Colors: Purple Color


Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of online shoe and clothing retailer, has died after a house fire in the US state of Connecticut.

The 46-year-old, who had been on a family visit at the time, only recently retired after 20 years leading Zappos, acquired by Amazon for more than $1bn. He also played a key part in the restoration of central Las Vegas.

Tributes poured in on social media. Zappos said that the world had "lost a tremendous visionary". Tony Hsieh also wrote the book Delivering Happiness, which set out his philosophy of focusing on both customer and employee care.

A statement from, DTP Companies, the company Mr Hsieh invested in to transform downtown Las Vegas, said he was with his family when he died on Friday. Details of his injuries and the cause of death have not been released.

"Tony's kindness and generosity touched the lives of everyone around him, and forever brightened the world," the statement said. paid tribute on its Twitter feed:

Amazon acquired Zappos in 2009 but Tony Hsieh stayed on as boss, saying: "We think of Amazon as a giant consulting company that we can hire if we want."

Current Zappos chief executive officer, Kedar Deshpande, said Tony Hsieh's "spirit will forever be a part of Zappos".

His "Downtown Project" helped fund start-ups, restaurants and other ventures.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said Mr Hsieh's death was "a tragic loss".

Bruce Castle Museum & Archive has received a grant of £40,000 from the Art Fund’s Respond and Reimagine programme to deliver a new project; #Unlocking the Castle: The Key to a Digital Future.

The project will use innovative approaches to bring Bruce Castle Museum and the wonderful heritage it holds about Haringey to new audiences online. Providing a new digital platform, for the first time the museum will be able to take digitally-curated collections to be explored not only locally, but beyond Haringey and around the world.

It will provide additional online resources to complement this and offer ‘tasters’ for visits to Bruce Castle itself, but would also support remote access to those local communities which have been especially vulnerable and isolated due to Covid-19.

Over the first six months of 2021, Bruce Castle will be working with different audiences and communities, offering opportunities to co-curate exhibitions and projects online using 3D-digital scanning of collections to develop fun and exciting interactive content for schools, families and life-long learning.

Councillor Mark Blake, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “I’m delighted that Bruce Castle Museum has been awarded this grant. The Museum is a Haringey treasure and vital guardian of the borough’s history.

“This grant will allow even more people in Haringey and further afield to enjoy the museum’s fascinating collections and learn about our local heritage.”

Enterprising University of Birmingham student Harriet Noy is launching a smartphone app that helps fellow students reduce their carbon footprint by ‘shopping’ locally.


Harriet’ s already-successful zero waste online marketplace Hazaar enables students to be more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint by buying and trading items from clothing and textbooks, to costumes and household items. Now, following a recent funding win, Harriet, a third year Economics student, from Northamptonshire, is launching an app to support Hazaar’s rapid expansion.


Hazaar users can buy items online that they hand over in person, which cuts out wasteful packaging and travel miles. It runs through Facebook Marketplace, but has more than 13,000 members and 37 different universities across the UK have a dedicated page.


Harriet said: “Hazaar grew out the society I founded, ‘Plastic-free UOB’ that aims to reduce single-use plastic on campus that opened my eyes to the issue of waste within student consumption habits.


“Our consumption is so immediate now and while it has many benefits, it also brings waste. For example, many students ‘Amazon Prime’ clothes and costumes to almost always use them only once, when a neighbour on a nearby street may already own those items. I knew I had to find a solution to this problem.”


A £20k funding win plus a further cash and equity deal with Niam Marketing are supporting the Hazaar community to grow by around 2,000 members every week. Each University’s Marketplace has its own ‘Head of Hazaar’ to help organise trading, community events and encourage a love of sustainable living.


Harriet also plans to expand Hazaar to other audiences and markets and said: “While supporting sustainable living is my primary objective, our success so far shows that there is a clear business case for investing in green initiatives. Further funding will support our ambition to scale to all UK universities by September 2021 before moving to European universities and eventually explore other market opportunities at a global level.


“While Hazaar is an online community, it greatly relies on like-minded people coming together to support the sustainability cause, and this is why our leaders at each new local branch are so important.”


The all new Hazaar app launches in January 2021 and updates will be shared across Hazaar’s social media channels. Followers also benefit from regular posts that challenge habitual student practices to prevent harm to the environment and inspire sustainable living.

Many Black businesses, who contribute enormously to Birmingham’s economy, have been severely hit because of COVID-19 and recent start-up businesses are at risk.

Financial support from the government is available. However, applications have been particularly low from the Black community due to lack of communication and trust, knowledge or access to community leaders.

