SEAMUS Clifford has been appointed as the new chairman for Colbea, which provides business advice, training and fully serviced office suites at two business centres in Colchester.

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Mr Clifford is a partner and the head of corporate commercial at Ellisons Solicitors. He has also worked in the corporate finance team of Berwin Leighton Paisner in London and has been with Ellisons since 2006.

Mr Clifford’s appointment was ratified at the Colbea board meeting in September. He takes over the chairmanship from Dr Malcolm Braithwaite. Colbea’s board members give their skills and knowledge on a purely voluntary basis in order to aid the management of Colbea.

Bob Baggalley, Colbea’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to welcome Seamus as our new Chairman, not only for his legal expertise but also for his business acumen and enthusiasm for generating economic prosperity in the Colchester area.”

Mr Clifford said: “I am delighted to be taking on the role of chairman for Colbea, at such an exciting and challenging time for businesses in Colchester. As a firm we are committed to helping business start-ups, recognising the increased importance of the entrepreneur in these economic times and advising businesses which will benefit Colchester in terms of employment and financial profitability. Colbea shares this ethos, and I look forward to my new position.”

: : THE Ipswich office of financial and business advisers Grant Thornton has welcomed a new senior manager to its tax team.

Rob Thomson joins the firm from one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms where he spent 13 years specialising in Corporate Tax, working with clients across a variety of industries from owner managed businesses to multinationals. Prior to this, Rob trained and qualified with a regional firm.

In his new role, Rob who is a Chartered Tax Adviser, will provide specialist tax advice to a wide portfolio of clients across Suffolk and Essex.

Rob said: “I was impressed by Grant Thornton’s focus on and investment in growth and also the strong emphasis the firm places on top quality client service.

“I’m looking forward to working as part of a highly experienced team and helping to promote Grant Thornton’s strong reputation for providing expert tax advice across the region.”

James Brown, practice leader of the Ipswich office at Grant Thornton East Anglia, added: “Grant Thornton is a national firm with a strong local presence and Rob’s experience and knowledge of the East Anglian market will be a great asset to both our clients and our business going forward.

“Rob has worked with firms of all sizes, helping them negotiate the often complex world of tax, and so he will be well placed to help our clients unlock their potential for future growth.”

Grant Thornton’s East Anglian offices have approximately 200 staff providing business and financial advice to dynamic organisations in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Essex, to support their growth strategies.

: : A NEW community co-ordinator has been appointed by Unite for East Anglia to mobilise the unemployed, students and retired to improve their communities

Unite has appointed 41-year-old Pilgrim Tucker to bring together groups not covered by traditional trade union membership, so that they can get involved in campaigns in their area, for example, to save their local library from closure.

Pilgrim Tucker, Unite community co-ordinator said: “Across the eastern region communities feel like they don’t have a voice. Unite community membership is going to help change that. We think it’s time that people who don’t have a job, for whatever reason, are now going to have access to the benefits of trade union membership.

“That means members will have access to all kinds of training and education in order to enhance their skills. But most importantly, it will allow communities to come together and get organised to create positive change. By becoming part of the UK and Ireland’s largest trade union, you’ve got 1.5 million allies in standing up for your rights.

“All across East Anglia, people have already been getting in touch to join. I’m really looking forward to working with communities throughout the country, helping them identify their own campaigning priorities and work to bring them about.

“Ordinary members will decide how community membership develops, and I’m really excited to see what good ideas people have.”

: : JANE Collins has been appointed as the Melton branch manager for independent East Anglian building supplies company Kent Blaxill.

Jane, who lives with her family in Ipswich, takes over at the Suffolk branch after gaining management experience with a large national chain where she prided herself on giving excellent customer service.

“With a major refurbishment of the branch planned for next year, Jane will have a big role to play in developments,” said John Ford, Kent Blaxill operations director.

Outside of work Jane, who was a pupil at at Westbourne School in Ipswich, enjoys walking her dog and spending as much time as possible with her friends and family.

: : THREE former associates at Ashton KCJ, Damian Humphrey, Adrian Mundell and Simon Parke, have been promoted to become partners in the firm.

Damian is a solicitor in the company’s commercial team in the Norwich office, playing a key part in developing the firm’s franchising work. Adrian heads the Court of Protection team which specialises in deputyships for people who have suffered catastrophic injury, and Simon leads one of the busiest residential property practices in Norwich.

All three have been with the firm for over five years and have recently successfully completed an in-house Partner Development Programme.

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