Month: January 2017

Conservatory Roof Blinds Direct

Conservatory Roof Blinds Direct

 Conservatory Roof Blinds Direct
The New Year can be an ideal for tackling light home improvement projects such as the installation of new conservatory blinds. If your conservatory needs a facelift, consider what a difference new blinds and perhaps also a fresh coat of paint will make and how much more comfortable you will be in your home environment once the job is done.

New conservatory blinds come in a wide variety of styles and colours, and what will work best in your home depends largely on the number of windows you have – and, thus, the amount of natural light you have. If your prefer blinds in lighter colours which won’t overly darken the room, simply opt for a thicker material like what is typically used for Roman blinds, paper blinds and high-quality Venetian blinds.  No matter what your preference may be in terms of looks, made-to-measure blinds can also improve energy efficiency by providing shade in the spring and summer months and blocking drafts in the winter.

Conservatory Blinds Direct are part of the InStyle blinds group, created out of our passion for high quality conservatory roof and window blinds to give you a secure & online access to the finest quality shading products in the world. We are mainly manufactures to the window blind trade and now we are offering the chance for you to cut out that middle man and buy direct from the manufacture saving you hundreds and in some cases thousands of pounds over retail prices.

All of Conservatory Blinds Direct products are made from the finest components and materials available. We are so confident in our products we are able to offer an industry unheard of 5 year Parts & Labour guarantee.

We believe in keeping shopping simple and here at Conservatory Blinds Direct, we offer a complete range of Shading & Privacy products for your home and because we don’t have huge expensive showrooms or commission hungry sales people we are able to offer pricing to suit any budget but the quality of the product remains high. Even if you don’t see what you’re looking for in our online store, if it’s available we can make / supply it.

Having been in the business of building and installing made-to-measure blinds in residential and commercial settings for over 25 years, our blinds can be measured to fit virtually any conservatory and / or window, without drilling into your window frames or otherwise taking away from the attractiveness of your home.

Contacting Conservatory Blinds Direct
We’re certain that you will be absolutely thrilled to see what a dramatic improvement in the look of your home can result from such a simple change! Let our fully trained staff guide you toward the perfect set of made-to-measure blinds for your home today. To learn more or to request a free quote, call us on 01642 762497 or visit the Conservatory blinds direct website today.

Promoting your Online Business

Promoting your Online Business

Promoting your Online Business
Are you looking for a UK based Internet Marketing Company with a proven track record of success. Someone who can help promote your website to the widest possible audience. Whether you are just starting up your business or have an existing website which isn’t doing a great deal for you then Direct Submit can help make your website ‘work harder for your business’.

As experienced Internet Marketing and SEO consultants we will be able to help you make the right choices and decisions to help you get your product or service noticed online. We offer a comprehensive range of Internet Marketing and SEO services to our clients, and aim to get your website to the top of the search engine rankings and keeping them there.

Simply put, our approach to SEO typically will is built around:

» Key Phrase Research
» Website Analysis & Compliance
» SEO Promotion & Marketing
» Linking Strategy
» Ongoing Monitoring & Maintenance

How can we do that? By using a combination of SEO submissions, link building, social media, directory work and many other ‘white hat’ processes. In short, our expertise and commitment will help keep you website at the top of Google, Yahoo and Bing!

Internet Marketing is now an essential part of any business that wants to grow and succeed in the market place today. With an estimated 80% plus of the UK population able to search online, if you are not using the internet as a marketing tool for your business, you are missing out. Having your business found on page one in the Search Engines gives your business a clear advantage when it comes to achieving more with your website.

An effective SEO strategy will make your website easy to find for users and search engine robots. SEO helps the search engines to understand what each page on the website is about; therefore content strategy plays a big role in the SEO tactics. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) should be an essential part of your businesses marketing strategy. Put simply, its job is to increase your enquiries and to make sales.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results, often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. Effective SEO is often an involved and often time consuming process that requires a good deal of expertise, research and modification of your website. This process helps the likes of Google and Bing knows your website exists and hopefully ranks it well for the selected key phrases.

Direct Submit prides itself on the underlying process by which we approach each and every SEO project we are involved with. We understand that each client will have specific, individual needs and our approach in creating and implementing the correct SEO strategy is vital to the success of the SEO project. This approach and attention to detail is what has helped Direct Submit become a leading Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) company.

Call us today on 0845 2722350 or visit the Direct Submit Website and get your website working harder for your business.

HSBC to Close 62 More Branches in 2017

HSBC to Close 62 More Branches in 2017

HSBC to Close 62 More Branches in 2017
HSBC will close a further 62 bank branches in the UK in 2017, pointing to the growth of mobile and internet banking. The bank was singled out in a survey by consumer group Which? in December as having closed the most branches in 2015 and 2016. HSBC said the plans brought its “branch restructuring programme” to an end.