Now, CJ Webley, a young playwright and theatre-maker from Birmingham, has founded The Black Pounds Project which, through its own fundraising, aims to be the conduit needed within the community to help black business owners access business and financial support.

CJ said: “The most important thing for us at The Black Pounds Project is to make it possible for black business owners, however small, to access the business and financial help that will help them to kick start their business.  


“We want to break down barriers, build up trust and confidence and work alongside them every step of the way at this unprecedented time.”

Since the initial Black Pounds Project fundraising page went live in June, CJ has dedicated his time to develop the project further so that Black businesses can not only apply for available funding but, if successful, will receive access to professional business mentors across a range of sectors who will provide quality advice including:

  • Professional development, coaching and mentorship
  • Funds to help with set up costs, business and digital strategies
  • Signpost Black owned SME's to local business networks
  • Training to support businesses in becoming legally and regulatory compliant across all areas

Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce commented:  “It is imperative for us as business leaders and consumers to do all that we can to ensure the Black community have equal access to the support streams which will allow them to grow and sustain their businesses.

“I applaud CJ for creating this initiative and am delighted that they are actively engaging with our regional business community as a member of the Chamber. I very much look forward to seeing how it all develops.”

For successful applicants, The Black Pounds Project will support each business over a twelve-month period and, as the project develops, the team will compile a directory of high quality, professional Black owned businesses that everyone can benefit from.

Pam Sheemar, Entrepreneur Development Manager at the NatWest Accelerator commented “The Black Pounds Project is a fantastic initiative that will provide the lighting rod that businesses need to grow and access support.  Having a programme that is bespoke and aligned to Black business owners provides relatable role models and targeted support. The access to the wider eco-system partners ensures that we all collaborate to support diverse businesses and SME’s.”

Applications for The Black Pounds Project will open on Tuesday 1st December 2020 and will be eligible for Black business owners who are SME registered or a sole trader with a UTR number. Applicants must be residing in the West Midlands.  Applications can be made via the website:

Councillor Sharon Thompson,  North Edgbaston Ward (Birmingham) added:  “I am delighted to be supporting The Black Pounds Project and would like to thank the team for keeping Black businesses at the forefront at this time of economic uncertainty.  This project will help to bring the community together.


“Therefore, I would strongly urge businesses to get involved as we take active steps towards a brighter more inclusive future.”


The Black Pounds Project initially launched its fundraising page in June and in order for the project to support as many Black businesses as possible during this time, further funding is desperately needed.

For those needing assistance with their application, email CJ Webley at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For individuals or businesses wishing to make a donation go to:


Multidisciplinary architecture and planning firm Urbanist Architecture has reported a surge in enquiries for homes in the countryside, a trend seen as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis, with the practice seeing a 65 per cent increase compared to Q4 of 2019.


The London-based practice is renowned for helping its clients achieve remarkable extensions, conversions and new build homes in the capital, and specialises in handling projects on constrained urban sites, listed buildings or those set within the green belt. But with the UK population confined to their homes for the majority of 2020, lockdown has caused an increasing number of city dwellers to rethink their current surroundings and yearn for greener pastures and open spaces. This is having a knock-on effect on the property market, and firms such as Urbanist Architecture, which have a proven track record of securing green belt planning permissions and delivering exceptional countryside homes, are witnessing the effects first-hand.


Ufuk Bahar, Managing Director at Urbanist Architecture, comments: “Prior to COVID-19, around two-thirds of our projects were focused in highly desirable London boroughs such as Westminster, Islington, Camden and Greenwich, with work ranging from extensions to new build homes.


“More and more clients are coming to us looking for large plots of land in truly rural locations, with many deciding to ditch city life and the daily commute for good in the wake of the pandemic.”


Urbanist Architecture also attributes increased demand to its historical ability to successfully leverage Paragraph 79, a section of the National Planning Policy Framework that relates to sustainable new build homes in the open countryside, which are notoriously difficult to get planning permission for. One of the team’s most recent success stories was obtaining planning permission to build two family dwellings on green belt land in Amersham – approved due to its high-quality design which was sympathetic to the surrounding landscape.


Mark Morris, Planning Consultant at Urbanist Architecture, comments: “The fact that we’ve received so many commissions for Paragraph 79 homes is testament to our world-class team and our ongoing commitment to designing exceptional schemes for clients. With enquiries for rural dwellings up 42 per cent in Q2 of this year and then increasing to 65 per cent as we enter Q4, we expect more and more people to be asking for this kind of planning application – which offers them the chance to build their dream home in the country.”


