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Chamber News & Blog

Important announcements from the Chamber, our members, local Councils and other relevant business news will be posted regularly here.

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  • 23 November 2018 10:25 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)


    Businesses urged to sign up to the gigabit revolution

    Businesses across Adur and Worthing are being urged to sign up for financial help to connect their companies to the fastest, most reliable form of internet on the market.

    As part of its aim to bring ultrafast broadband to our communities and boost growth, Adur & Worthing Councils is promoting the government-backed gigabit voucher scheme.

    These provide small and medium sized companies, including sole traders, up to £3,000 off the cost of connecting their workplaces to internet speeds of up to 1,000 mbps.

    With the new technology having the ability to transform the way some firms do business, firms are being urged to sign up before November 26, when the maximum amount which can be claimed will drop to £2,500.

    Gigabit-capable services are now becoming available across West Sussex and the hope is that businesses across Worthing and Adur use the vouchers so that suppliers are encouraged to build more full fibre network. This will help to ensure our communities become super-connected.

    Councillor Brian Boggis, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of Adur with there being an 18 per cent increase in the number of firms founded since 2010.

    “One of the major obstacles to these companies growing is access to good, reliable and fast broadband, which is why I am delighted that we can offer companies access to this government funding.”

    Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Gigabit technology has the potential to transform the way that our companies do business, helping firms become more resilient and efficient while creating the conditions for them to grow and create jobs for local residents.

    “With the clock ticking on this scheme, it’s important that firms apply now and take advantage of this funding.”

    According to a recent government report faster broadband has led to a £9 billion surge in turnover for businesses, delivering £12.28 benefit for firms for every £1 invested by central and local authorities.

    The ultrafast technology can provide many benefits to companies, including:

    ·         use multiple video conferencing systems at any one time;

    ·         make the best use of Cloud-based Business Applications such as file back-ups, real time collaboration, instant messaging and security features;

    ·         upload and download massive data files in a matter of seconds;

    ·         stream live web content instantly

    Accessing the voucher system, which is part of a £67 million national scheme, is simple.

    Those interested in a gigabit-capable broadband service should contact a registered provider approved by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

    If the provider can offer the service requested, they will confirm this with DCMS, who in turn will confirm it with the applicant business.

    Contractors will then connect the company to the network before DCMS make a payment on the firm’s behalf to the supplier which reflects discounted connection costs up to £3,000.

    Residents can also benefit from the scheme with a voucher worth £500 as part of a group project to bring better broadband to their communities.

    For more details visit this link.


  • 19 November 2018 10:49 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)


    New Appointments Strengthen Leadership Team at MHA Carpenter Box

    Rapidly growing Worthing and Gatwick-based chartered accountants, tax and business advisers, MHA Carpenter Box, has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of two new Partners. 

    Peter Reading, who joined the firm in 2001 as a 21-year-old trainee, is now Partner in the firm’s Assurance and Advisory Group. His particular focus is on regulated audit work and compliance advice in the construction and real estate sector.  

    Peter commented: “I am delighted to have been made a Partner at the firm I first joined as a trainee. I have been supported every step of the way during my career, and in my new role I look forward to providing further opportunities around helping clients succeed in their business aims.”

    Sarah Fitzgerald has also joined MHA Carpenter Box at Partner level with the Business Services Group. Sarah previously ran her own accountancy practice in West Sussex. She brings over 25 years’ experience to the firm and will be providing owner-managed businesses with expert advice covering strategic planning and business development, as well as providing expert tax and accounting support.

    Sarah said: “I am thrilled to be joining the leadership team of such a forward-thinking firm of accountants. MHA Carpenter Box enjoys a great reputation across the region reflecting its progressive values and the importance it places on client relationships.”

    In addition to the new Partners, MHA Carpenter Box has also appointed two new directors to its leadership team. James Gawman has been promoted from Associate within the Assurance and Advisory Group to Compliance Director, while Rachel Pearce has been promoted from Associate to Client Service Director in the Tax Services Group.

    www.carpenterbox.com


  • 12 November 2018 4:43 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)


    For a sprinkle of festive cheer, come along to the Heene Community Centre Christmas Fayre.  

