Campaign to upgrade Inverurie to broadband by wulinqing

VIEWS: 57 PAGES: 19

									                                                                                                                           Issue 3, Spring 2003


      High speed internet service by July with
                                                                                                                           INSIDE
      support from businesses & households
                                                                                                                        Action to
Campaign                                                                                                                make town
                                                                                                                        even better
to upgrade                                                                                                            An action group has
                                                                                                                      been set up with the aim
Inverurie to                                                                                                          of making improvements
                                                                                                                      to the local environment.
                                                                                                                      The starting point will be
broadband                                                                                                             flower baskets in the
                                                                                                                      town centre.
Inverurie Business Association has launched                                                                                       Pages 4 & 5
a campaign to have the local telephone
exchange upgraded to provide the town with
ADSL broadband internet services.
                                                                                                                         Pulling the
            The campaign aims to encourage busi-
nesses and domestic households to register their
interest in taking the high speed internet service.
                                                         Broadband briefing: The IBA meeting in November had
                                                         presentations from Neil Fraser (rear, left), of Scottish
                                                                                                                         tourist £
            “An overwhelming response to the cam-        Enterprise Grampian, and from Nigel Lammas (rear right) of   Tourism is vital to the
                                                         UK Online. MSP Nora Radcliffe, pictured with IBA chair-
paign will encourage BT to put Inverurie at the front
of the queue for upgrading,” said IBA chairman           man, John Glover, attended the meeting and supported the
                                                                                                                      future prosperity of our
John Glover.                                             call for Inverurie to have broadband.                        town. What is being
            ADSL is the cheapest of various high
                                                                     “A high speed connection to the internet
                                                                                                                      done to attract tourists
speed internet service options but BT will only
upgrade telephone exchanges and make it available       can improve business efficiency and competitive-              to Inverurie & are we
where there are high numbers of potential users.        ness,” explained Neil Fraser, development manager
                                                        of Scottish Enterprise Grampian which supports the
                                                                                                                      missing a trick (or two)?
            BT had insisted on 450 registrations from
Inverurie before considering the upgrade but this       IBA campaign.                                                      Pages 10,11 & 12
figure has recently been reduced                                     For internet households there are also

                                                                                                                         Local plan -
to 350. BT quote 6 to 12                                                         impressive benefits from the
                                                                                 improved internet connection
weeks for upgrading after the
                                        For full details on how to speed.
                                                                                                                         where now?
target figures are reached.
            “If registrations are     register for ADSL broadband                            Inverurie MSP Nora
                                                                                 Radcliffe and MP Malcolm
considerably higher than the tar-
                                     internet services - see centre Bruce are both firmly behind the
get figure then there is a more                                                                                       The Garioch Area
convincing argument for                           four pages                     campaign to have Inverurie
Inverurie to be given upgrading                                                  ADSL enabled.       Both are also    Manager outlines plans
priority,” said John Glover.                                                     calling for government support
                                                        to make high speed connections available to more
                                                                                                                      for the town centre & a
             This issue of Connect carries a four page
leaflet explaining about broadband and explaining       isolated, smaller rural communities.                          local councillor explains
how to register. The leaflet will also be distributed                They are hosting a meeting to discuss the        why East is best.
                                                        broadband issue in the function suite at Edwards,
to thousands of homes and to every business in
Inverurie.                                              Inverurie, on Monday, February 17 at 11.00am.                           Pages 8 & 13



    MELDRUM                                                                                       For a quality
    HOUSE                                                                                          experience
    HOTEL & GOLF CLUB
                                                                                                  See our advertisement - page 5
connect                                                                                                                          Page two
Spring 2003



 Contact                                                                                                    Pat is IBA’s
 Inverurie                                                                                                  Inverurie
 Business
                                                                                                            champion
 Association
                                                                                                        Pat Mitchell (left) receives his parch-
 The central point of contact                                                                           ment, from IBA chairman John
 for the IBA is Linda Singer,                                                                           Glover, recognising his “outstanding
 network development offi-                                                                              contribution in helping bring about a
                                                                                                        strong, active and enpowered com-
 cer, Enterprise North East                                                                             munity”.
 Trust, Thainstone Business                                                                             “Pat’s enthusiasm and dedication are
 Centre, on 672528. E-mail:                                                                             an inspiration to all,” said John. “He
 linda.singer@enetrust.com                                                                              has a great passion for Inverurie and
                                                                                                        the IBA is delighted to present him
                                                                                                        with this award in recognition of all
 Indiividual committee mem-                                                                             the good work he has done for the
 bers may be contacted on                                                                               town.”
 the numbers listed.

 Committee                         Working to improve
 John Glover (chairman)
 JH Connon Ltd
 621406                            local environment
                                Welcome to the third issue of Connect, the
 Neil Connell (vice-chair)      Inverurie Business Association magazine. At 20                                By John Glover
 Tesco                          pages, this is the most comprehensive issue to                                 IBA chairman
 667500/667562                  date.
                                            Feedback from previous issues has                 to exchange ideas and create a greater aware-
 Heather Cameron                been very positive and I’d like to thank those                ness of business issues and economic activities
 (treasurer/secretary)          businesses supporting the publication with adver-             throughout the North East.
 Cassie & Co.                   tising.                                                                   The IBA’s commitment to building links
 623311                                     The publication is sent to every busi-            back into the community continues with ongoing
                                ness in Inverurie and aims to air local issues of             involvement with “Help Light-up Inverurie” and
 Ranald Allan                   importance and to encourage businesses to do                  “Inverurie in Bloom”. These community based
                                business locally.                                             initiatives are good examples of how different
 Media Solutions
                                            In this edition of Connect, the main              groups can work effectively together for a com-
 621146 or                      emphasis is on broadband, as the IBA feels this               mon goal - ie the enhancement and improvement
 07802 471 705                  facility should be made available in Inverurie as             of the town’s environment for the benefit of all.
                                soon as possible.                                                         The IBA’s AGM will be held on April 29
 Jackie Allen                               BT have set a trigger point of 350 reg-           at the Barn & Bushel, Thainstone. This is an
 B’s Knees                      istrations before it will commit to upgrade the               opportunity for all businesses to get involved in
 629400 or                      local exchange.                                               the association’s activities.
 01651 873270                               Your support is required to allow this to                     It has been very encouraging to see a
                                happen and the committee hope this action will                strong cross-section of businesses attend and
 Nigel Cattanach                encourage other towns in Aberdeenshire to                     participate in the events run over the past year.
 Clydesdale Bank PLC            organise similar campaigns.                                               Why not encourage employees to
                                            The IBA continues to work closely with            attend these events? In addition to helping
 625061
                                other business associations within Aberdeenshire              develop their networking skills they will learn
                                and representatives have recently attended meet-              about issues affecting the business community
 Richard Cowling
                                ings in Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Banff.                     and, hopefully, bring back some useful ideas that
 PDC Systems Ltd                                                                              may benefit your business.
                                            These meetings provide an opportunity
 629933

 Colin Hepburn                                                       CONTACT CONNECT
 DM Hall
 624393                           CONNECT is written, edited, designed and printed in Inverurie. Advertising enquiries,
                                  editorial contributions and letters should be sent to: CONNECT, c/o Media Solutions, PO
 Kenny Middler                    Box 97, Inverurie AB51 3WW or by e-mail to Ranald Allan at: rams@btclick.com
 Garioch Blinds
 625494                           Design and edited by Ranald Allan, Media Solutions, Inverurie. Printed by Minto
                                  Printing, Inverurie Published by Inverurie & District Business Association with
 Brian Pack
                                  support from ATP.
 ANM Group Ltd
 623700                           Opinions expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IBA. All content is copy-
                                  right of the contributors and the IBA. Material should not be used in other publications without permission.
connect                                                                                                                               Page three
Spring 2003


                                                                                                                                         LATEST
Commercial property is
                                                                                                                                       Six sites
key to our growing town                                                                                                                 at new
                                                                                                                                       business
Property consultants, Ryden, recently completed the first
major survey of business property in Inverurie in recent
years.
                                                                                                                                       park are
           Their report identifies current and potential future
demand and supply for commercial (retail, office & industri-                                                                            already
al), land and property.
           The survey was commissioned by Aberdeenshire
Towns Partnership and supported by the Inverurie Business
                                                                                                                                         taken
Association.
             The report re-inforces IBA anecdotal evidence                                                                             The ANM Group
that land and property issues are a major factor affecting the
potential for growth of the Inverurie economy.                     Property meeting: (right to left) Mark Robertson and Bill           report consider-
           Running alongside the 2002 Business Survey              Duguid from Ryden Consultants, Inverurie councillor Colin           able interest in
and this Property Market Study is, of course, the Local Plan,      Miller, IBA chairman John Glover and Aberdeenshire Council          the acquisition of
which has now reached the finalised plan stage, with the
council now actively considering the various objections,           senior business development executive Gaeme Rigg.                   serviced sites at a
observations and comments made to                                                                                                      new 23-acre busi-
                                                                              ing the location of commercial or industrial com-        ness park which
the Local Authority during the final                                          plexes.
consultation period.                       Colin Hepburn, of                              The pattern for industrial development,      the Group is
            So the shape of Inverurie D M Hall, reports                       however, has, for many years, been to concen-            developing at
for the future is not yet cast in tablets                                     trate this on the periphery of Aberdeen City. This       Thainstone
of stone and the IBA, along with the on the recent                            has resulted in growing problems with traffic con-
wider community in Inverurie, still local business                                                                                     Centre.
                                                                              gestion. The only way we will ever successfully
have a major part to play in shaping property survey &                        limit the seemingly inexorable rise in commuting,        Outline planning
the future of our community.                                                  is to bring the jobs to the people.
           At the start of the property the key messages
                                                                                                                                       permission has
                                                                                          It was, therefore, gratifying to see that    already been
market study process, suggestions for Inverurie                               the Business Association had a real influence in
were made that Inverurie was too far                                                                                                   granted by
                                                                              helping shape the Ryden report, taking what had
from Aberdeen to be considered as a suitable or viable loca-      merely previously been anecdotal but turning that into posi-         Aberdeenshire
tion for an industrial or commercial occupier (such as oil        tive projections of levels of demand for land within and             Council and exca-
companies) and too close to Aberdeen for retail premises.         around the town of Inverurie.                                        vation work is due
These views were quickly dispelled.                                           The next stage of this process will, hopefully, be
           Whilst we had hoped the Business Survey would                                                                               to commence as
                                                                  to use this report to influence the planners in the final prepa-     soon as detailed
highlight shortage of available premises within the town,         ration of the Local Plan. Some of the sites identified in the
land and property issues, scored relatively poorly in individ-    plan as it stands are unlikely to come on stream for a vari-         planning approval
ual businesses priorities.                                        ety of reasons including ownership, flooding and underlying          is received.
           This was not surprising, because if the supply is      sub soil conditions.
limited and there is nothing on the market then most busi-                    With the government announcement of a commit-            Sites are being
nesses keep a watching brief, particularly if they are looking    ment to the building of the western peripheral road, the             offered for either
to expand, without it necessarily being one of their more         opportunity for Inverurie to grow and develop and provide            purchase or
immediate priorities.                                             jobs locally for its growing population has never been               lease, and will be
           So what makes a business choose a particular           stronger.
location. Well for many retail occupiers, the size of the pop-                                                                         fully serviced
                                                                              The IBA will do its utmost to ensure that the
ulation base, is one of the principal factors. 20,000 of a pop-   Property Strategy Study does not sit on a dusty shelf and            including roads
ulation, tends to be the threshold, at which locations fall       intends to continue to press the Local Authority and partic-         and utilities. Six
onto the wanted list of most national high street retailers.      ularly the planning process to ensure that there is a contin-        sites have already
           Whilst Inverurie does not have a population            uous and sustainable supply of land and buildings for the            been sold.
approaching that at the present time, clearly the major           future economic well being of our community.
expansion that we are likely to see within the community in                    Whilst road and rail communication together with
the next 10 years or so will push up the population of                                                                                 Interested parties
                                                                  the Airport will be major factors influencing our economy
Inverurie quite significantly.                                    locally, we must not forget the information super highway.           should contact
           When you look to the wider area and include                        Skills can be learned, infrastructure can be             John Gregor, gen-
Kintore, Kemnay, Oldmeldrum and possibly even Insch the           financed but it is the people of the Garioch area who are its        eral manager of
overall population within the area, would certainly exceed        greatest asset. Who knows there might even be a budding              Aberdeen and
this threshold. In the retail context, Inverurie is probably      Bill Gates, Richard Branson or Stewart Milne out there just          Northern Marts,
Aberdeenshire’s best kept secret.                                 waiting for the right opportunity.                                   who is project
           The other key retail factor that makes Inverurie                   This is why the Business Association have
special, is the diverse range of local businesses and retail-                                                                          officer for the
                                                                  pushed the Business Survey and the Property Market Study             development, on
ers, or to put it another way, the lack of more familiar high     so hard, as without the raw ingredient we could be doomed
street traders.                                                   to a further period of stagnation.                                   01467 623700.
           In a commercial or industrial sense, skills of                     This is something which we cannot and must not
potential employees are probably a major factor in influenc-      allow to happen.
connect                                                                                                                        Page four
Spring 2003