Segun Osuntokun, Managing Partner at top 20 international law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) London Office, has been named as Business Person of the Year at the Black British Business Awards (BBBAwards) ceremony on 30 October 2020. Osuntokun impressed the judges with his strategic leadership at BCLP on complex projects for over 30 FTSE 100 companies and more than 50 Global Fortune 500 companies all with his unwavering passion for race equity in his 25+ year career in business.


For the seventh year in a row, the BBBAwards celebrated the outstanding achievements of Black British professionals and entrepreneurs, highlighting the community’s commercial contribution to the UK economy and identifying formidable role models and mentors across a number of sectors. The awards ceremony crowns a landmark year in history for racial equity and featured a special recognition for Black British frontline workers.


In addition to naming the Black British Business Person of the Year, the event also recognised the rising stars and senior leader winners in six industries. This year’s winners are some of the most determined and innovative Black leaders in the UK across a variety of professions; from a Founder of a revolutionary equine nutrition system to a Project Manager at Transport for London and Senior Partner at BWF Solicitors. They are inspiring the next generation of Black talent to challenge convention and follow in their footsteps.


Melanie Eusebe, Chair and Co-Founder of the Black British Business Awards said: “After a year filled with so many challenges, it was rewarding to take a step back this month to reflect not only on the history of the Black community here in the UK, but also to celebrate the incredible individuals who are making their mark now. Our Category Celebration events along with the Awards Ceremony provided us with many opportunities to reflect on how far our community has come, while recognising there is still much work to be done.”


Sophie Chandauka, Co-Founder of the Black British Business Awards said: “Each of our finalists and award winners is a source of inspiration, highlighting the significant accomplishments and important contributions the Black community is making in every sector of the business world. They all deserve recognition and congratulations for their accomplishments and it was our pleasure to honour them at the Black British Business Awards events this October.”


Tia Counts, Head of Advancing Black Pathways in EMEA at J.P. Morgan said: "J.P. Morgan continues to be a proud sponsor of the Black British Business Awards, which shines a light on exceptional talent in business. Year on year, the individual stories behind the awards never cease to make us proud of what our community can achieve. We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists.”


The BBBAwards ceremony distinguished outstanding business talent in six industry categories, which are divided into rising star and senior leader awards. The full list of winners of the 2020 BBBAwards are as follows:


Black British Business Person of the Year

Segun Osuntokun, Managing Partner at BCLP, London Office


Arts & Media Rising Star

Nnena Nwakodo – Producer at Bartle Bogle Hegarty


Arts & Media Senior Leader

Anthony Andrews – Co-founder and Creative Director of We Are Parable


Consumer & Luxury Rising Star

Rachael Corson and Joycelyn Mate – Co-founders of Afrocenchix


Consumer & Luxury Senior Leader

Sandra Murphy – Founder of Equidiet UK Ltd


Entrepreneur Rising Star

Ayesha Ofori – CEO and Founder of Black Property Network


Entrepreneur Senior Leader Winner

Trevor Robinson OBE – Founder and Executive Creative Director of Quiet Storm


Financial Services Rising Star

Zainab Kwaw-Swanzy – Senior Digital Product Manager at Barclays


Financial Services Senior Leader

Gavin Lewis – Managing Director, Head of UK LGPS at BlackRock


Professional Services Rising Star

Natalie Carter – Senior Associate at Greenberg Traurig LLP


Professional Services Senior Leader

Bennard Owusu – Senior Partner at BWF Solicitors


STEM Rising Star

Ninarita Williams – Project Manager at Transport for London


STEM Senior Leader

Dr Abdullahi Sheriff - Executive, Solutions Strategy, Strategic Partnerships & Solutions, Europe at GE Healthcare


The BBBAwards have the privilege of partnering with J.P. Morgan as Key Partner of the Awards.

Sponsors also include Barclays, Baker McKenzie, Bloomberg L.P., Cisco, the Executive Leadership Council, Facebook, Fortnum and Mason, Freshfields, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Virgin Management, Wellington Management and Wells Fargo.


The logistics sector’s support of HS2 is conditional on the government pledging unequivocal support to grow rail freight, according to Logistics UK. The business group has today (6 November 2020) launched a new report into how freight capacity will be released following the construction of HS2.


