Dover Business News

 

Your Business Bulletin from Dover District Chamber of Commerce

 

4th February 2015

 

1. Chamber Question Time 27th February 2015

The Dover and Thanet Chambers of Commerce will be hosting another Chamber Question Time Business Networking Breakfast on Friday, 27th February 2015 starting at 0730 hrs. Modelled on the BBC Question Time format, it will feature a panel consisting of the main parliamentary candidates for the North Thanet constituency; Sir Roger Gale MP (Con), Frances Rehal (Lab), Piers Wauchope (UKIP) and George Cunningham (Lib Dem). The event is expected to be well attended and to provide a significant opportunity to hear the views of the candidates seeking to represent the constituency in the next parliament. The price of £15 for Chamber members includes coffee on arrival and a full English breakfast with a vegetarian option. Booking is essential. To reserve your place, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line: ‘Question Time Breakfast”. There is a limited number of places for non-members at a premium. Full details of the venue near Margate will follow with confirmation.

 

2. How Do I Ask A Question?

Chamber members are invited to submit questions of 50 words maximum by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. It is expected that the subjects raised will include issues of particular importance to the East Kent coastal business community including the future of Manston Airport, business rates, parking charges and government support for East Kent companies. The independent panel of the East Kent Business Advice Clinic will make a final selection of the questions for the panel. A press report on the previous Chamber Question Time is attached.

 

3. What Do The Candidates Think?

The parliamentary candidates will speak for themselves on 27th February 2015. The Thanet and Dover Chambers of Commerce are constitutionally apolitical, content to promote democratic debate and remind all candidates of the need to support Chamber members whose activities provide the jobs and tax receipts that keep the local economy buoyant. But here are a few notes of exactly 100 words each distilled from the candidates’ own published statements and listed in alphabetical order of their surnames.

4. George Cunningham

George is the Deputy Head of Division for China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Mongolia in the European External Action Service, based in Brussels. A former British Army Officer, he worked for British Petroleum and British Telecom before becoming a career diplomat for the United Nations and the European Union. He is keen on “helping young people get on with life” and has a particular interest in policies on education, protection of privacy, foreign affairs, security and defence. George is married to Florence and has two children, Constance and Curran. His running mate in South Thanet is Russ Timpson.

5. Sir Roger Gale MP

First elected to the House of Commons in 1983, Roger has served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to two Ministers of State, Chairman of the All-Party Animal Welfare Group and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party. A former Pirate Radio DJ, BBC executive and Special Constable, Roger has particular interests in political broadcasting, media, press and PR, animal welfare, defence and criminal justice issues. As a Speaker’s Panel Chairman, he has “chaired more than 100 pieces of legislation through their committee stages”. Roger is married to Suzy who manages his parliamentary office. His running mate in South Thanet is Craig Mackinlay.

6. Frances Rehal MBE

Frances is an Early Years Consultant who has worked in the health sector both in the UK and in the USA. For the last twelve years in North Thanet, she has campaigned vigorously to support Sure Start Programmes and the first Community Mutual Children’s Centre in the country. She is keen on “promoting models of governance that engage the hardest to reach” and has a particular interest in policies on NHS, education and issues of power and powerlessness. Frances is married to Ashok and has two adult children and two grandchildren. Her running mate in South Thanet is Will Scobie.

7. Piers Wauchope

A Tunbridge Wells Councillor, Piers has been a barrister for 30 years specialising in fraud, serious violence and drugs. He has a particular interest in democracy and also has “extensive experience of prosecuting for local authorities including cases involving benefit fraud, trading standards, food hygiene and health and safety matters”. He is committed to the UK’s complete withdrawal from the European Union and would like to see the end of what he believes to be the EU's open borders policy. A Director of United Kingdom Independence Party Limited since March 2013, Pier’s running mate in South Thanet is Nigel Farage.

 

8. Healthy Workplace, Healthy Profits

Last Friday, the Chamber hosted a Chamber Business Networking Breakfast entitled “Healthy Workplace, Healthy Profits”. After enjoying the sinful fruits of an excellent full English breakfast at the BayPoint Club Sandwich, the packed audience of Chamber members heard detailed presentations from Chris Pope of Margate Football Club, Sarah Hamer of Barnes Marsland Solicitors and Ivan Rudd, Public Health Specialist at Kent County Council.

