Norman Lewis

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Norman Lewis'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 Norman Lewis 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

Founder Don Howie
Don Howie and Mike Foley
Formed in 1987 with a commitment to quality and
environmental sustainability, Norman Lewis has established
itself as one of the most respected furniture providers in the
industry. Over the last 30 years it has built up a richly diverse
product range and invested in skilled, experienced personnel
to provide innovative, reliable furniture solutions to its valued
customers. Founder Don Howie explains that the values of
quality and sustainability are at the core of Norman Lewis and
have been strengthened by the recent merger.
I founded Norman Lewis in the 1980s because I wanted to invest in the untapped
opportunities within the contract office furniture industry. Alongside my partner
Mike Foley, I quickly learnt there was a great demand for a personal and highly
professional company that provided quality office services including renovations
and repairs while delivering focused sustainable solutions and customer added
value. Over 30 years on, this still remains at the centre of our philosophy, coupled
with our desire to interpret and provide a range of quality products and services to
satisfy our clients’ needs by setting and meeting the highest standards.
The scale of our operations increased in 2017 after we joined the Chequers Group,
taking on the wealth of experience amassed over three decades by Chequers
Contract Services in the facilities management industry. Our head office, based in
Croydon, enables us to provide services across London, the southeast and home
counties, while our customer-focused team comprises of knowledgeable, skilled
staff and our talented management team.
»Founder: Don Howie
»Founded in 1987
»Based in Croydon
»Services: Office design and
space planning, furniture
restoration, specialised
bespoke products, commercial
office furniture,healthcare
furniture and education
Norman Lewis
Highlighting best practice
Services and facilities
A crucial aspect of our success has
been our ability to evolve and adapt
to constantly changing commercial
requirements. Our portfolio has
developed from supplying office
furniture to include a diversification
of services such as tailored solutions,
space planning and office refits. We
understand that with every new
office project, a unique challenge is
inevitable. We possess experience
in understanding specific office
environments and company cultures
and we work with our clients to create
a tailor-made design concept. From
initial briefing stages, our skilled team
of professionals recommend the very
best layouts for unique spaces and
liaise with our clients from an outline
plan, right through to installation and
finished project to ensure complete
customer satisfaction.
Having concentrated on the supply
chain from the UK market, we have
established long-term relationships
with manufacturers and suppliers,
which enables us to control timeframes
and deadlines more easily and alleviate
potential issues that can arise.
Our team recognise that in many
circumstances, quality, prestigious
items need to be valued and offer a
restoration, repair and reupholstery
service. Our skilled craftsmen, polishers
and specialists are recognised as the
best in the business. We offer advice
for a unique solution and specialise
in reupholstery and French polishing
services. Our team of experts carry out
traditional methods to give that all-
important flawless finish.
Merging with the Chequers
In 2017, Norman Lewis became part
of the Chequers group of companies,
which provides the following
services: cleaning, window cleaning,
arboriculture, horticultural, electrical
and building maintenance. Chequers
Contract Services is a family-run,
multi-award-winning organisation
that has recently celebrated its 30th
anniversary, and we are proud to have
become an integral part of this team.
Chequers was founded in 1987 by
brothers, Gary and Paul Jeal, who
were joined by James Kelly in 2014
following the acquisition of his highly
Norman Lewis Directors
James Kelly, Don Howie,
Mike Foley and Gary Jeal
Our customer-
focused team
comprises of
skilled staff
successful grounds company, Westland
Estates. The management team is
completed by CEO Rosaleen Laird. The
merger with Chequers has enabled
Norman Lewis to progress to higher
levels of success, providing us with the
support of motivated, well-trained and
effectively managed teams.
Investment in people,
community and environment
In partnership with Norman Lewis,
Chequers actively supports vocational
training, work placements, resident
workshops and apprenticeships across
all areas of the business, championing
the concept of employees fulfilling
their individual potential across all
levels. The Group’s multi-award-
winning apprenticeship programme
has led to the creation of a
number of meaningful partnerships
with clients and local colleges.
Apprentices are employed in a variety
of administration, horticulture,
electrical, painting and decorating,
and handyperson roles with full-time
employment opportunities available.
The corporate and social responsibility
of the Group is a passionate
commitment of the management
team. The focus is to ensure continued
delivery of social value, and the
benefits and improvements this
approach has is closely monitored.
The commitment of the Chequers
Group to equality, diversity and
inclusion is reflected in the drive
to employ a culturally inclusive
workforce, rich in diversity and
reflecting the communities we live
and work in. The values are supported
by the directors and disseminated
throughout the organisation and
beyond. The Chequers Group CEO
and Dementia Friend Champion,
Rosaleen Laird, conducts dementia
awareness sessions in-house and
externally, giving employees and the
public an understanding of how they
can make a difference to those living
At Norman Lewis we are passionate
about the environment and are
invested in providing furniture from
sustainable sources. This includes
monitoring manufacturers to ensure
they hold FSC and Chain of Custody
certification. We also actively promote
environmental fabric ranges including
those made from renewable fibres,
weaves made from 100 per cent
recycled polyester and an innovative
upholstery textile created using
recycled plastic bottles.
We are proud that the Chequers
Group holds the same passion about
the environment and strongly believes
in providing a service that will provide
long-term benefits with as minimal an
impact to the environment as possible.
An environmental action plan includes
the introduction of hybrid and electric
vehicles to the fleet, the disposal of
at least three tonnes of waste daily,
recycling 99 per cent, with only one
per cent going to landfill and our
own Group compost management
system located at our office in
Orpington. This ensures 100 per cent
of the uncontaminated green waste
is recycled and reused mainly within
shrubberies and new plantingschemes.
Services is a
that has
celebrated its
and we are
proud to have
become an
integral part
of this team
Some of the head office
team that took part in
our in-house Dementia
Friends awareness
sessions, led by Rosaleen
Liard, CEO and in-
house Dementia Friends

This article was sponsored by Norman Lewis. 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