Retailers need to protect cash flow amidst falling sales

As consumer spending continues to fall, it is vital companies doing business in the retail sector take steps to protect their own position, according to a specialist lawyer.

The warning comes after December 2018 was named one of the worst on record due to like-for-like in-store sales dropping 1.9% year-on-year, according to the High Street Tracker produced by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO.

Boxing Day footfall also dropped 3.1 per cent for the third consecutive year, retail performance measurement company Springboard reported.

Simon Key, associate in Nelsons’ commercial dispute resolution team and head of its debt recovery service, said:

“The festive retail reports show that consumers are being more cautious when it comes to retail spending, particularly in-store. And naturally, the lack of spending is having an impact on the cash available to the retail sector.

“It is therefore important that anyone doing business in the retail sector takes steps to protect their own position.”

The UK high street looks set for a slow start to 2019, with little evidence of an increase in in-store spending, or in confidence returning to previous levels.

Simon added: “With retail, as with most sectors, cash flow is the key to businesses surviving. We have seen success for a number of our clients in ensuring that they are ‘at the front of the queue’ where securing payment is concerned. The steps businesses need to take to help guard their position will depend on where they are in the chain, however, there are similar, basic things companies can start by doing.

“Having tight contractual terms and conditions from the outset is also important, as is setting and sticking to defined credit limits. Each business will be different so it’s vital specialist advice is always sought so it can be tailored to your specific circumstances – what might be relevant for one company, may not apply to yours.”

Over the past few weeks, retailers have been releasing their Christmas trading reports, with the likes of Selfridges, Aldi, Morrisons, Hobbycraft and Dunelm recording strong festive trading results. However, Next reported in-store sales declines and HMV entered administration following “extremely weak” trading throughout Christmas due to a rapidly changing physical media market.

In 2018, nearly 150,000 jobs were lost after 20,000 outlets – including Maplin, Toys R Us, House of Fraser and Poundworld – closed. Retail job losses are expected to rise to around 160,000 in 2019 due to the high costs of running stores and continuing weak demand.

Simon added: “The stores that have reported rises in in-store sales over the Christmas season – aside from Selfridges, which won consumer business by offering experiences, as well as goods – were the more modest and more affordable stores. This demonstrates how customers are being savvier and avoiding excessive spending.

“While reports do show an increase of 11.9 per cent during December in online shopping, which is largely down to a change in consumer shopping habits, there is considerable nervousness in the market and consumer confidence remains low.”

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Business Improvement District workshops

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce has been working with Waverley Borough Council and the other three Chambers in Waverley to investigate the viability of a Business Improvement District (BID).

Business Improvement District (BID) is a partnership between a local authority and local businesses which is intended to provide improvements to the public sphere within a specified geographical area.

BIDs are funded in whole or in part by a levy on non- domestic ratepayers.

To find out more about this BID project and what it could deliver for Cranleigh, we invite all Cranleigh businesses to attend a workshop at Cranleigh Bandroom at 5.30pm on Thursday 24th January 2019.

Book your place today by email to or by calling 01483 523088.

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Dates for your diary in 2019

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce has made plans for a busy events calendar in 2019.

We are hosting a series of networking meetings, featuring three breakfasts and two lunches.

New on Cranleigh Chamber networking calendar next year is Network, Walk & Talk event in June, incorporating a social walk with a pub visit at the end.

Our annual dinner and AGM takes place in April at Cranleigh Golf & Country Club.

We’re also pleased to host our annual summer BBQ in July.

In terms of community events, the Chamber is hosting Spring into Cranleigh in April, Cranleigh Shops into Autumn in September, and the Cranleigh Christmas Lights Switch On event in November.

We’re also pleased next year to be involved in a brand new event; the Cranleigh Business Show in the Village Hall in February.

Details of all of these events, including links to book online, can be found now at

We are still looking for interesting speakers for some of these events, so please do email if you would like to speak on a topical business issue.

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Record turnout for Cranleigh Santa Dash

Cranleigh Santa Dash 2018

The 2nd annual Cranleigh Santa Dash saw fun runners of all ages tackle a 5km or 10km route around the village this morning.

Organised by Rotary Club of Cranleigh, Cranleigh Sunflowers and Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by Informed Choice Independent Financial Planners, the event raised more than £1,000 which will be distributed equally to Park Mead, Cuthbert Mayne, Cranleigh Infants and Ewhurst Infants primary schools.

