Angus Council

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Angus Council's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Angus Council is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.businessangus.com

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | FREEDOM FUNERALS
Inability to pay and assisted
burials
A lot of people that come to us just
don’t have the money to pay for a
funeral. The industry as a whole is
somewhat skewed; everybody wants
payment for every individual aspect
upfront, and between the cost of a
vicar, a cremation and the various
other elements involved, it comes to a
rough minimum of £1,000.
When you’re living with nothing,
however, the minimum figure doesn’t
matter – finding £1,000 is just not an
option. If you can’t afford it at all, then
the council will eventually conduct an
assisted burial, but they do absolutely
everything to avoid that as an option
and try then to recoup all costs from
the estate of the deceased.
There just doesn’t seem to be a viable
option for those who can’t afford to
bury their loved ones – at least not one
that doesn’t come up against some
resistance. Sometimes applications for
a grant from the Department for Work
and Pensions are successful, but even
then, they only pay a portion rather
than covering the full amount. It only
leads to further debt and misery at an
already-difficult time in one’s life; the
government really should outline and
formulate a strategy for the people
who can’t afford a funeral.
Environmental legislation –
remaining green is expensive
We are members of the Association
of Green Funeral Directors and we
carry out a significant number of
green burials every year, but remaining
sustainable is only getting more
difficult and more expensive.
Take into account the Ultra-Low
Emission Zone in London, for example,
and the requirement for businesses to
use Euro 6-compliant vehicles. That’s
fine when it comes to vans and lorries,
but finding a classic hearse – a very
unique vehicle – with the right engine
is nearly impossible and a significant
further expense.
We also don’t need Euro 6 vehicles
where we’re situated in Colchester –
but when we have to go into London
just to bring people back to the
cemetery, this becomes an issue. We’re
a small business, one that doesn’t have
the capacity to deal with big pieces
of legislation like this, and it really
seems pointless for us to have to buy
compliant vehicles we’ll barely use.
Changing how people think
about funerals
The other trade bodies out there for
the sector aren’t really helping to drive
things forwards. When magazines
come out showing pallbearers in
morning suits, it just shows that
nothing’s changed. I firmly believe our
attitude towards death and funerals
as a national and global community
needs to change.
People know that you’ll need a hearse
and a coffin – we don’t advertise that.
For us, funerals are about celebrating
life, not mourning the death of a loved
one. We want to get our name out
there and get people talking about
death in a completely different light.
We have made
it our aim to
keep costs
down and
help everyone
get exactly the
service they
want without
breaking the
bank
Lee’s son, William (far
left) with the team
23ANGUS COUNCIL |
CIVIL SOCIETY
CEO Margo Williamson
and Council Leader David
Fairweather
Angus aerial shot
Angus, with its population of approximately 110,000, is
located in the east of Scotland and sits between the cities
of Aberdeen and Dundee. It is bounded by the North
Sea to the east and the Cairngorms National Park to the west.
Angus Council, one of its main champions, says that its thriving
community, good infrastructure and beautiful scenery combine
to make it a wonderful place in which to live and work, as
well as to visit. Angus Council’s CEO, Margo Williamson, tells
TheParliamentary Review
more.
A welcoming place for all
Angus has seven towns, with Forfar being the administrative centre for the area,
and contained within it is a broad base of industry, including manufacturing
and agriculture. Arbroath is the largest town in Angus and has a rich heritage of
manufacturing, retail and, more recently, service businesses. Montrose, with its
port and easy access to Aberdeen, is a thriving town, with the commercial activity
centred on the energy sectors. Brechin, Carnoustie, Kirriemuir and Monifieth are
busy towns with both national and local companies.
A number of local, national and international companies have also made their home
in Angus, including GlaxoSmithKline, Don & Low, Baker Hughes, GE Company, and
AG Barr.
