Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Insider

HEADLINE - Lydd Airport Planning Permission Granted

At Channel Chamber, we take the views of our members seriously. We don't rely on one-off polls to gauge their opinions, but go out and speak to them personally on a regular basis. We applaud those councillors who took the time to go out into their communities to discuss the issues that matter to them in relation to Lydd Airport’s planning application.

The rich wildlife and ecosystem of the Marsh is something we are all interested in protecting, and supporting opportunities for green jobs and eco-tourism for local people is also a priority for Channel Chamber. We listened carefully to all the experts who spoke to us about the potential impact of the Airport on our Marsh, and we are fully convinced that Lydd Airport and local wildlife will continue to co-habit successfully, and indeed flourish. Lydd Airport have gone above and beyond what is required to protect the local area, and we strongly urge the various groups such as the RSPB to work together with - not against - the Airport management team in the protection of our local environment.

The whole community can be proud of seeing the democratic process in action. We also feel great sadness that certain minority interest groups, who represent the views of only a handful of our community, seek to waste public money on challenging the carefully considered views of our elected Council. These bully-boy tactics are not only a challenge to our democratic process, but are based on incorrect information and self-interest. We are confident that they will fail.

The entire proceedings from last Wednesday’s meeting – including presentations by Channel Chamber and our former Chamber Manager, Caroline Chambers were recorded on video and can be viewed via the Channel Chamber Website:

Say no to National Insurance Contributions (NICs) increase

Chamber members across the country are calling upon the Government to reverse the 1 percentage-point employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) increase planned for April 2011.

Businesses know that it is imperative for the Government to begin the difficult job of repairing the public finances. But this NICs increase is a 'tax on jobs' - and will discourage companies of all sizes from taking on new staff at a critical point in our economic recovery.

The British Chambers of Commerce urge the Government to work with business groups to find alternative ways to close the UK's budget deficit - beginning with a credible plan to reduce inefficiency in public sector spending. Any Government has to realise that additional taxes on businesses, especially small- and medium-sized companies, must be a last resort, not an easy way forward.

The respected and independent Institute for Fiscal Studies has commented that 'employer [NI] contributions bear no relation to benefits provided under the NI scheme. These contributions are in effect simply a payroll tax'. From our perspective, further rises in NI mean fewer jobs, more people signing on, and a slower recovery for UK plc.

The NICs petition – can be found at

The case is clear. No NICs increase - no tax on jobs.

It’s Time to Ring Fence Your Energy Costs

Looking at the wholesale energy market price indices there appears to be substantial increases in energy costs forecasted in the next 2/3 years. By 2012/13 the kWh price could have risen well in excess of 50%, particularly in electricity.

This is going to have a significant impact on Chamber members’ businesses, at a time when you can least afford it. Especially when you are trying to trade out of a depressed market. Now is the time to start protecting yourselves against increased business costs by taking advantage of the FREE Chamber Energy Service for advice and action

For more information please contact Richard Webber on 0845 120 2410

Business Grants to improve environmental performance

Businesses are facing more and more regulations and increased pressure to reduce their environmental impact and cut greenhouse gas emissions. But “going green” isn’t just about helping the environment – it’s an opportunity to save money and boost profits by slashing energy bills, cutting waste, increasing productivity and improving efficiency.

Channel Chamber has identified Green Grants Machine. a free and easy-to-use funding search website with full details on the hundreds of grants, loans and other funds available to help UK businesses improve environmental performance. This funding can help to develop new eco-friendly products, install more efficient equipment, cut waste and much more – helping to protect the environment, but just as importantly helping businesses prosper

For further information please visit website – and the other funding website

Carbon Trust Offers Mentoring Sessions

The Carbon Trust is offering five businesspeople the chance to win a priceless mentoring session with their local Best Advice business guru on how to survive and thrive in 2010. The business gurus include: Ian Cheshire, Group CEO of Kingfisher and chairman of B&Q (London); Paul Stobart, MD Sage UK and Ireland (Tyne & Wear); Dawn Gibbins MBE, founder & CEO, Barefoot (Lancashire); Paul Thandi, CEO, NEC Group (Midlands); and Chris Harrop, Marketing Director, Marshalls (Yorkshire).

Click here to enter, but hurry - the competition closes Today.

Calling all budding artists

Have you ever dreamt of seeing your artwork prominently displayed for all to see? Well, thanks to Chamber member - Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, that dream can become a reality! The Wild Animal Park will hold a wildlife art exhibition over the Easter Break (2nd April-11th April). All budding artists are invited to enter for this fantastic opportunity; it doesn’t matter whether you do stunning sculptures or perfect pictures, all mediums will be considered.

The art exhibition week will commence with a preview evening on Thursday 1st April opened by Vic Reeves—a keen artist himself. Held in the Marquee at Port Lympne, the preview evening will be an excellent opportunity to view the dazzling exhibition pieces that have been submitted. The preview evening is free, but by invitation only. Entry to the exhibition is free to all paying visitors to the Park. A donation from all sales will go towards The Aspinall Foundation to aid their vital conservation work both at home in Kent at Howletts & Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks and abroad.

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