Zoe McLernon, Multimodal Policy Manager at Logistics UK comments: “Logistics UK needs government to secure the future of rail freight in the UK and provide a cast-iron guarantee that freight services will have sufficient access to the released capacity that HS2 will provide. The conventional rail network is bursting at the seams; there are almost half as many freight trains using the network as there were 15 years ago as passenger services, which continue to grow steadily, take the lion’s share of the network. We are concerned that the process to allocate released capacity may favour passenger operators, because it will be run by the incumbent passenger operator (West Coast Partnership) and there is no guarantee that capacity will be provided for freight.

“HS2 presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make Britain’s transport network more sustainable, and the opportunity for freight via released capacity from HS2 is substantial. HS2’s development will free-up space on the existing rail network for up to 144 extra freight trains per day, potentially removing 10,944 HGVs from the UK’s congested roads every day. However, there is no policy or legal requirement that a proportion of released capacity must be allocated to freight; Logistics UK urges government to reconsider its principles and provide clear and unequivocal support to grow rail freight.”

The report focuses on how Phases One and 2a of HS2 will release capacity on the West Coast Main Line and proposes ways to enhance the role of freight across the project.


The report is available to view at:


Logistics UK (formerly FTA) is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit


Construction workloads across the Midlands have fallen for another quarter as the sector grapples with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but growth expected from upcoming infrastructure and private housing projects buoy the sector’s chances of a recovery.


While workloads at the all sector level fell by a net balance of -10% this quarter, it is less than the previous fall of -32% in Q2. However, when compared with last year’s industry average of +13% it shows construction in the Midlands is far from full recovery.


Breaking down across each sector, workloads fell the most across the private commercial and infrastructure categories, with net balances of -22% and -12% respectively. Alongside this, workloads fell once again, but to a lesser degree, across the private housing and other public works. This quarter respondents reported little change in workloads in private industrial, whilst public housing improved following the declines in Q2, as a net balance of +22% reported a pick-up in activity.


Respondents said that financial constraints and shortages of materials, coupled with insufficient demand, were the main reasons for the subdued activity. 31% more respondents also cited a deterioration in credit conditions, which is having a negative impact on the cashflows of some businesses.


Looking ahead, 39% more respondents expect infrastructure workloads to rise rather than fall in the coming year, closely followed by the private housing sector – offering the construction sector a glimmer of hope as it recovers from COVID-19. Anticipated changes to the planning system, an extension to Help to Buy as well as the stamp duty holiday look likely to support growth in construction activity.


However, despite fewer respondents reporting a fall in the number of new business enquiries across the Midlands, profit margins are envisaged to decline over the course of the next twelve months with a net balance of -16% of respondents expecting a fall.


Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, said: “With a new lockdown now underway, these are clearly very challenging times for the economy.


“The government’s commitment to delivering on its infrastructure programme provides a ray of light with the survey pointing towards a solid increase in workloads over the next twelve months which could play an important role in helping to drive a wider recovery in business activity.


“The private residential sector is also expected to see solid growth aided by the various policy initiatives that are still in play. However, commercial development is anticipated as being flatter in the face of the structural pressures facing both offices and retail.”


The growth strategy of a national engineering business, targeted at South West England’s food and beverage sector, has paid early dividends, creating a 20% increase in jobs and forcing the organisation to relocate to a larger manufacturing facility in Langford, Somerset.

adi Process Pipework, a division of the multidisciplinary engineering business, adi Group, that deals with the transit of ingredients in food and drink production is only 18 months into a five year strategic assault on the South West but is already way ahead of its own ambitious growth projections.


Such is the business’ expansion that it has outgrown its existing 8,000 sq. ft. facility in Mells, Somerset, and, in order to meet the demands of new clients and a bulging order book, been compelled to secure new 20,000 sq. ft. premises across the county in Langford. The move comes after adi Process Pipework last year identified the South West as a key region for growth due to the presence of a series of food and drink manufacturers.  As a result of ongoing investment in the region, growth is trending ahead of all key performance indicators and measures set out for the five year initiative. Stephen Forrester, managing director of adi Process Pipework, explained the success of the strategy, saying: “The South West is a fantastic base for food and drink production, so we opted last year to actively expand our presence in the region.


“We have a number of long-standing relationships in the region but, having made real investments in people and in skills, we have been able to grow our order book with them and secure a number of interesting projects with new clients. But the scale of our growth in the South West has taken even us by surprise. We hadn’t really thought about needing new facilities, so, when the need arose, it was a nice problem to have.


“Our new Langford manufacturing facility increases our capacity to design and fabricate the solutions clients require. It’s in a prime location, just a few short miles from Thatchers Cider, one of our biggest customers, and gives us easy access to the motorway network and, therefore, clients throughout the South West.” adi Process Pipework has worked closely with Thatchers for a number of years, most recently on the expansion of its Sandford operation. The business also partners with Premier Foods, Saputo, Wyke Farm and Nestlé in the South West.