 

9. What Did Chris Pope Say?

Chris outlined the activities of the Margate Football Club Community Trust and its brief to promote local health and community initiatives. Backed by the successes of Margate FC, currently in a play-off place in the Ryman Senior League and with ambitions to join the Football League within 5 years, Chris listed the many achievements of the trust which was formally established in October 2014 as a private company limited by guarantee. With 21 youth teams backed by the club and a ladies team enjoying a full fixture list, the effect on the local community is profound. More news is available on the website at www.margate-fc.co.uk.

 

10. What did Sarah Hamer Say?

Sarah Hamer gave a masterly presentation on the legal obligations of employers and outlined measures companies might take to avoid unlimited fines and blighted staff morale. Her definition of the Fraudulent Malingerer and the Lazy Malingerer drew warm appreciation from all those present who had encountered the same in their own company. Following the many requests from Chamber members, a pdf copy of Sarah’s presentation is attached. Sarah can be reached direct by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

11. What Did Ivan Rudd Say?

A graduate of the London School of Economics which produced deep thinkers such as George Bernard Shaw and Bertrand Russell, Ivan gave an erudite but thoroughly entertaining account under the title ‘Mental Health and 6 Ways to Wellbeing’. In conformity with the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy published by Kent County Council (KCC) on behalf of the Kent Health and Wellbeing Board, there is clearly a new county-wide emphasis on the importance attached to mental health. A declared parity of esteem between physical and mental health means both have to be equally considered in matters such as access to green space, climate change resilience, air quality, housing, transport, inequality and employment. The proposed six stages to wellbeing advocate a simple but powerful strategy to engage the mind and body in purposeful activity that benefits the individual and the community and furthermore “can add seven years to your life”.

 

12. Where Can I Find Out More?

More details are available on-line at www.sixwaystowellbeing.org.uk. Information on the Kent Healthy Business Awards introduced by Dame Carol Black DBE FRCP can be found at http://www.kent.gov.uk/business/grow-your-business/business-awards-and-events/kent-healthy-business-awards. Chamber members will be interested in Dame Carol’s support for the KCC health campaigns and her declaration that “If you want to increase your productivity and your efficiency, then you must have a healthy and well workforce”. Other Chamber members in the health and pharmaceutical sector include East Kent Therapy Rehabilitation Alliance tel: 01227 711519, Dover Counselling Centre tel: 01304 204123, A4P Consulting Ltd tel: 01304 249107, Osmovian tel: 0208 123 0402, Tetrad Discovery tel: 07590 815398 and Spencer Private Hospitals tel: 01843 234555.

 

13. Managing Your Money With Sage 50

If you want to know more about managing your money wisely, the Chamber is again offering a course for you or your trusted staff. The Sage Group has over 6 million customers and is the largest supplier of software to UK Small and Medium Enterprises. In liaison with Wilkins Kennedy, a Top 20 UK accountancy firm, chamber members are invited to attend a Sage 50 Accounts Course at beginner/refresher level. The session will take place at Discovery Park, Sandwich on 25th February 2015. All participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of attendance. Topics covered include best practice in Invoicing, Receiving Payments from Customers, Credit Control, Invoicing Suppliers, Making Payments, Monitoring Debt, Bank Reconciliation, Vat Returns & Submissions, Financial Reports, Data Maintenance and Data Security. Suitable for any member of staff with an interest in maintaining accurate financial records, the course starts at 0930 hrs and lasts three hours. A fee of £70 for Chamber members includes a Sage manual, refreshments and all documentation. Fee for non-members: £100. For a Booking Form or more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “Sage Course 25 Feb 2015”

 

14. East Kent College

The East Kent College Annual General Meeting took place before an invited audience on the evening of Thursday, 29th January 2015. Hosted for the first time at the Discovery Park Sandwich campus, the AGM accompanied the launch of the college’s Strategic Plan 2015 – 2019. In contrast to the crafted honeyed words of many publicly funded groups fixated on securing their own immediate future, this plan details practical long-term goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timeley and most importantly in harmony with the needs of the East Kent coastal business community. The considerable achievements of the college in the last four years have prepared it well to make the most of the significant capital investments it has secured for its facilities at the Dover Campus, the Michael Wright Centre for Creative Industries, the Centre for Environmental Tehcnologies and the Yarrow Hotel in Broadstairs as well as the new reception, commercial training salons and restaurants at the Folkestone Campus. Chamber members will be much encouraged by the clear strategy for growth that seeks to “develop the prosperity and wellbeing of the communities it serves”. The Dover and Thanet Chambers of Commerce enjoy close links at every level with East Kent College and our staff and associates will be working closely alongside the college’s management in our shared operational areas of Thanet, Dover and Shepway. It is worth noting that 87.3% of the students who left East Kent College last year did so with a recognised qualification in their pocket; a performance that beats the national average for comparable institutions by a significant 3.7%. With apprenticeships showing an even more impressive 8.3% gain, it is understandable why the college received the highest grade of “Outstanding” from Ofsted for its leadership and management.

