Penny Banks

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Penny Banks'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 Penny Banks 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

pennybanks.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
54 | PENNY BANKS
Managing Director Penny Banks
High-quality furniture
for a variety of clients
Managing Director Penny Banks established Penny
Banks in 2012, on the back of her father’s work in the
furniture design and manufacturing sector. Penny’s
father started working on exhibition design and hire in the mid to
late 1980s – something that now forms the lion’s share of Penny
Banks’ business. The philosophy by which the company makes
money is simple, yet effective: when the recession hit the UK, and
the profit margins in manufacturing started to shrink, Penny’s
father realised that hiring furniture was a far more sustainable
business model. She tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
I came to work for my dad in 1991 as a project manager, but my background was
in graphic design. I was able to leverage my previous expertise in 2D design to
help him diversify his offering and truly provide something different to our clients
– colour-matching furniture to corporate identities and logos, for instance, to really
help bring brands to life.
At the time, we were the only furniture hire company in the country offering the
idea. Although others have now replicated it, we remain a trailblazer in the furniture
hire sector, especially with regard to exhibitions, and we are the only company we
know of that designs and manufactures the majority of our ownrange.
The last five years
What we offer has evolved dramatically since 2014. We now provide a full styling
service for clients and have broadened our scope somewhat with regard to
FACTS ABOUT
PENNY BANKS
»Managing Director:
PennyBanks
»Established in 2012
»Based in Huntingdon,
Cambridgeshire
»Services: Furniture hire, design
and supply
»No. of employees: 15
»Penny and her team work with
a number of high-level golf
courses across the UK
Penny Banks
55PENNY BANKS |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
exhibitions to now cover a range of
sporting, hospitality and culture events
all over the country.
For example, our biggest client is
now The Royal & Ancient Golf Club
of St Andrews. We have just signed
a five-year contract with them to
provide the hospitality arm of the
British Open with interior design,
fit-out and furniture hire. It’s really
everything from actually hiring out
furniture to involving ourselves in
menu design and putting things on
the wall – it’s a comprehensive and
meticulousprocess.
Rolling out new ranges of
furniture and diversifying
sectors
We are currently working on a
new range that will be completely
comprised of high-quality flatpack
furniture, as we’re increasingly aware
of the escalating costs of transport and
space as well as our responsibility to
the environment.
In keeping with this, we’ve strived to
remain agile with a move to smaller
premises and the lower rates that
come with it so that we can produce
an offering that takes up as little space
as possible.
We’ve also diversified into commercial
interior design for permanent fit-out,
even though exhibition and sporting
events are still our mainstay. One great
example of this is the contract for
interior design at the Carnoustie Golf
Centre, at Open Championship course
Carnoustie Golf Links.
Really, our work is across a complete
range of sectors. While the R&A is by a
mile our largest client, we do also work
on most of the major UK exhibitions,
from consumer and trade shows
through to BBC Good Food events and
the largest trade giftware exhibition in
the UK, Spring Fair.
Our nimble nature and drive to
lower overheads and remain agile is
what led my father to diversify into
furniture hire after the recession –
and it, as a philosophy, continues to
drive us today. As such, we do not
bind ourselves to any one exclusive
sector, and we drive forward to deliver
excellence on every single contract
wewin.
The Open, Royal Portrush,
Northern Ireland
We remain a
trailblazer in
the furniture
hire sector,
especially with
regard to
exhibitions
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
54 | PENNY BANKS
Managing Director Penny Banks
High-quality furniture
for a variety of clients
Managing Director Penny Banks established Penny
Banks in 2012, on the back of her father’s work in the
furniture design and manufacturing sector. Penny’s
father started working on exhibition design and hire in the mid to
late 1980s – something that now forms the lion’s share of Penny
Banks’ business. The philosophy by which the company makes
money is simple, yet effective: when the recession hit the UK, and
the profit margins in manufacturing started to shrink, Penny’s
father realised that hiring furniture was a far more sustainable
business model. She tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
I came to work for my dad in 1991 as a project manager, but my background was
in graphic design. I was able to leverage my previous expertise in 2D design to
help him diversify his offering and truly provide something different to our clients
– colour-matching furniture to corporate identities and logos, for instance, to really
help bring brands to life.
At the time, we were the only furniture hire company in the country offering the
idea. Although others have now replicated it, we remain a trailblazer in the furniture
hire sector, especially with regard to exhibitions, and we are the only company we