Stephen says adi Process Pipework success in the South West aligns well with the wider adi Group’s approach. “The Group has managed to grow during the three previous recessions since its establishment in 1990, so we see this as something of a vindication that investing in people and in capabilities at the most challenging of times makes a positive commercial impact.


“The business as a whole is focusing on food and beverage manufacturing at the moment. Self-delivering over 30 specialist engineering disciplines in-house, we’re well placed to offer solutions throughout the lifecycle of any food and beverage project. Our increased presence in the South West not only means we’ll be able to identify more opportunity for other adi Group divisions but also to create the jobs and investment in skills that go with it. To that end, we’re actively looking to bring in more people, as I speak.”


To learn more about how adi Process Pipework can integrate optimised solutions into your operation or to enquire about work as a skilled engineer, email Stephen Forrester at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0121 451 2255.

A Commonwealth prize recognising the most impactful innovations in sustainable development has been launched by the Secretary-General. Prizes totalling £45,000 will be awarded to innovators from member countries who suggest forward-looking solutions, which advance the values of the Commonwealth Charter.


Five thematic categories of the competition include improving the lives of people; boosting prosperity; protecting the planet, promoting peace; and building partnerships for development in the Commonwealth.An independent jury will select 15 winners, who will each receive a trophy, a certificate and £3,000 in prize money and ongoing support for their work.


Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland declared the awards open for entries during the annual Commonwealth induction programme, which was held virtually.


She said: “Now more than ever we need the drive of inventive and imaginative minds to be applied in solving the problems and overcoming the challenges being faced by communities throughout the Commonwealth. Year by year, we draw huge encouragement when we learn of the impressive fresh approaches being adopted and ingenious new concepts being successfully brought into operation in our member countries.


“The purpose of my Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for SDGs Awards is to recognise the enterprise and achievement of those who are serving communities in pioneering ways. By bringing their endeavours to wider attention through our Commonwealth networks, we are able to assist them towards attaining even greater success and to encourage further development and wider adoption of innovation for the benefit of people in others of our member countries and elsewhere.


“Broadening cooperation and accelerating innovation are key to achieving the targets of the SDGs so that our more marginalised and disadvantaged sisters and brothers are able to share in sustainable progress and inclusive prosperity – particularly in building back better from the ravages of the pandemic towards greater resilience.”


Christopher Nesbitt, from Belize, received a prize last year under the Prosperity category for his work on carbon farming and food security.He said: “In the 30 years I've been working in this field, the Commonwealth has shown the greatest interest and given me the most encouragement.” 


Entries will be judged on their impact or potential to advance one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in Commonwealth countries. The competition is open to Commonwealth citizens and Commonwealth country-based organisations, including those in public, private or civil society sectors.


Nominations, including self-nominations, can be made via an online platform from 5 November to 31 January 2021 with women and young people especially encouraged to apply.


With just days to go until Christmas Day, Selfridges unveils its uplifting ‘Once Upon A Christmas’ campaign. The campaign launches physically in its store windows and digitally on, bringing together old traditions and new ideas.

An exclusive OnePoll survey commissioned by Selfridges and conducted nationwide as the new lockdown measures were announced, found that:


  • 8 out of 10 Brits are wishing for a traditional Christmas this year, with nearly half of those wishing it more than any other year
  • Despite the lockdown starting this week, 68% of all respondents agree that ‘this year more than ever, it’s important to try and make Christmas as normal as possible’

The survey indicates that the three traditions Brits are most looking forward to are a Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings, decorating the tree with favourite baubles and shopping for special gifts for loved ones.  

Despite store closures, Selfridges is committed to giving its customers imaginative digital solutions to help them to prepare for Christmas, combined with the magic of its 111-year tradition of extraordinary window displays. The 2020’s take on Selfridges’ famous Christmas windows will be simultaneously unveiled this morning in the London, Birmingham and Manchester stores. Customers are still able to visit the store’s Foodhall in London and its Pharmacy, whilst it’s Click & Collect service is operational across all Selfridges stores.


The Selfridges team is ready to offer its unmistakable in-store Christmas experience when stores reopen in line with Government and Public Health England guidelines.

“Through ‘Once Upon A Christmas’ we hope to celebrate the traditions of Christmas in non-traditional ways, reimagined for the challenges of today. We are here to help our customers make the festive season special, however they might be celebrating and in readiness for a Christmas like no other.” says Selfridges Executive Stores Director, Maeve Wall.

