With expansion plans to double the headcount in Woking over the next 3 years, Invotra needed more space and better facilities to achieve this. They were delighted when Jonathan Lord MP agreed to officially open the new office last Friday. In his speech, Jonathan spoke about his meeting with the company at the House of Commons in 2010, which kick started the development of the platform which became known as Invotra. He also talked about Invotra’s commitment to developing local talent and skills; a third of the workforce have come through the Government's apprenticeship scheme.
The software company celebrated their 10th anniversary last year. They started in a garage in Knaphill in 2004, so it was a very proud moment for CEO & Founder, Fintan Galvin, when they moved into Chertsey House this month, "This is another key milestone in our companies history. It’s exciting to think, what this office move will do for the productivity, innovation and ultimately the future growth of the company. The apprenticeship scheme has been a huge success. Without the dedication and commitment of the team we wouldn’t have won projects with the Home Office, HMRC and DWP and got where we are today."
After the ribbon cutting guests and staff were invited into the new office for a tour. The guest list included local business people, civil servants and clients.
Invotra has developed an open-source intranet which is currently being used by 1 in 5 government employees.
Jonathan Lord recently chaired two successful Flood Forum meetings in Pirbright and in Normandy. These fora bring together all the relevant Borough, Parish and County Councils and the other relevant utility companies, agencies and landowners. They also give Parish Councillors and local residents the opportunity to raise individual issues and to point out problem areas. At each meeting there is a long list of immediate action points such as the clearing of particular ditches and drains but the fora have also been instrumental in getting major research studies commissioned that will shape future flood defence work for the villages.
Left to Right in picture: Brent Shirley - GBC Engineer, Jonathan Gasson - MOD, John Wilsher - Surrey Wildlife Trust, Marcus Turley - Heathland Manager, Jonathan Lord MP, Cllr Gordon Jackson -Guildford Borough Council , Cllr Rhoda Nevins - Chairman Pirbright Parish Council,Â Cllr Elaine Eason - Pirbright Parish Council, Lindsay Graham - Pirbright Parish Council Clerk.
Jonathan Lord joined the Mayor of Woking Cllr Tony Branagan, Chairman of Trustees for The Lightbox Aileen McLeish and Director of The Lightbox Marilyn Scott in attending the opening of a new display in the ‘Woking’s Story’ museum at The Lightbox in Woking.
This display celebrates the contribution over the centuries the Christian church has made to the Woking community. The display also shows what the 30 or so churches get up to today; in addition to being fellowships to worship God, they also provide debt and family counselling, foodbanks, Street Angels, youth services, housing, furniture and much more assistance to the wider Woking community.
The display was financed by Churches Together in Woking; it includes a video in which two teenagers take the viewer on a tour of the town’s Christian activities. There is also a map which children can use to press a button to illuminate the location of a church near their home. Further panels describe Woking Christian churches history since the first millennium (with a display case showing some ancient artefacts) and an attractively designed and lit window which briefly states Christian belief.
‘Woking’s Story’ is free entry to all and as well as the new church display, it explores the history of Woking. Also currently on display at The Lightbox is ‘The Horse at War: 1914 – 1918’ (until 1 March 2015) and ‘The Surrey Open Photographic Exhibition’ (until 12 April 2015)).
The Lightbox is open from Tuesdays to Saturday (10.30am – 5.00pm) and Sundays (11.00am – 5.00pm).
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Jonathan Lord led a rallying cheer in support of McLaren and businesses in Woking that are driving our economy forward.
Jonathan congratulated McLaren “on the hundreds of new jobs it is creating locally, on the global sell-out of its P1 sports car and on the £50 million of exports it will achieve this year in China.”
“Surely these are yet more examples of the success of British business and of our long-term economic plan?”
The Prime Minister replied that the government is strongly “backing” the British motor industry and praised McLaren on being “the very highest end of British motor manufacturing”.
McLaren employs over 2000 people in Woking, with prospects of further growth in staff numbers in future.
The Executive Chairman, Ron Dennis CBE, recently accompanied the PM with his delegation to China where it will achieve £50 million of export this year from their cutting edge cars, strengthening Britain’s economic position abroad.
McLaren demonstrated its commitment to China when it established its first four dealerships in the country, and it says there are eight more to come.
Jonathan Lord has successfully steered his Private Member’s Bill on Armed Forces Citizenship through the House of Commons.
The Citizenship (Armed Forces) Bill received cross-party support for its third reading in the House of Commons and will now pass to the House of Lords for further consideration. It is thought that the Bill has a very good chance of becoming law within the next few weeks or months.
Jonathan described his Bill with the words ‘small Bill, big heart’ and he was congratulated warmly by Ministers and fellow MPs on both the drafting of the Bill and on his speeches promoting it. The Bill seeks to correct an injustice in the regulations with regard to foreign and Commonwealth members of the Armed Forces deployed abroad. Under current regulations they are sometimes unable to include their time served overseas as part of their citizenship application.