know of that designs and manufactures the majority of our ownrange.
The last five years
What we offer has evolved dramatically since 2014. We now provide a full styling
service for clients and have broadened our scope somewhat with regard to
FACTS ABOUT
PENNY BANKS
»Managing Director:
PennyBanks
»Established in 2012
»Based in Huntingdon,
Cambridgeshire
»Services: Furniture hire, design
and supply
»No. of employees: 15
»Penny and her team work with
a number of high-level golf
courses across the UK
Penny Banks
55PENNY BANKS |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
exhibitions to now cover a range of
sporting, hospitality and culture events
all over the country.
For example, our biggest client is
now The Royal & Ancient Golf Club
of St Andrews. We have just signed
a five-year contract with them to
provide the hospitality arm of the
British Open with interior design,
fit-out and furniture hire. It’s really
everything from actually hiring out
furniture to involving ourselves in
menu design and putting things on
the wall – it’s a comprehensive and
meticulousprocess.
Rolling out new ranges of
furniture and diversifying
sectors
We are currently working on a
new range that will be completely
comprised of high-quality flatpack
furniture, as we’re increasingly aware
of the escalating costs of transport and
space as well as our responsibility to
the environment.
In keeping with this, we’ve strived to
remain agile with a move to smaller
premises and the lower rates that
come with it so that we can produce
an offering that takes up as little space
as possible.
We’ve also diversified into commercial
interior design for permanent fit-out,
even though exhibition and sporting
events are still our mainstay. One great
example of this is the contract for
interior design at the Carnoustie Golf
Centre, at Open Championship course
Carnoustie Golf Links.
Really, our work is across a complete
range of sectors. While the R&A is by a
mile our largest client, we do also work
on most of the major UK exhibitions,
from consumer and trade shows
through to BBC Good Food events and
the largest trade giftware exhibition in
the UK, Spring Fair.
Our nimble nature and drive to
lower overheads and remain agile is
what led my father to diversify into
furniture hire after the recession –
and it, as a philosophy, continues to
drive us today. As such, we do not
bind ourselves to any one exclusive
sector, and we drive forward to deliver
excellence on every single contract
wewin.
The Open, Royal Portrush,
Northern Ireland
We remain a
trailblazer in
the furniture
hire sector,
especially with
regard to
exhibitions
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
56 | PENNY BANKS
Review of
Parliament
How long will the prime
minister’s tenure last?
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
Business rates, local government
flexibility and skills issues
Business rates have been one of our
biggest challenges in recent years.
Before we moved to smaller premises,
they were astronomically high, and
we had almost no flexibility from the
council. Our business is, like many
others, based on fluctuating demand –
there are peaks, and there are troughs.
Cashflow can be challenging, and with
no flexibility, things can get reallytough.
Staffing and recruitment pose a great
difficulty, too. That’s been a real
challenge with Brexit – we have quite a
lot of migrant labour in our production
facility, and we have lost a few key
members of staff to uncertainty.
We remain concerned about how this
will affect our business into the future,
as we rely on subcontractor labour
from eastern European countries such
as Poland and Lithuania who help us
during busier months. We do find that
if we look on a local basis, it’s far more
difficult to find reliable people who
want to work.
Finally, we do also tender for some
work in Europe, even though our
business is predominantly UK-based.
The French Open, just outside Paris, is
one key example of this, and we have
worked on a number of trade shows
in EU countries. The uncertainty with
Brexit is certainly concerning.
The future of small-to-
medium enterprise
I think that business rates just do need
to be more flexible in the future. I really
hope this is recognised as a necessary
change – as the number of empty shops
on the high street continues to grow,
Ihope government can come to realise
they need to act. Retailers have their
own challenges with competition from
online giants like Amazon and Google,
and action to save the British high street
would certainly be pertinent.
As for Penny Banks, I am optimistic.
I hope we can continue to grow and
develop new product lines to bring the
best in furniture design and fit-out to our
customers across the UK and beyond.
We’re innovative in the way that we win
and produce work, and we’re proud of
our unique position in the market.
I want to move forward with the same
pioneering attitude that my father had
when he moved into exhibition design
and hire in the 1980s, and I hope that
it can bring us even greater success in
the years to come.
I hope we can
continue to
grow and
develop new
product lines
to bring the
best in
furniture
design and
fit-out to our
customers
across the UK
and beyond
The Open, Royal
Portrush, Northern
Ireland
57REVIEW OF PARLIAMENT |
Review of
Parliament
How long will the prime
minister’s tenure last?
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

pennybanks.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Penny Banks. 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