FROM A JOINT IBA AND ROTARY MEETING CAME AN IDEA
What a bonny town! That was my first impres-
sion of Inverurie when, at the invitation of the
Inverurie Business Association, I visited for the
first time in October 2002.
                                                     ‘Inverurie could turn
            Entering the town from the south, the
well-kept cemetery was the first thing to catch
my eye. How true the old adage - first impres-
sions count!
            My second impression, despite an
                                                     intae an awfae, awfae
amazing volume of cars mostly at a standstill in
the centre (and I was comforted that it is not
only in Perth that essential road works can
bring chaos), was I couldn’t see an obvious
                                                     bonny toon’                                        - Euna Scott
                                                                                                        chairman, Perth in Bloom
empty shop or business premise.                                                                       perspective particularly in tourism related pro-
            Throughout the town, shop window                                                          motions and activities.
displays looked attractive and interesting. A                                                                     Perth has been chosen as the
good sign I thought, especially at a time when                                                        home for Scotland’s National Garden and
more and more town centres are a mirror of                                                            what better venue to establish the home for
multi-national stores with window displays like                                                       horticultural excellence.
peas in a pod!                                                                                                    I doubt back in 1989 if Perth would
            Also absent, and undoubtedly far                                                          even have been considered a possible con-
worse, are key locations with large “For Sale”                                                        tender for this multi-million pound develop-
signs above the front door and the facades                                                            ment with a potential yearly audience of
boarded up with plywood!                                                                              400,000 visitors!
            At a quick glance I saw that the                                                                      Who had the vision to change
streets were clean and tidy. True, there were                                                         Perth’s image around? Unquestionably it is
certain indications of where the Council was                                                          “hats off” to our business sector via the
making cut backs, but how many local author-                                                          Perthshire Chamber of Commerce.
ities in Scotland are doing the same!                                                                             It is interesting in Inverurie that,
            Top marks, too, to the hotel where I                                                      again, it is the business community proposing
stayed. Not only were the surroundings                                                                to take a key role in driving forward the
extremely comfortable, but also the floral                                                            “Bloom” initiative.
arrangements throughout the hotel were                                                                            It’s a long-term investment but, as
beautifully artistic. Not a sign of a single half                                                     we have proved in Perth and Kinross, excep-
dead carnation stuck in a glass vase in these                                                         tional value for money if everyone plays their
premises!                                                                                             part.
            Inverurie - what a platform to                                                                        In Perth and Kinross we now have
launch a “Bloom” campaign! Unquestionably                                                             32 independent, voluntary “Bloom”
a “bonny toon” could be turned “intae an                                                              Committees all beavering away to create a
awfae, awfae, bonny toon” bringing pleasure                                                           better environment for everyone now and in
to residents and tourists alike.                                                                      the future.
            In 1989 in Perth, our starting point                                                                  Pitlochry in Bloom has just complet-
was far less complimentary! The National                                                              ed a £200,000 environmental improvement
Press had lambasted the City as “Foul City             Hanging baskets helped transform Perth.        beside their local Railway Station and have
not Fair City”.                                                                                       their sleeves rolled up in a bid to win their
            In 2003 I am delighted to say, the      create, among its residents, a real feeling of    third successive title in Britain in Bloom in
press headlines are very different – “Another       “civic pride” and sense of place things have      2003.
Blooming Success”, “Blooming Well Done”,            turned round completely.                                      How did Pitlochry start? From a
“Blooming Beautiful Perth”, “Gold for Perth in                 National and International Awards      starting position in1994 when they persuaded
Bloom”.                                             have flowed in thick and fast since those early   4 businesses in the town to buy, erect and
            The city, over a period of 13 years                                                       water, 8 hanging baskets!
of continuous effort and support from the busi-     days - Britain in Bloom, Scotland in Bloom,                   Good luck Inverurie! I look forward
nesses, voluntary organisations, schools and        Entente Florale, World in Bloom Challenge         to seeing you on the winning rostrum of
Perth and Kinross Council has “really made a        and the Queen Mother Birthday Awards.             “Scotland in Bloom” in the not too distant
difference”.                                                   All are now feathers in our cap and    future and thank you for your warm welcome
            By simply working in partnership to     a very welcome marking tool from a business       last October.




                                                                                                                    Tell the IBA
                                                                                                                        about
                                                                                                                     any issues
                                                                                                                       If you have any
                                                                                                                     issues you would
                                                                                                                     like raised by the
                                                                                                                      IBA then please
                                                                                                                     contact a member
                                                                                                                     of the committee -
                                                                                                                       see names and
                                                                                                                      contact numbers
                                                                                                                         on page two.
connect                                                                                                             Page five
Spring 2003



THEN A WORKING PARTY & NOW A NEW ACTION GROUP
In the beginning there was an idea
to brighten the centre of Inverurie
with a floral display through the sum-
mer months.
The idea was
nurtured by Pat      Sign-up
                     now to
Mitchell, Jim
McColl, Bill
Beveridge and


                     improve
the Inverurie
Rotarians.
It was then fer-

                     our
tilised at a joint
meeting of                                    Working for Inverurie: Part of the action group aiming to improve the local environment
Inverurie                                                  through a series of initiatives over coming months and years.


                     town
Business
Association and
Rotary where
the audience
were inspired by a presentation from
Euna Scott, the dynamic chairman
of Perth in Bloom.
The idea blossomed and spread
roots beyond the initial Inverurie
town centre proposal. A working
                                           Inverurie’s Celtic horse (above) will be on the
party was formed.
                                           logo for the new charity. Right: Euna Scott       Sponsors wanted for
The working party met regularly over       with familiar local faces at the IBA meeting.
the winter and has become an
                                          There is a part for everyone to play
                                                                                             hanging baskets
action group in the process of apply-                                                        The first colourful hanging baskets for
                                          in this exciting venture. The interim
ing for charity status.                                                                      Inverurie’s town centre have already been
                                          organising committee would like to
The aim of the charity is to encour-                                                         ordered. These will be mounted on the street
                                          hear from individuals and groups in                lights around The Square.
age and stimulate Inverurie resi-         the town who would like to help in                 A sponsorship charge of £60 includes plants,
dents, businesses and young people        this exciting venture.                             maintenance and watering.
to achieve a wide range of environ-
                                          Contact Linda Singer on 672528 or e-               Contact: Colin Hepburn, D M Hall, Market
mental improvements to the town.          mail: linda.singer@enetrust.com                    Place, Inverurie. Tel: 624393

Search for
charity name                           THE MELDRUM HOUSE BUSINESS EXPERIENCE
The new Inverurie environmental        Experience
improvement charity has no short-
age of activity ideas but they’re                 the unique location and surroundings
struggling with a name.
The obvious choice, Inverurie in
Bloom, was felt to be too narrow as    Experience
the group is considering a broad
range of environmentally-friendly
                                                  the quality of our conference & meeting rooms
projects.
So the hunt continues - watch the
local press for the final decision.
                                                             INSPIRE YOUR PEOPLE

Event timetable                           To mix business & pleasure contact: Meldrum House, Oldmeldrum,
                                         Aberdeenshire AB51 0AE. + Tel: 01651 872294 + Fax: 01651 872464
A public meeting will be held in the
Spring to appoint a committee & to         e-mail: dpmeldrum@aol.com + website: www.meldrumhouse.com
adopt the constitution.                                  + SPECIAL RATES FOR IBA MEMBERS +
connect                                                                                                                        Page           six
Spring 2003