The Selfridges digital shop at and the Selfridges App offers curated Christmas edits and unique gifts, virtual services that allow customers to shop from Selfridges’ stores via video call, inspiration and ideas for the festive season and virtual experiences for customers to enjoy from the comfort of home.


Two practice areas of West Midlands and Black Country law firm Enoch Evans LLP have been included in the Legal 500 UK 2020 rankings, with its company and commercial department making the cut for the fourth year and its commercial litigation expertise recognised for the second time. 


The national guide ranks the world’s best practices and is used as a point of reference by millions of people in search of legal advice each year. The ranking is based on detailed analysis of submissions from practices across the country as well as thousands of individual interviews. The ranking recognises the quality of work as well as the commitment and loyalty of staff; attributes that are vital when dealing with difficult and sensitive issues experienced by individuals and commercial or corporate entities.  


The Legal 500 also includes a Hall of Fame in recognition of individuals that receive consistent praise from clients and have honed a high level of skill and knowledge within their specific area of expertise. Enoch Evans LLP’s Sukie Shemar was named for corporate and commercial services for the fourth time and partner Stephen Nixon was also named for the second time in relation to commercial litigation.  


David Evans, managing partner at Enoch Evans LLP, said: “Our whole team prides itself on its ability to understand client's individual needs and with COVID-19 causing complications and unrest for businesses and individuals throughout the year, a personal and tailored approach has been more important than ever. We’re delighted that the respected Legal 500 ranking again recognises our consistent delivery of this service to clients both current and new.”  


Sukie Shemar, partner and head of company and commercial at Enoch Evans LLP, said: “We’re delighted that our clients have said that, yet again, they recognise and value our commitment to providing the best service to them. In what has been a turbulent year for everyone, we have really focussed on providing a bespoke and personal level of service to communicate that our team is consistently there to provide advice and support as needed.”

“On a personal note, it’s great to have been mentioned specifically and receive some lovely comments from clients. I’m thrilled to have been named in 2020’s cohort.”


Stephen Nixon, partner and head of commercial litigation at Enoch Evans LLP, said: “I am very proud of the whole team for the high quality of service that we have continually offered to our clients. The comments and testimonials that we have received are testaments to the team’s dedication and hard work and we look forward to building on that.”


Enoch Evans has its head office in Walsall in addition to a branch in Sutton Coldfield. The 135-year-old firm has grown to over 85 staff specialising in a range of private and commercial services, wills inheritance tax and probate, management of financial affairs, matrimonial and family, childcare, employment law, litigation, residential conveyancing and criminal and motoring offences.




The latest research by estate agent, Barrows and Forrester, predicts that the average UK homebuyer could see the initial cost of a mortgage deposit increase by more than £12,000 over the next 25 years as the average house price could hit £362,350. 


Barrows and Forrester analysed historic house price data over the last quarter of a century and the rate of house price growth. Barrows and Forrester than used an ETS forecasting model including interpolation, accounting for seasonality, and based on the conservative lower level of the 95% confidence interval, to predict what the property market of the future could look like for home buyers and sellers. The research shows that should the market continue to see property values climb at the same rate, the average UK house price could hit £362,350 by 2045. This 51% increase from today’s current average of £239,196 would also mean that the average homebuyer placing a 10% deposit mortgage would be paying a huge £36,235; £12,315 more than the initial cost required today.  


Based on Barrows and Forrester’s forecasted growth figures, property prices in London could not only exceed the half a million mark, but they would reach a staggering £789,531 by 2045. As a result, the capital’s home buyers would be looking at a 10% deposit cost of £78,953; A £30,000 increase on today.


Based on historic growth trends, the South East could also see the average house price break the half a million market, reaching a potential £524,726. Such growth would require home buyers to pay an additional £19,258 for a deposit on top of the current £33,215 already required.


The South West and East of England could also see the average property price climb by £151,255 and £167,135 respectively, while the East and West Midlands could also see prices climb by more than £100,000. As a result, homebuyers in these regions would also see a 10% mortgage deposit requirement increase by five figures. Even house prices in the North East could climb by as much as £70,041 to an average of £201,742, requiring the average home buyer to place a 10% mortgage deposit in excess of £20,000.  


Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented: “The UK housing market has returned with a bang and house prices are once again starting to climb across much of the nation. This is a trend that we’ve seen maintained for much of the last twenty-five years and while there have been some economical corrections, the bricks and mortar market has not only recovered but has continued to appreciate beyond any previous levels seen.


