Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A day at the Polling Station.

Our Group Business Development Manager, Nicki Newburn, spent the day of the referendum at a Polling Station in Peterborough.
Whilst over 70% of us turned out to vote (well done everyone), there are far fewer of us who have seen voting from the other side of the counter.
As Nicki had a fantastic experience, she wanted to share some of it with others.

“The day began with an early start as we met at 5:50am.  The office had to be manned from the start making sure that people were available for any polling station set up problems (for example, a pub venue was not opened up ready) or for any of the vast number of staff that may have been taken ill overnight and no longer be able to work – replacements were certainly going to be needed!

The polling stations call or text, right up to 6:45am, advising that they are set up and ready for the voters.  The phones are busy getting calls throughout the day from people requiring proxy votes at the last minute (if unable to vote due to illness of work commitments).  People can apply for emergency proxy votes up until 5pm on Election Day.

At this point I had a McDonald’s breakfast! (I’m told we need to keep fuelled with food and drink to see us through the long shift)!

Then, we have to get the highways team to go round and remove all the Leave/Remain signs that have gone up round town over night.

Mid morning I was up with postal voting – opening the packs that have been sent in, checking the signatures and dates of births match with the EMS.  Any we are unsure on are checked and either passed or rejected – it is obvious that some have been signed on behalf of the voter, so these are rejected.

The polling station inspectors are in and out all day with queries and issues – disabled access ramps being blocked, banners for Remain or Leave being put up outside, two people with the same name going to vote (which one was registered!?).  It is a very busy day, I can’t believe we’ve been on the go for 13 hours!

Eventually it is time to go back to the hotel, I have 30 minutes to have a quick shower and freshen up before back out to the count venue for 7pm.  On the way there a lots of ‘Vote Remain’ supporters out in the town touting for support.

The count venue is a huge conference centre – we have count stations in the main room, plus a huge television playing BBC news.  There are stations for the ballots from each side to go on later, so everyone can see.  It is quiet now, but by 8pm everyone is arriving.
The first polling station have delivered their ballot boxes to us by 10:10pm – an impressive start! By 11pm we have received them all and the verification process is well under way.
By midnight, Gibraltar are the first to declare with a high remain majority, not far behind is Newcastle, again voting remain.  Sunderland soon swing in with a vote to leave.  It is looking very tight.

Throughout the night it swings between remain and leave, but it feels a long way to go to the final result.  We declare our results at 2:25am (making excellent time)! 
It was an amazing experience, I couldn’t have comprehended how the day was going to go.  The fact that I am still awake after 24 hours pretty much sums it up!”

It sounds like quite the day!

If you want to read the take of our CEO, Dave Broadway, on the Brexit result, we have his words here:

Saturday, 25 June 2016

A few words on the BREXIT result.

A few words from our CEO, Dave Broadway, on yesterday's referendum result. 

"Democracy works by letting people vote for the politician or party they think best represents their views. It is the duty of that party or politician to then study and understand the issues – with the help of thousands of civil servants, and make sensible decisions based on that, and within the bounds of the views they represent.

We have just held the EU referendum and asked ordinary people to vote on something in which they have no knowledge or understanding.

David Cameron created this situation to protect his party from UKIP and to satisfy the anti-EU elements of his party - nothing to do with the good of the country.

We then saw the likes of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage use that situation for political gain. They chose to muddy the waters and use misinformation and untruths to achieve their personal aims, rather than educating the electorate to make an informed decision.

Then we had the many newspapers like The Sun, The Daily Express, the Daily Mail promoting hate and lies to sell papers. They would publish an untrue story about immigration in huge front page headlines, then have a tiny retraction on page 6 admitting the story was a lie next day.

The end result being that people with little knowledge of the way the EU and the country worked had no chance of gaining that knowledge. They based their decision on the lies, and in some cases the hate, being generated. They therefore have no real understanding of the consequences of their decision.

The constant refrain of “£350m more into the NHS” (already proven not to be £350m) seemed to catch with most people. Well that figure depends on tax paid.  Tax comes from earnings. Most of our balance of payments these days comes from ‘services’, predominantly the financial services of the City of London.

