Driving To Deliver Your Business


Reference Library – Dorset Logistics

MY STEIFF LIFE: It's All In The Family With This Turn Of Last Century …

Welcome to My World!

So glad you took some time out of your busy day to visit!

You’ve found the online place for all things Steiff. Although Steiff bears, animals, and dolls have been around since the 1880’s, their collectibility, appeal, and stories are as new as tomorrow.

What makes the Steiff brand so special? Click here to learn more![1]

Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let’s talk! Click here[2] to learn more.

MY STEIFF LIFE: It's All In The Family With This Turn Of Last Century ...


  1. ^ Click here to learn more! (youtu.be)
  2. ^ Click here (mysteifflife.blogspot.com)

Wessex Business Bytesize – Issue 185 – Neil Robb & Friends

Saturday 12 March, 2.30pm, Winchester Club, SO23 7AB Public meeting about Wessex Area Rail Services

The Wessex Branch of Railfuture has arranged a public meeting to be addressed by Chris Loder, South West Trains Head of Pricing and Strategy. The meeting will provide an opportunity for an update about the South Western Rail franchise which is due to be replaced in 2017. Railfuture has provided a substantial response to the Department of Transport consultation for the South Western rail franchise, a copy of which may be obtained from Railfuture Wessex Branch Secretary by

FSB members are invited to a networking event to be held at the Apollo Hotel in Basingstoke on Wednesday 16 March starting at 5.00pm and continuing until around 7.00pm. There is a good turnout expected with 4N, Basingstoke Business and Chamber members attending along with FSB members. FSB members can attend at the reduced rate of 15 incl. VAT (please select the member button when booking). Light refreshments will be served. Follow this link to book.

Thursday 17 March, 3.00 5.00pm Enterprise Hub, Bournemouth, BH5 2AY Ask the Expert: Crowdfunding

Run by Get Set for Growth and taking place in Bournemouth this is a session on crowdfunding and how can I use it to secure funding for my business? Follow the link for more information.


Thursday 17 March, 7.30 9.00am, Superior Seals Ltd, Trade Pk Wimborne BH21 7SH Everything you ever wanted to know about Apprenticeships but were afraid to ask

An event specifically for engineering and manufacturing businesses that are not currently involved with Apprenticeships or would like to make the most of a current apprenticeship programme.

It will provide the opportunity to find out how Apprenticeships can really benefit your business and also explore some of the common misconceptions about Apprenticeships. Refreshments included. The event is free but booking is essential. Follow the link[5] to confirm your attendance.

Thursday 17 March, 12.15 2.30pm, Rushmore Borough Council Offices, Farnborough Enterprise M3 (North Hampshire) Travel Plan Network

A newly established forum aimed at encouraging more sustainable and active travel, particularly for those working in the region. Follow the link[6] for more information and to book.

Shape the future of the Island s health and care services

My Life A Full Life will soon launch an Island-wide conversation into how the Isle of Wight s health and care services can be shaped around people s needs. There are two forthcoming public events and an open invitation to attend to discuss how the Island s health and care services can be reshaped, and to also tell them what you want from health and care services.

Monday 21 March at 5.00pm Landguard Manor, Shanklin
Tuesday 22 March at 5.00pm Quay Arts, Newport

Refreshments from 5.00pm for a 5.30pm start for both events. To RSVP, or if you have any questions, please

An opportunity to engage, network and hear about exciting plans for the College, and with lunch provided. Follow the link[11] to confirm your interest in attending.

Southern Entrepreneur networking events taking place at various locations

Follow the link for details and booking.

Grants for rural projects

Do you have a project idea that will create jobs and boost the local economy? Farmers, foresters, growers, small businesses and rural communities can now bid for a share of a 1.6million fund across East Hampshire, as well as Havant, Eastleigh and Winchester.

Follow the link for more information. The grants are available as part of Defra s Rural Development Programme for England and LEADER is the method of delivering funding to projects through Local Action Groups, ensuring that individuals with local knowledge are involved in key decisions about how funds are spent. Further details about Fieldfare LEADER can be found at www.Fieldfareleader.org.uk.


Update on business crime in Hampshire and IoW

Follow the link[15] to read an update from Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner, highlighting activity to tackle business crime within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


Courtesy of Federation of Small Business UK[16]


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Public v private: what next for the ownership of Britain's railways …

Commuters at Waterloo station. A review into Britain s railways is due with the budget statement. Photograph: Guy Corbishley/Demotix/Corbis

The man charged with being the voice of rail passengers is peering over a locked gate to an empty platform at Alton station in Hampshire, now the end of the branch line. In the 1970s, the track onwards to Winchester was deemed surplus to requirements and closed by British Rail; today, when the industry is clamouring for more capacity, that track and platform is used for a steam heritage railway, the Watercress Line[1]. Back on the main station, a South West Trains service waits to carry Alton s 4,000-a-year commuters for the hour-or-so journey to London Waterloo.

That train is owned by a bank, leased to a private company, which has a franchise from the Department for Transport to run it on this track owned by Network Rail, all regulated by another office it s complex, ruminates Anthony Smith, chief executive of watchdog Transport Focus[2].

