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Festive Cheer!

Executive members were full of HO HO HO at last Friday's Business Club meeting, on the back of some delicious mince pies courtesy of Chattertons Solicitors

We wish you all a very happy Christmas!

Meeting Shorts

Jamie Hogue of Nettl of Newark (the new name for reports. The Executive thanks him for writing the Meeting Shorts column which will be his last. We are looking for a budding Journalist to take over - email  James Fountain

From Sainsbury’s to Syria: December’s Newark Business Club surprised members with talk ranging from traffic to terrorism, leading from the prospective Sainsbury’s development to improving our congestion crisis and why the decision to bomb Syria was a “parochial debate.”

“To let down our allies at this crucial stage would be very damaging to the UK,” stressed local MP Robert Jenrick, when pressed about the decision in parliament this week to launch airstrikes against Syria and the use of the Conservative whip.

He emphasized that the debate took place over ten and a half hours and that as the UK only have eight aircrafts capable of carrying out strikes of this nature, the debate was largely “parochial”, especially as the UK can’t ignore calls from its allies to act.

A46 dualling “will go ahead”
Turning from global events to local issues, Robert also explained that the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement confirmed that the A46 between Winthorpe and Farndon would be dualled, but that it is in the long term plan from 2020 onwards, not the short term agenda.

He emphasised that “it is going to happen, short of a change of priorities.” The project would pose a solution to the growing congestion problem in Newark and is estimated to cost between £150 million and £200 million.  “The traffic is clearly getting worse, but the end is in sight,” he added.
Electrifying Potential
The electrification of the East Midland’s mainline is continuing, but is subject to delays, Robert clarified. The plans should reach Nottingham after 2019. Investment in rail services and improving the mainline is something that James Fountain, Chair of the Action Group, stressed as being a crucial issue for the business club.

James and Amy Codd, Chair of the Newark Business Club, wrote a letter to the district and county councilors earlier this year focusing on improving transport links, boosting inward investment and enriching Newark’s evening economy, which are causes they continue to support.

The Fringes of Devolution
The national discussion of devolution is something that Robert said is of interest but it is feared that at the moment the devolution models seem to focus mainly on Derby and Nottingham, which locals fear would effectively exclude Newark because of our location on the fringes of Nottinghamshire.

It would be highly advantageous to include Lincoln in the devolution discussions, especially as our close proximity to the cathedral city would ensure we were not marginalised against the boundary line. It is hoped that devolution will bring powers for local business growth and allow major investment in infrastructure and development.
Viral Invoicing
David Anderson then gave us a very informative presentation on cloud storage, stressing the need for firms to regularly back up data. He took a show of hands and it was discovered that only one person in the business club of approximately 100 attendees doesn’t rely on a computer to do their job – and it isn’t every day a psychic healer is in our midst!

David also warned businesses to watch out for emails with unexpected invoices attached, as many are being used to ‘phish’ for contact details and facilitate viruses such as the Encrypto Virus.

Free Festive Parking
Jill Brown gave us a summary of this month’s Retail Group activities, with Elaine avidly supporting from the stands. Parking will be free on every Sunday throughout December and will be entirely unrestricted in an effort to boost “our wonderful independent businesses”.

Jill added that while gale force wind warnings blew away any chances of the festive market, the response to the Totally Locally initiative has been very encouraging, and 25,000 leaflets have been distributed showcasing great offers from local retailers.



Chairman – Amy Codd
Vice Chair – Simon Shaw
Secretary – Linda Clark
Treasurer – Malcolm Ellison
Education – Des Clarke
Action Group - James Fountain
Retail Group - Elaine Ellison

Helping people to achieve their true potential

Get the Edge were December's Sponsor. They describe themselves as a pioneering training, coaching and staff development specialist.  Their mission to give each of their clients the competitive edge they need  to succeed in business.

With over 30 years of experience in the field, they are a trusted, results driven company, offering tailored training solutions that set them apart from others.

Director Jon Davies said he loves seeing people realise their potential. He said "we started the company from the passion we all have to see people do the best they can in life. We deliver our training  with an infectious energy and try to have a little fun along the way too.

"Our outstanding levels of customer satisfaction and long-term contracts with industry leaders are great testament to our methods and a demonstration of why we know we can help any business, in any field, to flourish."

Jon believes that life is not a random collection of unrelated events and circumstances over which we have little or no control, it is constantly being shaped and moulded by what goes on in our minds. As with the laws of mathematics and physics, the law of the mind should be considered an exact science, and by providing  a working knowledge of this law we can help individuals, teams and businesses to think  positively and  start to believe in terms of what is truly possible.

"We will help you discover why positive thinking is eminently practical and as you apply the principles embedded throughout our training you will begin to push back your inner boundaries, opening up your world and all that’s available to you."