The move is expected to lead to 180 redundancies, although it hopes to redeploy staff.

“Fewer people are using branches. More than 90% of our interactions with customers are now through our digital channels – an increase from 80% last year,” said Francesca McDonagh, HSBC’s head of retail banking.  The decision to close these branches ensures a more sustainable branch network for the future as we continue to invest in our digital platforms and our people. We will have fewer but better branches, with more empowered front-line colleagues using a greater range of technology to support all our customers’ needs.”

The Which? research, published in December, found that HSBC had closed more than a quarter of its UK branches over the last two years, as part of 1,000 bank closures in total.

HSBC said it closed 223 branches last year. There were already plans to shut 55 this year, with the extra 62 now added. Some of those earmarked for closure will shut in the summer, but some will stay open until the end of the year. Unions are unhappy with the plans.

Dominic Hook, Unite national officer, said: “Today is a dark day for hundreds of HSBC staff who will arrive at work to be told that they could lose their job as their branch closes or their IT role is cut. Unite is again calling on the banking industry to rethink such branch culling exercises, which do nothing to reassure customers or staff that banking is accessible and open to all. Without doubt customer service in financial services will suffer if our high streets are left with no local branches. The banking industry must act to prevent confidence in our banking system falling further.”

Businesses Welcome Government’s New Industrial Strategy

Businesses Welcome Government’s New Industrial Strategy

Businesses Welcome Government’s New Industrial Strategy
Businesses have given a cautious welcome to the Government’s new industrial strategy, which sets out Prime Minister Theresa May’s vision for the country as it negotiates a complex exit from the European Union. The 132-page green paper, which is now open to public consultation, outlines ways in which the Government will support the economy, including billions of pounds worth of investment in life sciences and technology and an education system with new technical qualifications for people who want an alternative to university.

Mrs May also wants to pump money into the country’s ageing infrastructure, helping to rebalance the economy from south to north, and focus training on the key areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.

A new “industrial strategy challenge fund” will be set up to support science and innovation, including robotics, clean energy and biotechnology. It could, for example, fund joint research projects between businesses and academics.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, said the policies would “help unlock the  great potential of the UK life science sector to lead in areas such as the treatment of cancer”.

Three other ideas mooted in the report are helping small businesses get better access to funding, building clusters of industry across the country and moving key institutions to those clusters and launching new infrastructure bonds.
The 10 pillars of the Government’s new industrial strategy

1 Invest in science, research and innovation: become a more innovative economy and do more to commercialise our world-leading science base to drive growth across the UK.

2 Develop skills: help people and businesses to thrive by ensuring everyone has the basic skills needed in a modern economy, building a new system of technical education to benefit the half of young people who do not go to university, boosting science, technology, engineering and maths skills, digital skills and numeracy, and raising skill levels in lagging areas.

3 Upgrade infrastructure: upgrade standards of performance on digital, energy, transport, water and flood defence infrastructure, and better align central government infrastructure investment with local growth priorities.

4 Support businesses to start and grow: ensure that businesses across the UK can access the finance and management skills they need to grow and create the right conditions for companies to invest for the long term.

5 Improve procurement: use strategic government procurement to drive innovation and enable the development of UK supply chains.

6 Encourage trade and inward investment: government policy can help boost productivity and growth across our economy, including by increasing competition and helping to bring new ways of doing things to the UK.

7 Deliver affordable energy and clean growth: to keep costs down for businesses, and secure the economic benefits of the transition to a low-carbon economy.

8 Cultivate world-leading sectors: build on areas of competitive advantage, and help new sectors to flourish, in many cases challenging existing institutions and incumbents.

9 Driving growth across the whole country: create a framework to build on the particular strengths of different places and address factors that hold places back – whether it is investing in key infrastructure projects to encourage growth, increasing skill levels, or backing local innovation strengths.

10 Create the right institutions to bring together sectors and places: will consider the best structures to support people, industries and places. In some places and sectors there may be missing institutions which we could create, or existing ones we could strengthen, be they local civic or educational institutions, trade associations or financial networks.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said the creation of a new industrial strategy was a “landmark opportunity” for the country.

“It must help fix the country’s productivity problems and remove the regional inequalities that have dogged our country for generations,” she said. “It’s welcome to see the government creating an opportunity for all sectors to get involved.”

Fine Firms for Sexist Dress Rules, say MPs

Fine Firms for Sexist Dress Rules, say MPs

Fine Firms for Sexist Dress Rules, say MPs
The government must enforce the law properly to ban sexist dress rules at work that discriminate against women, say MPs. The demand has come from two parliamentary committees, for Petitions and for Women and Equalities.

Their report follows the experience of London receptionist Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from work in December 2015 for not wearing high heels. Her parliamentary petition on the issue gained more than 150,000 signatures.