“While we’ve pulled out our crystal ball of property price predictions there’s no real way of knowing what the future holds and what will happen to house prices. However, had you predicted today’s property values back in the late 90s you would have struggled to find someone to believe you and so who knows where the ceiling will be where current price growth is concerned. 


“Of course, the real aim of this research is to act as a warning shot to a government that has consistently neglected its responsibility to deliver affordable housing year after year. Despite promising to address the UK housing crisis on multiple occasions, the level of new homes being delivered is abysmal.


“This failure to increase supply is the driving reason behind the spiralling issue of affordability for many homebuyers and those that consistently recite promises of addressing this issue to win over voters should hang their heads in shame.  


“We hope that they might listen to this prediction of future prices and refocus their attention on the delivery of affordable housing stock for the masses in order to prevent it.


“Unfortunately, based on their previous track record we have more chance of winning the lottery and the future homebuyer may well need to in order to buy. So let’s hope we’re not looking at such steep levels of price growth come 2045.” 

Did you know that by law there are some types of plumbing work which must be notified to your local water company in advance?


Many owners and managers of buildings including public buildings such as schools, hospitals and care homes, are not aware of their legal duties to protect public health when it comes to plumbing.


To help out, WaterSafe, the plumber approval body supported by the UK water suppliers, has produced a short film to make it easier for everyone to understand what is required in England and Wales.


Local water companies review plans for plumbing and can help ensure the plumbing work complies with the Water Fittings Regulations, which are designed to keep the UK’s drinking water supplies fresh, safe and free from contamination.


The need to notify plumbing work at least 10 days in advance of work starting applies to both domestic properties and non-household buildings such as offices, hospitals, schools, care homes and leisure centres.


Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe said: “Notifying your local water company is free to do and an essential part of the planning process for plumbing work.


“By notifying you’re also benefitting from a free consultation and building a relationship with your local water company. This in turn provides peace-of-mind that your plans comply with the strict regulations required to install pipes and fittings to supply drinking water.”


On the other hand, failure to notify can result in delays, extra costs to put poor plumbing right and, at worst, contamination of water supplies, a threat to public health and a court prosecution.


WaterSafe’s film clarifies the types of plumbing work that must be notified and gained approval for, before getting started. These are:


  • Building a house or other property/structure
  • Extending or altering the water system on any non-household building
  • A reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valve assembly or similar
  • A water treatment unit which produces wastewater
  • A bidet with an upward spray or flexible hose
  • A bath which holds more than 230 litres of water
  • A pump or booster delivering more than 12 litres of water per minute connected directly or indirectly to a supply pipe
  • A reverse osmosis unit (for purifying water)
  • Any water system outside a building which is either less than 750mm or more than 1,350mm below ground
  • A garden watering system (unless operated by hand)
  • Installing a swimming pool or pond over 10,000 litres
  • Changing the use of a building or installing systems such as rainwater harvesting
  • Any drinking water fountain.


WaterSafe advises employing an approved plumber from its UK register, which is backed by local water companies and the drinking water regulator.


Julie Spinks added: “Plumbers on the WaterSafe register are audited by your local water supplier and also trusted to undertake some of the tasks listed in our film without prior notification – so it makes sense to make WaterSafe your first port of call to avoid delays to your project.”


WaterSafe plumbers can also issue a work-completed certificate to state their work complies with the water regulations, which offers customers a legal defence if something is later found to be wrong.


Watch the film at WaterSafe’s YouTube channel and for more information on the notification process visit



Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety & Equalities, on how the council, already leading the charge on tackling inequalities affecting Birmingham’s diverse population, is turning the spotlight on itself as an employer

“Next week (10 November) I will present what can only be described as a ‘difficult read’ to my Cabinet colleagues – a report which clearly shows some of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff are paid less or are less likely to be appointed over white applicants. 

“Does that sound fair to you? The gap between opportunity, recruitment and retention that council staff from the city’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities have faced for years.

“As one of Birmingham’s major employers, we know we can - and must - do better. However, I don’t think we’re alone in this – if other organisations turn the spotlight on themselves, they are likely to find similar unsettling truths. Indeed, some organisations are already contacting us for advice on this.

“As the largest local authority in Europe and home to a diverse population of over one million people - we have to be big enough to admit that we have a problem and we need to take rapid action to do something about it. Bluntly, we must lead by example if others are to follow.

