Pembroke: Meet a model director

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The Independent Online
The Institute of Directors biography of Sir Christopher Leaver, the former Thames Water chairman who yesterday added a non-executive post at Unionamerica to his duties, contains a glowing description that makes the former Lord Mayor of London sound like a cross between Lord Hanson and Richard Gere.

'He is tall, well built and impeccably groomed with well- rounded pleasant features and dark greying hair,' the IoD gushes. 'He has style and presence which command interest and respect.' A modelling career surely awaits.

It was the debut from hell for Parrot, the risibly titled telecoms company that launched yesterday. It forgot to put its phone line in. Eager callers to its Surrey offices were greeted with a non-too- helpful continuous tone. 'They haven't sorted it out yet,' squawked a Parrot source. It insists that the helpline is up and running and the switchboard should crackle into action any day now.

More news of Yorkshire Water, the ever-popular utility run by Sir Gordon Jones. Just weeks after it charged a local businessesman pounds 62 for services to a concrete hut with no running water, Doug Wilson, a customer in Rawdon near Leeds, has received a bill for pounds 600 even though his supply is regularly cut off and the water quality so poor that he buys the bottled stuff.

The regional committee of water services describes the colour of Rawdon water as somewhere between weak tea and sludge. Yorkshire Water says a new scheme in Rawdon, started this month, should put the problem straight.

Moody fashion photos are becoming an issue at Transport Development Group, a company not usually associated with glamour. In last year's annual report the UK board (stiff suits, starchy shirts) were outgunned by the directors of the Dutch subsidiary who appeared, rock-star- like, in a grainy black and white shot dressed in large overcoats and designer sunglasses.

But at yesterday's interim results Martin Llowarch, chairman, was considering a fightback. Describing the Dutch directors as looking like 'the Politburo at Chernobyl', he would not rule out a GQ-style response next year. What odds on Versace suits and designer stubble?

Jealous colleagues are casting green looks at Kevin Hand, the Emap consumer magazine guru who has been given the job of knocking the group's new French magazines into shape.

Staff stuck in the gastronomic wilderness of Peterborough can only look on wistfully as Mr Hand moves to Paris, where his family will soon join him at the company's expense. A pounds 40,000 salary increase to pounds 175,000 to take account of his 'increased responsibilities' has also been noted.

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