HMS Group

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by HMS Group'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 HMS Group 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

hmsholdings.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
52 | HMS GROUP
CEO Neil Harding
Old meets new
The HMS Group is a multifaceted construction and design
company that produces high-end and tailored products.
Founded on military principles by former Sergeant Major
Neil Harding and his two associates, the HMS Group has a specific
focus on the use of unique and futuristic materials that create the
best possible finish. Neil, the CEO, tells
TheParliamentary Review
how this approach has allowed the organisation to grow rapidly,
before offering words of caution to other small businesses
looking to scale up quickly.
I established the HMS Group 12 months prior to leaving the British Army. I had
served in the armed forces for a number of years, but my professional background
before joining up was in the construction industry. For many people, leaving the
British Army and finding a new job can be a professional and emotional challenge.
Adapting to the changes in day-to-day life can be dramatic, so to help ease my
transition and ensure the HMS Group performed to the necessary standards, I built
it on the military principles of respect for others, loyalty, morale, courage, selfless
commitment, discipline and integrity.
High-end, luxury services
The use of unique, innovative solutions and materials is what defines the HMS
Group as an organisation. HMS Developments, one of our subsidiary groups,
entered the luxury housing market in 2014, looking to utilise insulating concrete
form or ICF blocks. ICF blocks are essentially larger bricks that are manufactured
out of recycled materials, which provide three times the insulation power of a
FACTS ABOUT
HMS GROUP
»CEO: Neil Harding
»Founded in 2014
»Based in Stoke-on-Trent
»Services: Construction
»No. of employees: 17
HMS Group
53HMS GROUP |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
usual house brick. Because of their
larger size, they are easier and quicker
to build with and we have become
one of the few ICF specialists in the
UK, thus putting HMS Developments
at the leading edge of the
constructionindustry.
HMS Holdings, established in 2018,
is now a nationwide consultant
for Polyform, one of the primary
manufacturers of ICF materials in the
UK. This was illustrated when Polyform
brought out a brochure to advertise
their products and used the HMS as an
example of a luxury house-builder that
had used their products to great effect.
Within the luxury homes market, we
have also gained experience working
on ground-source heat pumps, solar
panels and heated swimming pools.
These are examples of the unique and
innovative solutions used as part of
the HMS Group and we truly believe
that quality rather than quantity is the
hallmark of our service.
Branching out our skills
Following on from the success of
our residential venture, we began to
expand to into new areas of business.
We had an interest in commercial
projects and soon began work on
medical distribution centres, Costa
coffee shops, accountancy offices
and workshops. As a result of our
success, HMS Commercial Buildings
was established. HMS Commercial
Buildings continues to develop the
brand’s reputation as a specialist and
reassures clients that their project is
our priority. In addition to this, we
kept the enquiries separate, which
helped streamline operations while
offering further convenience for
potentialcustomers.
Additionally, HMS Electrical was
founded, which is managed
externally but works closely with
us to collaborate on projects. HMS
South West was also set up to meet
the growing demand for our services
in the south of England. All these
separate brands connect with the
central HMS Group, which has built
a revered reputation around the
United Kingdom. As recognition of
our achievements and reputation,
we recently won Small Business
of the Year at the Staffordshire
BusinessAwards.
Enduring financial challenges
HMS Holdings was established in order
to ensure the best possible financial
future for the organisation. The aim
of this move was to formulate a
strategic, overarching structure that
could meet our future expansion plans.
That said, in the past year we have
had some financial issues, which have
arisen largely through no fault of our
own; as a building company, we were
constructing extensive new-builds
and not reclaiming VAT quarterly,
which meant at times we were cash-
rolling large amountsofmoney.
We truly
believe that
quality rather
than quantity
is the hallmark
of our service
ICF in action
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
52 | HMS GROUP
CEO Neil Harding
Old meets new
The HMS Group is a multifaceted construction and design
company that produces high-end and tailored products.
Founded on military principles by former Sergeant Major
Neil Harding and his two associates, the HMS Group has a specific
focus on the use of unique and futuristic materials that create the
best possible finish. Neil, the CEO, tells
TheParliamentary Review
how this approach has allowed the organisation to grow rapidly,
before offering words of caution to other small businesses
looking to scale up quickly.
I established the HMS Group 12 months prior to leaving the British Army. I had
served in the armed forces for a number of years, but my professional background
before joining up was in the construction industry. For many people, leaving the
British Army and finding a new job can be a professional and emotional challenge.