    With free entry, lots to see and do for the whole family! Santa’s Grotto on The Big Red Bus, fabulous Festive Stalls, plenty of Children’s Activities, Face-painting, Relaxing Treatments, Tarot Readings, Entertainment in the Shakespeare Hall including Ukulele Jam and Christmas Carols, Clumsy Elf, Grand Raffle, Tombola, Worthing Town Crier, Cafe one22 Refreshments and so much more!! 

    Visit the website or Facebook event page for all up-to-date news for the Christmas Fayre, inclusing timings and Raffle Prizes

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1894262403962482/?active_tab=about

    Raffle Tickets on sale now (£1.00 each) from the office www.heenecommunitycentre.org

    Where: Heene Community Centre, 122 Heene Road, Worthing, BN11 4PL
    When: Saturday 1 December,10am - 3pm 
    Entry: Free Entry.    


  • 12 November 2018 4:26 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)


    Worthing Homes job vacancy

    Are you an enthusiastic, efficient and highly organised administrator?

    Do you want to be part of a busy customer service team? Then this could be the role for you!

    We are looking for a committed and skilled administrator to provide support to our neighbourhood and customer experience teams.

    Administrator - 1 year Fixed Term Contract

    £19,240.00

    37 hours per week

    The successful candidate will:

    • ·         Have experience of working in a customer services environment
    • ·         Take a positive approach to resolving problems and providing support across all teams
    • ·         Work under pressure, dealing with competing priorities and delivering results to tight deadlines
    • ·         Have excellent IT and customer services skills

     

    Main responsibilities:

    ·         To carry out a range of administrative tasks arising from customer contact

    ·         To assist with the data entry of invoices onto our housing management system

    ·         To effectively administer former tenant and garage arrears

    ·         To promptly inform customers when their housing benefit has been suspended

    ·         To arrange appointments for colleagues in other teams

    ·         To process rechargeable repairs on our housing management system

    ·         To prepare information packs for residents

    ·         To provide cover for the customer experience and lettings team

    ·         To carry out customer satisfaction surveys

    ·         To administer the outgoing post

    •                                   

    In return we offer:

     

    • ·         26 days holiday
    • ·         Private medical insurance (after qualifying period)
    • ·         4% employer contribution to pension scheme, Employee Assistance Programme

     

    To apply please send your CV with a supporting statement (maximum of 3 pages) to

    jobs@worthing-homes.org.ukClosing date for the receipt of CVs is 9am Thursday 15 November 2018. No agencies. We are an inclusive organisation and value each individual’s unique contribution, irrespective of race, 



  • 12 November 2018 4:09 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)


    Wear it Festive and make a difference to the lives of local people this Christmas

    St Barnabas House hospice has launched its successful ‘Wear it Festive’ fundraising campaign. This year, anything goes, from simple seasonal socks to outrageous festive frocks.

    Local businesses, schools and individuals are being invited to hold an event and fundraise to support the vital hospice care services provided by St Barnabas over the festive period. Whether you get together with colleagues to don your Christmas knits for a small donation, encourage your child’s nursery or school to spend a day in Santa hats, or host a festive dinner party, it couldn’t be easier or more fun to get involved.

    St Barnabas House provides specialist palliative care both at the hospice and in the local community, free of charge, 365 days a year including Christmas Day. Community nurses continue to provide care for patients over the Christmas period.

    Wendy Bardsley, Community Fundraising Manager at St Barnabas House, said: “Christmas can be a worrying time for many of our patients and their families, and knowing that our care team is there to support them brings real peace of mind.