The joint report of the two committees, entitled High Heels and Workplace Dress Codes, found that the Equality Act 2010 should ban discriminatory dress rules at work, but in practice the law is not applied properly to protect workers of either gender.

Helen Jones, MP, chair of the Petitions Committee, said: “The government has said that the way that Nicola Thorp was treated by her employer is against the law, but that didn’t stop her being sent home from work without pay. It’s clear from the stories we’ve heard from members of the public that Nicola’s story is far from unique,” she added.

The problem was exposed when Ms Thorp was sent home from her job at a London office of the big accountancy firm PwC. She refused to obey the then rules of her employment agency, Portico, that she should wear shoes with heels that were between two and four inches high. Read More.

Finding the Right Business Insurance

Finding the Right Business Insurance

Finding the Right Business Insurance

Managing the day to day aspects of a business can be tiring enough, but with the pressure on every business owner these days, it’s easy to forget about the legalities of insurance. If you own a business, there are many aspects of it which need to be insured, from your staff to your goods and services. For example, a vegetable farm might have to insure their workers, their machinery, plus their fleet of trucks or vans which deliver the produce.

businessinsuranceBusiness Insurance
It can be difficult to wade through the practicalities of insurance, so if you are searching for good quality business insurance in Newcastle – or indeed from anywhere in the UK, then you should use an insurance broker. Here at Weir Insurance, we believe in customer satisfaction and in finding the right quote which will suit every need and aspect of one’s business. However, in this article, we’ll take a look at a few reasons as to why you should consider hiring a broker to find the right insurance. In Newcastle and Northumberland, there are many insurance brokers available to you, but Weir Insurance prides itself as being an insurance broker which combines in-depth experience with great customer service, leading you to a more profitable deal that works for everyone.

1. Experience

Brokers have decades worth of experience to help customers get the best possible quote. For example, take us here at Weir Insurance. We have been assisting customers with their insurance since 1972, so that’s almost forty years! With our number of staff working here for decades, if you add up each member’s experience, it would be hundreds of years’ worth of experience. Nothing beats the time tested experience of brokers, because they have the finesse to find the companies with the best cover at the best rates, and their intuition can help give you the advice you need.

2. Finding the Best Cover at the Best Price

With so many insurance companies out there, wading through lists of insurance companies and their rates is like going through a minefield, and with each company offering tens of options, it can be very difficult to know which is the best deal.

Some companies offer discounts, depending on how many years you’ve been with them, while others might combine rates together to give you the best deal. However, finding these deals takes more than a lot of work and time, it might also depend on luck. Since you’re looking through so many companies and the rates they offer, you might miss out on a great deal or on a combination which will earn you the best money.

With an insurance broker, they will scan through every company and every option they provide, to ensure that you’re covering everything you need, at the best affordable price. Insurance brokers know which insurance companies provide the best experience and value for certain businesses, and what covers they want.

3. Less Stress

With an insurance broker, all you have to do is give them the details of your business and what you want to insure, and leave them do the rest! By allowing us to use our time-tested experience in getting you a great quote, you won’t have to worry about anything. As long as we have all the details, such as what you want to cover and how many employees to insure, etc., you’ll have more time to keep running your business and make sure everything is running smoothly. Managing an entire business is a lot more efficient, when you don’t have to worry about insurance, too!


If your business is operating anywhere in Newcastle or Northumberland, and you want a business insurance policy you can trust and that will combine the three benefits mentioned above into a solid customer experience, you should choose Weir Insurance brokers! Call us today on 0800 281 453 and we’ll help you get the best deal, use our knowledge and invaluable experience to find the best quote, and give you a great customer experience. You’re in good hands!

Flood Prevention Being Ignored say MPs

Flood Prevention Being Ignored say MPs

Flood Prevention Being Ignored say MPs
Simple actions to help protect homes in England from flooding are still being ignored by government, MPs say. The Commons environment committee said ministers were not addressing what it called the fragmented, inefficient and ineffective flood management. Areas of concern include flood impact home insurance, building rules and local authority planning decisions.

The government rejected the criticism, saying it had accepted many previous suggestions on flooding from the MPs.

The committee’s comments are the latest in a running tussle between MPs and the environment department Defra.

The MPs admit that flooding has risen up the government’s priority list, and say “considerable work” on flooding is being done across Whitehall. But they complain that ministers are still ignoring reasonable demands.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, acting chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (Efra), said: “People living in areas of flood risk need to be reassured that the government is acting to improve our disjointed flood management system. “Defra has failed to give sufficient justification for its rejection of our recommendations for important new measures.”

Take the principle of slowing the flow of rivers across upland catchments to stop communities flooding, pioneered by Pickering in North Yorkshire. The government says it backs this idea, subject to further tests on a catchment scale, but the MPs say ministers should give more details on how much they are spending to prevent flooding this way.