Companies take-up
development reviews
                                            ATP scheme
A number of Inverurie businesses
have already taken advantage of
the independent business develop-
ment reviews being funded by the
Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership.
                                            proves popular
            The     scheme,
announced in the October edition
                                 first
                                            in Inverurie
of Connect, has had most of the          to take advantage of the scheme is
places taken but a few still remain.     GPH Builders Merchants, Harlaw
            Funding was provided         Road.
for up to 10 Inverurie businesses to                “The BDR enabled us to
have their operations reviewed.          carry out an indepth review of the
            The confidential review      business in an objective way and       Business friendly: A selection of the new information leaflets pro-
consists of a consultant visiting the    then to formulate a comprehensive      duced as part of the Aberdeenshire Council business friendly initia-
business for a few days, spending        plan for future development,” said
time looking at many aspects of the                                             tive. The leaflets contain contact details for Business Champions.
                                         company director, John Glover.
operation and, if requested, focus-                 “There are two or three
ing on a particular area which the
business deems to be of particular
importance.
            After the review is com-
                                         places still available,” confirmed
                                         Graeme, “but it is important that
                                         companies act quickly to secure
                                         one of these.”
                                                                                            Business
                                                                                            friendly
plete the business is issued with                   The business develop-
advice and an action plan in order       ment review scheme will be
to help focus future efforts.            assessed later in the year and may
            “The programme is now        be     rolled     out     in   other
in full swing with a number of busi-     Aberdeenshire towns depending
nesses having already completed
the process and more committed to
starting shortly,” explained Graeme
Rigg, senior business development
                                         on the availability of funds and the
                                         levels of interest.
                                                   * If you are interested
                                         please contact Graeme Rigg,
                                                                                            council
executive with Aberdeenshire             Aberdeenshire Council, Tel: 01467      A new initiative has been launched to help guide local busi-
Council.                                 672536,    or   e-mail  him    at:     nesses through a range of rules and regulations which are
            One Inverurie business       graeme.rigg@aberdeenshire.gov.uk       likely to affect them.
                                                                                          As part of its “business friendly” approach
                                                                                Aberdeenshire Council has created Business Champions to
                                                                                help business people through the statutory processes for
                                                                                which the Council is responsible.
                                                                                          The Advice for Business pack         Aberdeenshire
                                                                                has just been produced. It contains in
                                                                                                                             Council’s business
                                                                                plain language all of the key advice
                                                                                                                           friendly policy will be
                                                                                about obtaining the necessary con-
                                                                                sents, including planning, building con- presented at the IBA
                                                                                trol and licensing.                          meeting on Feb 26.
                                                                                          Councillor Alison McInnes,
                                                                                chair of the infrastructure services committee said, “Council
                                                                                staff will be working together to make it easier to process
                                                                                applications from businesses.
                                                                                          “We received feedback from local business people
                                                                                that sometimes the system was time consuming and could
                                                                                be complicated so we have responded to this by producing
                                                                                this new initiative which I am sure will make the whole
                                                                                process much easier.
                                                                                          “This is part of our commitment to local businesses
                                                                                as we recognise the contribution they make to the well-being
                                                                                of the area.”
                                                                                          George Chree, head of planning and building con-
                                                                                trol, said, “We will be able to take a joint approach to appli-
                                                                                cations and queries. Aspects which will affect a business
                                                                                such as planning permission, building control and roads, will
                                                                                be looked at jointly by people in these services – so each of
                                                                                them knows what is happening to it.”
                                                                                          Key staff in services such as development control,
                                                                                environmental health, transportation and economic develop-
                                                                                ment, have been designated Business Champions in each of
                                                                                the council’s six areas and they will act as contacts for local
                                                                                businesses.
                                                                                          More information from George Chree, head of plan-
                                                                                ning and building control on: 01569 768301.
connect                                                                                                                                          Page seven
Spring 2003


     Of arts,                           Many of the key provisions in The Employment Act
                                        2002 will come into force this year and it is advisable
                                                                                                             Big changes
     culture,
                                        for employers to have procedures in place to avoid
                                        any compliance issues.
                                                   The Act covers a wide range of employment


     business
                                        issues which include:
                                        From April 2003: Maternity/paternity provision
                                                                                                             for employers
                                          * 6 months paid & further 6 months unpaid maternity leave

     & ducks
                                            for working mothers
                                          * 2 weeks paid paternity leave for working fathers
                                          * 6 months paid and a further 6 months unpaid leave for a work
                                                                                                             from April ‘03
                                            ing adoptive parent
                                                                                                             As the days count down to major changes in
 John Sangster, director of               * An increase in the rate of statutory maternity pay from £62.20
                                            pw to £75 pw, this increase took effect from April 2002 and         employment law, HR practitioner, Jane
 Maidenstone, explains the
                                            there will be a further increase to £100 pwk from April 2003.    Hepburn, flags up the key points you should
 connections and the cultural
                                                   New regulations also provide for reimburse-                       be aware of. Are you ready?
 moves within Inverurie.                ment of 92% of the costs of maternity, paternity and                 place by encouraging employers to follow a minimum
                                        adoptive payments.                                                   set of standards to ensure that employees are treated
I was walking along Inverurie High                 Small employers (now defined as those                     fairly.
street one day last week when a         whose annual NI payments are £40,000 or under) are                               The Act specifically removes the small
man approached me and said “Did         now able to recover 104.5% of these costs.                           employer exemption that currently exempts employers
I not see you dressed as a duck in                 The government has also reduced the bur-                  with less than 20 employees from the obligation to pro-
Duthie park one day”.                   den on smaller employers by simplifying procedures                   vide a written statement of disciplinary rules and pro-
            I looked at him strangely   and allowing money to be claimed in advance.                         cedures.
and then remembered that he did         From April 2003: Flexible working                                                It also introduces an award of compensa-
indeed see me in that attire, it was    Parents of children under the age of six, or disabled                tion should an employer fail to issue the statement
when I was a member of The              children under 18, will have the right to request flexible           within the required 8 weeks.
Invisible       Bouncers     Theatre    working.                                                             How employers should benefit from the changes?
Company and we did children’s                      All employers will have a statutory duty to                 * Retention of valuable skills as new parents stay in work as a
shows in the parks in Aberdeen.         consider the request seriously and have a transparent                    result of flexible working.
            We went for a coffee        process to assess the request. They will only be able                  * Advance recovery of Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Pay
and ended up discussing the arts        to refuse a request if they have a clear business rea-                   from the Inland Revenue.
in Aberdeenshire and beyond. I          son.                                                                   * For small employers, full reimbursement of maternity pay
mention this only because it is not     From late 2003: Dispute resolution                                       ments with an additional payment on top.
something you see a lot of now.         The Act introduces statutory dismissal, disciplinary and               * Dispute resolution measures will ease the pressure of tribu
            In these days of home       grievance procedures which will form part of every                       nal claims. In most cases employees will be expected to
entertainment the arts seems to         employees’ contract of employment.                                       raise any grievance with their employer before making an
have taken a back seat in peoples                  The aim is to resolve disputes in the work-                   application to an employment tribunal.
lives but it doesn’t have to be that
way.
            The     new      Cultural   Town Hall and the War Memorial
Strategy        put    forward    by    will make the Town Centre a focal
Aberdeenshire Council and the           point once again and the work
vision being shown by The               being done to try and renovate the
Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership         Town Hall is something that we
are just two examples of how we         should be applauding.
can enthuse people about the arts.                  With an ever-expanding
            I mention both of these     town we need places for this part-
projects for the simple reason that     nership between business and the
they recognise that Community           arts to happen.
Arts is one of the ways forward.                    The Maiden Stone Arts
            Another new initiative is   group are moving to the Wyness
the aptly named Bright Futures
Fund set up by the Council specif-
                                        Hall because the Wyness Hall is a
                                        brilliant space for visual arts, we                  The Inverurie Car Centre
ically for Inverurie which will         would hope to bring visiting exhibi-
encourage local artists to come         tions as well as encouraging local
forward with projects which will        artists to display their work.                       Make your way to I & K Motors and choose from
                                        One of the ideas we have is to
benefit the whole community.
            Here, in Inverurie, we      show work by sixth year arts pupils                 nearly 200 new, almost new and used cars. It’s an
have a thriving and robust busi-        from Inverurie Academy.                             established fact that cars cost less at I & K. The
                                                    I look forward to the day
ness community and a growing
town that, allied with a confident      when the Town Hall becomes a                         I & K Service and MOT Centre provide a service
artistic community, makes for a         thriving Arts Centre but I do                        second to none, with courtesy loan cars provided.
                                        believe that it will only happen if
potent force. How do you harness
that force? You do that with a part-    the artistic community and local                      Make your way to I & K - our reputation means a
nership between business and the        business come together and make                                        GREAT deal.
arts.                                   it work.
            That in a sense is begin-               The arts are good for
ning to happen in the Help Light        business, they bring people to the
Up Inverurie campaign and I am          town and they also create employ-                   I & K Motors, The Inverurie Car Centre,
sure the arts community would           ment for local artists, which keeps                        Burghmuir Way, Inverurie.
bring a whole new dimension into        them in the area. I may even be
the group just set up to cover          tempted to tread the boards again                             Tel (01467) 624500
Inverurie in flowers and colour.        myself, now where did I put that                            www.iandkmotors.co.uk
            The lighting up of the      duck costume?
connect                                                                                                                           Page eight
Spring 2003