    “Since the launch of Wear it Festive in 2016, the community has raised an incredible £12,000 for St Barnabas House through taking part in the campaign. All donations received will make a real difference to local people. For example, a donation of £68.35 would provide for a visit by one of our Community Palliative Care Team Nurses to a patient’s home, £181 would enable a Hospice at Home nurse to provide a whole night of care for a patient over Christmas and £625 would pay for a 24 hour stay in the In-patient Unit for a patient on Christmas Day.

    Caption: Team at Shh.. Hair Salon, Goring

    The team at Shh… Hair Salon in Goring were one of the first to sign up this year, having raised over £300 for the hospice since they first got involved in Wear it Festive three years ago.

    Steve Hollis who runs the salon plans to wear a festive jumper. Steve said: “Really, I’m not that keen on dressing up, but this is such a great cause. We have all been touched by the work of St Barnabas House.”

    Caption: Team at Michael Jones & Company, Goring

    Estate agents from the Goring office of Michael Jones & Company have also registered to take part. James Brock, Branch Manager, said: “It’s a bit of fun that gets everyone involved and raises some money for St Barnabas in the process. As a local company, we like to support local charities like St Barnabas.”

    You can join in with Wear it Festive at home, work or school on Friday 14 December 2018, or alternatively pick a date that suits you best.

    Register to take part and receive a free fundraising pack at www.stbh.org.uk/wearitfestive or give one of the Fundraising Team a call to find out more on 01903 254777.


  • 12 November 2018 3:59 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)


    New free service to tackle fuel poverty launched in Adur and Worthing

    Thousands of residents across Adur and Worthing could save money and keep warm in their homes after the launch of a new free service.

    With more than 30,000 households across West Sussex (8.4 per cent) in fuel poverty, Adur & Worthing Councils has joined with Local Energy Advice Partnership (LEAP) to offer residents advice to stay warm this winter.

    The scheme, which forms part of the Councils’ new Sustainability Framework, sees eligible households receive a free home visit from a qualified energy advisor. They will then be offered top tips on lowering bills, improving energy efficiency, accessing grants and benefits and managing debt.

    As well as potentially saving household hundreds of pounds a year, the programme could also improve the health and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable residents across Adur and Worthing.

    Councillor David Simmons, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “Many people face difficult choices, when considering whether keep their home warm or spend limited income on other essentials. We recognise that failing to keep the home warm can cause the health of many local people to suffer.

    “This programme is designed to provide advice from an expert who will visit their home at no cost to those who qualify, and where possible also fit money saving devices, again at no cost, to help them manage their income more effectively.  Prevention is the best way forward, and I recommend that you take this opportunity to find out more.”

    Councillor Dan Humphreys, Leader of Worthing Borough Council, said: “Fuel poverty is a modern day evil and it is vital that we do what we can to support those residents in our communities who are most in need. I urge everyone to contact LEAP and see if they able to access support from this excellent scheme.”

    Both councillors were present at the launch of LEAP which took place in Worthing Town Hall this week (November 5th, 2018).

    The three year programme is available to those in private rented, public rented and owner occupied homes.

    It is open to a wide number of residents, including people on a low income; those with a range of health conditions and individuals classed as vulnerable, such as victims of domestic abuse, recently bereaved and recently classed as homeless.

    Those running the scheme said anyone who finds it difficult to heat their home to at least 19C are encouraged to take advantage of the scheme.

    LEAP can help residents:

    ·         Check if you are on the cheapest energy tariff – potentially saving £280 per year;

    ·         Install FREE, simple energy saving measures to lower household bills;

    ·         With day-to-day energy saving hints and tips to ensure your heating system is set up to keep you warm and save money;

    ·         Arrange for FREE telephone advice to help with benefits, debt and other money problems

    ·         Access other improvements such as loft insulation or a new boiler.

    To find out more about LEAP and to arrange a free home visit from an advisor call 0800 060 7657 or apply online at www.applyforleap.org.uk.

  • 01 November 2018 3:48 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)


    Too many UK businesses hyper-local with too few international aspirations, reports Kreston Reeves survey

    UK private businesses are hyper-local, generating the majority of revenues from their immediate geographic location with little interest in international markets.  That is one of the conclusions from a new piece of research from accountants, business and financial advisers Kreston Reeves.