Visiting Angus
Angus is an area of outstanding beauty, with unspoilt beaches, rolling hills and
glens, championship golf courses, attractive towns and villages and a fascinating
FACTS ABOUT
ANGUS COUNCIL
»CEO: Margo Williamson
»Council Leader: David
Fairweather
»Services: Unitary authority,
responsible for local authority
public services and schools
»No. of employees: 5,000
»Margo Williamson is the first
female CEO in Angus since it
was established
»The county of Angus is
approximately 842square
miles
Angus Council
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | ANGUS COUNCIL
history to discover. The rugged
coastline opens into scenic glens and
the fertile Valley of Strathmore. The
hills and glens of Angus are part of
the Cairngorms National Park and are
an area of unspoilt natural wilderness.
There are high mountains, remote
lochs, steep-sided glens, and paths
that were once used by cattle drovers,
caterans and whisky smugglers to cross
large areas of upland plateaux.
The many museums, historic buildings
and attractions provide an insight into
the unique heritage of the area. For the
more adventurous, one can explore the
great outdoors, with miles of walking
trails, stunning scenery, breathtaking
wildlife and a variety of on and off-road
trails for mountain bikers and cyclists.
Angus is home to some of the best golf
courses in Scotland, from challenging
links to scenic parkland courses, all
within a 40-minute drive of the famous
Carnoustie Championship course. You
can enjoy a huge variety of events and
festivals throughout the year in Angus,
from international sporting events like
the Open, hosted at Carnoustie in
2018, to music festivals, foodie events,
traditional Highland Games and much
more. Visitors to the region can choose
from a variety of accommodation, from
friendly family-run hotels, cosy cottages
and lodges, to peacefulcampsites.
There is also a vast array of delicious
fresh, seasonal, local produce to
experience during a stay in Angus, from
local beef to freshly caught seafood, and
from juicy berries to locally produced
vodka, gin and whisky. Some delicacies
in the area are particularly well known –
examples include the Arbroath smokie,
Aberdeen Angus beef and Forfar
bridies. Recently, new attractions have
opened in Angus to showcase some of
the locally produced spirits, providing
visitors with a fantastic insight into the
journey from farm to bottle.
Moreover, Angus is perfectly located
to enjoy the nearby vibrant city of
Dundee, which saw the V&A Dundee
open in 2018 – the only design
museum in the UK outside of London.
Our STEAM Economic Impact 2017
figures show that over £230 million
was generated within the local
economy through visitor and tourism
business expenditure. Our Visitor
Accommodation Audit indicates that
there is an anticipated level of growth in
demand for accommodation in the area.
Why businesses invest in Angus
Cost-effective property solutions
Angus’s lower property and land costs
than surrounding areas mean businesses
can get more for their money. Working
closely with investors, we find the
property or land which meets their needs
and provide a complete solution with
a range of available business support
programmes and a network of contacts.
Strong manufacturing sector
The engineering and advanced
manufacturing sector is a large and
important component of the Angus
economy, accounting for almost a third
of all economic output from the area.
The county’s good transport links are a
large help.
Skilled workforce
Almost 9 per cent more school leavers
in Angus go into further education than
the Scottish average, with almost three
Montrose Port
Angus’s lower
property and
land costs
than
surrounding
areas mean
businesses can
get more for
their money
In addition to background
growth, there has been a
general growth in events:
»The staging of the Open in
2018
»The opening of the V&A
»Associated redevelopment of
Dundee waterfront and the
anticipated spin-off demand
»Increased activity in the
conference and convention
market
»The ability of rural Angus
to capture incentive-related
demand
25ANGUS COUNCIL |
CIVIL SOCIETY
quarters of school leavers moving into
higher education, further education
or other training. Five well-regarded
universities are also located nearby.
Funding
Businesses can benefit from an extensive
range of national grants and loans
aimed at supporting their development
needs. This support is available to
companies in Angus, from sole trader
business start-ups to long-established
local businesses, as well as to inward
investors looking to relocate to Angus.
Proximity to Aberdeen’s energy sector
Energy sector businesses find Angus a
cost-effective solution within a strong
manufacturing base in the area, with the
added benefit of port access at Montrose
and the availability of skilled staff.
Angus is less than an hour away from
Aberdeen and home to a number of oil
and energy sector businesses.
Business advice
There is a wide range of business
advice and support available to Angus
companies, from one-to-one sessions
with experienced business counsellors,
to business support initiatives,
including access to Business Gateway.