The MPs also want changes to insurance rules so householders who have been flooded can get insurance help to make their homes flood-proof in future. They say developers who increase flood risk by breaching planning conditions should be obliged to compensate homeowners. In addition, the report says local councils should be forced to publish annual summaries of planning decisions they approve against Environment Agency flood advice.

Also, water and sewage companies should have a say on planning applications to prevent new developments adding to flood risk.

Several bodies, including the committee, believe the government needs to overhaul the way flooding is managed, with prime responsibility removed from the Environment Agency. But suggestions of a re-organisation were previously firmly rejected by ministers, and this has been re-confirmed.

A spokesman for Defra told BBC News: “We take a long-term, strategic approach to protecting the nation from floods.

“We are investing £2.5bn on building flood defence schemes across the country to better protect an additional 300,000 homes by 2021, bringing an end to year-on-year fluctuations in spend. We are already implementing many of the [committee’s] suggestions, such as managing watercourses across entire catchment areas, but there is no need for structural changes.”

The comments come as Defra is facing criticism over the publication, without a previous press notice, of its own national climate change risk assessment warning of risks from flooding.

The report appeared on Defra’s website last week on the same afternoon that a new global temperature record was announced.

Environmentalists were suspicious that Defra was trying to bury it, but a government spokesman said: “That’s ridiculous. The publication date was agreed ages ago.”

Will Brexit be delayed by Court ruling?

Will Brexit be delayed by Court ruling?

Will Brexit be delayed by Court ruling?
The BBC has published as summary to the process the UK Government ill now likely follow to trigger Article 50 and remove the UK form the European Union. The summary can be read on the BBC News Page.

How long will it take?
The government wanted to trigger Article 50 using the Royal Prerogative, which is a set of powers that used to be held by the monarch but now reside with government ministers. The decision that it must specifically pass a bill is significant. Some other procedures would have meant fewer stages in Parliament and no chance to make amendments.

A full bill means that both houses of Parliament must agree and amendments are possible. To become an act of Parliament a bill must pass several stages in both the Commons and the Lords. That often takes months of debate, but it doesn’t necessarily have to. Emergency legislation can be passed within a single day if everyone agrees it is urgent.

How much opposition?
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that his MPs should not seek to block Article 50. Ken Clarke is expected to be the only Conservative who will vote against it. So the numbers look to be in place to ensure a smooth passage for the bill in the House of Commons. But more MPs may back attempts to amend the bill, for example, by adding conditions about the sort of Brexit the government should negotiate.

In principle, the House of Lords could be different. The government does not have a majority and many peers remain strongly opposed to Brexit. However, there is recognition that Parliament voted overwhelmingly to hold a referendum and that the referendum delivered a clear, albeit close, result. Members of the House of Lords, who are not elected, realise that any attempt to frustrate Brexit could be regarded as undemocratic.

Government Loses Brexit Vote Appeal

Government Loses Brexit Vote Appeal

Government Loses Brexit Vote Appeal
Parliament must vote on whether the government can start the Brexit process, the Supreme Court has ruled. The judgement means Theresa May cannot begin talks with the EU until MPs and peers give their backing – although this is expected to happen in time for the government’s 31 March deadline. But the court ruled the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies did not need a say.

The government will make a statement to MPs later on Tuesday.

During the Supreme Court hearing, campaigners argued that denying the UK Parliament a vote was undemocratic. The government said it already had the powers to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – getting talks under way – without the need for consulting MPs and peers.

The judges rejected the case put by ministers by a majority of eight to three.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright said the government was “disappointed” but would “comply” and do “all that is necessary” to implement the court’s judgement.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Labour respects the result of the referendum and the will of the British people and will not frustrate the process for invoking Article 50.”

Article 50 will begin exit talks with the EU, which are expected to last up to two years. The case against the government was brought by investment manager Gina Miller and hairdresser Deir Tozetti Dos Santos.

The Supreme Court’s judgement backs that given by the High Court last year, against which the government appealed.

FTSE 100 Heads Upwards Towards Record

FTSE 100 Heads Upwards Towards Record

FTSE 100 Heads Upwards Towards Record
London’s main share index opened higher as the FTSE 100’s recent record-breaking run showed no sign of ending.

The index opened up 28.90 points at 7,321.27, putting it on track for its 14th gain in a row and its 12th straight record closing high.

ITV shares rose 2.6% after Goldman Sachs named the broadcaster as one of a number of possible bid targets in the European media sector.

FTSE 250 company SIG jumped nearly 10% after it reported higher sales.

The building materials firm said like-for-like group sales increased by 0.3% last year, adding that full-year profits were on track to meet its forecast range of £75m-£80m.

On the currency markets, the pound was up 0.2% against the dollar at $1.2186, and edged 0.1% higher against the euro to €1.1470.