People: WM5G; Spencer Gardner Dickins; Berry Recruitment

Gary Blunt, WM5G

Digital innovation company WM5G has appointed Gary Blunt to the newly-created role of Broadband Lead, overseeing its work to accelerate the rollout of full-fibre broadband across the West Midlands Combined Authority area and beyond.

Having begun his telecoms career in 1993 installing cable TV and telephones, Blunt brings a wealth of understanding of the UK’s broadband landscape to the role, having previously worked as a Project Director for the Department of Culture Media and Sport’s Building Digital programme, as well as in consultancy, management and networking roles for a variety of broadband infrastructure companies.

Chris Hudson, Connectivity Director at WM5G, said: “We’re excited to have secured the services of someone with the breadth and depth of experience in the sector as Gary. Broadband is a crucial piece of the connectivity picture and, while the West Midlands Combined Authority region is the best connected in the UK for 5G, all too often our residents, businesses and public services are hampered by a lack of fast, reliable, affordable broadband connections.

“At WM5G, we believe connectivity is a human right, not a nice to have. We are confident that with Gary now on board, we can now accelerate towards our goal of driving greater connectivity to the benefit of everyone across our region.”

Blunt added: “I’m inspired to be joining the WM5G team at such an exciting time for the industry. Developing the networks we need to boost connectivity across the region is a real team effort and I enjoy supporting partners and members of the public to unblock the barriers that can slow network roll out.

“Technology has a key role to play making a positive difference to people’s lives – from accessing public services to improving transport and supporting businesses to realise the benefits of the digital revolution. But none of this is possible without reliable connectivity and I’m looking forward to playing my part working to get the West Midlands fully connected to full fibre broadband.”

Scott Tandy, Vanisha Ranchhod, David Thomas-Walls, Debra Knighton, Martin Chapman, Dave Hackett, Susan Thomas-Walls, Dan Field, Sanjay Myangar

A Midlands tax and audit practice has hit a key staff milestone as it approaches its 20th anniversary in business.

Spencer Gardner Dickins (SGD) has announced the appointment of Martin Chapman and Dan Field as two new tax directors along with the recruitment of two new apprentices, as well as a series of internal promotions.

Martin spent ten years at Deloitte and has most recently worked within the tax team at Walgreens Boots Alliance. He is a business tax specialist bringing experience of transaction tax matters, business tax planning and international tax advisory.

Dan returns to the firm as the second new tax director, having previously been with SGD as a senior manager. Dan has 15 years of experience in the profession, having originally trained with KPMG. He brings a wealth of experience in tax advisory for private clients and owner-managers, including trust and estate planning.

At the same time, Kaitlin Wolfe and Scott Tandy have joined SGD as apprentices.

Monika Coleman has also started as a personal tax senior to support the upcoming tax return season. She has a range of experience across personal and corporate tax having worked for several firms in the Coventry and Warwickshire area for the past nine years.

David Thomas-Walls, partner at SGD, said: “SGD has continued to succeed and grow over the last few years against a number of external challenges including Covid.

“It’s pleasing that many of our staff have been able to develop themselves over this time and our new recruitment and internal promotions demonstrate our commitment to the firm’s development. We are delighted to welcome Martin, Dan, Kaitlin, Monika and Scott to the team.

“The strength of the business is built on our expertise and the advice that we can offer to our clients but what makes the company special is the opportunities we give to the team to progress and the family feel within the firm.

“The fact that we put such an emphasis on breeding our own talent means that clients know that our adherence to the highest quality of expertise and customer service is continued throughout the business at every level.

“The recent additions to the team have bolstered our service but we don’t intend to stop there and will continue to search for the best talent to bring into SGD so we can go from strength to strength.”

Chris Cooper

Berry Recruitment has appointed a new manager at its Birmingham branch.

Chris Cooper has 20 years of experience in the industry and aims to grow the branch that currently has five staff.

The branch, which is part of the Berry Recruitment Group, works across the industrial, driving, catering, hospitality and commercial sectors, providing temporary staff and permanent roles.

Cooper said: “Finding temporary staff is not difficult, but finding the quality is taking a little longer than it used to. However, we are now seeing the economy pick up after one or two of the bigger companies began investing.

“This led to work for smaller companies and SMEs in their supply chains, and a requirement for more staff. This has led in turn to a more movement within the economy of the whole region.

“This year did begin a little slowly because there was a lot of caution and uncertainty, which is now dissipating.

“Those sectors that we supply workers for are faring better than some of the reporting would lead you to believe. Logistics, production, manufacturing, catering and hospitality are all prospering as we move into the second half of the year”.

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