Sarah Thomson of Withy KingSarah Thomson is the latest solicitor to join Withy King’s expanding residential property team in Wiltshire.
Sarah, who has 16 years’ experience working as a residential property solicitor, has joined Withy King’s Marlborough office as an associate from Awdry Bailey & Douglas, based in Chippenham.
Sarah’s appointment marks a period of continuing growth for Withy King’s residential property team which now employs a team of 15 in Swindon and Marlborough, dealing with the conveyancing requirements of those buying and selling new build houses, flats and period properties as well as the more complex issues often associated with larger properties and agricultural estates.
Partner Robert Collins, who heads Withy King’s residential property team in Marlborough, said: “We are delighted to have Sarah on board. She has extensive experience of property law as well as an excellent knowledge of the local market. She is friendly and approachable too so it’s little wonder she’s already making her mark.”
He continued: “This is an exciting time for Withy King’s property team which has doubled in size in recent years, partly due to improving economic conditions and renewed market confidence – and partly due to the new relationships we have forged with estate agents and their clients as well as investors, developers and house builders.
“The appetite for homes in Wiltshire’s market towns as well as larger properties in its more rural corners continues to grow, and our expansion reflects this.”
Commenting on her appointment, Sarah said: “Residential property work has many dimensions which makes it interesting, but what really motivates me is the human element which stems from the strong and ongoing relationships I develop with my clients.
“Withy King has an excellent reputation for its property expertise and in-depth knowledge of the Wiltshire market and I look forward to playing a role in its continuing success.”
Peter DavisonOne of the founders of Marlborough News Online will be showing business leaders how to win media exposure for their companies next week.
Peter Davison will be addressing the monthly networking breakfast meeting of Marlborough Chamber of Commerce.
During a short presentation, he’ll offer business owners and managers Five Ways to Turn Your Business Into News.
Peter has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a public relations consultant for 10, winning local, national, and international media exposure for a range of local clients under the name Secret Agent Marketing.
He started his career at the Marlborough Times, and five years ago was one of four media professionals who launched Marlborough News Online. He also owns and edits Wiltshire business news publication Business Biscuit.
The networking event will be held at Marlborough Golf Club from 7.30am until 9am on Wednesday, May 18, and is open to non-members.
Andrew StibbardFrom managing office blocks in the City of London to selling corner shops in the Cotswolds, there’s not much Andrew Stibbard hasn’t done during a decade in commercial property.
Now Andrew has set up his own consultancy, filling a gap in the market for commercial property expertise in Marlborough and Hungerford.
But he’s casting his net much wider, regarding the ‘Cirencester-Trowbridge-Newbury triangle’ his patch.
“I’ve always wanted to run my own business,” said Andrew, who graduated in Property Agency and Marketing from the prestigious Cirencester Agricultural College in 2006.
Ramsbury born and bred, he cut his teeth at the Marlborough branch of residential estate agency Henry George, before moving to London for five years, with commercial property agent Jones Lang LaSalle.
Three years ago, he joined Cirencester-based estate agent Moore Allen & Innocent as the head of the commercial department, taking responsibility for the letting and management of premises as varied as shops in the chocolate box streets of the Cotswolds and industrial units in converted farm buildings.
As Stibbard Property, Andrew offers a range of services to both premises owners and landlords, and buyers and tenants.
He is building an extensive database of commercial buildings for sale and let, and can help owners to market their buildings, or business owners find their ideal property, whether that’s retail premises, offices, or industrial units.
Andrew also offers property management services to landlords, and clients make make use of the breadth of knowledge he has obtained over 10 years in the industry: from lease renewals and rent reviews to mitigating business rates.
For more information, log on to www.stibbardproperty.co.uk
Allison Burden with Nick Helps from Tesco and Stephen Fenna from WaitroseRecognition of Marlborough as one of 600 Fairtrade towns in the UK was celebrated at the monthly Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast on Wednesday.
The meeting heard from Allison Burden, leader of the Fairtrade Marlborough Steering Group, who was joined by Tesco manager Nick Helps and Waitrose department manager Stephen Fenna.
To become a Fairtrade town, businesses leaders were told, its citizens, council and companies had to show a commitment to Fairtrade produce – where farmers are paid a fair wage for the crops they produce.
Over the past 20 years, Marlborough has embraced Fairtrade produce. Retail anchor Waitrose, the meeting heard, must stock a minimum of four Fairtrade products to qualify for Fairtrade status. At last count, its Fairtrade range extended to 183 products.
Allison, who lives in Marlborough but spent 20 years in Africa and Asia, said she had seen firsthand how minimum prices had made “a huge difference” to growers.
“There is a direct link between coffee prices and malnutrition,” she said. “This is a matter of life and death for producers.”
Stephen said Waitrose was committed to the idea of Fairtrade, and that sales of Fairtrade produce – including coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas, and even wine – were up 75 percent year on year.
This was due in part, he said, to a closing gap between the price of Fairtrade produce and products not carrying the mark.
“Our customers want to make the change because there’s very little price difference,” he asserted.
During last months Fairtrade Fortnight, said Nick, shoppers at Tesco were greeted with a 1930s farm cart loaded with Fairtrade produce. On top of the pile was TV playing a video about Fairtrade.
During the two-week campaign, sales of Fairtrade hot chocolate accounted for 57 percent of product line sales – up from 25 percent. Ground coffee went from five percent Fairtrade to 15 percent while tea – typically the hardest to change, as customers remain brand loyal – went from two percent to seven percent.
Unlike Waitrose, not all of Tesco’s bananas are Fairtrade. The chain, said Nick, offered customers the choice. But, he admitted, non-Fairtrade bananas are sold as a loss leader – the product is one which consumers use to compare prices between supermarkets.
And talking of a race to the bottom, the meeting discussed the plight of UK dairy farmers. Last year, farmers protested after the ‘farm gate price’ they receive for their milk fell to 23p a litre – less than the estimated 30p a litre it cost to produce.
The blame was placed firmly at the door of the supermarkets, some of whom were engaged in a price war with each other – and were driving farm gate prices down.
Allison said the Fairtrade Foundation had said it would not be campaigning on behalf of UK farmers; preferring to concentrate on the world’s poorest producers, living on less than two dollars a day.
Both Stephen and Nick said their respective employers were working hard with the dairy industry to ensure that farmers received a fair price for their produce.
Marlborough businesses who want to find out more about the town’s Fairtrade status, and how to get involved, can find the steering group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marlboroughfairtradesteeringroup
Allison BurdenMarlborough’s recent appointment as a Fairtrade Town will be explored and celebrated at the next meeting of Marlborough Chamber of Commerce.
Allison Burden, director of programs at Equality Now, and Poppy Vanner from Waitrose will be exploring the concept behind Fairtrade, explaining how and why Marlborough was awarded Fairtrade Town status, and encouraging local businesses to promote the Fairtrade ethos in their own places of work.