London Hire

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by London Hire'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 London Hire 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.londonhireltd.com

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | S & G RESPONSE
have achieved over the past decade.
This includes a development of our
relationships with our customers
and an increase in the number of
contractrenewals.
Thanks to the fact we operate in an
unconventional way, we are able to be
far more reactive to issues that present
themselves and proactive regarding
external factors. We remain one of
the only privately owned businesses in
the industry, which has the advantage
of allowing decisions to be made
effectively and swiftly.
Our third phase allows us to invest
far more in people, both in terms
of general wellbeing and technical
training. S&G Response has recently
been ranked 68 among the 75 Best
Companies to work for in the North
West by The Sunday Times, and we
plan to reach the national leaderboard
in the near future.
Evolutionary flux
We find that the UK motor market is
always in a state of evolutionary flux,
but it is subject to basic economic
pressures which mean there will always
be an increase in claims costs. Costs
will always increase for any number of
reasons, ranging from the impact of
new technology in vehicles to the skills
shortage in the repair market.
We also face more basic challenges,
such as the need for development
capital and cash for a business such
as this. In recent years, we have
remodelled to allow for a defined
payment period, which means we are
paid on accelerated terms. This further
allows us to invest in the business and
our people, from offering opportunities
of education through qualifications to
providing a range of benefits including
free breakfasts, enhanced holidays and
pension package.
A future to live up to our past
We endeavour to create a future for
the business that can be as bright, if
not brighter, than our past. The point
of discussion around the board table
at present is the demographic of our
board – three members are under the
age of 40, which we feel provides us
with the required energy to perform as
leaders in industry.
This is coupled with the years of
industry and technical knowledge
our more experienced team members
bring to the table, ensuring we
operate within a “best of both worlds”
environment. Looking to the future,
we hope to diversify horizontally, while
remaining true to our core policies.
Our future, we are confident, will live
up to our past.
We endeavour
to create a
future for the
business that
can be as
bright, if not
brighter, than
our past
Andy Whatmough, Nick
Stone, Dan Chesney and
Paul Wilkinson present
a cheque to Manchester
charity Street Support
after raising funds on
their behalf
27LONDON HIRE |
AUTOMOTIVE
Managing Director Nigel Farr
Help for Heroes athletes
proudly being transported
by London Hire staff
London Hire is a market-leading provider of daily rental,
contract hire and transport for special educational needs and
adult services in London and increasingly throughout the
UK. Managing Director Nigel Farr says that London Hire uses the
largest rental fleet of wheelchair-accessible vehicles in the UK to
provide the flexibility that customers demand. He says that when
it comes to the less able, society has become far more inclusive –
something that he and his team are delighted to play a role in.
With a largely local authority customer base, we occupy a unique market position.
Not only do we provide a fully comprehensive rental and fleet management
proposition to our customers, but we also own what we believe to be the fastest-
growing passenger transport business in the UK.
Our own passenger transport business, London Hire Community Services, means
that we have first-hand real-time experience of what it takes to operate the
service and the challenges it throws up. The whole team are acutely aware of the
sensitivities surrounding our ultimate customers, the passengers.
This means that our approach to emergency situations is well honed and, we
believe, best in class.
Growth
Since 2013 our business revenue has grown significantly from £7.8 million to £20.5
million in 2019. With a customer base operating with tight and shrinking budgets,
we have also been able to deliver record profits. This is testament to ensuring
FACTS ABOUT
LONDON HIRE
»Managing Director: Nigel Farr
»Founded in 1983
»Located in London; operate
nationally
»Services: Specialist vehicle
rental and passenger transport
»No. of employees: Over 400
»Over 900 wheelchair-
accessible buses making
some 600,000 passenger
movements per annum
»Member of BVRLA
London Hire
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | LONDON HIRE
that we have the best available talent
with a can-do attitude. Significant
investment in relocating the business
in 2018 was supplemented by a drive
forefficiency.
New processes and IT systems were
introduced from which we are now
reaping the rewards, although there
were challenges along the way.
Measurement of all KPIs is now
available at the touch of a button with
the senior management team taking
swift and remedial action to negate
the effect of any variances to budget.
LHCS
We are unique in having our own
thriving passenger transport business.
Launched in 2013 the business revenue
has grown to £9 million and makes
some 600,000 passenger journeys
perannum.
Using a mixture of creativity and
real dedication, the business has
established Heart Community Interest
Company to develop partnerships with
the community transport sector, a
lifeline for many.
The latest very significant development
in the LHCS journey is a ten-year
joint venture contract with Southend
council to provide passenger transport
in the district. We envisage this
providing a template for other councils
that blends best commercial practice
with local authority guidelines and
shares the value delivered: a win-
win for both the customers and
thetaxpayer.
Innovation and keeping ahead
of the curve
Working very closely with customers
and suppliers, we have a long and
enviable reputation for product