    The research – published today in a report called Going for Growth: UK company growth strategies to 2021 – finds that a third (32%) of UK private businesses generate between 50-100% of their revenues from their immediate geographic location. 18% are hyper-local, generating between 75-100% of their revenue locally. 

    And the UK is set to become an even more important market for businesses, with 56% believing their immediate geographic location is the most attractive market for future growth.  Over a third (35%) of businesses have no international aspirations at all.

    The survey was conducted over the summer of 2018 and is based on the views of 530 privately owned businesses from across the UK, 80% of which with a turnover below £25m.  The report aims to better understand the hopes and aspirations of businesses towards growth and the barriers to growth as Brexit draws ever closer.

    Andrew Griggs, Senior Partner at Kreston Reeves said: “Too many UK businesses are thinking local when our world is increasingly global.  Whilst it is true that businesses will continue to grow in their domestic markets, the lack of international ambition at a time when UK businesses should look to wider international markets has to be worrying.”

    The Going for Growth report highlights include:

    ·         60% of businesses have grown by more than 25% over past three years.

    ·         58% of businesses remain positive that they will grow by more than 25% over next three years.

    ·         34% expect to see growth come from investment in new technology. 

    ·         31% of businesses will finance growth through retained profit.

    ·         21% believe business uncertainty to be the biggest barrier to growth. Access to funding (20%) and increased competitor activity (20%) follow closely behind.

    ·         35% of businesses fail to scenario plan and prepare for eventualities that may impact their business.

    ·         35% of businesses have no international aspirations at all.

    ·         28% say they are unable to resource international expansion, with 27% saying the lack of experience holds them back.

    ·         32% say they would like help in finding international customers.

    ·         47% see Brexit as a business opportunity, with 45% saying their growth plans have been positively affected by Brexit. Just 24% perceive Brexit as an obstacle and only 24% think it has negatively affected their growth plans. The remaining businesses remain uncertain.

    Andrew said: “UK businesses are bullish about future growth, despite the uncertainty in the economic and political landscape.  They are, however, sensibly cautious about how future growth will be funded, turning to retained profits or organic growth. 

    “It is surprising, however, that given political and economic uncertainty is considered the primary barrier to growth, that so few businesses scenario plan and prepare for future uncertainties.  We would expect to see and encourage more businesses to prepare for future threats to their revenue.”

    Perhaps the greatest concern highlighted by Going for Growth is the reliance on UK customers and lack of international ambition.

    24% of businesses surveyed generate up to a quarter of their revenues from Europe, compared with 21% from North America and South America, 23% each from the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and 22% from Australasia.

    Resourcing international expansion holds back 28% of businesses, with a further 27% saying lack of experience is the main barrier.

    Andrew said: “A quarter of businesses told us that they simply do not know how to access international markets, which suggests that all the time, effort and money successive UK governments have invested in encouraging UK businesses to expand internationally is just not working.  There is clearly more that can be done.

    “The advice and support businesses need to support international expansion is quite straightforward.  They want help in identifying customers, partnering opportunities to spread risks and better government support and incentives.  Accountants and other advisers also need to play a greater role in advising businesses on international growth.”

    Going for Growth: UK company growth strategies to 2021 is published by Kreston Reeves.  A copy of the report can be downloaded here www.krestonreeves.com/goingforgrowth.  The issues raised in the report will be discussed further at events and in follow up articles. 

     

    Visit www.krestonreeves.com/goingforgrowth.


  • 01 November 2018 12:29 PM | Emily McCunn (Administrator)


    Corporate FIT4 gym membership available to all Worthing and Adur Chamber members

    A healthy benefit for you, your employees and your bank balance!

    We are excited to announce a new member benefit in partnership with South Downs Leisure.

