Fringe Box



Claire’s Column – Out and About

Published on: 13 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 13 Mar, 2013
Claire Dee

Claire Dee

In this regular monthly column – a must read for all those interested in Guildford business – Claire Dee reports on a busy week of local events.

by Claire Dee

Last week I was all over Surrey attending a number of conferences and events relevant to doing business in our county.

Firstly, the Surrey Future launch event.  Surrey Future being a new initiative bringing together Surrey’s local authorities and business leaders to agree the investment priorities to support the county’s economy and infrastructure over the next few decades.

In essence, the question is how do we address the huge congestion and rail issues we have here and in particular in Guildford? Quite a big ask, but as David Hodge, Surrey County Council leader, noted: “Surrey is a great place to live, work and do business and we want to make sure we make a difference to the people and business people of Surrey.”

Surrey really is a great place to be

Next stop was the inaugural Surrey Nature Partnership (SyNP) conference.  SyNP is one of several new government-backed Local Nature Partnerships which have been set up across the UK to champion the value of the natural environment in local decision making at all levels.  The aim being to ensure that nature can continue to contribute to the economy, health and well-being of Surrey businesses and communities and beyond.

Keynote speakers included Tom Butterworth from Natural England, who illustrated the value of ecosystems and the great outdoors.  Did you know, lack of access to fresh air and nature can reduce life expectancy by many months?

And finally, a celebration of International Women’s Day with the Surrey Chambers of Commerce Business Women in Surrey networking group.  Guest speakers from Procter & Gamble, Retirement Lease Housing Association, and Woking Asian Business Forum, shared with the audience their experiences of work, leisure, family and how to juggle them all successfully.

For me, time away from my desk is rare and precious: there is always just too much to be done.  Attending the above was therefore a risk, but one I’m pleased I took as by the end of the week I felt optimistic, rejuvenated and inspired.  Surrey really is a great place to be.

Claire Dee runs her own communications consultancy near Guildford and is an active member of the local business community including sitting on the Surrey Chambers of Commerce council.  To learn more visit


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