Quality of life
Angus has a rich heritage, a stunning
landscape and a strong sense of
community. People enjoy living in
Angus, with its low crime rates,
wide choice of leisure activities, high
standards of education, lower cost of
housing and delicious larder of local
produce on their doorstep.
Transport and connectivity
In addition to the A90 and A92 dual
carriageways running through Angus,
there are other public roads totalling
1,750 km; the East Coast main railway
line, with four rail stations and three
rail halts; and Montrose Port. This
network offers easy access to all
of the main cities in Scotland and
furtherafield.
The eastern part of Angus is served by
the East Coast Mainline, which connects
it directly to Edinburgh, Glasgow,
Aberdeen and key destinations in
England (London, Newcastle, Leeds,
Sheffield, Birmingham and Bristol)
by way of direct train services from
Arbroath and Montrose.
There are airports in nearby Dundee
and Aberdeen. Dundee Airport offers
chartered flights as well as direct
flights to London Stansted. Close by,
Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh
fly to a wide range of domestic and
international locations.
Nestling in a sheltered haven on the
River Esk, within a mile of open sea,
the thriving port of Montrose offers
a cost-effective alternative for vessels
using Scotland’s east coast. Montrose
Port handles about 700,000 tonnes
per annum; can take cargo ships up to
90 metres in length; currently handles
agriculture-related cargoes, timber
and chemicals; and has considerable
potential for servicing off-shore wind
farm developments.
The eastern part
of Angus is
served by the
East Coast
Mainline, which
connects it
directly to
Edinburgh,
Glasgow,
Aberdeen and
key destinations
in England
»LIVING IN ANGUS
House prices in Angus are below the national average. In January 2019, the
average house price in Angus was £140,043, compared to a Scottish average of
£149,036. In addition to this, council tax in Angus is historically lower than in
its neighbouring local authority areas, with the charges for a Band D property
coming in at 6 per cent below the national average.
As a council, we manage 55 primary schools and eight secondary schools and
have provision for pre-fives in nursery classes operating within 53 primary schools.
Education attainment rates in Angus are consistently above the Scottish average.
Lunan Bay
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
24 | ANGUS COUNCIL
history to discover. The rugged
coastline opens into scenic glens and
the fertile Valley of Strathmore. The
hills and glens of Angus are part of
the Cairngorms National Park and are
an area of unspoilt natural wilderness.
There are high mountains, remote
lochs, steep-sided glens, and paths
that were once used by cattle drovers,
caterans and whisky smugglers to cross
large areas of upland plateaux.
The many museums, historic buildings
and attractions provide an insight into
the unique heritage of the area. For the
more adventurous, one can explore the
great outdoors, with miles of walking
trails, stunning scenery, breathtaking
wildlife and a variety of on and off-road
trails for mountain bikers and cyclists.
Angus is home to some of the best golf
courses in Scotland, from challenging
links to scenic parkland courses, all
within a 40-minute drive of the famous
Carnoustie Championship course. You
can enjoy a huge variety of events and
festivals throughout the year in Angus,
from international sporting events like
the Open, hosted at Carnoustie in
2018, to music festivals, foodie events,
traditional Highland Games and much
more. Visitors to the region can choose
from a variety of accommodation, from
friendly family-run hotels, cosy cottages
and lodges, to peacefulcampsites.
There is also a vast array of delicious
fresh, seasonal, local produce to
experience during a stay in Angus, from
local beef to freshly caught seafood, and
from juicy berries to locally produced
vodka, gin and whisky. Some delicacies
in the area are particularly well known –
examples include the Arbroath smokie,
Aberdeen Angus beef and Forfar
bridies. Recently, new attractions have
opened in Angus to showcase some of
the locally produced spirits, providing
visitors with a fantastic insight into the
journey from farm to bottle.
Moreover, Angus is perfectly located
to enjoy the nearby vibrant city of
Dundee, which saw the V&A Dundee
open in 2018 – the only design
museum in the UK outside of London.
Our STEAM Economic Impact 2017
figures show that over £230 million
was generated within the local
economy through visitor and tourism
business expenditure. Our Visitor
Accommodation Audit indicates that
there is an anticipated level of growth in
demand for accommodation in the area.