Related: Industry chiefs weigh up Network Rail privatisation, new minutes show[3]

Another shakeup of the UK rail network s complicated ownership structures is on the cards and Alton, famous for sweet Fanny Adams a young girl murdered here in 1867 could be a small part of the test bed. A review into the future financing of the railway is due to be published alongside the budget next week a document, campaigners and unions fear, that could usher in a stealth privatisation of Network Rail[4].

Devolution and alternative finance are the buzz phrases, and this so-called Wessex route operated by South West Trains, with various veins threading out from Waterloo through south-west London suburbia to Southampton, Portsmouth and Dorset, has been mooted as a possible first stretch of the British railway network to be either sold or let as a concession to an operator with responsibility for both the track and trains. The review, conducted by HS1 chief executive Nicola Shaw, was commissioned by the Treasury last summer in the aftermath of the meltdown of Network Rail s 38.3bn five-year investment plan[5]. The chairman was axed and ministers pointed angry fingers: the Shaw review had the look of bringing the track owner to heel[6].

The potential break-up of the national network, selling it off route by route to private firms in the manner of utilities, or operating long-term concessions much as the stretch of high-speed track Shaw herself runs looked to be clear avenues. Full privatisation had been politically toxic since the days of Railtrack, which spent six years presiding over a series of disasters in which passengers were killed, before going bust. But Shaw insisted all options were on the table. The mood music, though, appears to have changed. Instead of the Shaw review being a turning point, it now appears more a staging post on a journey Network Rail has already embarked on, to the satisfaction of the Conservative government.

Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, speaks enthusiastically of the capital discipline now imposed on a sector where all parties including politicians eager for new development had turned a blind eye to the maxed out credit card.

Related: Competition regulator backs scrapping of rail franchises[7]

In a recent speech to industry leaders, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin struck a conciliatory note: Perhaps the government was overambitious we all made mistakes. Most importantly, perhaps, McLoughlin sent a clear signal that he was expecting evolution not revolution and that if Shaw s report was advocating a radical upheaval, the government might not be responding any time soon, even if there wasn t an EU referendum to ensure the delay.

Advertisement hoarding at Alton railway station. Photograph: Alamy

Shaw is tight-lipped on the contents of her report, but hinted at something relatively consensual: Dictatorial isn t really my style. But some element of private money in the infrastructure appears inevitable. In an email to all staff in February, Carne wrote: You will read a lot about privatisation versus nationalisation . These definitions miss the point.

New Network Rail chairman Peter Hendy s own review of its problems, published in late autumn, offered to stump up 1.8bn by selling off railway arches and station retail space, to make sure the five-year plan could go ahead, with the chancellor granting an extra 700m. On Friday, Network Rail went further, announcing it had hired KPMG to market its power lines to global investors, and would also be looking to raise money from its telecoms assets. This was quickly denounced as the thin end of the wedge by the RMT rail union; if Network Rail had clung to a distinction when announcing the sale of non-core assets , the electricity substations and overhead lines that power most trains clearly cross the operational line.

Long-time industry observers are scathing: Roger Ford, industry editor of Modern Railways, described proposals to flog off its power and telecoms networks as madness on a stick that highlighted the inexperience of the board in rail. Telecoms infrastructure, Ford said, had indeed been sold off before under Railtrack and expensively rebuilt.

They ve been through this once and it was a disaster. The Germans and the French tried it too and had to rebuild the networks. It s gone wrong in three countries why do they think it s going to be any different now?

Even those who believe private finance can usefully be brought in balk at this. Jon Hart, transport legal expert at Pinsent Masons, points out: If I am a commuter on the late running 7.15am, is that down to the train, the operator, poor track or the fact Newco hasn t paid its utility bill? This model could introduce a new layer of complexity to a complex model.

Related: Report calling for abolition of Network Rail increases fears of privatisation[9]

Under current plans, responsibility for individual routes will be devolved. The Wessex route was also the basis for an experiment that saw a so-called deep alliance between Network Rail and the train operator, Stagecoach-owned South West Trains, with a joint management team responsible for the track and trains that was regarded as positive despite eventually breaking down over money[10]. Elsewhere, different targets and financial incentives for Network Rail and train operators have routinely led to a blame game. Hendy suggested last week that Shaw could help align those incentives for all parties, saying he was optimistic that we can live in greater harmony to deliver a better service on a daily basis . All will hope so. Smith s organisation surveyed passengers last time a major overhaul was taking place, the abolition of the Strategic Rail Authority in 2005 where Shaw was chief operating officer and he recalls: People only had a very rough idea of who did what. When you explained it, people lost the will to live or were amazed anyone got the trains running at all.


  1. ^ the Watercress Line (www.watercressline.co.uk)
  2. ^ Transport Focus (www.transportfocus.org.uk)
  3. ^ Industry chiefs weigh up Network Rail privatisation, new minutes show (www.theguardian.com)
  4. ^ Network Rail (www.theguardian.com)
  5. ^ 38.3bn five-year investment plan (www.theguardian.com)
  6. ^ had the look of bringing the track owner to heel (www.theguardian.com)
  7. ^ Competition regulator backs scrapping of rail franchises (www.theguardian.com)
  8. ^ quickly denounced as the thin end of the wedge (www.theguardian.com)
  9. ^ Report calling for abolition of Network Rail increases fears of privatisation (www.theguardian.com)
  10. ^ despite eventually breaking down over money (www.railwaygazette.com)

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