    South Downs Leisure is now offering ALL Chamber members, regardless of number of employees, their corporate FIT4 gym membership rate. Usually this rate is only available to businesses with more than 10 employees, so this is a fantastic opportunity for our members who are not normally eligible for the reduced corporate rate*.

    Corporate membership for FIT4 is just £39 per month instead of £47.50 per month - an annual saving of £102 . And, if you join on Saturday 17th November 2018 - 'No Joining Fee' day - you can save another £48.50! See the image below for the special promotional code.

    This represents a great saving for members. In fact, as a sole trader the savings mean you'll essentially pay just £30 a year for your Chamber membership. If you're a larger business and a number of staff join, the savings can more than cover the cost of your Chamber membership. 

    We would like to encourage all our members to highlight this brilliant offer to their staff members (please feel free to use the copy from this page); if you have communal areas you may wish to display this poster. 

    What's included in FIT4 membership? 

    FIT4 membership is an all-inclusive fitness package, spread across five leisure sites:

    • Splashpoint Leisure Centre
    • Davison Leisure Centre
    • Field Place
    • Worthing Leisure Centre
    • Fitness Centre at Worthing College.


    Many activities are included in the one membership fee:

    • 350+ fitness classes per week**
    • 4 modern fitness suites
    • Swimming pools, saunas, spa, steam rooms and heat beds
    • Free gym induction & regular fitness programme updates
    • Sport Coaching
    • Off-peak racquet sports
    • No tie in contract


    …and more

    More information about what's included in membership can be found in the FIT4 brochure, which you can see on their website. 

    If you have any questions, please do give the Chamber team a call on 01903 203484. If you are not currently a member but would like to take advantage of this amazing benefit, you can join the Chamber online here.

    We hope this exciting new offer is of benefit to you and we look forward to adding further new benefits soon!

    *Please note that your membership must be approved and paid for when you apply for FIT4 membership. If you plan to join FIT4 on the 17th November, and you are not currently a Chamber member we recommend you apply for Chamber membership by Wednesday 14th November 2018.

    **Please note, waiting lists  and time restrictions may apply for some activities.


  • 01 November 2018 12:08 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)


    GREEN FOR GO: AMBITIOUS RECYCLING TARGETS AT HEART OF NEW ENVIRONMENTAL PLEDGES

    Adur & Worthing Councils today announce a major push on protecting the environment as they seek to make a big increase in recycling rates among a host of important eco issues.

    The leaders of both Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council today publish an Environment Framework which would commit the authorities to a range of measures including.

    ·         Increasing recycling to 50 per cent of total waste collected by 2020.

    ·         Back moves to see Councils become plastics free

    ·         Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2021.

    ·         Back measures to help residents save on energy bills and reduce water consumption.

    One key measure is to back a big increase in recycling figures. Currently only 36 per cent of waste collected in the district and borough is recycled, below the average across West Sussex, with too much still being sent to landfill sites.

    Along with all other local authorities in England the Councils are facing a government target of reaching 50 per cent by 2020.

    Adur & Worthing Councils are two of only four authorities in the county who collect general waste weekly and now a scheme to alternate perishable and non-recyclable waste with recycled waste is under consideration.

    In other words households would have their grey lid bins collected one week and their blue lidded the next. The garden waste collection service would remain unchanged.

    Seventy-six per cent of councils in England run this service and it has shown that recycling rates do increase and levels of general waste go down.

    Horsham District Council changed to an alternate service this year and has already seen and increase in the collection of recyclable waste of approximately 200 tonnes.

    Financial prudence is also a secondary factor behind the proposal. With budgets tight and the system of recycling credits about to change the Councils could face the prospect of losing £250,000 a year, savings which would have to found elsewhere.

    In a joint statement the leaders of Adur District Council and Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Neil Parkin and Cllr Dan Humphreys, said: “As yet this is only a proposal we are both looking at. We have rightly prided ourselves on our refuse collection service which is second to none. However times change and we have to continually review our policies.