Why businesses invest in Angus
Cost-effective property solutions
Angus’s lower property and land costs
than surrounding areas mean businesses
can get more for their money. Working
closely with investors, we find the
property or land which meets their needs
and provide a complete solution with
a range of available business support
programmes and a network of contacts.
Strong manufacturing sector
The engineering and advanced
manufacturing sector is a large and
important component of the Angus
economy, accounting for almost a third
of all economic output from the area.
The county’s good transport links are a
large help.
Skilled workforce
Almost 9 per cent more school leavers
in Angus go into further education than
the Scottish average, with almost three
Montrose Port
Angus’s lower
property and
land costs
than
surrounding
areas mean
businesses can
get more for
their money
In addition to background
growth, there has been a
general growth in events:
»The staging of the Open in
2018
»The opening of the V&A
»Associated redevelopment of
Dundee waterfront and the
anticipated spin-off demand
»Increased activity in the
conference and convention
market
»The ability of rural Angus
to capture incentive-related
demand
25ANGUS COUNCIL |
CIVIL SOCIETY
quarters of school leavers moving into
higher education, further education
or other training. Five well-regarded
universities are also located nearby.
Funding
Businesses can benefit from an extensive
range of national grants and loans
aimed at supporting their development
needs. This support is available to
companies in Angus, from sole trader
business start-ups to long-established
local businesses, as well as to inward
investors looking to relocate to Angus.
Proximity to Aberdeen’s energy sector
Energy sector businesses find Angus a
cost-effective solution within a strong
manufacturing base in the area, with the
added benefit of port access at Montrose
and the availability of skilled staff.
Angus is less than an hour away from
Aberdeen and home to a number of oil
and energy sector businesses.
Business advice
There is a wide range of business
advice and support available to Angus
companies, from one-to-one sessions
with experienced business counsellors,
to business support initiatives,
including access to Business Gateway.
Quality of life
Angus has a rich heritage, a stunning
landscape and a strong sense of
community. People enjoy living in
Angus, with its low crime rates,
wide choice of leisure activities, high
standards of education, lower cost of
housing and delicious larder of local
produce on their doorstep.
Transport and connectivity
In addition to the A90 and A92 dual
carriageways running through Angus,
there are other public roads totalling
1,750 km; the East Coast main railway
line, with four rail stations and three
rail halts; and Montrose Port. This
network offers easy access to all
of the main cities in Scotland and
furtherafield.
The eastern part of Angus is served by
the East Coast Mainline, which connects
it directly to Edinburgh, Glasgow,
Aberdeen and key destinations in
England (London, Newcastle, Leeds,
Sheffield, Birmingham and Bristol)
by way of direct train services from
Arbroath and Montrose.
There are airports in nearby Dundee
and Aberdeen. Dundee Airport offers
chartered flights as well as direct
flights to London Stansted. Close by,
Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh
fly to a wide range of domestic and
international locations.
Nestling in a sheltered haven on the
River Esk, within a mile of open sea,
the thriving port of Montrose offers
a cost-effective alternative for vessels
using Scotland’s east coast. Montrose
Port handles about 700,000 tonnes
per annum; can take cargo ships up to
90 metres in length; currently handles
agriculture-related cargoes, timber
and chemicals; and has considerable
potential for servicing off-shore wind
farm developments.
The eastern part
of Angus is
served by the
East Coast
Mainline, which
connects it
directly to
Edinburgh,
Glasgow,
Aberdeen and
key destinations
in England
»LIVING IN ANGUS
House prices in Angus are below the national average. In January 2019, the
average house price in Angus was £140,043, compared to a Scottish average of
£149,036. In addition to this, council tax in Angus is historically lower than in
its neighbouring local authority areas, with the charges for a Band D property
coming in at 6 per cent below the national average.
As a council, we manage 55 primary schools and eight secondary schools and
have provision for pre-fives in nursery classes operating within 53 primary schools.
Education attainment rates in Angus are consistently above the Scottish average.
Lunan Bay

www.businessangus.com

This article was sponsored by Angus Council. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster