The Chamber Voice - March Edition
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Chamber President:
David Clarke

As I prepared for this year’s Annual General Meeting, I took time to reflect on what a full and exciting year we have had as a Chamber. It was an immense privilege for me to be elected as President in March 2015 and to work closely with the Chamber team, fellow directors and of course our incredible Vice President June Cory to provide relevant, interesting and at times ground-breaking events for our members masterminded by our Executive Director.

As I have said many times before, we exist purely for our members and it was wonderful for me to witness so many member businesses and their employees attending a whole variety of events throughout the last year. We continued with our usual Chamber Breakfast speaker program with a particular favourite of mine being the presentation by John Hotowka, who not only managed to bring a great deal of common sense into our lives but also did it through the power of magic!
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Centurion Club: St George's Day Lunch Main Sponsors 

At Centurion Club, members are the lifeblood. Centurion believe in developing a community which revolves around member satisfaction within a relaxed ambiance – a place where members can enjoy the finer aspects of life, alongside exhilarating golf.

Together, the management team have worked at some of the world’s finest golf clubs and can understand the needs and wants of members. They realise that it is imperative that the course is in immaculate condition year-round, as well as providing unmatched facilities and customer service. Centurion have the expertise necessary to implement these strategies.
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Pat Strods
Rayner Essex

Following the Chamber Annual General Meeting Pat Stods, a Partner at Rayner Essex, was nominated as a Chamber Director following the retirement of Paul Marsden and Mark Worsencroft. 

Pat grew up in Cheltenham but has lived in St Albans since 1983.  She is married with two sons and is an avid football fan as well as a recent convert to golf.

Pat commenced her career in accountancy in 1978 and has since been advising business of all types and sizes. She joined Rayner Essex in 1983 and over the years has worked in many roles within the firm.  Since 1988 she has specialised in VAT and Tax dealing with compliance visits and investigations.

Pat is a valued member of the Chamber who has been regularly attending events for years. We warmly welcome Pat to the Chamber board and wish her the best for the future. 
Visit Rayner Essex Website


What would a “Brexit” mean for UK Employment law?
On 23 June 2016 a referendum will be held to decide whether the UK should remain in the European Union. If the nation votes to leave, the implications will be significant. One area which is likely to see changes is employment law.

A number of fundamental employment rights in the UK are derived from the EU meaning that a “Brexit” has the potential to make significant changes in this area.


The Equality Act 2010 affords employees protection from discrimination. Whilst this is a piece of primary legislation the Government could still choose to repeal it if the UK exits the EU. Whilst a complete repeal of the Equality Act is unlikely, a number of key changes have been suggested, including adding a cap on compensation awarded in discrimination claims.
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Joint Business Breakfast
With Herts IOD - 11th May at 7.15am

EU Referendum — Have you made your mind up? UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union to be held on Thursday 23 June.

Big business - with a few exceptions - tends to be in favour of Britain staying in the EU because it makes it easier for them to move money, people and products around the world. BT chairman Sir Mike Rake, a recent CBI president, says there are "no credible alternatives" to staying in the EU. But others disagree, such as Lord Bamford, chairman of JCB, who says an EU exit would allow the UK to negotiate trade deals as our country "rather than being one of 28 nations". Many small and medium-sized firms would welcome a cut in red tape and what they see as petty regulations.

£23.00 (+VAT) for all attendees
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JPA short listed for National CSR
Team of the Year Award

JPA Furniture have been short listed for CSR Team of the Year in the 2016 Third Sector, Business Charity Awards announced earlier today,  following their outstanding contribution to both charitable and socially responsible business activities over the past 12 months.

“Our primary function is as a commercial business but as a family business we feel very strongly that community integration is fundamental to future success and we are committed to increasing the economic, environmental and social value that we generate through our business activity” says Graham Pulsford, Managing Director.
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We welcome membership applications from all types of businesses in the district and currently have over 425 active members. We endeavour to provide a variety of forums for lively debate, positive networking and encourage strong business relationships between our members so we can all prosper. Being an active Chamber member can significantly help your business grow and develop.
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The Careers & Enterprise

The Careers & Enterprise Company was announced in December 2014 by the Secretary of State for Education, Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP with £20 million of Government funding, including £5 million from the Investment Fund. 

It is employer-led, set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work and to help shape this future workforce to meet local needs. 

One of its key aims will be to broker more effective relationships between employers and schools/colleges to enable young people to make informed career choices and develop work-ready skills. 

The Hertfordshire Programme

They are working in partnership with Youth Connexions Hertfordshire (HCC) who will provide access to around 100 schools/colleges. 

A team of Enterprise Co-ordinators will engage with schools/colleges in order to both develop an action plan and to match them with an Enterprise Advisor who will act as a mentor to the school/college. 

Enterprise Advisers are volunteers from local employers. Typically they will be in senior leadership roles and will work at a strategic level to help draw up effective employer engagement plans for schools and colleges.
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St Albans District Chamber of Commerce · Suite 19, STANTA Business Centre · Soothouse Spring · St Albans, Herts. AL3 6PF · United Kingdom