For futher information please email visit the website   or call  01522 869686

Busy year for Action Group

James Fountain, Chairman of the Action Group, reported that 2015 had been a busy year for the committee. Transport, road and rail dominated the agenda, with road congestion within the town having a deleterious impact on business and commerce.

The Action Group successfully lobbied Robert Jenrick, MP for the town, who agreed to host a traffic summit in July attended by The Highways Agency in order to address some the issues. Following on from this Robert has pressed for the £150m required for dualing of the A46 Farndon to Winthorpe, and the redesign of the Cattle Market and Winthorpe roundabouts to be brought forward to 2015 - 2020 funding round.

In terms of Rail, Bob Poynter continues to work tirelessly in order to seek further improvements to the East Midland line. The Action Group  believes that a prospectus for East Midlands Train franchise supported by  East Midlands Council would give sufficient traction to gain ministerial support.

The East Coast mainline again needs further investment (it was shut 12 times in September) to maintain services and the Action Group is consious that open access may have a negative  impact  on timetabling and investment.

With the help of Richard Ling, retail planning specialist, we commented on the proposed J. Sainsbury development, highlighting  concerns over the impact of town cente retail trade, traffic congestion and its visual impact on one of the principle gateways to a historic town. The Action Group are also evaluating the impact of the proposed NSDC offices in terms of traffic flow and loss of parking.

Flood and sewer improvements scheduled for the town are being monitored through the Flood Forum and the Action Group are providing comment and feedback  to members as the contract progresses in order to help mitigate disruption to business as much as possible.

The next meeting of the Action Group is on January 25th at the Aura Conference Centre.

Bright idea from the Utility Warehouse

Sue Breedon of the Utility Warehouse was this month's winner of the business card draw. She is an authorised distributor for the Utility Warehouse Discount Club and has helped households locally  save hundreds of pounds a year on their utility bills.

With the  Gold Bundle from Utility Warehouse you can make substantial savings on all your household utilities. There are three Gold Bundles available for residential customers and as most people like to save as much as they can, the most popular bundle is the Double Gold.

Double Gold includes Home Phone, Broadband and Mobile as well as at least one energy service (Gas or Electricity). Double Gold customers benefit from all the benefits of the UK's lowest line rental, guaranteed savings on phone calls, and a Free Mobile Protection Scheme. Utility Warehouse’s cheapest energy prices, with the option of a two-year fixed tariff, and their unique ‘Double the Difference’ price promise. Homeowners can also claim up to £200 refund towards any early termination fees charged by your previous Home Phone, Broadband and Mobile suppliers.

If you are a homeowner and switch all your services to Utility Warehouse you can take advantage of Utility Warehouse's revolutionary Free Light Bulb Replacement Service:
Free LED light bulbs typically worth £300-500, including fitting.
Free expert installation
Free lifetime guarantee - for as long as you keep your services with Utility Warehouse.
LED bulbs use up to 15 times less electricity than traditional ones.This means a typical household will use around 11% less electricity.

To find out more please contact Sue Breedon 07970 390233, visit or visit

The 2015 national Empty Homes Week took place from  Monday 30th November through to Sunday 6th  December 2015. Empty Homes Week is all about community-led organisations, local authorities and others holding events and putting out information to celebrate their achievements in bringing empty homes back into use and also to set out their future plans and the case for making the most of empty properties to meet housing needs.

Daniel Orton, Managing Director of Buttercross Estates, gave members of the business club a local perspective. Through a Freedom of Information request to NSDC he had identfied over 1500 long term empty homes in the district. 

Daniel explained that this can have a significant impact on the local economy. Empty homes are not only wasteful, (there are 4,000 people on the council housing waiting list) but they can encourage vandalisim, flooding, squatters, homelessness and devalue neighbouring properties.

What can be done
Daniel requested that members identifying long term empty properties should report them to
In terms of a the way forward Daniel wants to bring iinterested parties together for a Empty Home Fair (date TBA) in Feb/March 2016.

Newark Retailers Set for Christmas
Elaine Ellison, the 'tinsel queen' and chair of the Retail Group, is all set for a bumper Festive Season,  with free parking on 6th, 13th, 20th December at selected

carparks and a Christmas market in the market place on Sunday 13th December.

Complementing the festive market is the Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary Magdalene Church, including treeses decorated by local businessses. And if that is not enough, there is a 'Light up a Life Day' at Beaumond House on Sunday 6th December - 4pm and Cinderalla at the Palace Theatre Wednesday 9th - Sunday 3rd January.

Next Meeting

Friday 8th January 7am

Everyday Champions Centre

Newark Business Club meets at the Everyday Champions Conference Centre at 7am. Entry fee £5.00 including coffee. Come early to secure a good seat

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