Adapting to the changes in day-to-day life can be dramatic, so to help ease my
transition and ensure the HMS Group performed to the necessary standards, I built
it on the military principles of respect for others, loyalty, morale, courage, selfless
commitment, discipline and integrity.
High-end, luxury services
The use of unique, innovative solutions and materials is what defines the HMS
Group as an organisation. HMS Developments, one of our subsidiary groups,
entered the luxury housing market in 2014, looking to utilise insulating concrete
form or ICF blocks. ICF blocks are essentially larger bricks that are manufactured
out of recycled materials, which provide three times the insulation power of a
FACTS ABOUT
HMS GROUP
»CEO: Neil Harding
»Founded in 2014
»Based in Stoke-on-Trent
»Services: Construction
»No. of employees: 17
HMS Group
53HMS GROUP |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
usual house brick. Because of their
larger size, they are easier and quicker
to build with and we have become
one of the few ICF specialists in the
UK, thus putting HMS Developments
at the leading edge of the
constructionindustry.
HMS Holdings, established in 2018,
is now a nationwide consultant
for Polyform, one of the primary
manufacturers of ICF materials in the
UK. This was illustrated when Polyform
brought out a brochure to advertise
their products and used the HMS as an
example of a luxury house-builder that
had used their products to great effect.
Within the luxury homes market, we
have also gained experience working
on ground-source heat pumps, solar
panels and heated swimming pools.
These are examples of the unique and
innovative solutions used as part of
the HMS Group and we truly believe
that quality rather than quantity is the
hallmark of our service.
Branching out our skills
Following on from the success of
our residential venture, we began to
expand to into new areas of business.
We had an interest in commercial
projects and soon began work on
medical distribution centres, Costa
coffee shops, accountancy offices
and workshops. As a result of our
success, HMS Commercial Buildings
was established. HMS Commercial
Buildings continues to develop the
brand’s reputation as a specialist and
reassures clients that their project is
our priority. In addition to this, we
kept the enquiries separate, which
helped streamline operations while
offering further convenience for
potentialcustomers.
Additionally, HMS Electrical was
founded, which is managed
externally but works closely with
us to collaborate on projects. HMS
South West was also set up to meet
the growing demand for our services
in the south of England. All these
separate brands connect with the
central HMS Group, which has built
a revered reputation around the
United Kingdom. As recognition of
our achievements and reputation,
we recently won Small Business
of the Year at the Staffordshire
BusinessAwards.
Enduring financial challenges
HMS Holdings was established in order
to ensure the best possible financial
future for the organisation. The aim
of this move was to formulate a
strategic, overarching structure that
could meet our future expansion plans.
That said, in the past year we have
had some financial issues, which have
arisen largely through no fault of our
own; as a building company, we were
constructing extensive new-builds
and not reclaiming VAT quarterly,
which meant at times we were cash-
rolling large amountsofmoney.
We truly
believe that
quality rather
than quantity
is the hallmark
of our service
ICF in action
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
54 | HMS GROUP
Review of
Parliament
A matter of time
As regular readers will know, the final
pages of
The Parliamentary Review
look back on the most significant
parliamentary incidents of the past year.
Consider our frustration, therefore,
at the fact that our early September
publication date coincides with what is
likely to be one of the most momentous
weeks in parliament’shistory.
By the time you read this, you will
either be in the midst of the mayhem
or you’ll be reflecting on it from a
safe distance. At the time of writing,
Boris Johnson has been prime minister
just shy of a month. But it’s not until
September that his premiership truly
begins. And, if certain pundits are to be
believed, this may also be the month
when it ends.
A confidence motion is expected to be
tabled by the leader of the opposition
shortly after parliament returns on
September 3, with a small handful of
Conservative MPs said to be seriously
considering voting against their own
government; such is their desperation
to thwart MrJohnson’s promise to take
Britain out of the EU “come what may”.
If the government to lose the vote, we
will all be dusting off our copies of the
Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.
The Act, which was passed by the
Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition
government, aimed to transfer the
power to control the electoral timetable
from the prime minister to parliament
by requiring the former to have the
agreement of two-thirds of the house
in order to call an election.
Crucially, the Act also allows the prime
minister a stay of execution in the event
of a lost confidence vote. Rather than
having to call an election immediately
upon defeat, as was the case prior to
2011, there is now a 14-day period
during which he or an alternate leader
has a chance to secure a majority of
support in the Commons.
Normally, this would be incidental. At
present, with the clock ticking towards
October 31, the date on which it is
legally mandated for Britain to leave
the European Union, 14 days could
make all the difference.
