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ICAEW Southern Newsletter, November/December 2020

News from the Southern District Society.

No doubt everyone within ICAEW Southern, our business associates, friends and families, will be very glad to get through to a happy and uneventful Christmas, and close the door firmly on 2020.

The year is not yet done, however, and so this final members’ newsletter is in tune with the highs and lows of a tumultuous and unbelievably challenging 12 months. We are proud to announce that by the end of the year we will have held 38 district society virtual events, with 552 attendances booked at the time of writing (1,853 attendances across 41 third party events were also noted). With vaccinations just starting, we are cautiously looking to reinstate our much-postponed annual dinner, possibly in Q3 of 2021.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2021.


We were greatly saddened to learn that Martin Warren, who was our regional director in 2018 and 2019, passed on in late November after a short illness.

Martin had worked for the institute since 2014, and was a highly valued member of the regions team as regional director, Wales, who was also responsible for the southern and south west district societies for a number of years. He was an ICAEW member with a solid accounting background having worked in both private and public sectors and was particularly interested in good governance.

Present and past committee members at ICAEW Southern will remember a warm and friendly man who was passionate about the profession and eager to give back.

Outside his ICAEW role, he did just that by serving on the boards of a number of voluntary organisations including Newport Live, Cardiff Third Sector Council and Young Enterprise. He was a huge football fan and a keen follower of his beloved Cardiff City.

Martin Warren was married with children and one granddaughter; we send sincere condolences to his family and friends.

First Impressions, Ashley Milne, president of ICAEW Southern writes:

My opening weeks in this role have been as busy as expected. I’ve freed up some time from my day job with Utilita to give more attention to the ICAEW role, and it has been particularly pleasing to see just how much the district society and ICAEW do.

In terms of strategy, I am keen that we focus on diversity and for me that’s not about having lots of different groups but actually mixing everyone up so we all learn from each other. Mentoring and reverse mentoring were high on my agenda prior to being elected, and I feel that the district society is well positioned to support this.

Like everyone else, I just want to see the economy return to normal in the near future. Of course, we need to save lives and protect the NHS, but I’d like more discussion on the total cost of lock-downs. Many might say 'typical accountant’ but the trillions that COVID will cost will have a real-world impact and deeply affect lives in many ways. Consumption may have declined in various areas, causing deep concern, but efforts to stop deforestation of the Amazon, for example, have taken a back seat. It is only natural to deal with the present, as it’s so relevant. But the economic fallout will affect millions for decades to come, and we must start to act now.

I think that as accountants we are exceptionally well placed to contribute constructive solutions. No one can get their head around a trillion dollars. So far, the country has focused on COVID in terms of lives, and lockdown is a financial matter that comes second. Telling the story in a way that people can relate to will help.

Leadership for Women

ICAEW Southern is ending the year’s free online events with a celebration of gender equality, marking the admission of Mary Harris Smith to the institute as the first ever female chartered accountant in 1920. Our online event takes place at 4pm on Thursday 17 December. It’s sure to be thought provoking, instructive and fun, and we’d urge both women and men to join in.

We have a line-up of three high achieving women from our region to talk about their successes in overcoming gender bias in roles far removed from accountancy and share their transferable expertise.

Our speakers are:

  • Shelley Jory-Leigh, British and World Record Powerboat Champion; businesswoman running Brides of Southampton, the oldest family-owned bridal shop in Britain; BBC sports TV and radio presenter; motivational speaker.
  • Victoria Hooton, a highly motivated, dedicated and resourceful operations director / chief of staff with a 25+ years of success managing business activities in military organisations and handling commercial relations and contracts.
  • Rt Hon Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North, who has served on a number of select committees, chaired the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art and served as a parliamentary private secretary in the departments of works and pensions, and transport. She now chairs the Women and Equalities Select Committee. 

Please contact our senior regional executive at Natalie.Buckman@icaew.com for further details or to reserve a place on the event please use this link: events.icaew.com/pd/18885/women-in-leadership.