 

15. Dover Harbour Revision Order

On 8th January 2015, the government issued “The Dover Harbour Revision (Constitution) Order [2015]” in the form of draft proposals for the future management of the Port of Dover. The full text is publicly available on the website at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/394695/Dover_Harbour_Constitution_Order_2014.pdf. Plans to sell the Port of Dover without sufficient reference or consultation with the Dover District Chamber of Commerce or other local stake-holders was one of the factors that sparked significant protests in the Dover District and led to the formation of Dover People’s Port Trust Limted which now has over 1,100 members who live or work in the district. Chamber members will recall that a Dover Referendum with the question: “Do you oppose the private sale of the Port of Dover as proposed by the Dover Harbour Board and support its transfer to the community of Dover instead?" produced a 97.5% vote in favour of communitisation with 5,244 answering “yes” and just 113 against the proposal. The future management of the Port of Dover will of course have an important impact on the economy of East Kent. In 2014, over 13 million passengers passed through the port as well as nearly 2.5 million cars, 97,000 coaches and 2.4 million road haulage vehicles. In broad terms, the latest published figures show a turnover of £60 million; £45 million from the ferry operations, £5 million from cruise ships and the rest from property, cargo and other interests. Anyone who has suffered the indignity of being caught in traffic during Operation Stack will readily acknowledge the volume of trade that passes through the Port of Dover by road and will appreciate also that this vital national asset should be managed with maximum efficiency in the national benefit as well as for the advantages accruing to East Kent businesses and residents.

 

16. Thanet District Council 2015 Local Plan

Thanet District Council has produced a draft of a Thanet Local Plan which lists its preferred options for the period to the year 2031. These are not set in stone, far from it. The council has asked for the views of those who live and work in the area. The full text of the plan is available on-line at https://consult.thanet.gov.uk/consult.ti/TPODLP/consultationHome where it can be downloaded or read on screen. Paper copies are readily available to view at Thanet’s Gateway Plus, Cecil Street, Margate and at public libraries in the district. Chamber members are encouraged to comment on the proposals from a business perspective taking into account the specified three dimensions of sustainable development; economic, social and environmental. Members may wish to give their views on whether they consider that Thanet is capable of hosting 12,718 new houses and producing 5,000 new jobs. Members may also like to state if they are in agreement with the Council policy that 30% of new developments should consist of affordable housing and that just 40% of the homes listed in the draft Plan are to be built on brownfield sites. Is the estimate of 2,480 windfall sites accurate or should there be more careful consideration of the number of unidentified sites for housing that can be realistically expected to emerge in the next 16 years? Some Chamber members have already expressed their views on the future use of Manston Airport and the opportunities available at the Port of Ramsgate, but all under-performing properties and land in the ownership of the Council may be worthy of comment if accompanied by constructive suggestions for improvement. All responses to the Thanet District Council 2015 Local Plan should be submitted before the consultation closes at midnight on 6th March 2015. As always, the Chamber welcomes hearing the views of members directly and will be happy to represent them in the appropriate quarters. Please send any comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

17. What Does The Dover Chamber Know?

Since its inception in 1850, the Dover Chamber has represented the views of local companies and has an unrivalled record at promoting meaningful engagement between the port and commercial interests. Dover Chamber Chairman Dr Bill Moses MBE is a world renowned expert on the ferry industry. Author of 'The European Ferry Industry – A Business in Transition’ and ‘The Commercial & Technical Evolution of the RoRo Ferry Industry’, Bill has held posts at the head of some of UK’s largest and fastest cross-channel ferry operators. His views and ideas for positive change are much in demand by port operators and maritime companies at home and overseas. The Dover Chamber will be making representations to the government and warmly welcomes the views of members to be sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,uk to arrive before 13th February 2015.

