Governance statement

Compliance approach

The Board has adopted the Quoted Companies Alliance (QCA) Corporate Governance Code in line with the London Stock Exchange’s changes to the AIM Rules requiring all AIM-listed companies to adopt and comply with a recognised corporate governance code.

Board effectiveness

The Board meets regularly to determine the policy and business strategy of the Group and has adopted a schedule of matters that are reserved as the responsibility of the Board.

The Chief Executive Officer leads the development of business strategies within the Group’s operations.

The Audit Committee meets twice a year to consider the scope of the annual audit and the interim financial statements and to assess the effectiveness of the Group’s system of internal controls. It reviews the results of the external audit, its cost effectiveness and the objectives of the auditor. Given the size of the Group, the Audit Committee considers an internal audit function is not currently justified. The Audit Committee is chaired by Susan Bowen.

The Non-executive Directors are the members of the Remuneration Committee. It meets at least once a year to determine Company policy on senior Executive remuneration, to make detailed recommendations to the Board regarding the remuneration packages of the Executive Directors and to consider awards under the Group’s option schemes. The Chief Executive Officer is consulted on remuneration packages and policy but does not attend discussions regarding his own package.

The remuneration and terms and conditions of the appointment of Non-executive Directors are determined by the Board. The Remuneration Committee is chaired by Iain Gray CBE.

The Board has considered mechanisms by which the business and the financial risks facing the Group are managed and reported to the Board.

The principal business and financial risks have been identified and control procedures implemented. The Board acknowledges its responsibility for reviewing the effectiveness of the systems that are in place to manage risk and to provide reasonable but not absolute assurance with regard to the safeguarding of the Group’s assets against misstatement.

The key elements of the system of internal control are:

  • clear definition of delegated authorities;
  • preparation of annual budgets for Board approval;
  • close involvement of senior management in the day-to-day business of the Group; and
  • regular reporting of business performance to the Board and the review of results against budget.

Board Composition

The Board comprises Stephen Hodge, Christopher Leigh, Iain Gray CBE, Susan Bowen and Diane Savory OBE. The Board considers that there is an appropriate balance between the Executives and Non-executives and that no individual or small group will dominate the Board’s decision making. The Board’s members have a wide range of expertise and experience and it is felt that concerns may be addressed to the Non-executive Directors. The Board has delegated certain authorities to Committees, each with formal terms of reference. The whole Board acts as a Nomination Committee.