         Aberdeenshire Local Plan:
         Blessing or blight for Inverurie?
East or west – that was the decision facing Aberdeenshire
Councillors at the meeting of the Garioch Area Committee on 7                      Ian Fowell, Garioch Area
January. And, unless you have been out of the country, you will                    Manager with
know that the Council voted 7:3 to confirm its stated preference                   Aberdeenshire Council,
to develop east at Uryside.
                                                                                   reviews the state of play
            So is that an end to the matter - has the long-awaited decision
now been finally taken? Well, no. Objectors to the proposal still have             with the Local Plan and
the opportunity to challenge the decision at a public enquiry into ALP             outlines the developments
later this year.                                                                   being proposed for
            Also, Barratt has applied for planning permission to build at
                                                                                   Inverurie town centre and
Uryside and CALA/Bancon to build west of the A96 at Blackhall Road,
and both planning applications are the subject of planning appeals, one            traffic measures to cope
to be heard later this month and one in March.                                     with the town’s future
            So, the matter will not be finally decided until planning consent      growth.
is given to either Barratt or CALA/Bancon following the appeals, or the
outcome of the ALP enquiry is known sometime next year. So it is still
a case of ‘watch this space’ as far as future housing development is con-       Street/Burn Lane for implementation later this year.
cerned.                                                                                     * Building a transport interchange at the railway station.
            One concern for businesses might be the additional pressure         Moving buses and taxis from the front of the Town Hall to the station
any expansion of Inverurie would place on the transport infrastructure,         would free up more of the Market Square for pedestrians and other
and particularly the roads in and through the town if Uryside is devel-         uses, such as more outdoor events, farmers’ markets, etc.
oped.                                                                                       We have now won £850,000 from the Integrated Transport
            The improvements planned to address this are:                       Fund for this project to proceed in 2004/6 but we need to reach agree-
           * Constructing an additional footbridge over the railway line,       ment over the goods yard or the money will be spent elsewhere in
if the Uryside development proceeds, to allow the Souterford Bridge to          Aberdeenshire.
return to two-way traffic.                                                                  * Following up on the work of the Help Light Up Inverurie
           * Building a link road between the Olmeldrum and                     group to floodlight the Town Hall, by upgrading the street around the
Rothienorman roads, if Uryside proceeds, to take through traffic over the       Town Hall with better quality paving, benches, artwork, etc.
(upgraded) Howford Bridge and up Burghmuir Road to the A96. This                            I am very hopeful that a bid for funding to the Aberdeenshire
would be constructed in 2006, before phase 2 of the housing develop-            Towns Partnership will be successful, for works to take place in 2004/6.
ment begins.                                                                                All these developments should improve traffic flow through the
           * Completing the Station Road development and opening the            town and make the town centre a more attractive place for residents and
new public toilet with hard landscaping and a feature piece of public art.      visitors alike.
           * Finalising the plans for a one-way scheme for West High                        Some of these improvements will be Council funded, while
                                                                                others are dependent upon grant funding or developer contributions.
                                                                                            Our overall plans for the town centre are outlined in a town
                                                                                centre development brief which is close to being approved.
                                                                                            A particular feature is the area from Burn Lane to Harlaw
                                                                                Road, which needs to be developed in a way which provides opportuni-
                                                                                ty for retail/commercial expansion and enhances the town, yet does not
                                                                                detract from the profitability of existing businesses or loses the ‘market
                                                                                town’ feel.
                                                                                            Space for existing businesses to expand and to attract new
                                                                                businesses is important if Inverurie is to compete commercially. The
                                                                                Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership funded an industrial property survey
                                                                                last year to investigate potential demand.(See report on page 3)
                                                                                            The location of employment land is also a matter for ALP, as
                                                                                there should be 10-30 hectares of land available in the Inverurie/Kintore
                                                                                corridor.
                                                                                            ALP proposes pockets of employment land at Souterford,
                                                                                Uryside, Conglass, Blacklaw Road (over the A96) and south towards
                                                                                Thainstone. These areas are not yet finally agreed by the Council, and
                                                                                planning staff are to re-examine the proposals in the light of objections
                                                                                received.
                                                                                            Finally, one other proposal in the Local Plan, if the Uryside
                                                                                development goes ahead, is the creation of a riverside park between
                                                                                Souterford and Howford Bridges.
                                                                                            No plans have yet been devised, but this could develop into a
                                                                                very exciting opportunity to enhance the environment in Inverurie and
                                                                                attract a number of visitors from near and far.
                                                                                            Aberdeenshire Local Plan – blessing or blight? Well, that is a
                                                                                matter of heated debate at present and no doubt it will all become clear
                                                                                with hindsight in 20 years’ time.
                                                                                            What is clear now is that Inverurie will continue to develop fast
                                                                                for the foreseeable future and we must all strive towards it continuing to
                                                                                be vibrant economically and socially, as the true ‘Heart of the Garioch’.
 You can help Inverurie
get high speed broadband
     internet service
Inverurie Business Association
would like your help.
If enough businesses and house-
                                                                                          Business &
holds register interest in broad-
band services then BT will
upgrade the Inverurie telephone
                                                                                          household
exchange to make the service
available in the town.
This leaflet answers many of the
                                                                                          benefits
questions you may have. Page 4
explains how to register.                                                                 in speed
Please note that registration does
not commit you to take a broad-
band service.
                                     The internet offers a world of knowledge at your
                                       fingertips. Broadband speeds up access.
                                                                                          & capacity
                                                                                        Broadband can help your business,
 What is broadband?                                                                     customers and business partners to
                                                                                        interact more efficiently & effectively.
 Broadband is, quite simply, a high-speed connection to the                             It can also transform domestic use
                                                                                        and enjoyment of the internet.
 Internet, operating at speeds of 512Kbps or higher.
                                                                                        There are many benefits including:
 To put this another way, that’s at least 10 times faster than
 an ordinary telephone modem.                                                           * Broadband offers a flat rate monthly
                                                                                        fee, no matter how much time is spent
 With this amount of bandwidth, sending and receiving large                             on-line and this may save you money.
 amounts of data can be achieved quickly and easily, without
                                                                                        * Faster data speeds and an “always
 the delays often experienced using a dial-up connection.                               on” connection mean that all types of
 Broadband is also significantly different from a dial-up                               files (including graphic & video files) can
 modem or ISDN connection. With dial-up and ISDN you                                    be accessed quickly and easily.
 have to pay for your actual time on-line, whereas a broad-                             * Employees can work effectively out-
 band connection offers a flat rate fee.                                                with the office, for example accessing a
                                                                                        company server and downloading files
 Broadband delivers an “always-on” connection removing
                                                                                        or accessing systems quickly.
 the requirement to dial in and out when access is required.
                                                                                        * Online learning becomes more effec-
 The large amount of bandwidth provided means that broad-                               tive, with providers able to publish differ-
 band is also suitable for multiple computers using the                                 ent file formats and learners able to
 Internet via a single connection.                                                      quickly download course materials.
 This allows multiple users to simultaneously access Internet                           * Online study & research, shopping &
 services. The same connection can also be used for                                     online gaming will be much faster, more
 telephone calls whilst remaining on-line to the Internet.                              efficient and more enjoyable.
                                                                                        * Improved communication with cus-
 There are no significant problems with transferring to a
                                                                                        tomers, business colleagues, family &
 broadband connection. The biggest change is that your
                                                                                        friends from videoconferencing and mul-
 computer or network server will be connected permanently                               timedia messaging services to phoning
 to the Internet.                                                                       them whilst simultaneously on-line.
 This does mean that you will have to consider the security                             * Increased ability to manage informa-
 of your systems, and investigate suitable firewall protection.                         tion between employees, departments
                                                                                        and customers.

Inverurie Business Association                                                            Sign-up for broadband - page 1
       S I G N U P F O R B R OA D B A N D - P H O N E 0 8 0 0 8 0 0 0 6 0 O R F O L L O W I N S T R U C T I O N S O N PA G E 4

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The various options
  Your broadband questions answered                                                                                                                                                                                                                for broadband
  How do I register my interest in possibly taking a             advise you on the set-up of the new line and help you        Can I keep my existing telephone number with my                                                                      There are various different technology options that will
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   allow you to obtain a broadband connection. Broadband
  broadband service?                                             with the paperwork.                                          ADSL service?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   can now be accessed everywhere, although some solu-
  You can register by telephone or online or by filling in the                                                                Most people will be able to keep their existing telephone                                                            tions are more expensive than others.
  form on page 4 of this leaflet. Details of each method of      If I get broadband, will I be charged for the time I         number. If you use another telephone service provider                                                                           Your choice of broadband supplier is critical.
  registration are given on page 4.                              spend browsing the Internet or sending e-mail?               other than BT, you will have to have a BT line installed                                                             Look for guaranteed levels of service, after sales and
                                                                 No, broadband operates on an always-on tariff format, so     subject to a survey being carried out. You still have to                                                             technical support, disaster recovery, reputation and ref-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   erences from other clients.
  Will broadband save me money?                                  you can use it as much as you like for a fixed monthly       pay a phone line rental and for telephone calls in addition
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The broadband options are:
  It depends upon what type of connection you currently          price.                                                       to the ADSL service charge.                                                                                          ADSL
  use and how you use the Internet. For most businesses,                                                                                                                                                                                           ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is the most
  broadband provides the benefit of fast connection and                                                                       If I register am I commiting myself to taking a broad-                                                               common form of DSL broadband. By using the existing
                                                                 Will I need to modify my computer system to change
  download speeds at a fixed price per month. It also pro-                                                                    band service?                                                                                                        national telephone network, DSL technology carries
                                                                 over to broadband?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   data over a standard telephone wire.
  vides your company with the opportunity to use a variety                                                                    No. You are merely stating that you may be interested in
                                                                 You will need to acquire a broadband modem and the                                                                                                                                           In order to access this service you need to
  of web-based services that would not be available if you                                                                    taking a broadband service.                                                                                          have a BT line, however the broadband connection can
  only had a dial-up modem.                                      software that goes with it, but this is often provided by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   then be supplied by a range of different Internet service
                                                                 the supplier and included in your fixed monthly costs.       Do I have to take my broadband service from BT?                                                                      providers. Your local telephone exchange also needs to
  Do I have to be a BT customer to get ADSL?                     You will also have to ensure that your computer or server                                                                                                                         be DSL enabled. Inverurie does not yet have this tech-
                                                                 meets with the minimum requirements as specified by          No. A number of online service providers offer broad-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   nology installed at the exchange.
                                                                 the individual broadband supplier. Your supplier will pro-   band services. Once the service is available from
  No, but you do need to have a BT line installed if you do                                                                                                                                                                                                   ADSL offers a flat rate monthly fee, irrespec-
                                                                 vide full details of what is required                        Inverurie exchange, you may choose which supplier you                                                                tive of how long you stay on-line, offers fast access and
  not already have one. Your broadband supplier will
                                                                                                                              wish to use.                                                                                                         an always on connection. You must be within approxi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   mately 5km of the exchange to access the service.
                                                                                                                                             What specification of computer do I
                                                                                                                                             need?                                                                                                 Satellite
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Satellite broadband can reach areas that land infra-
                                                                                                                                             This will depend on the type of connection
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   structure such as ADSL can’t. If you are too far from a
                                                                                                                                             you choose, and your Internet service                                                                 DSL enabled exchange, or in a sparsely populated area
                                                                                                                                             provider should be able to advise you.                                                                this is currently the most cost-effective solution.
                                                                                                                                             For a basic ADSL connection you will                                                                              Satellite is more expensive to install and run
                                                                                                                                             require Windows 98, ME, 2000                                                                          than an ADSL line. It is delivered via a small antenna
                                                                                                                                             Professional or XP, around 200 Mb free                                                                receiver dish, linked to a satellite in stationary orbit
                                                                                                                                             on your hard drive, an available USB port                                                             above the earth. Satellite is not suitable for all applica-
                                                                                                                                             and a CD-ROM drive. If you are network-                                                               tions due to latency (the delay between sending and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   receiving data due to the distance to the satellite). This
                                                                                                                                             ing the connection (ie more than one
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   means that real time audio or video for example may
                                                                                                                                             computer) you will need a Network                                                                     not work. But the technology works and is a viable
                                                                                                                                             Adapter.                                                                                              option, offering a similar “always on” service to ADSL,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   with a fixed monthly fee.
                                                                                                                                             How much does it cost?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Fixed Wireless
                                                                                                                                             This will depend on the type of technolo-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Fixed wireless is also an option where the land based
                                                                                                                                             gy, service provider and amount of band-                                                              broadband infrastructure may not be accessible. This
                                                                                                                                             width made available. Costs vary and                                                                  technology requires line of sight between you and the
                                                                                                                                             you should get several quotes. A rough                                                                base station, and is accessed using an aerial system.
                                                                                                                                             guide to costs for a basic ADSL connec-                                                               This technology is not as widely available as ADSL or
                                                                                                                                             tion would be around £100 (one-off con-                                                               satellite, but again offers a flat rate monthly fee, “always
                                                                                                                                             nection & modem charge) with a monthly                                                                on” access and guaranteed bandwidth.
                                                                                                                                             charge of around £30.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Leased Line
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   A leased line is a fast, reliable and dedicated Internet
                                                                                                                                             Where can I get details of the various                                                                connection, which is rented from a telecommunications
                                                                                                                                             options?                                                                                              provider. Bandwidth can be readily upgraded to pro-
                                                                                                                                                                                            Inverurie company, Craigdon Business Gifts, relies
                                                                                                                                             Your existing internet service provider is                                                            vide appropriate access speeds, and can be utilised to
                                                                                                                                                                                            on the internet to liaise with customers. Managing     run e-mail and web servers. Unlike ADSL and satellite,
                                                                                                                                             likely to have charges listed on its web       director Stuart Lee decided that broadband was the     upload and download speeds are the same, and the
                                                                                                                                             site. Scottish Enterprise have a useful        answer to improving customer service and effi-         level of bandwidth is guaranteed. Leased lines have
                                                                                                                                             web site giving information and advice on      ciency. With ADSL broadband not available in           traditionally been the most expensive broadband option,
                                                                                                                                             broadband. See the advertisement for           Inverurie, he installed a satellite broadband system   and are mainly used by businesses with larger numbers
                                                                                                                                             details.                                       last year to replace his old dial-up system.           of users or that have a specific requirement for greater
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   bandwidth.


