60-second interview: Gary Forster, CEO Transaid

Favourite holiday destination and why?
My fiancé’s parents have a house on Crete, near Almyrida. We go every year and next August we are getting married there.

What car do you drive?
A folding Brompton bicycle!

Hobbies?
I enjoy reading biographies, playing golf, eating Indian food and running

How did you get into the industry and why?
Motivated by a desire to help others I left Proctor and Gamble in 2006 to take on a volunteer position with Transaid. I’ve never looked back!

How would you encourage more young people into the industry?
I think we could do a better job of showcasing the substantial technological and IT side of the industry; be it design, engine management systems, or telematics.

What is the outlook for your sector of the market over the next 12 months?
Thanks to enormous support from the transport and logistics sector Transaid is going from strength to strength. We currently have 27 corporate members providing us with volunteers and funding, and we are using that to implement projects across seven countries.

Widdowson creditors' meeting to hear CVA proposal

A meeting of creditors of Leicester haulier A M Widdowson & Son will take place on 3 July ahead of a proposed CVA.

According to a nominees’ report seen by commercialmotor.com, Widdowson has appointed insolvency practitioners Leonard Curtis, which has recommended that for there to be a viable business going forward creditors be returned 36.12p in the pound.

It says this as a significant improvement on what would be available if the company went into liquidation. The CVA is backed by secured creditor Close Invoice Finance.

The report states the company shares were recently sold to investors HLD Group, said to have a long-term vision for the company which is described as a strategic fit within its existing portfolio.

The report states Widdowson made a loss of £1.2m in the year to 31 March 2015, with further losses of £470,000 in April and May. Two profitable contracts, which accounted for £5m turnover and good margins, were lost in March 2014 and September 2014.

It also reveals the operator had been in sale discussions over the past 18 months but a deal that reached a detailed due diligence and contract negotiation phase, fell through before the sale to HLD Group.

Widdowson joined Palletways earlier this year, while former commercial director John Hawksworth left the firm last year to join Birds Groupage.

Widdowson was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.