The Bill would mean that forces members who wish to apply for the naturalisation route to citizenship are not put at a disadvantage if they happen to have been serving abroad at the start of their five year qualifying period. The Bill could benefit approximately 200 current and former service personnel per year.
Speaking in the House of Commons Jonathan said: “This is not going to impact on our immigration numbers to any great extent, but the current rules need to be changed. I do believe it is wrong for our armed services personnel to be discriminated against in this way. Every day that our soldiers have spent in the service of our country abroad should have the same value in the eyes of the immigration authorities as a day spent in the UK.”
The next stage will be for the Bill to be debated in the House of Lords, where it will be piloted through by Woking resident, and former Defence Minister, Lord David Trefgarne.
Members of the gym staff from the Army Training Centre, Pirbright, visited Parliament for an insight into the history of Parliament and a talk with Jonathan Lord about the role of an MP and how debates take place in the House of Commons.
The staff are based at ATC Pirbright on a 2 year posting and are all regular soldiers from within the Armed Forces with the exception of some civilian staff who work as Specialist Instructional Officers.
Jonathan said, “It’s always a pleasure to have soldiers and staff up from Alexander Barracks and I was impressed with how interested they were to see Parliament from the inside and learn more about the function and history of our democracy.”
In the run up to Christmas the Barclays branch in Woking opened its doors to local small businesses and also raised funds for Woking Hospice. The team at the branch in Church Street East held a Christmas Party all day with staff wearing Christmas jumpers and offering cakes and coffee to customers. Jonathan Lord visited the branch to meet the teams and congratulate them on their initiative in supporting a local charity and businesses. He said: “It was wonderful to drop by the branch & see the staff at Barclays supporting Woking Hospice and offering some festive cheer whilst raising some much needed funds. It is great when local businesses help local charities and this was a great example right in the heart of our town.”
Jonathan Lord joined the national charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) at a high profile parliamentary reception as it launched an inspiring new book for young people who have been diagnosed with a ‘hidden’ yet potentially fatal heart condition.
CRY is well known for the support it offers to hundreds of tragically bereaved families, who have been affected by young, sudden cardiac death. This latest campaign highlights the work it also does with the growing numbers of young people who – thanks to greater awareness and early diagnosis – are coping with a shock diagnosis of a potentially fatal heart condition.
Jonathan, who is pictured here with supporter of CRY, Sir Steve Redgrave, said “I was delighted to attend the launch of CRY’s new booklet and would like to congratulate the charity for the work it continues to do in supporting young people whose lives might otherwise have been turned upside down by such a sudden diagnosis.”
Visit: www.myheart.org.uk to download a copy of the “Young, fit and suddenly diagnosed with a life threatening condition…” booklet.
On Friday 11 October, the student led Economics Society at The Sixth Form College Farnborough invited Jonathan Lord to speak to students on the question "Should Britain Leave the EU?"
Jonathan gave a strong argument for the reform of Britain's position in the European Union and was grilled on this view by students in a chance for Q & A after his talk.
Commenting on his visit to the College Jonathan Lord said “I was delighted to visit The Sixth Form College Farnborough and to speak to the Economics Society about the future of the EU and Britain’s place within it.
This is a very topical and important issue given the continuing uncertainties with regard to the Eurozone currency area, as well as our Prime Minister’s hopes to reform the EU and to then call a Referendum in Britain on our continuing membership.
I was extremely impressed with the insightful questions and points that the students raised and I wish them all success with their studies and for the future.”
Alex Newman, the Student head of the Economics Society at the College said "The presentation delivered from Jonathan Lord MP was both interesting and very informative from an economic point of view. The arguments posed in support and against the UK leaving the EU will give the Society lots to debate at our next meeting. The Q & A session that followed the presentation gave both the Society and guests the opportunity to challenge and solidify the points made by Jonathan, this will prove valuable in our development as economists."
Woking & Horsell Cricket Club (WHCC) will receive £32,650 of National Lottery funding to upgrade the facilities at the club as part of the Olympic legacy funding from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund.
Woking & Horsell cricket club, which has been at the heart of the Woking community since 1905 and is home to more than 100 senior members and over 300 junior cricketers, will use the investment to make significant improvements to its Brewery Road home ground including: new central heating and hot water systems, insulation, windows and light fittings.
This news follows the recent announcement that Woking & Horsell CC will become the official home of deaf cricket in Surrey.
Jonathan Lord, Member of Parliament for Woking and keen supporter of W&HCC said:
“Woking & Horsell Cricket Club is an important hub of sport in Woking, doing wonderful work in our local community and growing from strength to strength. Aside from putting out five Saturday league teams, as well as friendly Sunday and midweek teams, they cater for more than 300 aspiring young cricketers in the area and have recently become the home of the Surrey Deaf County Cricket Club. This funding from Sport England could not be going to a better home and will allow the club to carry on their great work as well as building for a better future.”
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