The city enjoys an EU ‘passport’ banks based there can trade capital markets across Europe. It will now lose that passport. The end result is a huge drop in our balance of payments – which means less tax and less to the NHS. Oh, and by the way, this ‘promise’ was from an unelected body (the leave campaign) that had no power to put it into place.

That is only one of the effects, let’s not forget Nissan, Honda and others who manufacture here as a gateway to Europe. It is impossible to identify all the losses from our economy.

All of these politicians and newspapers have let the country down. They have all promoted their own interests above the country and led people to a decision that will prove disastrous for us all.

I can’t blame the Leave voters. To quote a famous phrase – “forgive them, for they know not what they do”."

Monday, 20 June 2016

British Business and the EU referendum.

This week is a huge one for Britain.  In light of the referendum this Thursday, we have a few words from our CEO, Dave Broadway, on the subject. 

"I have not heard the Leave campaign or the Remain campaign try to explain what will actually happen if we vote leave. Similarly the EU itself has no precedent to guide us by. It therefore seems obvious to me that if we do decide to leave, there will be a period of unravelling and negotiation before we actually know where we stand, what trade agreements we have reached, and so on.

What there is a precedent for is uncertainty. Whenever there is uncertainty, investment suffers. We saw that recently in our own postal market, Whistl were forced to withdraw from delivering post when their main investor pulled out because of uncertainty over regulation. Nobody want to risk their money when they are uncertain what market conditions will be, what regulations will apply, what issues there will be with imports and exports, and even to what extent markets like the EU will be open to us at all.

We are already seeing the pound falling, and capital (in the form of cash) moving out of the UK (according to the Bank of England). This can only get worse if we exit the EU. Even if, ultimately, we are better off out, the next few years would see no investment, and hence failing businesses.

So the choice is very simple. You can gamble on things being better at some point in the future, but facing a long period (who knows how long) of uncertainty and no investment. Or, we can stay in, and use this whole episode to force the EU to change to a more sustainable model, with a proper policy for dealing with immigration. That’s an easy choice for me."

Monday, 13 June 2016

Five reasons for Cycle Couriers.

Transcript taken from a speech made by Joe Broadway, founder of Velopost.
Originally published at

Cycle logistics are great.
It sounds like an odd sentence but it’s true, they are genuinely great.

They replace heavy, congestion causing, smog belching, fossil fuel consuming motor vehicles and replace them with quiet, clean, healthy bikes.

Bicycles have many benefits when replacing the traditional fossil fuel vehicles of the logistics and supply chain. They help to reduce congestion throughout the city which makes cities easier to move around and safer for pedestrians and other cyclists, they don’t pump out smoke and fumes so the air quality improves making people happier and healthier, they get noticed, because the idea is still quite new and novel and most importantly they help businesses to save the environment and often more cheaply than other methods.

Quite a lot of businesses want to save the environment but they can’t always afford to take massive projects to install solar panels or replace all of their lights with LED’s , however cycle logistics often offer a way to save the environment and some of your hard earned cash.

But what can I use cycle logistics for and where can I find them?” I’m sure I hear you cry, well this guide will give you the basic info on five different services the cycle logistics industry provides and where to find them.

1     Parcel Delivery

Let’s start with an obvious one. Bicycles have been delivering parcels in cities for decades, in fact a whole industry, cargo bikes, has grown around providing these entrepreneurial individuals with a means of carrying heavy and bulky packages safely and efficiently on a bicycle.

The bicycle parcel delivery industry is a busy one and most major cities have several companies offering this service. Not only does this mean you can get your parcels delivered emission free but you can also get them delivered much more cheaply.

Because bicycles cost a fraction of the cost of a van to buy and maintain and don’t need fuel you should be able to get your parcels delivered for as little as one third of the cost of traditional couriers.

2      Document Couriers

This one is less likely to be needed by everyone but quite a lot of people have had the need to send documents urgently from one place to another within a matter of hours. This service is obviously usually more expensive than your bog standard cycle couriers and can be anything up to £10 for a single letter but you get good bang for your buck. Bristol Cycle Couriers who also operate in Cardiff will collect you mail item within 15 minutes and ride it directly to any address within a mile all for less than £10 ( ).