development targeted on real-life
issues to ensure that our products
remain fit for purpose in an ever-
changing world.
Some key milestones include the
launch of an ultra-light fully electric
accessible minibus, cycle safety alerts
and sensory buses with aromatherapy
products, lightweight seats, enhanced
fabric and ramps that are specifically
adapted to accommodate different
types of reduced mobility and sensory
impairment. This reduces stress and
improves the travel experience for
our clients with high-level autistic
spectrumneeds.
London Hire supporting
a Help for Heroes event
in 2017, including the
transportation of 120
attendees among whom
were VIPs, athletes and
over 30 wheelchair users
The skills and
experience
gained over
the last three
decades mean
that we really
understand
the vehicle
from cradle
tograve
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | LONDON HIRE
that we have the best available talent
with a can-do attitude. Significant
investment in relocating the business
in 2018 was supplemented by a drive
forefficiency.
New processes and IT systems were
introduced from which we are now
reaping the rewards, although there
were challenges along the way.
Measurement of all KPIs is now
available at the touch of a button with
the senior management team taking
swift and remedial action to negate
the effect of any variances to budget.
LHCS
We are unique in having our own
thriving passenger transport business.
Launched in 2013 the business revenue
has grown to £9 million and makes
some 600,000 passenger journeys
perannum.
Using a mixture of creativity and
real dedication, the business has
established Heart Community Interest
Company to develop partnerships with
the community transport sector, a
lifeline for many.
The latest very significant development
in the LHCS journey is a ten-year
joint venture contract with Southend
council to provide passenger transport
in the district. We envisage this
providing a template for other councils
that blends best commercial practice
with local authority guidelines and
shares the value delivered: a win-
win for both the customers and
thetaxpayer.
Innovation and keeping ahead
of the curve
Working very closely with customers
and suppliers, we have a long and
enviable reputation for product
development targeted on real-life
issues to ensure that our products
remain fit for purpose in an ever-
changing world.
Some key milestones include the
launch of an ultra-light fully electric
accessible minibus, cycle safety alerts
and sensory buses with aromatherapy
products, lightweight seats, enhanced
fabric and ramps that are specifically
adapted to accommodate different
types of reduced mobility and sensory
impairment. This reduces stress and
improves the travel experience for
our clients with high-level autistic
spectrumneeds.
London Hire supporting
a Help for Heroes event
in 2017, including the
transportation of 120
attendees among whom
were VIPs, athletes and
over 30 wheelchair users
The skills and
experience
gained over
the last three
decades mean
that we really
understand
the vehicle
from cradle
tograve
29LONDON HIRE |
AUTOMOTIVE
Critical services
We provide critical services and work
closely with our customers to ensure
that the vehicle and service delivery are
totally in line with requirements.
The skills and experience gained
over the last three decades mean
that we really understand the vehicle
from cradle to grave. Managing the
whole-life costs of vehicles is key to
driving down expenditure. Buying
the right vehicle at the right price
using our enormous buying power,
managing our maintenance budget
and disposing of end-of-life vehicles
are skills that are very difficult to
replicate in any one council, charity or
commercial business.
Challenges
Having launched a product that lends
itself to coming into line with ultra-
low emissions, progress has been set
back a year or two at present. London
is a market leader in environmental
change; however, we had hoped
to be able to roll out our services at
a greater speed than we currently
areable.
The assistance of legislation would
greatly aid our ability to perform.
Recent protests indicate the country’s
desire for green technology, yet
current political processes simply do
not lend themselves to these changes.
The future
We are in a serious business, but no
one said we can’t have fun while
we deliver it, balancing the needs of
our customers, staff, suppliers and
other key stakeholders. We employ
a flexible approach to our staff and
organise social functions which really
help to build team spirit. We all make
mistakes, learn from them and, in a
busy environment, aim to get it right
first time.
We are very excited about the future.
Our investment in R&D over the past
couple of years has put us at the front
of the curve for electric vehicles, and
we have a range of new products
that are being launched to satisfy
customerdemand.
Barriers to entry are high both
from a capital expenditure and a
knowledge and experience point of
view. The market at the lower end
is fragmented, which gives rise to
acquisition opportunities. The quality
of the management team is such
that integration of acquisitions is well
within the skills of the team.
The team are very excited about the
array of opportunities to be had.
Our
investment
over the past
couple of
years has put
us at the front
of the curve
»KEY ACHIEVEMENTS
»Developed a “sensory” bus specifically for people with special needs.
»Designed and introduced to the market cycle safety alerts on
minibus fleet prior to FORS standard.
»Designed space-saving seating to reduce manual handling and offer
flexibility on wheelchair-accessible minibus fleet.
»Launched unique ultra-lightweight fully electric wheelchair-
accessible bus, one of which will be deployed in our contract with
Tate Modern.
»Unique ten-year joint venture with Southend-on-Sea Borough
Council commencing January 2020.
Leonard Cheshire of
Hovenden House,
Linconshire, donated this
vehicle

www.londonhireltd.com

This article was sponsored by London Hire. 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 Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development