 

18. EKBAC

The East Kent Business Advice Clinic (EKBAC) began in March 2011 to replace the government’s regional Business Link. Oganised by the Thanet & East Kent and Dover District Chambers of Commerce, EKBAC meets throughout the year in its core towns of Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Sandwich, Dover and Folkestone. The panelists are drawn from a list that includes bank managers, senior lawyers, Chief Executives, chartered accountants, marketing specialists, local entrepreneurs and other enlightened private sector professionals who give their time in support of this pioneering initiative that has to date hosted over 200 delegates from established companies and start-ups. The 5-year business failure rate for registered companies in East Kent is over 50%. The rate for EKBAC delegates is below 1% which suggests that this free service is meeting a commercial need that is not available elsewhere. For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “EKBAC 2015”

 

19. East Kent Football Club Update

Following an exhilirating FA Cup run, after 31 games Dover Athletic is now sitting in 12th place in the Football Conference just 4 points short of a play-off place and the magical opportunity at the end of the season to battle for promotion to the Football League. After 30 games, Margate FC is in 3rd place in the Ryman Premier League on 62 points with two games in hand over 2nd place Dulwich Hamlet. After a storming start to the season which saw victory in a friendly over the mighty Wolverhampton Wanderers, Margate has netted 64 goals, more than any other team in the division. Hopes of promotion are well kindled at Hartsdown Park with the next few games perhaps key to their chances of obtaining automatic promotion in place of high-flying Maidstone United. After a good away win to Redhill, Ramsgate FC has moved up to 22nd in the Ryman South League on 30 points after 32 games. Sources at the club have revealed to this business bullletin that measures are in hand to boost a defence that has conceded 66 goals so far this season, more than two per game. Keeping a few clean sheets is high on the list of priorities for manager Dean Hill where confidence is high at this proud club where community values have always been at the heart of its operations. No major difficulties seem to be disturbing former Dover and Thanet United player, Neil Cugley who has chalked over 900 games in charge at Folkestone Invicta. In a comfortable 4th place on 64 points after 31 games in the Ryman Division 1 South League, Neil’s team has scored 68 goals, exactly twice the number conceded. Sitting 12 points ahead of 6th placed Whitstable Town, Folkestone Invicta looks well set to reach the play-offs. With a record number of appearances for Folkestone, Micheal Everitt should ensure that fellow team members apply themselves to the task and give Folkestone the opportunity to move back up the leagues. By the way, that is how you spell Mr Everitt’s first name. Not many people know that this player is a direct relative of Michael Faraday which could account for his electrifying pace. On the other hand, some fans maintain that it may also account for his shocking misses in front of goal.

 

20. Capital Press is Capital

Located at Lakesview Business Park near Canterbury, Capital Press is a design, print and marketing company that offers price-sensitive quotes to local companies based on “the very latest Heidelberg thermal plate-making technology which can produce 1 or 1 million copies”. Friendly service from this ISO 9001 company should greet any caller who telephones the main switchboard, tel: 01227 713878, as many happy customers can confirm. After all it is not only accountants who know the meaning of Capital Appreciation. Other design and print compnaies in the Chamber membership include Big Red Branding of Sandwich tel: 01304 897633; Lanes Printers of Broadstairs tel: 01304 861314; Martells Limited of Margate tel: 01843 226551; Monster Marketing Limited of Ramsgate tel: 01843 853311; Oyster Press of Whitstable tel: 01227 772606; Pillory Barn of Sandwich tel: 01304 892356; Seaward Color Copy Ltd of Broadstairs tel: 01843 602557; Sharp Printing Services of Broadstairs tel: 01843 600123.

 

21. How Are We Doing?

The evidence from the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the ever excellent Research & Evaluation department at Kent County Council show that in 2014 Thanet saw a record fall in unemployment. The figure of 1,309 new jobs is more than double any other district in the county except Swale. Thanet and Swale can claim nearly a third (32%) of all the new jobs created in Kent in the twelve months to December 2014. For the third month in a row, every ward in Dover and Thanet has seen a growth in employment. This is a significant factor. Wards are the smallest population unit for which official employment statistics are routinely calculated. For instance, Ringwould in the Dover district currently has 13 adults aged 16 – 64 years claiming unemployment benefit as against 22 a year ago. A fall of 41% on such small numbers is perhaps not significant, unless of course you are one of the 13 people still looking for a job. But when every single ward, large and small, in your district enjoys an annual fall in joblessness, it means that one of your neighbours, the person with the funny hair you sometimes meet in the Post Office and that wayward second cousin who dropped out of school can now be expected to smarten up their act, buy some new shoes and pay their way in the pub on Friday nights. The slowest growth in Kent jobs has been in Shepway which may be one of the reasons that this Chamber has been approached by so many companies in the district to assist them. Nevertheless, an annual improvement in Shepway of 27.2% is heading in the right direction and the residents in New Romney and Hythe East, the two wards with more unemployed than a year ago, can expect better news in the future, especially now that Lydd Airport is powering ahead with its expansion.

