BE READY FOR THE XMAS SHUT-DOWN DRAIN DOCTOR WARNS UK BUSINESSES
Christmas is a time for festive fun with the family. Our TV screens are full of emotive images of lonely penguins, the Christmas truce and generous Christmas fairies – and we’re all hoping for snow. But that could be really bad news for businesses.
While a white Christmas may be romantic, as we get ready to welcome friends and family to join in our celebrations, it’s easy to forget that it can lead to frozen pipes, leaks and other problems in premises left unattended over the holiday period.
That’s why Drain Doctor Plumbing (www.draindoctor.co.uk) – the UK’s premier combined emergency plumbing and drain repair service – is warning businesses across the UK to prepare their premises for winter ahead of the holiday to avoid interruptions to their festivities.
It is easy to forget how dependent we are on our plumbing systems – so now is the right time to put a bit of effort into preparing for the winter months to ensure your business plumbing and drainage is in tip-top working order.
Don’t let plumbing failures adversely impact your business this season. Repairs to damage caused by burst pipes and floods from blocked drains can be expensive. Here are a few tips to help protect your plumbing and drains for the rest of the winter:
1.Locate and label your main stop valve. Make sure all appropriate staff know where it is – and how to turn it off.
2.Stop valves tend to corrode slightly with time, so well before Christmas – so that there is time to deal with any problems before the holiday – check that it is working by exercising the valve twice from fully open to fully closed and back again (and always back the valve off ‘half a turn’ from fully open once you’re done). It is a good idea to do this every six months or so in any event.
3.Make sure that you know where all the pipes and storage tanks in your building are located and check that they are properly lagged and covered, especially in cooler roof areas. Make sure that staff who may be called out to deal with any problems during the holiday know the pipe locations and how to get access to pipes concealed behind things such as ceiling panels.
4.Inspect cold water cisterns well before Christmas and repeat the inspection annually. If there are any signs of corrosion or leaking, contact a reputable plumber.
5.Leave the heating on a low temperature to maintain circulation and warmth if the premises will be unoccupied over the holiday week.
6.Isolate, drain and insulate any outside taps and pipework.
7.Rain is actually far more likely than snow over Christmas – and coming just after a late autumn, with many trees not shedding leaves until well into November, there is a danger that gutters and drains will be blocked by fallen leaves and other debris. If you see any sign that water is slow to drain from roofs, car parks, etc, get a drainage company to do a CCTV inspection of the drains.
8.Plumbing and drainage is becoming increasingly technical. Always seek qualified professional help such as Drain Doctor Plumbing.
If you are unlucky enough to experience a problem with your plumbing or drains call Drain Doctor 24 hours a day on 0800 3357 999. The company is on call all over the holiday period – and charges no more for working on Christmas Day than it does on any other day of the year.
NIGEL RETURNS TO HEAD OLD (NEW) COMPANY
Nigel Parsons has been named as the founding managing director of newly-launched housebuilder Allison Homes (www.allison-homes.co.uk) by parent company Larkfleet Group (www.larkfleetgroup.co.uk).
Allison Homes is the newest business within the group but the name has a history. Group CEO Karl Hick was at one time managing director of a company with the same name and Nigel Parsons worked for him there from 1992 to 1997 as site manager and later contracts manager.
Nigel subsequently went on to become construction director of Tay Homes and later managing director of Ashwood Homes, developing the business from a builder of 50 homes per year to one building more than 200 homes per year and increasing annual turnover from £3 million to £20 million in just two years.
In 2010 he rejoined Karl Hick, taking on a role as managing director of construction at Larkfleet Homes, the business which Karl founded in 2002.
Nigel said: “At Ashwood I was responsible for a number of initiatives. These included innovative construction systems which enabled us to sell up to 40 per cent of homes before they were actually built, strict site management to ensure that the presentation of our new homes aided our sales activity and ‘new technology’ such as wind turbines and ground source heat pumps. Meanwhile Karl was doing similar things at Larkfleet so I was delighted to join him again to take the business forward.”
At Larkfleet Nigel has been responsible for developing a ‘change culture’ and procedures which have improved the construction business.
Now he is taking on a new role as head of Allison Homes. Nigel said:
“Although legally and financially Alison Homes is an entirely new company, we are aiming to recreate the quality and customer service that made the original Allison Homes such a success.”
Karl Hick said: “One of the reasons that Larkfleet Homes has been so successful is that as a relatively small house builder we can give personal service and pay attention to the small details that make a house a home. But Larkfleet Homes is growing and it is therefore becoming difficult for management to have that ‘hands on’ role.
“So we are launching Allison Homes with its own management team led by Nigel and with its own staff to ensure that it can continue to deliver the quality that we feel is so important.”
Nigel added: “Allison Homes had an excellent reputation for quality throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Now we are bringing that back to life as part of the Larkfleet Group.”
Larkfleet Homes has several developments across the East Midlands and East of England including Bourne (Lincolnshire), Baston and Pinchbeck (Lincolnshire), Oakham (Rutland) and Peterborough and Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire which offer plenty of choice for those looking to purchase a home.
Allison Homes will shortly be announcing its own first development sites.
Away from work Nigel’s interests include weight training and karate. He is a karate instructor and approved British coach and recently attained his fourth Dan black belt.
He is also a competition-level clay pigeon shooter – an interest he shares with his 16 year old son who is already Lincolnshire cadet and junior champion.
LARKFLEET STAFF SNAP UP HOUSEBUILDER’S PROPERTIES
Properties by Larkfleet Homes (www.larkfleethomes.co.uk), the housebuilding arm of development company Larkfleet Group (www.larkfleetgroup.co.uk), are not just proving popular with members of the public – eight of the company’s employees have also recently purchased homes built by the company.
Ben Burge, Larkfleet Homes’ sales director, is the new owner of a property at Leighfield Park – part of Oakham Heights – Larkfleet’s major urban expansion of Oakham.
Four properties at the company’s Abbeyfields site in Bourne, Lincolnshire, have also been snapped up by Larkfleet staff.
Didie Kearns and Liz Browne both work as sales executives for Larkfleet, helping members of the public find their dream home. Now, they too have made the most of Larkfleet’s energy-efficient and high quality property offering and are on schedule to enjoy Christmas in their new homes at Abbeyfields.
Technical administrator Alison Lea and management accountant Katie Taylor have already moved into new homes at the Abbeyfields development.
Craig Templeman was taken on by Larkfleet Group as renewable energy development manager for group company Deepings Building and Plumbing Supplies (www.deepingsbuilding.co.uk). He is now responsible for the procurement of all products for group company Lark Energy, the UK’s leading developer of photovoltaic (PV) ‘solar farms’. Craig and his partner Hayley Franklin who also works for Deepings Building and Plumbing Supplies now call a Larkfleet-built property at The Coppice in Deeping St James ‘home’.
Larkfleet’s purchase ledger clerk, Lisa Grimes, is also the proud owner of a Larkfleet Homes property at its Glen Grange development in Pinchbeck and plans to move in early in the new year.
Larkfleet CEO Karl Hick commented: “It is always pleasing to see how popular our properties are with the general public. However, these recent purchases by members of Larkfleet Group’s own staff really go to show how highly our own employees rate the quality and value for money of our properties.
“I am delighted that so many employees have found their new homes in Larkfleet developments – it really is a testament to the value that Larkfleet Homes provides for homebuyers.”
Larkfleet has several developments across the East Midlands and East of England including Bourne, Baston and Pinchbeck (Lincolnshire), Oakham (Rutland) and Peterborough (Cambridgeshire) which offer plenty of choice for those looking to purchase a home.