Once the two weeks are up, if no new
government has been formed, an
election must be called and the power
for choosing the date rests entirely with
the prime minister.
Rather than limiting MrJohnson,
this Act, at this particular moment
in time, has provided him with an
unexpected source of strength. Even if
he is defeated in a confidence motion
on September 3, an election will not
be announced until October17. At
thispoint, MrJohnson can announce
that the election will take place
on October 31, or a date shortly
How long will the prime
minister’s tenure last?
Wehopethatthe creation of HMS
Holdings will help with our tax
planning going forward by moving
our returns monthly and with each
company spreading the cost burden.
In the past, we have found life difficult
with regards to zero-rated builds.
We would receive no VAT from client
payments, before having to cover a 20
per cent payment on all the materials
used during the project. This was
having a substantial impact on our
cash flow and we were operating
in negative. This issue was then
compounded by us having to wait
120 days for VAT refunds, so at times
we were waiting on refunds of up to
£80,000. This meant that at times we
were bridging two VAT quarters and it
left us in a negative cash state.
Secondly, because of my limited
background within the industry, I was
unaware of the potential research and
development tax returns that could
have been available to us. No one
explained this to us, and we did not
know about it until we had passed our
two-year claim window. This meant
we had lost a claim of over £120,000
as our projects to date indeed involved
training and innovative research.
Learning and evolving
It has taken us 12 months to fully
overcome some of these challenges
and it is only through strategic
planning as well as falling back on
our military principles that we have
been able to survive and thrive. For
any entrepreneurs looking to m ove
into the sector, or indeed for those
looking to set up any kind of business,
it is imperative they take time to
understand the tax laws, regulation and
funding advantages. The consequences
of not doing this are that a successful
business, just like ours, can have their
profits drained or find themselves not
sufficiently rewarded.
As a result of my experience in business
and my continued passion for the
armed services, I am currently taking
part in guest lectures with the army.
These lectures aim to help service
personnel who are leaving the army
to find jobs and ensure they enjoy
a smooth transition from service to
civilian life. I have faced adversity and
success with my own business, but as
we look forward to the future, I am
excited that I have the chance to give
something back to the community.
Falling back
on our military
principles, we
have been
able to survive
and thrive
Project lighting designCommercial projects
55REVIEW OF PARLIAMENT |
Review of
Parliament
A matter of time
As regular readers will know, the final
pages of
The Parliamentary Review
look back on the most significant
parliamentary incidents of the past year.
Consider our frustration, therefore,
at the fact that our early September
publication date coincides with what is
likely to be one of the most momentous
weeks in parliament’shistory.
By the time you read this, you will
either be in the midst of the mayhem
or you’ll be reflecting on it from a
safe distance. At the time of writing,
Boris Johnson has been prime minister
just shy of a month. But it’s not until
September that his premiership truly
begins. And, if certain pundits are to be
believed, this may also be the month
when it ends.
A confidence motion is expected to be
tabled by the leader of the opposition
shortly after parliament returns on
September 3, with a small handful of
Conservative MPs said to be seriously
considering voting against their own
government; such is their desperation
to thwart MrJohnson’s promise to take
Britain out of the EU “come what may”.
If the government to lose the vote, we
will all be dusting off our copies of the
Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.
The Act, which was passed by the
Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition
government, aimed to transfer the
power to control the electoral timetable
from the prime minister to parliament
by requiring the former to have the
agreement of two-thirds of the house
in order to call an election.
Crucially, the Act also allows the prime
minister a stay of execution in the event
of a lost confidence vote. Rather than
having to call an election immediately
upon defeat, as was the case prior to
2011, there is now a 14-day period
during which he or an alternate leader
has a chance to secure a majority of
support in the Commons.
Normally, this would be incidental. At
present, with the clock ticking towards
October 31, the date on which it is
legally mandated for Britain to leave
the European Union, 14 days could
make all the difference.
Once the two weeks are up, if no new
government has been formed, an
election must be called and the power
for choosing the date rests entirely with
the prime minister.
Rather than limiting MrJohnson,
this Act, at this particular moment
in time, has provided him with an
unexpected source of strength. Even if
he is defeated in a confidence motion
on September 3, an election will not
be announced until October17. At
thispoint, MrJohnson can announce
that the election will take place
on October 31, or a date shortly
How long will the prime
minister’s tenure last?

hmsholdings.co.uk

This article was sponsored by HMS Group. 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