 

22. Give Us The Facts

Unemployment based on Claimant Count data supplied by ONS for resident adults aged 16 – 64.

 

 

December 2014

Change since December 2013

 

Unemployed

% of workforce

Number

%

Dover District

1,509

2.2%

-591

-28.1%

Ashford

981

1.3%

-513

-34.3%

Canterbury District

1,095

1.1%

-681

-38.3%

Maidstone

1,161

1.2%

-607

-34.3%

Shepway

1,548

2.4%

-579

-27.2%

Swale

1,765

2.1%

-961

-35.3%

Thanet District

2,868

3.6%

-1,309

-31.3%

Kent

14,836

1.6%

-7,103

-32.4%

South East

65,087

1.2%

-33,366

-33.9%

Great Britain

774,816

1.9%

-368,597

-32.2%

Data reproduced under the terms of the Click-use License no. C2010000980. All rights reserved.

23. Meeting With Big Wigs

The Chamber has been invited to attend a meeting with Nicholas Wells, Chairman of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust in the company of members of the Council of Governors, the key decision-makers in our East Kent hospital network. If any chamber member has an issue or comment to make on the functioning or operations of our local hospitals, please contact the Chamber by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The current Chief Executive, the much respected Stuart Bain, will retire in March this year to be replaced on an initial one year’s contract by Chris Bown who joins the trust from a post as Managing Director of County Hospital, Stafford. Like a new football manager appointed ‘until the end of the season’, Mr. Bown will doubtlessly hope that his position is supported by a board like that enjoyed by the Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger who has been in post since September 1996. He may feel more worried to see a Notts County FC scarf around the neck of one of his governors as this team has seen 22 changes in the same period. As noted in our business bulletin of 7th September 2014, “East Kent has one of the lowest mortality rates in the country” and this Chamber is proud of the performance of our hospitals in Ashford, Folkestone, Dover, Canterbury and Margate. The Chamber has also been invited to meet the Chairman of English Heritage, Sir Laurie Magnus. Having joined EH from the Deputy Chairmanship of the National Trust, Sir Laurie should receive a warm welcome from our East Kent companies, pleased to see an experienced businessman overseeing our historical assets. Sir Laurie will be mindful of the need always to present a positive image to inward investors as he is not only a director of both JP Morgan Income & Capital Trust PLC and Aggregated Micro Power Holdings PLC, but also a fellow of the School of Reputation Management at Oxford University. Any comments for Sir Laurie will be welcome by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. before 25th February 2015.

 

20. A Question Of Image

Exactly 430 images of the 2014 Chamber of Commerce Golf Day and Presentation Ceremony are available to view on on-line at the Chamber image library at http://www.photoboxgallery.com/ddcc. A selection of photographs from a few but not all previous Chamber events can also be seen. To order your hi-res copies, contact the official Chamber photographer Rosie Anton by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone to 07812 379845.

24. A Vacant Look As The Penny Dropped

In this 210th edition of our business bulletin, we keep to the tradition of relating a story from our East Kent business community. We have our doubts about this narrative as related by one of our newer Chamber members, but we leave it to our readers to decide. If you have a sensitive disposition or have suffered a recent stomach upset you may wish to leave this text now and return when your digestion is fully restored. This is what he said: “It was after one of your Chamber breakfast meetings, you know the one where we heard about plans to revive our high streets. Anyway, I probably had too much breakfast and had to go to the loo. There I was sitting down on the pot, as you do, when a voice seemed to be coming from the next door cubicle, “Hi, how are you are? How’s thing’s going?”. Odd, I thought, but mindful of the bonhomie of the breakfast meeting and not wanting to appear rude, I answered simply, “Fine thanks. Good breakfast, wasn’t it”. Back came the same voice, “Well, let me ask you, what are you doing? I mean what are you doing now at this precise moment?”. A little flustered at this rather personal question, I nevertheless said: “Well, if you must know, I’m doing a number two” … or words to that effect. I suppose it must have been around five seconds later when, to my everlasting acute embarrassment, I heard the same voice say: “Hey honey, I’m going to have to call you back. Some crank keeps answering my questions”.

© David Foley 4th February 2015

 

Page 2 of 2

Brought to you by...

Website Design Kent