Sign-up for broadband - page 2                                                              Inverurie Business                                           Inverurie Business Association                                                                    Sign-up for broadband - page
                How to register for
                   broadband
You can register your interest in the broadband                                               Option 1
service in one of three ways.                                                               By telephone
Please ensure that you have a current telephone                                       0800 800 060
account on hand if phoning your registratiion.
                                                                                 If you phone the number you will
If you choose the online or form submission                                      hear various automated options.
options then it is important that all the detail is                              Stay on the line and a BT advisor
exactly as it appears on your telephone account.                                 will answer and take your details.

                                    Option 2                                                         Option 3
                                                                                               On-line registration
Fill in the form & place in the IBA broadband collection
         box at TESCO or Strachans, newsagent.                                            You can register your inter-
                                                                                          est in broadband online from
    If you complete this form it will be passed to BT.                                    any computer.
  Please ensure that all the information is exactly as it
                                                                                          Follow these steps:
          appears on your telephone account.
                                                                                          1. Select a service provider.
       Title (Mr, Mrs, Ms etc): ................................                          These are listed on:
                                                                                            www.workingwithyou.co.uk
       First name or initial: ....................................
                                                                                          If you already have an inter-
                                                                                          net service provider then
       Surname: ......................................................
                                                                                          there will probably be a link
                                                                                          from the “home” page.
       Address: .......................................................
                                                                                          Some service providers may
                                                                                          not yet be able to support
       .......................................................................
                                                                                          broadband.
       .......................................................................
                                                                                          2. Go to your chosen serv-
                                                                                          ice provider’s web site and
       Postcode: ....................................................
                                                                                          follow the registration
                                                                                          instructions.
       BT phone number to have broadband:
                                                                                          Ensure all the information
       (incl code).....................................................                   you supply is exactly as it
                                                                                          appears on your telephone
       Contact number: ........................................                           account.
                                                                                          An error may prevent your
       Customer account number (in top left corner of                                     registration being accepted.
       your phone bill):
                                                                                          Your registration will be
                         .................................................
                                                                                          passed to BT who monitor
                                                                                          the overall level of interest
       e-mail: ....................................................................
                                                                                          for the 01467 area code.

Inverurie Business Association                                                          Sign-up for broadband - page 4
connect                                                                                                                            Page nine
Spring 2003

                                                                         The second Christmas of the Help
                                                                                                                         Mission
Save money,                                                              Light-up Inverurie committee organis-
                                                                         ing the Christmas lighting has just
                                                                         passed. The new lights in The Square            accomplished
save headaches,                                                          and on the Christmas tree received
                                                                         very appreciative comments from a
                                                                         large cross section of the community,
                                                                                                                         - now for
and save the                                                             much to the delight of the committee.           phase two
                                                                                      It was also intended to
                                                                         have the floodlighting of the Town Hall      Mike Hebenton, chairman of
environment                                                              and War Memorial monument installed
                                                                         and switched on prior to Christmas.
                                                                         Unfortunately a delay in the supply of
                                                                                                                        Help Light-up Inverurie,
                                                                                                                      explains that achieving the
How much profit are you throwing away? Even in the smallest of           some of the components resulted in           initial target is not the end.
businesses, every £100 increase in costs can require £1,000 extra        this not taking place.                      iar, or do not work properly.
sales just for profit margins to stay the same.                                       At the time of writing this                 Options to replace some of
           The same is often applicable in reverse. Every £100           article, the installation is almost com-    the old lights are currently being
saved in costs can give a multiple reflection in the profit margin of    plete and both should be lit before pub-    explored. Existing lights that will cer-
a business.                                                              lication of Connect.                        tainly be retained are the “waving
           Envirowise (the government body set up to advise busi-                     This will see the completion   Santa’s”.      They were erected later
nesses on waste reduction) has found that cost savings of 10% of         of our main initial projects: improve-      than the others at Christmas as
gross turnover are found in many business waste audits.                  ment of the Christmas lights and per-       replacement parts were slow to arrive.
           Clearly then, it is good busi-                                manent floodlighting of The Town Hall                    Their absence (only for a
ness sense (as well as environmentally         The IBA meeting on        and War Memorial.                           week) was met with considerable dis-
responsible) to reduce your company’s                                                 The generosity of the peo-
waste and, therefore, its trade waste
                                             February 26 will focus                                                  may from a variety of people and the
                                             on Waste Management         ple and businesses of Inverurie has         committee recognises that they are
costs.                                                                   played an enormous part in reaching         extremely popular, particularly with chil-
           Recognising the significant role and how businesses           these goals and our thanks are extend-      dren who wave back!
local businesses can play in reducing,       can reduce their costs      ed to all who have supported our                         Fund raising is an on-going
reusing and recycling waste,                                             efforts.                                    task for the committee and new mem-
Aberdeenshire Council has appointed a new member to its waste                         The Committee is now           bers are always welcome - either rep-
management team. As Trade Waste Advisor, Graham Mann is                  planning objectives and fund-raising for    resenting groups or as individuals.
available to offer free and impartial advice to the council’s trade      this year.
waste customers.                                                                      Our ongoing aim is improv-     * If you are interested in joining the
           Graham’s information and advice on trade waste issues         ing the Christmas lights. Although          Help Light-up Inverurie committee
will be tailored to individual business needs and concerns.              pleased with the new lights, some of        contact Linda Singer at Thainstone
However, a recent survey of local businesses has shown that              the older ones have become too famil-       Business Centre on 01467 672528.
many are particularly interested in:
    *   The associated costs of trade waste regulation
    *   Duty of care
    *   Waste prevention/minimisation
    *   Recycling market operations & opportunities
    *   Material reuse
    *   Waste mapping and auditing
           Giving advice, and encouraging action, on such matters
helps local businesses to cut costs and avoid the headaches asso-
ciated with falling foul of waste regulations.
           It also helps the council to further its aim of drastically
reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.
           The EU Landfill Directive, the council’s Integrated
Sustainable Waste Management Strategy and the National Waste
Strategy for Scotland all require significant improvements in the
reduction, reuse and recycling of waste to reduce landfilling.
           Reduction of waste at source is the most desirable and
effective action a business can take. However, even simple sepa-
ration of your trade waste can significantly reduce costs because
of the difference in charges for waste going to landfill and that
going for recycling.
           General waste costs approximately £85 per tonne, while
separated recyclables cost only £55 per tonne if collected and
even less still if delivered to a licensed waste site.
           SEPA recently stated that landfill costs could rise 8½
times in the foreseeable future.
           Whether your motivation for doing something about your
trade waste is purely commercial or is driven by concern for the
environment, you should call Graham Mann for advice. It’s free,
it’s impartial, there’s no obligation and a meeting can be arranged
at a time and place to suit you.
* Telephone Graham Mann on 01467 628672, or e-mail him at
graham.mann@aberdeenshire.gov.uk
connect                                                                                                                                              Page ten
Spring 2003                                   TOURISM                                               FOCUS - 1
In a previous Connect I emphasised the impor-
tance of Tourism to our area, (£400million per
year spend and 20,000 jobs involved) at a time
when our indigenous fishing and farming indus-
                                                                Positive ambassadors
tries along with oil were facing a rather uncer-
tain future.
             Recent events including reduction of
                                                                needed for the area
white fish quotas and the sale of the Forties                                                                                    Politically, the industry is often weakly
Field by B.P. have re-inforced this and I would               Aberdeenshire Convener                                  supported in localities which perceive tourism to
like to re-visit the strengths, weaknessess, oppor-            & Inverurie councillor                                 be detrimental to the social and/or physical envi-
tunities and threats that face our Tourist Industry            Raymond Bissett says                                   ronment.
today.                                                        attitudes must change if                                           Visitors are considered an intrusion and the
             Our greatest strength is the area’s nat-         we are to attract and hold                              value of tourism as an industry capable of mak-
ural environment coupled with relative peace and                       tourists.                                      ing an important contribution to the local econo-
quiet, a unique heritage and a strong Royal con-                                                                      my is not always appreciated.
nection.                                                     universities and extended use of e-technology and re-               In my opinion, some of the hostility
             However, we are off the beaten track            development of the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference    shown to the Archaeolink project bears testament
and the industry is not helped by:                           Centre.                                                  to this.
 a) an under-developed image                                              The area’s Trails (Castle, Stone Circle                Competitive threats are there for all to
 b) a lack of all-weather facilities                         and Coastal) are being re-vitalised with an              see - cheap package holidays abroad, the strong
 c) a shortage of well-promoted attractions to               increased emphasis on the vital importance of            pound, expensive air travel to Aberdeen and an
     overcome the “seasonality” problem                                                                               inadequate air and train service coupled with the
                                                             service and training through the introduction of
 d) an often mediocre quality of service
                                                             an Aberdeenshire Service Achievement Award, a            fact that most other tourist destinations are clos-
 e) inadequate marketing due to lack of resource.
                                                             new Industry Awards Scheme planned for later             er to their main markets.
            In the 1990’s the Local Authorities,             this year and a pilot project - Chef of the Year                    Economic threats include the state of
Enterprise Companies and National agencies,                  - linking Tourism and Food.                              other industries within the area (already men-
working in partnership, developed a “necklace” of                         However these initiatives can only be       tioned) which can destabilise the local econo-
Visitor Attractions across the area - Archeolink,            successful if we, as a community, are prepared           my as a whole..
Fraserburgh Lighthouse Museum, Duff House, Buckie            to acknowledge and face up to some very seri-                      You, the business community,            can
Drifter and Macduff Aquarium among others) with              ous threats to real progress - attitudinal, political,   help diminish these threats in many ways,          not
the intention of helping attract and keeping                 competitive and economic.                                least by adopting an ambassadorial role           out-
tourists here for a longer period of time.                                Negative    attitudes     are     deeply    side of the area and by actively raising           the
            The recently produced Aberdeen and               entrenched within the industry due to the low            awareness of and the importance of tourism
Grampian Area Tourism Strategy is underway to                status and poor pay accorded to this sector,             within our own Community.
try and bring in an extra £60 million annually               often characterised by part-time seasonal employ-
from 2007 onwards.                                                                                                               Politeness, a smile, an eagerness to
                                                             ment and long, unsocial hours. Commitment to
            Some activities to date include a closer                                                                  help, costs little but the rewards in terms of
                                                             an appropriate training structure for the industry
working with the food and drink sector, work involving the   is absolutely essential.                                 visitors making return visits are very real indeed!
 connect                                                                                                                     Page eleven
 Spring 2003                                  TOURISM                                    FOCUS - 2
Tourism is worth £480 million annually to
Aberdeen and Grampian’s economy. It
is important that this contribution is
recognised and tourism is seen as an
important sector - capable of further
                                                        Initiatives to attract
growth. In this respect tourism is “every-
one’s business”.
            After the devastating effects of Foot
and Mouth disease and September 11th it has
                                                          foreign visitors
been encouraging to see a positive increase                                                             the British Tourist Authority. They will also be
in levels of business for the majority of                                                               undertaking considerable work on city promo-
tourism operators.
                                                          Ian Dunlop, chief                             tion, both in conjunction with the British
            The Aberdeen and Grampian                 executive of Aberdeen                             Tourist Authority and VisitScotland.
Tourism strategy was officially launched last           & Grampian Tourist                                         AGTB’s consumer website will con-
year. The strategy will lead and fully integrate         Board, outlines the                            tinue to develop over the coming months and
local tourism development and promotional                                                               will include a much improved Towns and
activities of the main agencies and tourism
                                                      actions being taken to                            Villages section.
industry over the next four years. It places            attract more visitors                                      The Inverurie Bookstore and Tourist
particular emphasis on new ways of partners                   to the area.                              Information Centre continues to offer a valu-
working together to achieve more from exist-                                                            able service to the people of Inverurie and
ing resources.                                                                                          surrounds and visitors to the area.
            New opportunities and markets          Superfast service has provided good news for                    The staff are continuously striving to
have opened up for the area with the estab-        the area with 43% of those interviewed visit-        increase customer awareness of the facilities
lishment of the Ryanair Dublin to Aberdeen         ing Aberdeen and Grampian, making it the             on offer by holding book-signing events; visit-
service and the Superfast Ferries Zeebrugge        fourth most popular destination for overseas         ing schools; welcoming school and local
to Rosyth link.                                    visitors travelling on the ferry.                    groups to visit the Bookstore; and selling tick-
            Aberdeen & Grampian Tourist                         AGTB continues to promote the           ets for local events.
Board (AGTB) have been involved in numer-          area to visitors utilising the ferry link through               The tourist information services on
ous activities to increase the number of Irish     promotional articles in the on board magazine        offer are used largely by visitors but local peo-
visitors to the area. This has included hosting    and working with other Area Tourist Boards           ple should also be aware that information is
various groups of Irish journalists, newspaper     and VisitScotland at the Information Centre in       available about the whole of Scotland.
campaigns in conjunction                                                    Zeebrugge.                             Inverurie plays an important role as
with Ryanair and the Edge of                                                          The board has     the hub of two very significant “unique selling
Autumn and Festive Breaks          ‘Inverurie plays an important undertaken extensive                   points” for Aberdeen and Grampian Highlands
campaigns being supported                                                   research on the records     - the Castle Trail and the Stone Circles Trail.
by special offers from the
                                     role as the hub of two very held in its consumer                   Together with our partners we are working
industry.                             significant unique selling database to provide a                  hard to promote and develop these attractions
            AGTB staff have                                                 greater understanding       to our target markets.
also been representing the
                                    points - the Castle Trail and of people expressing an                          AGTB remains committed to work-
area at holiday exhibitions in         the Stone Circles Trail’             interest in the area.       ing with partners and the industry to achieve
Ireland. Further marketing                                   - Ian Dunlop This enables marketing        sustainable tourism growth.
activities planned for the year                                             activities to target spe-              Businesses can support tourism by
include direct mailings to a                                                cific markets at specific   working in partnership with the tourist board
database of contacts, mailings to travel trade     times.                                               and participating in their marketing cam-
contacts and further press and trade visits to                  The tourist board will be concen-       paigns. The tourist board welcome any views
the area.                                          trating their marketing efforts on the French        or ideas members may have to support
            Initial research undertaken on the     and Norwegian markets in conjunction with            tourism in this area.


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connect                                                                                                                         Page twelve
Spring 2003                             TOURISM                                           FOCUS - 3
INVERURIE IS “S”MILES BETTER – JUST
DON’T EXPECT SIGNPOSTS!
            Inverurie is a growing, vibrant town
                                                      No smart new tourist
with many active bodies and individuals work-
ing hard to continue to improve the facilities
and lifestyle for the local population and visi-
tors.
                                                      sign for Inverurie
            The newer initiatives e.g. Paddy’s                                                             BEAR Scotland who, it appears, are the
Market, Inverurie in Bloom and the recent suc-                                                             guardians of our main roads under contract
cess of the Light Up Inverurie scheme are to            IBA member Jackie                                  from the Scottish Executive.
be commended and are certainly appreciated              Allen of Bees Knees                                            Our proposed new signs do not con-
by the townsfolk and visitors alike.                    considers Inverurie’s                              form to the Scottish Executive’s Tourist Signing
            Unfortunately, for every plus there         tourism credentials                                Policy. But we are not alone. The signs for
always seems to be a minus.                             and how the message                                Perth, Dundee, and various other towns, do
            It would appear that while so many          has not reached the                                not conform but are allowed.
are working hard to improve Inverurie and               Scottish Executive                                             All has now been revealed.            It
attract new business and tourists, some of the                                                             seems that Inverurie is NOT on the Scottish
powers that be are intent on dumbing down the         geted.                                               Executive and Scottish Tourist Board list of
successes of Inverurie with short sighted                         It is on the Castle Trail and the        specific tourist trails and so does not qualify for
vision.                                               Distillery Trail. We are blessed by being sur-       special signing.
            Some of the local, more traditional       rounded by a large number of golf courses and                    Needless to say that the IBA will not
North East industries have been in decline,           places of historic interest.                         be accepting this decision - watch this space
such as farming and the current situation in the                  Inverurie nestles at the base of         for developments.
fishing industries is bound to have a knock on        Bennachie, a place of much beauty making it a                    And, with Inverurie’s many attrac-
effect that needs to be counteracted by looking       magnet to hill walkers and nature lovers.            tions and its close proximity to Aberdeen
at new areas, tourism being an obvious choice.                    Despite these, and many other,           Airport, beaches and mountains, a new tourist
            Inverurie’s position as a commuter        attractions Inverurie is not considered worthy, it   brochure for the town is overdue.
town for Aberdeen gives quality of life while still   seems, of tourist sign-posting on the main                       Whatever your interests, Inverurie
offering good shopping, services and leisure          North road.                                          would certainly make the perfect choice as a
facilities. This generates a lot of local business                The Inverurie Business Association       holiday base.
but also attracts many people outwith to work,        first raised the question of improved signage                    The only thing missing on this won-
visit, shop and use these amenities.                  from the A96 two years ago and has worked            derful list for the ideal holiday destination is
            Inverurie may be the “Heart of the        with Planning and Environmental Services at          great weather but we a’ ken it’s an “ill-pairtit
Garioch” but, as one of the main towns on the         Gordon House to agree designs.                       wardle!”
A96, every traveller to the North of Scotland is                  In January a letter arrived from         * Translation “It’s a badly shared out world!)
a likely visitor to the town and should be tar-


                                                                                        Get on board
        Will Chemists (Inverurie) Ltd                                                   for EYDP and
        35 West High Street, Inverurie                                                  take action
                                                                                    Susanna Bichard (left), AWARE
                                                                                    Consultancy, and Sandra Turnbull,

     Suppliers of First Aid and
                                                                                    Computers & Integration, attended
                                                                                    EYDP launch.

      Medical Equipment to                                                         Representatives from three Inverurie enterprises travelled to

       many local businesses
                                                                                   Edinburgh, in January, to attend a reception held by the first minis-
                                                                                   ter to launch the European Year of Disabled People 2003.
                                                                                              Computers & Integration, AWARE Consultancy and
                                                                                   Gordon Disability Action are all members of the local Network of
      The company operates one of the largest                                      Social Enterprises.
                                                                                              To mark the year the Computer service and AWARE have
      single pharmacies in the North East and                                      signed up to a partnership to develop a good practice guide on pro-
      can offer your company expert advice on                                      ducing accessible information. Gordon Disability Action will be
                  medical supplies.                                                working with groups across Aberdeenshire to set up Access Panels.
                                                                                              At the launch, a speaker from B&Q highlighted that build-
                                                                                   ing disabled access in when planning only accounts for 1% of
         We supply simple First Aid kits to                                        spend. This is the message the access groups would hope to get
    sophisticated medical equipment, such as                                       across.
   ophthalmoscopes and sutures, as well as a                                                  Celebrations met a reality check the following day with a
   complete range of pharmaceutical items you                                      reminder that not everyone has got the message.
                                                                                               Stopping at a coffee shop in the Royal Mile a waiter tried
   would expect to find in a pharmacy with an                                      to refuse entrance to the visitors because of Judy - the guide dog.
   excellent reputation in the local community.                                    It took two customers to point out that this refusal was in fact illegal!
                                                                                              The motto for the year is Get on Board! Both projects
      For further information, please telephone Ian                                would welcome support if you have knowledge, skills, time or
              Will on 01467 620475 or e-mail:                                      resources – why not Get on Board?
               Will.Chem@btconnect.com                                             * Further information call: Linda Singer 01467 672528; Sandra at
                                                                                   Computers and Integration 01467 623600; Susanna at AWARE
                                                                                   Consultancy 01467 629367 or Yvonne at Gordon Disability Action 01467
                                                                                   629909.
connect                                                                                                                    Page thirteen
Spring 2003                             READERS’                                           LETTERS
As a Scottish Executive appointed Reporter starts a series of Public
Local Enquiries to review various planning applications and the
Aberdeenshire Local Plan, Cllr Mike Raeburn explains why he is
                                                                               I read with interest the feature on
                                                                               Broadband internet for Inverurie in
                                                                               the Winter edition of Connect.
                                                                                                                            Satellite
                                                                                                                            broadband
against housing development to the East.                                                   I was surprised that it
                                                                               gave no mention of broadband via
Debate has raged over the ques-
                                       Why I                                   satellite, which we have been