Runners were treated to a very special warm up led by Lucy Bushnell from Cranleigh Sunflowers, doing their best to keep up with exercises linked to lines in the 12 Days of Christmas.

The event was officially started by Father Christmas himself, who (with help from Cranleigh Lions) made his way down from the North Pole especially for the Santa Dash.

Photo credit:

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Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust planning application

Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust is inviting statements of support for its planning application (WA/2018/1966) for the erection of a building to provide an 80 bed care home including 20 community beds together with a building to provide health workers accommodation. This proposal is for the Knowle Lane site, south of John Wiskar Drive.

You can review the plans at where it is possible comment on the application.

Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust (CVHT), in partnership with HC-One, NHS Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group (G&W CCG), Surrey County Council (SCC) and the Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH), is proposing the return of free at the point of access community beds to Cranleigh.

The project will deliver 20 community beds for both NHS and SCC nursing care, prioritised for patients from Cranleigh and the surrounding villages, replacing the 14 beds in Cranleigh Village Hospital that were closed in 2006. In addition, the project will create affordable accommodation for healthcare workers employed locally.

The application is also being discussed by Cranleigh Parish Council at their Planning Committee meeting on Monday evening at 7pm, at Snoxhall Pavilion. You may wish to attend this meeting to find out more and share your views with our Parish Councillors.

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce is supportive of the plans, bringing back much needed community beds to the village along with affordable housing options for locally employed healthcare workers.

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Rising youth crime in Cranleigh and lack of police presence

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce has today written to David Munroe, Police & Crime Commissioner for Surrey, asking him to urgently address the rising levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour in Cranleigh.

Writing on behalf of the local business community, the letter highlights the lack of police presence in the village and why this is an important issue for our business members.

Business premises in Cranleigh have recently been subjected to a series of ball bearing catapult attacks, causing thousands of pounds worth of property damage.

In the past week we have also seen fireworks being launched at motorists and businesses in the High Street, and eggs thrown at High Street premises.

Despite these high profile and serious events, there has been little noticeable police presence or action in response.

We appreciate the funding pressures faced by Surrey Police, which led to the closure of our police station in 2012, replaced by a police post at Cranleigh Leisure Centre with no public access front counter.

With a large number of houses being built in the village over the coming years, and rising levels of crime and anti-social behaviour being reported by our members, it is important that a police presence in Cranleigh be re-established as a matter of priority.

One of our objectives as a Chamber of Commerce is for Cranleigh to be a location to attract, retain and encourage growing businesses and their employees. Rising crime and the lack of police presence here will make achieving that objective increasingly difficult.

We will share any response received to this letter in due course.

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The Winners are announced for the Waverley BIG Awards at Gala Ceremony!

Waverley businesses gathered on Friday 19th October for a glittering Business, Innovation and Growth Awards Ceremony at the Lythe Hill Hotel, Haslemere.

The evening was compered by international speaker and local businessman Philip Calvert.

Over 170 sponsors, finalists and guests watched a series of short videos of each of the 24 finalists, as they ate a delicious three course meal. With bated breath, each category winner was announced and awarded a fabulous crystal trophy, champagne and certificate. Finalists also felt like winners as they accepted their own trophies, recognising their achievements.

Dignitaries at the event included Cllr Denise Le Gal Mayor of Waverley, Cllr Julia Potts Leader of Waverley Borough Council, Cllr David Attfield Farnham Mayor, Cllr David Round Haslemere Mayor and Surrey County Councillors Peter Martin and Andrew Povey,

This inaugural year of the Waverley BIG awards proved extremely popular attracting the finest calibre of entrants across all sectors, sizes and stages of business development. The judges made up of sponsors and peers from within the business community had a difficult task.

The four Chamber Presidents Awards sponsored by Haslemere and Farnham Town Councils and Surrey County Council were won by Christmas tree grower Hans Christmas Andersen for Cranleigh; Branston Adams accountants for Farnham; retailer Dylan’s Ice Cream for Haslemere; and digital marketing consultancy Innovation Visual for Godalming.

Branston Adams achieved the double with a second win for Community Partnership sponsored by Waverley Borough Council.

Waverley Borough Council’s leader, Julia Potts said ‘I am really delighted that Branston Adams have won this first BIG Community Partnership award. They are a fantastic example of a local business that really does work within the community and give so much back to residents in so many ways. Reading through their submission I found it all quite inspirational and wish them a really successful year and hope their achievement goes on to inspire many more businesses to enter this competition next year.’