“That is why Birmingham City Council is one of the first local authorities to carry out a Workforce Race Equity Review which reveals that as an organisation we don’t reflect the demographics of our city with 67% of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff being in operational or front-facing services, and we don’t recruit sufficient Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff at supervisory and management levels. There is also a need to review roles where promotion, recruitment and career pathways are concerned

“Stark facts require a radical answer. So, we have set ourselves an ambitious aim to ensure the council’s workforce truly represents Birmingham and to eliminate the pay gap identified in this report.

“A comprehensive action and implementation plan has been drawn up to help us address those systemic inequalities in our workforce and make the changes we need to make to put things right.

“Work has already begun in some key areas, such as recruitment and selection, culture change and rebuilding staff trust. It requires us all – politicians and officers to step up and play our part in delivering change.

“That’s why the Leader of the Council, Ian Ward, and all of my Cabinet colleagues are committed to this – together with the interim Chief Executive Chris Naylor and the council’s Leadership Team.

“In September, I outlined the council’s proposals on how we are aiming to tackle the inequalities that people face in communities and neighbourhoods across our city. This report is the vital next step in this work.

“I know this won’t be easy, but that must not stop us doubling down on our efforts to see change happen across the city. And that change must start with getting our own house in order.

“Our work will not stop there to ensure inequalities are no longer a fact of life in 21st century Birmingham.

“As this report makes clear, we have much to do to ensure we offer a truly level playing-field to our staff and those who wish to join the council’s workforce.

“I’m determined that our great city seizes this opportunity to make the changes that our citizens and communities need and deserve, so we must – and will – lead from the front.”

  • To read the Cabinet report, review and action plan in full, click here


With many still working from home in light of recent events, Interior Style Advisor at, Rebecca Snowden, offers her top tips on how to create the most productive home office space. 

  1. Keep it green 

Research shows that greenery is key when it comes to concentration, boosting mood and creating a calmer working environment. In fact, The American Psychological Association found that workers in spaces with plants showed 15% higher productivity than those without1, so it’s definitely a good idea to incorporate plants and greenery into your home office. 


The best plants to incorporate into your home office space are:

  • Peace Lily – they don’t need much light and help remove toxins from the air 
  • Devils Ivy – these can adapt easily to a variety of conditions 
  • Chinese Evergreen – offers visual variety and requires little maintenance 


  1. Let the light in 

Poor lighting can make you feel tired, strain your eyes and give you a headache, all of which can take away focus and motivation. A study also found a direct positive correlation between daylight and productivity, finding that natural light improves alertness2


This means that a well-lit room is crucial for a good home office space, so we’d advise setting up your desk near a window and staying away from harsh, electric lights. If this isn’t possible, daylight or SAD lamps that simulate natural light would also help.  


  1. Use bright colours 

The colour of your room can drastically affect your mood and wellbeing. In fact, colour psychologists have confirmed that the colour of a room affects your behaviour, mood and concentration – so choosing the perfect shade for your home office is very important. 


Both blue and green have been said to encourage productivity, making these hues a popular choice for offices. Yellow has been shown to increase mood, positivity and happiness, making it a perfect hue for home working, especially among the current uncertainty.  


  • Choose blue for wakefulness, clarity, productivity 
  • Choose green for calm, reassurance, relaxation 
  • Choose yellow for happiness, positivity, energy 

  1. Experiment with scents 

Need an extra pick me up? Then try experimenting with some different scents in your home office. Many studies have shown that odours impact our mood, creativity and problem-solving skills3, and one Japanese study found that diffusing lemon oil through an office increased worker’s performance by 54%4


Be careful not to create an overpowering smell though and avoid artificial perfumes. We’d advise sticking with natural scents like lavender and essential oils instead, such as:

  • Pine – for alertness 
  • Cinnamon – for focus 
  • Lavender – to relax 
  • Peppermint – to lift your mood 
  • Citrus (any) – for wakefulness 


  1. Keep it cool 

Research has shown that productivity can dramatically suffer if the temperature of your working environment isn’t right for you. 


According to one review from the OSTI, the ideal temperature is between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius, with concentration levels dropping by 2% for every degree over 255. To avoid a dip in concentration, make sure temperature levels stay constant. 


Bringing in a breeze, whether that’s via an open window or a small desk fan, can freshen up your workspace while reducing temperatures, helping to keep you comfortable and productive while working from home.  


Commenting on the research, Rebecca continues: “Working from home can be a difficult time for some and a great experience for others. Creating a productive environment that strikes a balance between comfy and clutter-free can be difficult, which is why we've created this set of home office layouts, to inspire people to make their home office as productive and enjoyable as possible in these trying times.”