                                                                                                                            solution
tion of which way Inverurie                                                    using here for the last couple of

                                       say
should develop, East to Uryside                                                months.
or West to Blackhall.                                                                      I, too, was disappointed
           Years of consultations,                                             at the unlikely chance of BT
plans and proposals resulted in
Uryside being proposed in the
                                       ‘no’ to                                 upgrading the Inverurie exchange
                                                                               and so went for the only other real-
Local Plan as the preferred direc-
tion for expansion with a final        Uryside                                 istic option open to us.
                                                                                           At the moment Craigdon
total of 1,500 houses and an                                                   process around 600 emails per
industrial development spread          the cost.
                                                                               day and this is increasing daily, so
along the Oldmeldrum Road.                          It is suggested that the
                                                                               a permanent connection to the
           The original proposal       first part of the link road be built
                                                                               internet is essential.                     From Stuart Lee, Craigdon
also included ambitious schemes        using developer contributions.
                                                                                           After months of investi-       Business Gifts, Inverurie.
for a loch on the floodplain and a     This will suck up most of the con-
                                                                               gation it was decided that BT
park alongside.       Since then       tributions and means not much                                                    one as there is a slight delay in
                                                                               Openworld broadband via satellite
things have changed.                   will be left for developing the town                                             sending and receiving data, so
                                                                               was the solution.
           A     flooding     study    centre or providing any of the                                                   video conferencing etc would not
                                                                                           Installation and pur-
showed houses could not be built       other infrastructure improve-                                                    be very efficient, but it is perfect for
                                                                               chase is quite expensive, at
on the floodplain and neither          ments Inverurie so desperately                                                   email and general web browsing
                                                                               around £799, but I believe you can
could the loch, as it would affect     needs.                                                                           etc.
                                                                               rent the system for a monthly sum.
the flooding characteristics of the                 The second part of the                                                          We still have the ISDN
                                                                                           Our monthly fees are
Ury.                                   link road has to cross the upper                                                 facility available so that we have a
                                                                               £59.99 and for that we get a per-
           Doubts were also            Ury floodplain and the railway.                                                  backup connection in case of any
                                                                               manent connection, with download
raised over the impact on traffic      We do not even know if this is                                                   problems with the satellite. So far
                                                                               speeds of up to 500Kb/s and
and the landscape. Gradually           technically feasible, but initial                                                we have had no loss of service
                                                                               upload speeds of up to 150Kb/s.
people in Inverurie realised that      estimates have put the cost of                                                   whatsoever and that even
                                                                                           We were already paying
developing on Uryside might not        this section alone at £11million.                                                includes having snow on the dish!
                                                                               £1500 per year for our ISDN
be such a good idea after all.         All this to try to engineer out a                                                            The only other perma-
                                                                               dialup connection so actually, the
           As a newly elected          problem caused by placing hous-                                                  nent, high speed, connection
                                                                               satellite service works out more
councillor I came to this with an      ing and industry in the wrong                                                    option we had was to go for a
                                                                               cost effective.
open mind and listened to the          place.                                                                           leased line costing around £7000
                                                                                           It must be stated that
opinion and advice of my fellow                     The effect on the land-                                             per year but the cost was outwith
                                                                               the satellite option is not for every-
councillors, our community coun-       scape will be severe. At the                                                     our budget.
cil and, most importantly, the peo-    moment most of Inverurie can
ple and businesses within the          look out across the Ury to a
                                       pleasant view of rolling country-
                                                                                                               Kintore Arms
town.
           After examining the         side reflecting the unique beauty
evidence I came to a similar con-
clusion as many of the folk of
Inverurie. The Uryside develop-
ment was not such a good idea
                                       of the Aberdeenshire landscape.
                                       Do we really want to cover this
                                       with houses? Do we really want
                                       houses built in the grounds of
                                       Keithhall, one of a handful of
                                                                                  KA                               Hotel
                                                                                                                83 High Street, Inverurie
                                                                                                                  Tel: 01467 621367
and housing and industry could
be better accommodated else-           nationally important designed
                                       landscapes?
where.
           Transport is the main                    A viable alternative                     SUNDAY CARVERY
area of worry. The Uryside devel-      exists; houses could be built
opment proposes a link road from       around the hill from Blackhall to                              12noon - 8pm - £6.95
the     Oldmeldrum        to    the    the Burnhervie Road, avoiding                   Choose from 2 Home Made Soups and 3 Roasts
Rothienorman roads. A further          the hilltop and with a new junction                          Fantail of Melon, Scotch Broth
extension will connect from the        onto the A96 north of the Don.
                                                                                                    or Home Made Soup of the Day
Howeford Bridge to the A96 north       Industrial development could be
of Conglass.                           concentrated on the west side of
                                       the A96 between Thainstone and             Roast Beef, Roast Turkey & Honey Roast Ham. Have a slice of
           The original study
                                       the Kemnay Road.                              each accompanied with Roast and Boiled Potatoes, Fresh
twelve years ago for 750 houses
on Uryside foresaw traffic rates                    Both these proposals                    Vegetables, Stuffing & Yorkshire Puddings
on Burghmuir Drive of one vehi-        will see traffic gaining direct
cle every 3.5 and 2.4 seconds in       access to the A96 without having                            High Teas - served 5 - 7pm
the morning and evening peak           to traverse the town centre.                               Main Course, tea/coffee, toast,
                                                    This way the A96 ceas-
hours. With recent developments                                                                     scones and home bakes
at the top of Burghmuir Drive and      es to be a by-pass and becomes
twice as many houses we can            a central artery giving rapid
                                       access to the North and South. At
expect traffic to be virtually grid-
locked for substantial parts of the    the same time traffic could filter                   Lounge                 Serving Bar Suppers
                                                                                                                   5om - 9pm Mon - Fri
day.                                   into the town via a variety of                         Bar                  12noon - 9pm Sat - Sun
           Since there are only        access routes avoiding the choke
two access points to the town          points at the railway bridges.
over the railway bridges, similar                   For the sake of our
                                                                                  EARLY BOOKINGS ADVISED FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON
problems may be anticipated in         town let us hope that the
                                       Reporter agrees.                                       MENUS NOW AVAILABLE
the town centre. Then there is
connect                                                                                                          Page fourteen
Spring 2003




File bogus
                                                      Local companies are
                                                      still being enticed to
                                                      part with cash by rogue
                                                                                                  Q&A
                                                      organisations.      Bill       Here are the answers to a couple of questions asked of
                                                      Cassie,     Head     of
notices
                                                                                     Consumer Protection on a regular basis by businesses.
                                                      Consumer Protection
                                                                                     Q: Gent came in this morning wanting a refund on a
                                                      for      Aberdeenshire         gaudy jumper his Granny bought him for Xmas. Must
                                                      Council warns of a cur-        I give him his money back?


in the bin                                            rent scam and gives
                                                      some         Consumer
                                                      Protection advice.
                                                                                     A: No, you are under no obligation to do so unless you
                                                                                     agreed with the Granny that you would be happy to refund
                                                                                     or exchange if the recipient didn’t like the jumper.
                                                                                         That is at your discretion and is additional to the con-
Aberdeenshire Council Consumer Protection reports that they are still getting        sumers’ statutory rights for the goods to be:
a steady stream of enquiries from local businesses worried that they might be                   * Fit for their purpose
breaking Data Protection laws.                                                                  * Of satisfactory quality
          They have all received notices demanding a fee of £95 + VAT to reg-                   * Correspond with their description
ister with the Data Protection Register and pointing out that it is a criminal
offence to fail to comply.                                                           Q: Customer phoned this morning to say that a
          The last issue of Connect carried a similar warning about this, but, in    microwave I sold him last week is faulty. I told him to
light of the escalating number of enquiries, Consumer Protection want to             take it back but he said no to that. He says I must go
repeat the message to ignore the notices which come with various names               and collect it. Who is right?
attached to them including:
                                                                                     A: The customer – buyers are not legally obliged to return
                   Data Registration Agency                                          faulty goods at their expense.
                   Data Protection Registration Agency                                   This doesn’t apply if the customer has had the goods for
                   Data Protection Act Registration Service                          some time or they got them as a present.
          Bill Cassie, Head of Consumer Protection says, “These notices are               Fortunately, most consumers take a sensible approach
being sent out randomly to businesses throughout the UK, regardless of               to this and will take light items back to the shop.
whether or not they need to register.
          “Most do not need to register and can find out if they need to from
the Office of the Information Commissioner, Elizabeth France. She is keen                 If you want further information on Consumer
                                                                                       Protection matters they can be contacted on 01467
to make it clear that there is no connection between her office and the
                                                                                                   628323 and 01346 510505.
senders of the notices.”
                                                                                        E-mail: trading.standards@aberdeenshire.gov.uk
          The fee for registration, if it is needed, is £35. Her office can be
contacted on 01625 545740 or via the website at: www.dpr.gov.uk



    Business services directory                                                                           To be included contact
                                                                                                          Connect on 01467 621146


     Chartered Certified Accountant and Registered Auditor


        J D Accountancy
          Accountancy, taxation and audit services
                   for small businesses
                 16 Nellfred Terrace, Inverurie
    Tel: 01467 623237      e-mail: info@jdaccountancy.co.uk


                                                                                       BUILDING BUSINESS PROFILES
                                                                                          Media strategy and management
                                                                              Press releases, Photography, Publication planning,Training


                                                                                 Media Solutions
                                                                                    Phone Ranald Allan on 01467 621146 or
                                                                                          e-mail: rams@btclick.com
                                                                                              SPECIAL RATES FOR IBA MEMBERS
connect                                                                                                                   Page fifteen
Spring 2003


Higher NI will hit                                                            Grampian Police will host the lat-
                                                                              est in their series of business
                                                                              crime seminars on Tuesday,
                                                                                                                     Sign-up
workers & firms                                                               March 25. The seminars will
                                                                              focus on shoplifting and credit
                                                                              card crime.
                                                                                                                     for tips on
                                                                                                                     how to
                                                                                          There are two venues.

from April                                                                    The first is Maryculter House
                                                                              Hotel at 2pm and the second is
                                                                              Meldrum House Hotel at 7pm.