The Customer Delight Award sponsored by Downs Solicitors was won by Wedition, a unique personalised wedding magazine designed for the couple and their guests.

Edwards Greene Accountants sponsored the Innovation Award and the winner was Download Learning, an original digital learning tool.

The eighth award for Staff Engagement, Education and Empowerment, sponsored by Dunsfold Park was won by Carbon Six Digital, a software development agency.

This was the first project led by the newly formed coalition of the four Chambers of Commerce in Cranleigh, Farnham, Godalming and Haslemere. Their shared aim is to encourage businesses to locate here, to retain local companies and help them grow, to promote Waverley as a ‘the’ place to do business south of London and to market the many skilled employment opportunities on residents’ doorsteps.

The Waverley BIG Awards 2018 are also generously sponsored by Blynk, Taybridge Consulting, SI Capital, Cornmeter, Blue Dot Display, PAAC IT, Marley Flowers, The Remarkable Studio, Johnson Fellowes, and Lythe Hill Hotel.

All Photos courtesy of Remarkable Studio

Wedition Ltd – Farnham
(contact Liz Gatherer 01483 677987/ )

Atrainability Ltd – Cranleigh
Dylan’s Ice Cream Ltd – Haslemere
Download Learning Ltd – Godalming
(contact Simon Strong 07747 608 621/ )

ClickIQ Ltd – Godalming
SI Capital Ltd – Godalming

Carbon Six Digital Limited – Farnham
(contact Paul Marden 01276 817465/ )
Innovation Visual Ltd – Elstead
PAAC IT Ltd – Haslemere

Branston Adams – Farnham
(contact Paul Adams 01252 728598/

Baker Law LLP – Farnham
Marley Flowers Ltd – Haslemere

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce PRESIDENT’S AWARD
Hans Christmas Andersen
(contact Julie Alexandersen 01483 271770/

Idyllic Beauty and Day Spa Ltd
Taurus Wines Ltd
Farnham Chamber of Commerce PRESIDENT’S AWARD
Branston Adams
(contact Paul Adams 01252 728598/

CGJ Mathias & Son
Kall Kwik Farnham
Godalming Chamber of Commerce PRESIDENT’S AWARD
Innovation Visual Ltd
(contact Ruth Gibbs 03337720509/

Munro Studios Ltd
Ritual Coffee UK

Haslemere Chamber of Commerce PRESIDENT’S AWARD
Dylan’s Ice Cream Ltd
(contact Paul Govier 01428 645219/

Haslemere Chiropractic Clinic
Haslemere Hall

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Gatwick sets out ambitious future growth plan, including routine use of its existing standby runway

Gatwick Airport has today set out an ambitious vision for the future with the publication of its draft master plan, which looks at how the airport might grow in the longer term.

The draft master plan is being announced to the airport’s independent consultative committee GATCOM which meets today.

As the UK enters a new chapter, Gatwick’s development will help meet future aviation demand with sustainable growth and ensure strong connections between Britain and global markets.

It will also provide new opportunities for the South East and continue to bolster the local economy for future generations.

The publication of Gatwick’s draft master plan reflects Department for Transport guidance for airports to provide regular updates on their long-term plans, and responds to the Government’s recent call for airports to ‘make best use of their existing runways’.

Gatwick remains committed to sustainable growth in this draft master plan, building on our record which has seen the Carbon Trust naming Gatwick as the best performer for combined reduction of operational carbon, water and waste impacts in the past two years – all while passenger numbers continued to grow.

The draft master plan considers how Gatwick could grow across three scenarios, looking ahead to the early 2030s:

1. Main runway – using new technology to increase capacity

In the near term, the airport has considered how deploying new technology could increase the capacity of the main runway, offering incremental growth through more efficient operations. Gatwick has successfully utilised its runway to unlock growth in recent years and remains the world’s most efficient single runway. The use of the latest technology could provide more opportunities for the future.

2. Standby runway – bringing existing standby runway into routine use

Under its current planning agreement, Gatwick’s existing standby runway is only used when the main runway is closed for maintenance or emergencies. However, the 40-year planning agreement will come to an end in 2019. The draft master plan sets out for the first time how Gatwick could potentially bring its existing standby runway into routine use for departing flights, alongside its main runway, by the mid-2020s.

