Woking Business

A SURVEYING firm based in Woking is looking for new staff in a job that offers the opportunity to travel and explore the country.

Macleod Simmonds, whose Surrey office is in the Boundary Business Centre in the town centre is looking to expand its team and has a selection of roles available from trainee to Qualified Surveyor.

Jon Bottomley says: “Working as a surveyor will give you the opportunity to travel all over the country and spend lots of time outside.”

The firm, whose head office is in Chichester, is involved in some of the most exciting  engineering projects in the country and has pioneered sub-surface radar technologies as well as more traditional and drone methods.

The projects it is working on include the East-West super cycle highway in London and developments in the City of London in areas of high archaeological significance.

The firm was awarded the prestigious Most Innovative Highway Authority Award at the 2018 Highways Awards for its work at Aldgate Square in London, with the judges praising “very positive outcomes achieved from the highways project that has shown excellent practice and new ways of working.”

Matt Cook, a utility mapping surveyor, joined Macleod Simmonds two years ago as a trainee and now helps to train new recruits alongside travelling around the country to work on some of the highest profile construction projects in the UK.

“The technology available at Macleod Simmonds is some of the best in the industry,” Matt said. “My favourite is the new Stream-C we use; it looks like a stealth bomber!’

Jon Bottomley, a senior surveyor, joined the team in June last year with 13 years’ experience in the industry.

“Working as a surveyor will give you the opportunity to travel all over the country and spend lots of time outside,” Jon said.

“One of the things that initially attracted me to work as a surveyor was the mix of office-based computer work and work out on site. A surveying career offers a nice amount of variety,” he added.

FOR more information visit www.macleodsimmonds.com/surveying-careers or call 0330 6781115.

A WOKING psychotherapist is using the countryside around the town for outdoor “walking and talking” counselling sessions, which brings multiple benefits.

Be Cortade discovered the benefits of outdoor therapy when she found that walking along the El Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) in France and Spain cured her of longterm depression a few years ago.

Be researched walking therapy and also trained as a psychotherapist.

“I discovered that the combination of talking, walking and being in nature was more beneficial than the sum of those things,” she said.

OUTDOOR THERAPY – Be Cortade uses commons around Woking and the canal towpath

Be said that one of the many advantages of walking therapy was that it removed the problem of having to face someone and talk about difficult issues.

“Eye contact can be difficult for some people in these circumstances, but here we are walking side by side.”

Walking has particular benefits as it “activates specific neurons that makes thinking more lateral and allows for more creative solutions to problems.”

Be has found a route at Newlands Corner, near Guildford, that is ideal as the walk takes about an hour and includes woodland and open spaces.

She also uses commons around Woking and the Basingstoke canal towpath.

“I have to negotiate with clients about how we will approach things because the issue of confidentiality is different when you are not in a room.

“For instance, if we encounter other people, should we stop talking or engage in general conversation?”

Be, who lives in Old Woking with husband Guillaume and has three teenage sons, is a member of the National Trust and has permission to use NT properties for walking therapy. Many of these have few visitors during week days.

Be was born in France and left in her early 20s. She has been living in Woking for eight years after spells in the US and Australia.

Be is incredibly busy, also teaching French and English and translation work, as well as several volunteer commitments.

These include working at The Cosy, the café attached to The Lighthouse in the town centre, and doing voluntary counselling at a women’s support centre in Woking and a young people’s service in Croydon.

She said her husband was very supportive, especially while she trained as a psychotherapist having worked as an account director in the design and branding industry.

Be said that the walking therapy sessions began with an assessment, often over the phone, so that she could adapt the outings according to the clients’ ability to walk.

There are discounts for the first sessions and block bookings. FOR more information, email bluecloud@cortade.net or call 07553 826 017.

FOUR trainees are celebrating achieving chartered status thanks to support from Vail Williams.

Eren Boyraz, Tom Horton, Hugo Langlois and Jamie Mayland recently completed the assessment of professional competence (APC), with Vail Williams achieving a 100% pass rate.

CONGRATULATIONS – Three of the Vail Williams APC successes are Eren Boyraz, Hugo Langlois and Jamie Mayland

The property advice company, which has a branch in Woking, paid to put the four through their training. Colleagues in the firm, many of whom are former APC assessors, supported and guided them during a two-year scheme.

To complete the APC, the trainees took part in a three-day course, internal mock interviews, submitted of a portfolio of evidence, undertook practical experience and were interviewed by a RICS panel.

Vail Williams managing partner Matthew Samuel-Camps said: “On behalf of everyone at Vail Williams I would like to congratulate Eren, Tom, Hugo and Jamie on this achievement. We’re immensely proud of the hard work and dedication shown by all four and we’re thrilled to have been able to support them.

THE Woking branch of a storage and business facilities company is offering free space for donations to a children’s hospice and free delivery of Christmas gifts.

Titan Storage Solutions is providing up to 300 sqft of storage space for direct donations or overflow items that the charity cannot store.

Donations intended for Christmas should be made before next Friday (14 December).

A Titan spokesman said: “We noticed Shooting Star Chase was collecting donations so we wanted to help to brighten up the children’s Christmas by helping the charity get as many donations as possible over the Christmas period.