    “We all agree that recycling rates across the world need to increase to help the planet and despite all of our education programmes we need to move our own rates up at a more rapid pace.

    “Residents can be assured that if we do change the service we will support them to ensure that the change is as smooth and as convenient as possible.”

    In recent times Adur & Worthing Councils has introduced or supported a number of environmental protection schemes including placing solar panels on some of its own roofs, supporting car share schemes for staff, introduced electric vehicle charging points, backing a campaign to reduce single-use plastic and promoting community involving beach clean ups.

    In their direction-of-travel plan Platforms for our Places the Councils have a full section called Stewarding Our Natural Resources which commits to working with our communities and local businesses to reduce waste and protecting the environment.

    Both the Environment Framework and the changes to waste collection proposals will go before the Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee on November 6 for possible adoption.


  • 01 November 2018 11:56 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)


    Have Your Say on the draft Worthing Local Plan

    Members of the public are being urged to have their say on a blueprint to guide the future development of Worthing for the next 15 years.

    The draft Worthing Local Plan sets out the vision for what the town could look like by 2033 by ensuring there is the right mix of places for people to live, work and play.

    Central to the proposal is the allocation of land to build more than 4,000 high-quality homes while also protecting three major open spaces to preserve the sensitive green gaps either side of the town.

    The Council is now encouraging residents, businesses and other representatives to come forward and have their say on the proposal during a six-week consultation period which starts today (Wednesday October 31, 2018).

    During this time, two drop in events will be held in the Gordon Room at Worthing Town Hall: on Wednesday November 14 from 3pm to 8.30pm; and November 23 from 10am to 3pm,

    All comments will be fed into the ‘Submission draft’ before a final version is presented to a government inspector for Examination.

    Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “Whether you live, work or regularly visit Worthing, the Local Plan is something that affects everyone who has a vested interest in how our town develops in future years.

    “While we have limited land due to being trapped between the sea and the downs, it is our duty to try and create a development plan which not only provides much-needed housing but also protects some of our most valued open spaces and employment areas.

    “We really need to hear all comments, those that are supportive of the proposals we are bringing forward and those who wish to suggest changes. It is essential to the success of the plan that the Inspector is able to see the weight of opinion. The public's view in this is extremely important to that process.”

    Those behind the Worthing Local Plan have spent the past two years carrying out extensive studies into every parcel of land in the borough as the Council looks to ensure the right mix of places for people to live, work and play in the future.

    Even with the development of major brownfield sites such as Teville Gate, Union Place and Grafton Car Park coming forward, comprehensive evidence published to support the Council’s first draft has demonstrated there is only enough land in the borough to provide just over 4,000 dwellings by 2033. This is way below the assessed need level of more than 12,000 homes.

    Among those areas proposed for development are land off Upper Brighton Road (123 homes), land east of Fulbeck Avenue (50) and part of the Northbrook Caravan Club site (75).

    However, even with housing pressure, the Council has made an initial commitment to place protected status on environmentally sensitive areas such as Goring Gap (South), Chatsmore Farm (between the A259 and railway line at Goring) and Brooklands Park.

    The 180-page document also indicates that there remain significant obstacles to developing other greenfield areas such as land east of Titnore Lane and land off Beeches Avenue.

    The document also includes detailed policies on a range of planning issues, such as affordable housing provision, heritage, design, retail and the economy. When adopted, these will be used when making decisions on future applications.

    Planners will take on board all feedback from the consultation before creating a final version which will be presented to a Planning Inspector towards the end of next year.

    Once approved, the plan would be reviewed after five years in line with government requirements.

    All comments need to be submitted by 5pm on December 12 via worthinglocalplan@adur-worthing.gov.uk.

    To view the Local Plan and for further information visit: www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/worthing-local-plan.



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Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce is the trading name of Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd.
Company registered in England & Wales. Company number: 00345261.  
VAT No: 275 6477 60
Registered Office: Sphere Business Centre, Broadwater Road, Worthing,
West Sussex BN14 8HJ
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