                                                                                                                     beat the
January 31 will have seen many a sigh of relief in every                                   “For the first time we
accountancy practice, bringing to an end the months of hard                   have brought in external speak-
work ensuring that clients tax returns are delivered to the                   ers to discuss shoplifting, “
Inland Revenue before the deadline.                                           explained Darren Mills, divisional


                                                                                                                     thieves
                                                                              crime prevention officer.
        It is now time to think of all the other matters which
                                                                                           “Donald Findlay and
may have been pushed aside in the run up to January 31.                       Jim Carchrie are security man-
                                                                              agers with Asda Stores, and
National Insurance                                                            therefore deal with this type of
The increased rates of
national insurance as put            More                                     crime on almost a daily basis.
                                                                              They will discuss their experi-
                                                                                                                     Brian Miller, a consultant to the

                                     taxing
forward in the 2002 budget                                                                                           Association of Payment Clearing
                                                                              ences, give examples of methods
come into effect on April 6,                                                                                         Services (APACS), who will deliv-
                                                                              used by the thief and refer to
2003.                                                                                                                er a presentation on how to pre-
The new rates will affect us
as follows:
                                     times                                    video reconstructions.
                                                                                          “It is content of this
                                                                                                                     vent credit card crime.
                                                                                                                                The seminars will be
                                                                              nature that previous audiences
Assuming an employee                                                                                                 funded by the Aberdeenshire
                                                                              have said they would like to see
earns £40,000 pa or self                                                                                             Community Safety Partnership,
employed profits of            Heather Cameron FCCA, a partner in             at future events,” he said confirm-
                                                                                                                     which means that there will be no
                                                                              ing that the police are keen to
£40,000 pa.                    Cassie & Co, looks ahead to NI and             improve the content and standard
                                                                                                                     cost to those attending. Places
                                Income Tax changes which could                of the presentations, and to learn
                                                                                                                     are limited and Darren urges
Employee                                                                                                             businesses to register attendance
Currently an employee
                                        cost you money.                       from audience comments.
                                                                                                                     to avoid disappointment.
                                                                                          Despite being highlight-
pays no National Insurance                                                    ed in the past shoplifting and
on earnings over the upper earnings level which is set at £585 per                                                   * Contact South Aberdeenshire
                                                                              credit card crime continue to be a     Crime Prevention Unit on 01224
week for this and next year.                                                  problem in the area.                   387335 or fax attendance details to
            After April 5, earnings over that level will be subject to                    Joining the Grampian       01224 386030 or e-mail:
National Insurance of 1% which, together with an increase to 11% in           Police and Asda teams will be          crimeprev@grampian.police.uk
the rate of National Insurance paid on earnings over £89 per week,
will cost the employee an additional £354 pa.

Employer                                                                             Inverurie’s No 1 independent Builders Merchants
The employer’s rate of National Insurance will be increased from
11.8% to 12.8% which equates to an additional £354 pa.

Self Employed
Class iv NIC Contributions also increase by 1% resulting in additional
liability of £354 pa.
Personal allowances are not being increased this year so the tax
payable will not change unless the tax rates change.

Car Benefits
The benefit for car fuel is currently a set amount relative to the engine                    BUILDERS MERCHANTS
size of the car. With effect from April 6, 2003, fuel benefits are to be
charged as a percentage of £14,400. The percentage to be used is                             Sand, Cement, Blocks, Gravel
the same as for the car benefit charge.
For example:                                                                                        Slates & Slabs
Car costs (new) £20,000. Co2 emissions 200. Assume 1600c.c.
petrol.
                                                                                               Head to Toe Safety Wear
Car Benefit 22% x 20,000 = £4400                                                                    Gas and Coal
Fuel benefit (2002 - 3) £2850   (2003 - 4) 22% x 14,400 = £3168
                                                                                               Dulux Decorator Centre
Now is the time to review whether an employee/director receives a
car fuel benefit or alternatively pays for all fuel and receives a tax free
payment for all Business mileage.                                                     Visit our new Bradstone display area
Market Down But Not A Total Loss                                                                         Delivery service
And finally a further thought for the future:
The value of many shares is currently at an all time low and if you are            GPH Builders Merchants, Harlaw Road, Inverurie AB51 4FH
considering your inheritance tax position, now may be the time to gift
                                                                                            Tel: (01467) 621926 Fax: (01467) 629098
these to the next generation.
           The value is low, meaning that there could be capital losses
and no capital gains tax on the transfer. The capital losses can be
treated as those on any true capital disposals.
                                                                                            PART OF THE J H CONNON GROUP
connect                                                                                                                 Page sixteen
Spring 2003


                                           Important diary dates
 February
 14 – 18: Garioch Arts Exhibition, Town Hall: 10am–5pm
 17: Malcolm Bruce MP – Broadband discussion, Edwards: 11am
                                                                                                                                    John Glover,
     Booking places: 013398 89120
 17: Inverurie Community Council, Town Hall                                                                                         chairman of the
 18: Garioch Area Committee                                                                                                         IBA, chats to
 19: Women in the Network, Aberdeen: Networking event. Booking                                                                      Mike Stephen,
      places: 01358 723223                                                                                                          of Turriff, at a
 21: American Style Wrestling, Inverurie Academy: Tickets -                                                                         recent IBA
      Music Centre                                                                                                                  meeting at the
 21: 1930’s Costume Fundraising Dance, Town Hall: Tickets -                                                                         Barn & Bushel,
      Mitchells Dairy
                                                                                                                                    Thainstone.
 22: On Stage 2003, Town Hall: Tickets - Allan Harrow 621554
 25: Royal Northern Spring Show 2003, Thainstone Centre
                                                                         26: Funding application workshop, Gordon Disability Action, Opt In
 26: IBA open meeting – Waste Management, Barn & Bushel,
                                                                               Centre
      Thainstone Centre: 7pm
                                                                         27: IBA open meeting – IIP, Kintore Arms Hotel, Inverurie: 7pm
 27: Aberdeenshire Disability Advisory Group open meeting, Barn &
                                                                         29: Aberdeenshire Community Safety Groups Annual Seminar,
      Bushel, Thainstone Centre: 2pm – 4pm
                                                                               Woodhill House, Aberdeen
 March
                                                                         April
 05: Agenda event - Making Sense of Social Responsibility, Town
                                                                         01: Garioch Area Committee
      House, Aberdeen: 2pm
                                                                         07 – 21: Easter Holidays
 07: Old Time Scottish Dance - Garioch Blend, Town Hall: 8pm. In
                                                                         21: Inverurie Community Council, Town Hall
      aid of Help Light-up Inverurie
                                                                         23: Towns Together, Ellon
 11: Garioch Area Committee
                                                                         23: Women in the Network, Banchory - Creativity in Business:
 12: Licensing Board - Central
                                                                              Booking places: 01358 723223
 13: Red Nose Day - Comic Relief
                                                                         29: IBA Annual General Meeting, Barn & Bushel, Thainstone
 13: Careers Evening, Inverurie Academy: 7pm
                                                                               Centre: 7pm
 14 – 15: On Stage 2003, Town Hall
                                                                         May
 17: Inverurie Community Council, Town Hall
                                                                         05: May Day Holiday
 19: Introduction to Business Advising Course - targeting Social
                                                                         16: Staff In-service, Inverurie Academy
      Enterprises or business people willing to support Social
                                                                         19: Inverurie Community Council, Town Hall
      Enterprises: Information from Linda Singer 01467 672528
                                                                         June
 19: Rural SME’s Workshop – Employment and Recruitment Law,
                                                                         02: Holiday, Inverurie Academy
      Lochter Fishery, Oldmeldrum: Booking places: 01467 672535
                                                                         13: S6 Induction, Inverurie Academy
 19: Women in the Network, Turriff - Stress management: Booking
                                                                         16: Inverurie Community Council, Town Hall
       places: 01358 723223
                                                                         July
 25: Business Crime seminar, Meldrum House Hotel: 7pm. Booking
                                                                         04 - Aug 19: School holidays
       places: 01224 387335

                               For inclusion in this section contact Linda Singer on 01467 672528

 Web sites                        An instant guide to useful web sites for business
* Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce: www.agcc.co.uk              *   Grants for businesses: www.j4b.co.uk
* Aberdeenshire Business Directory: www.aberdeenshirebusiness.net        *   Health Education Board for Scotland: www.hebs.com
* Aberdeenshire Community Safety Groups: www.aberdeenshirecommuni        *   Health and Safety Executive: www.hse.gov.uk
  tysafety.org.uk                                                        *   Inland Revenue: www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk
* Aberdeenshire Council: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk                        *   Institute of Management: www.inst-mgt.org.uk
* Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership: www.atap.org.uk                       *   International Trade: www.tradepartners.gov.uk
* Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service: www.acas.org.uk        *   Investors in people: www.iipuk.co.uk
* Agenda, Social Responsibility in Scotland: www.agenda-scotland.org     *   Job Centre Plus - information on Employment Services:
* Broadband: www.workingwithyou.co.uk                                         www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk
* Business Community Connections: www.bcconnections.org.uk               *   Learning opportunities and information on funding learning:
* Caredata - local community, care and health information:                   www.learndirectscotland.com
  www.grampiancaredata.gov.uk                                            *   Learndirect Scotland for Business: www.lds4b.com
* Careers Scotland – guidance about work or learning: www.careers-scot   *   North East Scotland Business Waste Management Partnership:
  land.org.uk                                                                 www.nesbwmp.com
* Chartered Institute of Marketing: www.cim.co.uk                        *   Office of Fair Trading: www.oft.gov.uk
* Companies House: www.companieshouse.gov.uk                             *   Patent Office: www.patent.gov.uk
* Data Protection: www.dataprotection.gov.uk                             *   Reach: www.volwork.org.uk
* Department of Trade and Industry: www.dti.gov.uk                       *   Scotland’s Health at Work: www.shaw.uk.com
* Direct Marketing Association (avoid unwanted mail): www.dma.org.uk     *   Small Business Gateway: www.sbgateway.co.uk
* Disability Rights Commission: www.drc-gb.org                           *   Step: www.step.org.uk
* Enterprise North East Trust: www.enetrust.com                          *   Trading Standards – reporting rogue traders: www.ripofftipoff.net
* Fax preference Service: www.fpsonline.org.uk
                                                                         *   UK Online for Business: www.ukonlineforbusiness.co.uk
* Federation of Small Business: www.fsb.co.uk
* Funding for learners: www.fundingforlearners.com                       *   Women into the network: www.scottishbusinesswomen.com

								
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