaping of the energy industry’s future and providing a skilled workforce to service our major projects.

East Anglia ONE timeline 2016 More surveys both onshore and offshore

Award of key supply contracts

2017 Onshore construction begins

Fabrication works commence for key equipment

2018 Offshore construction begins 2019 Construction of turbines begins and first power generated 2020 Commissioning and full operation

Other projects 2015 Application for consent for East Anglia THREE submitted 2019 Application for consent for East Anglia TWO submitted 2020 If consented, the East Anglia THREE 1,200 megawatt windfarm may begin construction with the potential of 2,900 jobs and £248 million contribution to the local economy during construction East Anglia ONE survey activity gets underway on River Deben

Application for consent for East Anglia ONE North 25 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


EAST ANGLIA ONE

West of Duddon Sands

East Anglia ONE and its subsequent projects will deliver substantial environmental benefits, stimulate considerable investment and support thousands of jobs for decades to come. Offshore wind is a proven technology. In 2015 it was calculated to power the equivalent of 3.5 million homes in the UK. The more offshore wind capacity we have, the more secure our energy supplies will be and with wind in plentiful supply around our coast it has the potential to play an even more significant role. The East of England has some of the best coastal conditions anywhere in the world for the development of offshore wind.

Charlie Jordan Charlie Jordan is Project Director of East Anglia ONE at ScottishPower Renewables, part of Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest utilities and the leading wind energy producer.

Background ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall were awarded rights to develop wind energy projects off the coast of East Anglia as part of the Crown Estate’s Round Three offshore wind programme. Vattenfall and ScottishPower Renewables entered into a joint venture in 2008 to develop and construct all the projects within the East Anglia Zone, with a target capacity of 7.2 gigawatts of electricity. In 2010 the Joint Venture and The Crown Estate announced that both energy companies had won exclusive rights to develop the East Anglia Development Zone. In February 2016 both parties secured project specific Agreements for Lease with The Crown Estate to continue developing the offshore wind potential of the zone. The leases in effect split the zone between the two partners. Vattenfall now takes responsibility for all development activities in the northern half of the zone, and ScottishPower Renewables will control projects in the southern half.

For more information eastanglia1.co.uk spreastanglia.co.uk 26 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


27 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


HIDDEN GEMS

Ports of Ipswich & Lowestoft Often overshadowed by the Port of Felixstowe – understandably as it handles some 44% of the UK’s container traffic and some of the world’s largest ships – the Ports of Ipswich and Lowestoft, owned by ABP, contribute hugely to Suffolk, East Anglia and the UK’s economy and trade.

28 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


HIDDEN GEMS

The Port of Ipswich is the UK’s leading grain handling port. Annually it exports one million tonnes of grain for local farmers.

The Port of Lowestoft also manages a leisure marina and supports the offshore oil and gas industries.

Coming in is 300,000 tonnes of aggregates per year for the construction industry and 140,000 tonnes of cement. It imported 160,000 tonnes of timber in 2015 and has built a treatment plant so that the timber can be treated before it carries on its onward journey to customer locations. It handles a whole range of other cargoes and has three sailing per month to the Caribbean. It also operates the leisure marina at the Waterfront.

It is now an expanding renewable energy hub with a fleet of crew transfer vessels serving the wind farms. It provides an operations and maintenance facility for the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm opened in 2013 and is ideally placed for the East Anglia ONE wind farm due to begin construction this year.

29 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


HIDDEN GEMS

ABP (Associated British Ports) is the number one port company in the UK. In 2014, ABP and its customers handled 94.5 million tonnes of cargo, supported 84,000 jobs and contributed £5.6 billion to the UK economy. Its 21 ports operating across England, Scotland and Wales, handle every conceivable type of cargo and generate 25% of the UK’s rail freight. ABP has a full range of facilities for its customers across the major sectors of energy, cruise, containers, agribulks, automotive, forest products and steel. ABP East Anglia contributes £340 million to the UK economy every year, £241 million for the region. Here are some facts and figures for the East Anglian Ports of Ipswich, Lowestoft and Kings Lynn.

Port of Lowestoft is a renewable energy hub essential to the development of the offshore wind industry

ABP East Anglia handled over 1.8 million tonnes of agribulks in 2015

Port of Ipswich exported over 500,000 tonnes of grain in 2015

ABP’s ports in East Anglia play a key role in connecting the region to ports across the north sea an beyond

ABP’s ports in East Anglia handled over 160,000 tonnes of timber in 2015

ABP’s East Anglian ports contribute £340 million to the UK economy every year

ABP’s ports support 3,577 jobs in East Anglia

ABP’s ports in East Anglia are host to two Five Gold Anchor rated marinas at Ipswich and Lowestoft

30 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016


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THE LAST WORD: RAEDWALD

Raedwald I’ve come out Do you find that sometimes people just repeat things they’ve heard because they can’t be bothered to think for themselves and feel they need to inanely fill the silence? With this EU business the refrain is along the lines of: “I just need to understand the facts, why is no one is setting out the facts?” Suffolk Director has had a go but, really, where do you start? We live in a pretty confusing age of manic globalisation. The established political order can’t keep up; trust has broken down between them and the hoi polloi and there’s growing anger and resentment with the palpable lack of democratic accountability. That’s why we’re seeing Trump, Sanders, Corbyn, et al. A reaction. The EU has some responsibility for creating this, and a freak of historical timing means that we have a more connected world than ever before, where individuals can inform themselves, and share their instincts, rather than swallowing the line of the established party machines. There are no “facts” in the way that Joseph Goebbels would have understood them namely: “It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.” Anyway, Raedwald is out. I don’t suppose this will be a surprise to you: in other news, the Afghans and Nigerians are “fantastically corrupt”, Chinese officials can be “very rude”, and bears defecate in the woods. I’m not overly concerned about the promises of plagues of locusts and World War III if we do decide to leave. There is no reason we can’t just get on like any other independent country. My problem is with the fundamental structural flaw of the EU: there can be no European democracy, because there is no European demos. No common people. Each nationality different. When I think about it, whenever and wherever I travel overseas, there is usually a conversation like this: 32 | SUFFOLK DIRECTOR SUMMER 2016

Them: “Where are you from, Mr. Raedwald?” Me: “Erm, the UK” Them: “Ah, England?” Me: A lengthy discussion ensues about the UK, Great Britain, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland. Tendency to get in to a muddle explaining Northern Ireland and “The Troubles”. Tendency to get in to a muddle explaining Scotland and the Scottish referendum. Them (looking confused): “Manchester United?” Me: “Ha ha, no a place called Suffolk, in the countryside, an hour or so north of London. Have you heard of Ipswich Town…?” The point is, not once do I (or they) mention “Europe”, “the EU” or, for that matter, “East Anglia”. Ever. Not once. I may be strange in many respects, but I don’t think I’m too unusual in that regard. What do you say when you’re overseas? The point is an important one. I’m sure the real reason that we elected “cranks and gadflies” as our MEPs at the last EU election is because, when it comes to it, we don’t really feel part of an EU demos. We don’t feel that it really matters. MEPs are too remote for EU democracy to work properly and this is borne out by our protest behaviour in the polling booth. I fear the same could be true for any Mayor of East Anglia, doomed to irrelevance because, let’s face it, there is no East Anglian demos. Is there?


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Profile for Tilston Phillips

Suffolk director summer 2016  

Suffolk director summer 2016