“We realised that if they were to have a high number of donations they would need somewhere to store their items – and rather than paying for this the charity were delighted we could help by providing free storage and a free drop-off service.

GENEROUS – Titan Storage Solutions’ Woking branch opened in February last year

“After this Christmas appeal we have offered to assist with any storage needs that the charity has on an on-going basis so we can continue to support them.”

Titan staff have been in Woking town centre this week promoting the charity collection.

New clothing, bedding and toys can be posted or delivered to Titan Storage Solutions on Orchard Business Park, Forsyth Road, Woking GU21 5RZ, or delivered directly to Shooting Star Chase.

The Woking branch of Titan opened in February last year and is the latest facility for the company, which has five other stores  in the southeast, Essex and the Midlands and plans to open two more next year.

As well as storage, Titan offers office space, meeting rooms and parking and mail and delivery acceptance services for businesses and individuals.

FOR more information on the charity, visit www.shootingstarchase.org.uk

THE Woking town centre Christmas tree has been installed after being donated by the Woking Asian Business Forum.

This is the 11th year that the WABF has presented a tree to the residents of Woking.

The 34-ft tree was put in place in time for the panto-themed Big Christmas Lights Switch-On in Jubilee Square.

It was presented to the High Sheriff of Surrey, Jim Glover, by WABF chairman Shahid Azeem, who said: “The Woking Asian Business Forum is delighted to once again sponsor Woking town centre’s fabulous Christmas Tree.

“The festive season is always a time for friends and family to come together and a tree is always the focal point of these celebrations.

Mohammed Zubair of the Woking Asian Business Forum presents the town centre Christmas tree to Jim Glover, the High Sheriff of Surrey, with Woking Borough Council neighbourhood manager, Andy Calfe, second left, and members of the WABF, from left, Sarmad Nasir, Sangeeta Patel and Shahid Azeem

“We live in a most multicultural society with great relations and it is vital that we celebrate our community.”

Mr Glover said: “It is always a delightful time of year when Christmas Trees appear in town centres across Surrey.

“The continued support of the Woking Asian Business Forum reflects the strong community spirit that is enjoyed in Woking, and a reminder that no matter what race or religion you are, Christmas is a time for giving and being thankful.”

The tree will stay in place until early January when it will be taken down and recycled via a large wood-chipping machine.

FOR more information about events across Woking borough during the festive season, visit www.celebratewoking.info

THE West Byfleet company Gibson Hewitt has won the Turnaround Firm of the Year category at national awards.

The business recovery and insolvency firm impressed judges at the TRI (Turnaround, Recovery and Insolvency) awards with the work it does and the high esteem in which they are held by their clients.

The TRI awards are regarded as one of the most prestigious honours in the insolvency profession and celebrates the best professionals and firms in the UK.

The trophy was presented by comedian Ed Byrne at the Hilton Bankside in London.

SUCCESS – Lynn Gibson with Ed Byrne and award sponsors

Gibson Hewitt director Lynn Gibson said receiving the award was a highlight of her career.

“We have had a very successful year and handled matters for a wide range of clients from a variety of sectors, but to have this success recognised nationally by our peers is a real honour,” Lynn said.

“Business turnaround is a key aspect of what we do at Gibson Hewitt and lies at the heart of our practice. Our tenacious, but caring approach is certainly valued by our clients, which the judges praised us for when presenting us with this award.”

Lynn added that the firm’s recent success would not be possible without the support of staff and its contacts and clients.

Gibson Hewitt, which covers West Byfleet, Woking, Guildford and the rest of Surrey, works with businesses, partnerships and individuals, first looking at measures such as turnaround and restructuring and voluntary arrangements. It also provides administration, liquidation and acting as Law of Property Act Receivers.

CHANGES in the Autumn Budget could see small businesses losing out on money they are owed to them in insolvency cases, warns the West Byfleet-based firm Gibson Hewitt.

The leading insolvency firm, says that the changes will see HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) take up position as a preferred creditor in insolvency cases, which could lead to creditors such as small businesses, struggling to claim money owed to them, which could have a trickle-down effect leading to more businesses becoming distressed.

Lynn Gibson, Director at Gibson Hewitt

The current rules allow for taxes (PAYE, VAT & VAT) paid by employees and customers that are temporarily held by an insolvent company to be used to cover the company’s debts to other creditors, instead of being paid directly to HMRC, who is currently left in a similar position to all other unsecured creditors.

Frustrated that this leaves millions of pounds a year uncollected by the tax authority, Philip Hammond has indicated that HMRC will become a preferred creditor from 6 April 2020.

This will ensure that when a business enters insolvency, more of the taxes “paid in good faith by its employees and customers, and temporarily held in trust by the business”, will be paid to the Government to fund public spending, instead of to a business’ creditors.

Under the new rules, it is envisaged that HMRC will remain below other preferential creditors, effectively employee remuneration, but Gibson Hewitt is warning that unsecured creditors may find they are able to recover less or nothing at all from their insolvent debtors instead of sharing the funds on an equal footing with HMRC.