Also, if you need it there fast then by bike is often quicker as it’s not slowed by traffic and can be taken by cycle routes to avoid the delays.

3     Pedicabs (Rickshaws)

So, a little less obvious then, pedicabs offer a fossil fuel free way of getting around town. Basically a taxi service but powered by pedalling not by petrol.

Pedicabs not only help to save the environment and often get you around as quickly as  a car, thanks to a bicycles ability to skip around and through traffic, but they also give you a unique way to see the city you live in.  You get to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the city as if you were walking or cycling yourself but without all that hard work.

Excellent for anything from a leisure tour of your local area to genuine inner city business transportation they offer an interesting way of getting around and show people that you care about the environment.

They also provide a brilliant talking point if you turn up to your next meeting in one!
A lot of businesses have a taxi firm on speed dial, why not switch to a pedicab company instead?

4     Advertising

You may think this seems a little bit strange but, if you think about it, this makes perfect sense. You want to get your message out there, you want people to know you’re green and your clients are mainly in the city you work in.

Then look no further than cycle logistics. Many different logistics companies sell advertising space on their bicycles, cargo bikes, uniforms or rickshaws and they get noticed.
It’s not every day you mail, parcel, contract or friend is delivered by bike and this has impact. People stop the cyclists and ask questions, they want to know what they are doing and why especially if they have seen them all over the city.

It can be an interesting way of getting your message out there and sends a clear message to your potential clients, you support local businesses and you want to help save the environment. That’s a pretty good message to send.

5      Mail Delivery

I’ve saved the best till last, though I am slightly biased. If your business sends letters, and many do, then sending them via a local bicycle delivery service not only saves you a lot of money over Royal Mail’s exorbitant prices, but also makes a significant impact on the environment.

We have calculated that each letter sent via bicycle delivery instead of via gas guzzling diesel vans prevents the emission of 17.9 grams of CO2. In a single year we have calculated that, at Velopost, we prevent the emission of roughly 10.74 tonnes of CO2.
On average one litre of petrol produces 2.4 kg of CO2, so every year Velopost prevents the equivalent of burning 4475 litres of petrol.
That’s a lot of petrol.

On top of all of this having your mail delivered by bicycle is another good way of getting noticed. As I said before people ask questions and are excited by it and even tweet about it.

A Cleaner, Greener Logistics

So in conclusion cycle logistics can help you to save money, get noticed by your clients (in the right way) and can help you save the environment.
There’s almost no reason not to do it!

For more information on the cycle services available in your city and for links to the websites of those mentioned check out the following websites.
Happy cycling everyone.

If you would like to use our Velopost Cycle Courier services; find the details you need here:


Have you planted a CFH Docmail tree?

Earn Docmail credit and have trees planted in your, your business or a loved ones' name.

(the Toptree woods looking rather green)

Did you meet the Docmail team at an exhibition or business event and receive one of our Toptree Saplings?  Was it a Wild Cherry Blosson, a Wild Pear or perhaps a Silver Birch?

Did you plant the tree in your garden at home, place of work or community area?

We are looking to see how the 15,000 trees we have given away over the last 5 years have grown.  We would like you to tell us about your tree, where it is planted, how big it is now, when did you plant it?

We would like you to join our social media campaign #CFHSapling via our twitter account @CFH_Docmail or please send the information to

But more importantly, if you send us a CFH Sapling photo, you will be entered into our CFH sapling competition.

The competition will be judged by Mr Dave Broadway.  Dave is an ardent environmentalist and Managing Director of CFH Docmail Ltd.

The winner with the best photo will be published on our website and on our social media sites.

The top prize will be to have 5 trees planted in a place of your choice and dedicated to you, your business or a loved one. 

There will also be 5 follow up prizes of £20 credit to use on Docmail.

CFH Docmail launched our Toptree initiative in 1997 in partnership with the Woodland Trust.

To date we have planted more than 100,000 trees.  Many companies try to reduce their environmental impact by reducing their paper usage and using recycled paper.  However, with the environmental challenges we face today, conservation is not enough.  We need restoration.

Happy snapping and we look forward to hearing from you!