Young plumber taps into winning ways

A YOUNG plumber has received a top award for outstanding progress in his apprenticeship.

Daniel Moss, 20, a third year plumbing and heating apprentice with The Gas Shop and Green Energy, of Orwell Road, Felixstowe, was awarded the Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering award at the West Suffolk College prize giving ceremony held at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds.

The award was judged on the student showing the best progress in achieving the skills of the plumbing industry.

The Gas Shop was started by Simon Abbott 22 years ago, with Nick Grimwood joining as a director 16 years later.

Together they set up Green Energy in 2006, to tap into the popularity of renewable energy products, and this has proven to be one of the biggest parts of the business.

Simon Gee has taken over as head of school of construction and engineering management at West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds

With a 40 year track record in Construction, Mr Gee is ideally qualified to promote and encourage a new generation of skills at all levels within the industry.

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He said: “This new role will be very challenging, as it combines the disciplines of both engineering and construction. Although the college will continue to provide the core qualifications for construction, civil engineering, building services, electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering, we are also going to be offering training opportunities in energy generation, distribution and conservation.”

The college was recently granted Quality Assured status as a preferred training provider for the National Skills Academy for Nuclear and is also a training partner for Build with CaRe, a low energy construction project funded by the North Sea Region Interreg fund of the EU.

Mr Gee said: “The future looks very interesting and challenging. I can see exciting times ahead and I am pleased to be part of West Suffolk College’s excellent team.”

He has worked in the building industry for more than 40 years, starting as a labourer on site, then doing an Ordinary National Diploma at Brighton Technology College. He continued his studies at UMIST (now Manchester University), completing a BSc (Hons) in Building Technology.

He joined Costain Construction East Anglia in Chelmsford in 1978 on its fast track graduate scheme then worked as a site agent for a local developer before branching out and running his own building business.

His most recent appointment was as course leader for the Higher Education programme in construction for University Campus Suffolk at Suffolk New College in Ipswich. The course is now run in partnership with UCS Bury St Edmunds, located at the site of West Suffolk College.

Southwold brewer and retailer Adnams has appointed Martin Wilkinson as retail director.

He will be responsible for the growth and development of the company’s Cellar&Kitchen brand, which offers quality wine, kitchenware, beer and gifts.

Mr Wilkinson brings a strong retail background to the role, joining the company from ASDA, where he was senior retail operations manager. He started his retail career 20 years ago on the shop floor at Morrisons, later joining ASDA and progressing through a number of management roles from store manager to senior retail operations manager.

“I am very much looking forward to working with the team to strengthen the retail proposition of Adnams Cellar&Kitchen and integrate the brand with other parts of the business. Cellar&Kitchen stores offer an exciting shopping experience and our challenge is to continue to offer a distinctive product range,” he said.

Adnams’ chief executive, Andy Wood, said: “Martin brings a wealth of experience and his in-depth knowledge of retail practices will be invaluable as we develop our brand. He has already identified kitchenware as a growth opportunity and we plan to bolster the team with a dedicated kitchenware buyer. This will complement our talented existing team of wine, beer and retail experts in developing the Adnams brand.”

Law firm Norton Peskett has appointed Kevin Dobson as a partner, joining its family department.

Mr Dobson was formerly a partner at Mears Hobbs & Durrant dealing with civil and family litigation. He was well known for dealing with expensive divorce cases, particular those with complex pension arrangements. He is an accredited member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Family Panel.

He will be based primarily in Lowestoft but will be visiting the firm’s offices at Gorleston, Beccles and Halesworth in order to see clients.

He said: “I am delighted to be joining Norton Peskett, a firm with an unparalleled reputation for their sensible practical advice and good service”.

Senior partner, James Hartley said: “We are pleased to welcome Kevin Dobson to the firm both as a partner and as a hugely experienced practitioner in family and civil litigation. Kevin has rightly acquired an excellent reputation amongst clients and the local legal community for his skills and his chosen areas of law. We believe that his presence at this firm will enhance both his and Norton Peskett’s reputation in the future.”

The firm has offices in Lowestoft, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Beccles and Halesworth.

Colchester Solicitors Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP has appointed a new legal assistant.

Hiba Siddique recently completed a law degree at University College London, in which she achieved a First. While studying for her degree she worked as a volunteer for the Free Legal Advice Centre, where she researched claims relating to many issues such as redundancy, homelessness, landlord disputes and immigration matters. She will provide general legal assistance to the commercial, employment and education departments.

Ms Siddique said: “I am really looking forward to being part of FJG’s busy commercial team. I am passionate about the law and hope to study for the Legal Practice Course in the future.”

Tony Fisher, senior partnership member, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Hiba to the firm and I am certain that she will provide a good source of support to our diverse team of experts.”

Framlingham-based AtlasFram Group, the UK’s largest farmer-owned farm inputs purchasing and crop marketing business, has appointed Tim Styles as feed and livestock supplies manager.

Mr Styles, whose family runs a mixed farm near Ipswich, studied at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire, where he gained a degree in Farm and Land Management. In 2003, he joined a long-established East Anglian grain business as a graduate trainee and in 2005 became East Anglia regional manager for KW Trident, part of AB Agri, where he was involved all aspects of the livestock feed business.

“It is refreshing to join a farmer-owned business which is devoted entirely to meeting the purchasing and marketing requirements of its members, without seeking to profit from them,” he said. “My background provides me with an invaluable commercial insight into the operation of the livestock feed industry and AtlasFram Members will benefit from that, because it will allow us to work more closely with suppliers and form stronger partnerships.”

Mr Styles, who is married and lives in Occold, is an enthusiastic rugby player, who has been a member of Ipswich YM Rugby Club for the last 16 years.

He also serves as a special constable in the police force, based at Eye.

Peter Waite, purchasing department manager for AtlasFram Group, said: “Tim’s strong agricultural background will significantly strengthen our purchasing team by introducing first-hand commercial expertise of the livestock feed market from a supplier’s perspective, which will be of direct and significant benefit to our members.

“His appointment is in line with the AtlasFram Group’s unique approach of appointing product specialists who are able to offer members completely impartial advice covering any aspect of their businesses to help maximise profitability, which differentiates us from our competitors.”