“This is a poor deal for ordinary trade creditors, who will now likely find themselves with lower realisations in an insolvent business to recover their debts,” said Lynn Gibson, Director at Gibson Hewitt.

“Unfortunately, this is likely to have an effect on the cashflow within a creditor’s business, which often then has further implications for its own customers and creditors further down the line.

Whilst the Budget is trying to emphasise the “trust” held over payroll & VAT deductions it will have a detrimental effect on other unsecured creditors, particularly where HMRC have effectively been financing continued training.

“The reality of the situation is that the pot of money within an insolvent company is going to get smaller for all unsecured creditors after April 2020 and so it is essential that these businesses take time to review their current relationship with their debtors to ensure they are able to spot the early signs of business failure in future and can be quick to react,” concluded Lynn.

THE TRAVEL industry honoured one of Woking’s best-established businesses, Global Travel Management, naming it Business Travel Agent of the Year, 2018.

The family-owned business travel company was presented with the award at a ceremony hosted by the Advantage Travel Partnership, the UK’s largest independent travel agent group, with TV’s Mark Durden-Smith making the presentation to GTM’s Managing Director, Scott Pawley and Sales Director, Paul Baker.

Paul Baker, left, GTM’s sales director, and Scott Pawley, managing director

Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO at Advantage Travel Partnership said: “We are very proud of our members and business partners and are excited to once again celebrate what we have collectively achieved in the past year. We would like to congratulate Global Travel Management for their outstanding performance this year.”

GTM, was founded by Scott and Natalie Pawley in 1997, has been a stalwart of the local community gives its support to a number of local youth groups via sponsorship and prizes. The new award adds to a string of awards received by the local company including previous recognition by Advantage, which it has been a longstanding member.

THE HEAD of a Woking flooring company has been named as one of the country’s top business leaders in a prominent new report.

Chris Vincent, V4 Wood Flooring managing director, has been named as ‘One to Watch’ in this year’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders programme, supported by The Telegraph

Chris Vincent, V4 Wood Flooring managing director

Chris, 41, who is dyslexic, left secondary school with no qualifications with ambitions to become a F1 racing drive. At 23 he joined the family’s flooring business, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, and to set up V4 Wood Flooring, with his older brother, Nathan.

Today, V4 Wood Flooring turns over circa £12million and Chris says: “We started from the bottom and had no contacts, which were hard to develop without the internet. It has taken a lot of hard work over the years, but I’d like to reinforce that no matter what obstacles may be in your way, you can achieve your goals.”

Chris adds: “I’m humbled to be named in this prestigious list amongst some fantastic business leaders throughout the country.

“I left school without any qualifications, mostly due to being dyslexic. I focused all my energy on motor racing and raced at quite a high level but realised I couldn’t make a career of it so turned to entrepreneurship.”

Selling to retailers, V4 manufactures and provides quality, hardwood flooring to a network of approved dealers throughout the UK. It has a range of flooring. It prides itself on its environmentally-friendly policy and is committed to finding new ways of producing flooring that lessens the impact the industry has on the environment.

WOKING Means Business at the HG Wells Conference Centre brought the local business community out in force for a full day of networking and power events.

With a pre-breakfast seminar by Woking Borough Council kicking off events at 7.30, local businesses had the opportunity to attend a series of talks, with Sales by Anthony Stears and LinkedIn by Keith Grover drawing particularly keen interest.

IN THE NEWS – from left, Terry Tidbury, News & Mail MD, Catherine Richardson, president of Woking Chamber, Carol Miller of Carol Miller Media, and Ray Morgan, Woking Council Chief Executive

A Woking Chamber of Commerce event, the exhibition was organised by Business Development Chairman, Paul Webster, who said: “Exhibitors were obviously happy, we had some brilliant speakers which the visitors really appreciated, but most of all I thought it was great to see people smiling, enjoying talking to each other and apparently doing business.”

As a key media sponsor for the event the Woking News & Mail was among the exhibitors and were given an exclusive interview with Woking Borough Council CEO Ray Morgan (filmed by Team360media and posted on the News & Mail website).

Other exhibitors included Woking Football Club, which had several representatives from the club in attendance including manager Alan Dowson and Martin Tyler, the Sky sports commentator and assistant manager of the team.

“We met with and spoke to many businesses and are already setting up further meetings for collaborations with them. This was a great event for linking up with local organwisations and we have no doubt that we will achieve what we wanted out of the day,” said the club’s Marie Withers.

Among the visitors was Lorna Gangotra winner of BBC TV’s Family Cooking Showdown 2017, who in addition to running her restaurant and business The Little Indian Kitchen, was a panellist at Woking Food Festival and is a regular stallholder at the Ripley Farmers’ Market. She said: “Woking Means Business is a really good opportunity to find out what’s new and to meet businesses in the area.”

Simon Woodbridge, Thomas International said: “I thought it was a great event, very friendly, well organised and really useful for our business to gain exposure in the Woking area. I made some very good contacts both from useful suppliers for our organisation and perhaps more importantly potential new clients.”

Mark Warner, Headline Design & Print, whose team were manning a roulette table at their stand, said: “We had a very good day making new contacts and selling our services to potential customers.”