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EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Taylor reveals his new enterprise

In a CN24 exclusive, Jeremy Taylor reveals his plans for the future.

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It’s been just over two weeks since Jeremy Taylor’s final day as Chief Executive for Gatwick Diamond Business (GDB), and there has been widespread speculation about his future plans.

In an exclusive with CN24, Mr Taylor has revealed his next projects and what’s in store for him now he’s left GDB.

More business: New board members for Coast to Capital will help deliver its Gatwick 360 strategy

After 14 years in the organisation, Jeremy decided it was time to move his attention onto other projects. However, leaving his position is not as simple as just walking away. Jeremy explains:

“I finished at the end of July, and I’ve still been doing some work with GDB. There’s a bit of introducing to do for Anya Ledwith, who is interim Chief Executive while the successor is found, and that process is ongoing.”

Jeremy indicated that although a successor has not yet been decided on, there was a good selection of nine candidates in the first instance, adding: “It’s a good pool of people coming forward”.

He continues to support GDB through this big change in leadership: “I’ve created particularly complex finance function which needs reengineering, only I understand it.”  Jeremy also helps the organisation manage its relationships with existing contacts as well as ‘getting a few people in place for Meet the Buyers, which is being delivered in November’.

But his support won’t simply stop once a new CE is found. He’s offered to help support his successor with introductions to help maintain some continuity.

Outside of the Gatwick Diamond, Jeremy has some ongoing work in Newhaven.

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“Coast to Capital have put in place an ‘Enterprise Zone’, a government tool that means, over the next 25 years, any increase in business rates generated in Newhaven is retained by Newhaven.

“Newhaven can then use that to borrow now, against future growth to fund infrastructure. That’s a very, very simplistic example. So by investing future income today, Newhaven can be opened up for business to grow, for business to look at, for it to become a more cohesive environment and to make more of the port and more of the history.”

“So, my work there is around linking the business community with the local authority, with the LEP, with the various people behind the Enterprise Zone and people like Rampion – the wind farm, as they’ve got their tech centres there.”

So what’s next for Jeremy Taylor?

‘The Company Connector’ is a new company formed by Jeremy. “The ambition,” Jeremy says, “is to bring people together commercially so that they can work together and grow their business or contribute to the environment.”

“In September, I want to pilot the idea of connecting North America – where we’ve got really, really fantastic connectivity – into the Gatwick Diamond, and into the UK from the Gatwick Diamond. Or, we can hold their hand, and with a common language and a shared-ish culture, hold their hand going into Europe, depending on what happens with everything else that’s going on.”

Jeremy believes that the Americans and the Canadians will ‘probably see the UK as a natural stepping stone’ into the EU even though there could be obstacles and difficulties along the way – “We have to hope that trading is agreed and sorted,” he said.

This new venture will take him to locations such as Austin in Texas, Oakland in California, Denver in Colorado and Boston; places that people don’t naturally think of going to. But he believes that Gatwick’s strength possibly lies in some of these, what he calls, ‘next level cities’.

“I’m still very keen to lobby and support Gatwick Airport, still very keen that we bring a second runway”

As for Gatwick, Jeremy recognises the importance of the airport, and will continue to push for its expansion, including the controversial second runway.

“I’m still very keen to lobby and support Gatwick Airport, still very keen that we bring a second runway and capacity here so it’ll be fascinating to watch what happens with the masterplan that comes out this year and what that means for the region.

“But the whole point of the work I want to do, the connecting, whether it’s businesses, whether it’s academic institutions. If it’s international connectivity then we need the routes and we need the flights.

“If capacity comes, then places like Austin can go from being 3 times a week to 7 times a week and that’s really what the business community wants and needs – a daily connection into those cities where we want to grow our market.”

Jeremy recommends that if anyone wants help with introductions then the main thing to do is to belong to an association or an organisation. “After 14 years at Gatwick Diamond Business, I’m still very keen that people are involved and engage with that organisation, I think it brings fantastic things.”

Those who want to can find Jeremy on LinkedIn, and he adds: “If there’s a connection question that they’ve got about ‘who can they talk to’, then I’m very happy to work with people and see what we can do to help them find new opportunities.

“Those that know me hopefully recognise that I’ve got an ability to identify, possibly the unusual approach which they may not have thought of, or a different way of working and give them a new commercial opportunity on the back of what they’re doing. Or, if I can help people by diving into my address book and seeing where we can take them then that’s what I’m looking to do.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Post Office WILL CLOSE whatever consultation says

A source within the Post Office has revealed that despite a public consulation coming up, the decision to close the current location has already been made.

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Despite press releases and statements from the head office of the Post Office asking residents to express their views over the ‘proposed’ closure, it now appears that whatever views come through, a decision of whether to close the site has already been determined.

A source says the consultation is nothing more than lip service to residents.

Speaking to CN24, the source said that all the consultation will look at is ‘how’ the change of venue will work, not ‘if’ or ‘should’ it happen.

“it is an utter betrayal” – Leader of Crawley Council

This will come as a shock to many in the area who rely heavily on the services that are currently offered and will put in doubt any faith over public consultations.

In a letter aimed at the management of the Post Office and sent to CN24, one resident,  Mrs Elmer from Tilgate has expressed her views over the proposed closure.

She writes:

“I am extremely concerned about the possible closure of Crawley Post Office.

I find it very worrying that in a town with a population of over 106,000 the management is considering popping it into a shop in the shopping mall.

The fact that one always has to queue to be served because it is so busy, even though it has at least five stations of service as well as several self service positions, a parcel counter, an external parcel collection office plus a fully trained staff, how is all of that going to fit into WH Smith’s in the Mall?

To park in the Mall you have to pay.

It is not an easy shop to get to, you have to walk half the length of the Mall to get there.
It is not a very large shop and it has a quite dismal atmosphere.

Disabled people would not be able to reach it very easily.

To carry out all the functions the current post office does it would have to enlarge the premises half as much again.

Working on the assumption that it would work on the same premise that the local one in Tilgate does, it will take a month of Sundays to carry out the same amount of work the real post office does.

Will all the staff move over to continue the secure work they carry out?

Please have a serious look at the situation before making a huge mistake.

J Elmer”

But it now seems that this will fall on deaf ears.  CN24 contacted the Post Office press team where a member verbally confirmed that the consultation would be about access to the new site.

Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb said:

“It is clear now that this was only ever a public relations exercise.  For the thousands of people who will be disadvantaged by this it is an utter betrayal.”

Tilgate Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“The planned post office DOWNGRADE which their PR department is marketing as a move, is bad for the staff, bad for the customers and bad for the town in general.

Our main post office will no longer be able to offer Crown Services going forward and nobody I’ve spoken to is ok with it. I would strongly urge the post office not to go ahead with this.”

A Post Office spokesperson said:

“We would really value and welcome any feedback and comments from you, our customers that can help inform our plans to make changes to Crawley Post Office, particularly on issues like accessibility. And are there any wider other local community issues which you believe could be affected by or affect the proposed move? Please do let us know.

However, the element of our plans that we not seeking feedback is the principle of franchising a branch. This is because the change of management at Crawley Post Office to one that is operated by a retail partner rather than Post Office directly is a commercial decision, and we believe it is the right one in order to sustain Post Office services in communities – not just today, but for the long term too.”

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“I’ve got accessibility concerns with the Post Office’s proposals to move their current Boulevard counters to WHSmith’s in County mall and have written to its management to raise these.

If it turns our their consultation – officially still open – is a sham then I will be raising the issue in Parliament.”

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