This innovative development, which would meet all international safety requirements, would be delivered without increasing the airport’s noise footprint and provide greater operational resilience.

While in the early stages of exploration, Gatwick is confident the project would remain within the existing airport footprint and existing framework for airport charges. Should the airport decide to further progress the use of the existing standby runway, it would submit a detailed planning proposal and follow a Development Consent Order (DCO) process, which would include a full public consultation.

3. Additional runway – safeguarding for the future

While Gatwick is not currently actively pursuing the option of building a brand new runway to the south of the airport – as it did through the Airports Commission process – Gatwick believes it is in the national interest to continue to safeguard this land for the future as part of its draft master plan.

The airport is now keen to encourage responses to a 12-week public consultation it has launched today to gather feedback and views on the draft master plan. All responses will be reviewed before a final version of the master plan is agreed early next year.

The draft master plan can be read here. More information on the consultation, including events the airport will be holding to gather feedback, is available here.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, London Gatwick said:

“Our draft master plan marks the start of a new phase for Gatwick – building on what has made the airport the success it is today, and pioneering again to take advantage of the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.

“As the UK heads towards an important new chapter, Gatwick’s growing global connections are needed more than ever but this must be achieved in the most sustainable way. From using new technologies on our main runway, to the innovative proposal to bring our existing standby runway into routine use, our draft master plan offers agile, productive and low-impact ways of unlocking much-needed new capacity and increased resilience from within our existing infrastructure.

“Gatwick’s growth has been built through partnership so as we look ahead at our future development, we want to shape these plans together with our local communities, our passengers, our airlines and partners. We would encourage as many people as possible to take part in our consultation process. This will help shape our plans for securing the region’s prosperity.”

Henry Smith, Member of Parliament for Crawley, said:

“Crawley’s prosperity depends on the success of Gatwick Airport and the publication of this new draft master plan goes a long way to securing future growth in the town. I have always supported the airport growing within its existing boundaries and welcome their exciting new vision for incremental growth that will support more jobs and opportunity in Crawley.”

Tim Wates, Chairman of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“A strong and growing Gatwick airport as the beating heart of the Coast to Capital region is the central theme of the LEP’s strategic vision, so we welcome the publication of Gatwick’s master plan today and wholeheartedly support its vision for future growth.”

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:

“Now more than ever, unlocking new aviation capacity to deliver global trade links is critical for a strong UK economy. London’s airports are set to be full in the next decade, so the CBI welcomes Gatwick’s highly productive proposals to deliver increased capacity that complements expansion schemes at other airports. This will drive trade and investment, create new jobs and help British businesses thrive.”

Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said:

“Our cooperation with Gatwick Airport has given us a strong platform to deliver more consumers lower fares on intercontinental flights. As we continue our global growth, we welcome any increases in airport capacity in the Greater London Area that support our commercial interests and ultimately benefit consumers.”

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Christmas is coming and we need your support

For a number of years now, Cranleigh Chamber is Commerce has taken responsibility for funding and organising the Cranleigh Christmas Lights.

Unlike neighbouring towns, Cranleigh receives very little funding from the local authorities, instead relying on the generous financial support of members and local businesses.

The lights and switch-on event (this year on Saturday 17th November 2018) themselves are coordinated by a very small number of volunteers.

Each year it becomes progressively more difficult to raise the money we need to store, test, replace and install the lights, and to host the switch-on event.

The Cranleigh Christmas Lights are an important local icon; their switching on signifies the start of the Christmas shopping season for our local retailers, and their presence in the High Street throughout the festive period makes Cranleigh an even more attractive place to visit.

The switch-on event attracts hundreds of families who enjoy a day of entertainment, stalls and attractions.

In order to ensure Cranleigh Christmas can go ahead as planned again this year, we need your support.

You can sponsor a lamppost illumination for £75. In return for your sponsorship, your business name will be displayed on the lamppost, in the Cranleigh Christmas event leaflet and online.

You can of course donate more or less than this! We would be delighted to accept any size of donation towards the considerable cost of Cranleigh Christmas this year. Just let us know how much you would like to contribute and we will raise an invoice.

Please email with your pledge.

A big thank you to everyone who has already pledged their support this year, including members of the Chamber’s Christmas 100 Club which covers around a third of the cost of Cranleigh Christmas each year.

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