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FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Western Region

Until this Spring, the local branch and region of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) ran a series of well attended events for their members - we attended networking events and informative sessions of various sorts, meeting a wide variety of people; a real benefit to our business.

But in the last couple of months, these activities have dried right up. I can find at least six that have been cancelled, some very close to the time they were due to run. We were informed of one event that wasn't happening with less that 48 hours to go before it ran, and I understand that some attendees actually turned up at the "Vision for Trowbridge" venue to learn more about the plans for the town's development ...

"The FSB is a member led organisation" says the organisation's web site, and six months ago you would have found a list of the local and regional committees and members on there. But now [written 9.07 / page now changed] you'll find that the regional page just gives you a contact number of a person in Blackpool (that's where the FSB has its headquarters) and a local contact for the Regional Organiser - a paid employee who takes direction from Blackpool as to how to provide local assistance. "Please remember that there is only me and my 40 hours each week, and there are 8 branches and nearly 8,000 members in our region" she wrote to me recently. Yes - it would be impossible for any one person to run the whole region that was formerly run by an active and keen committee, delegating to branches and all working together. And it would be doubly hard for one person who's very new to the job, and triple hard when you consider that there's likely to be a lot of unhappy people and politics effecting the changes through which the regional officer has to try and work.

So what has happened? I only know part of the story, and indeed the FSB's secrecy rules would limit what I could say if I knew the full Monty. I can tell you that we all supported our dynamic regional Chair when she stood for the election to the role of National Vice Chairman, but as a first time candidate she was less known than others who have been around longer. "Building bases" is how I would describe it. I can tell you that it is that same person who won the Vice Chair that is now in charge of the whole areas, with the regional commitee suspended and the AGM, I have just learned, cancelled. I am unable to tell you whether or not this is all above board, or whether it's a conflict of interest, or a case of the Victor rubbing the nose of the vanquished in the victory, but I know what it looks like to me personally.

Really it's very sad. In just a handful of short months, a dynamic region has been closed down. The member's money wasted for events that have been cancelled, and that is a shame. The committee member time wasted on things other than the membership is sickening. The lack of regard shown by the people now in charge for their member is ... well, at this point words start to fail me.

I was taught that a manager's role is to facilitate the operation of his staff - to provide a helping hand and an oiling of the wheels of systems so that they can do their job, and in turn service their customers. And that's a good lesson. In my view, the board members should be helping and assisting the regionally elected committees, who in turn should be helping and providing services for their members, each of whom pays a considerable sum each year to "The Fed".

Personally, my time is limited. I have served on the local branch commitee for the last year and we certainly managed some wonderful events for members - at no cost to the central coffers either in most cases - early in the year. But I don't have the time to "play politics" on this scale and won't be offering myself for the committee for the next year. If you're an FSB member reading this, and want to ask your local officers what's going on, here are the contacts listed on the web site. If you would like to ask the local active members, have a look back at some of the older materials you may have for their details ... or if you drop me an email, I can forward for you.

This is, perhaps, a good post for me to post an "addendum" on to, reminding my readers that although I speak here officially for my own work / company / employer, I do not speak in any officlal capacity for others. So in the post above you're reading purely my own views EXCEPT in my comment that the FSB's local events have been of great benefit to the company. That's official

P.S. To complete the record - here's a link to my open letter explaining why I'm not standing for the FSB local commitee elections again.

Update - November 2009. This article has recently been brought to my attention as being potentially biased, incomplete or in error. I am happy to make necessary additions to complete the story or reflect other views, and to correct any error of fact. See here

(written 2007-09-13, updated 2009-11-29)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z300 - Politics and Religion
  [4354] Wiltshire Police - assuming someone is guilty just on the say-so of a member of the public? - (2014-12-16)
  [4343] Politics and the railway the connects Wiltshire - (2014-12-06)
  [4286] Reaction in Radstock to new First bus prices - (2014-07-12)
  [4275] Eurpoean Elections, and other elections ahead. Some thoughts on campaigns and policies - (2014-05-08)
  [4223] Democracy - alive and well with the beauty pagent starting up again - (2013-12-16)
  [4079] Melksham Area - Unitary Council results, May 2013 - (2013-05-04)
  [3921] On rememberance, on war, and on preventing the war cycle - (2012-11-11)
  [3905] How should we choose our Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner? - (2012-10-27)
  [3845] Good cause giving - getting the charity beggars off the street - (2012-08-21)
  [3806] 2011 Census results - initial figures for Wiltshire. - (2012-07-17)
  [3676] Rising prices, changing habits and society - (2012-03-31)
  [3592] Are we one man, one vote? No, and we never have been. - (2012-01-26)
  [3438] Melksham to become a part of Trowbridge? - (2011-09-13)
  [3325] The Olympic Torch, and Melksham House - (2011-06-14)
  [3323] Is Melksham town centre dying? - (2011-06-11)
  [3313] What does our MP do on a Bank Holiday? - (2011-05-30)
  [3264] Alternative Vote (AV) - explaining and an example - (2011-04-25)
  [3051] Positively reforming the system - could it be done? - (2010-11-14)
  [2971] Should the public sector compete with businesses? and other deep questions - (2010-09-26)
  [2948] Melksham shamefully makes the national headlines - (2010-09-07)
  [2870] Old prices - what would the equivalent price have been in 1966? - (2010-07-14)
  [2864] Changing with weather and seasons - (2010-07-10)
  [2856] Two sides of the coin - (2010-07-06)
  [2824] A pint of Black Rat, and a lazy barman - (2010-06-25)
  [2792] Should Government compete with private industry? - (2010-06-03)
  [2757] Bodicea, Lincoln, and our new MP - (2010-05-09)
  [2752] Voting day - UK General Election - (2010-05-06)
  [2740] Melksham Hustings at George Ward School - (2010-04-26)
  [2712] A more informed decision than ever before - (2010-04-08)
  [2689] Can my dog eat potatoes? Doggie Dietary Research, and political sleaze! - (2010-03-23)
  [2640] How is your tax pound spent? - (2010-02-18)
  [2353] All change - Wiltshire Parliamentary - (2009-08-13)
  [2288] Wiltshire Community Area Partnerships - (2009-07-15)
  [2279] Understanding the new local government structure in Wiltshire - (2009-07-11)
  [2270] Wiltshire - a chance to improve life for everybody - (2009-07-05)
  [2257] Ramblings on church and state linkage in Melksham - (2009-06-25)
  [2206] Spot the odd one out - (2009-05-29)
  [2178] Melksham Candidates for Wiltshire Unitary Election - (2009-05-12)
  [2075] Supporting Parkinsons and Trains - (2009-03-11)
  [2028] Things people say on the phone - (2009-02-06)
  [2012] The Wiltshire Police - (2009-01-29)
  [1987] One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11)
  [1882] Wiltshire Council says - part 2 - (2008-11-14)
  [1881] Wiltshire Council says - part 1 - (2008-11-13)
  [1872] Barack Obama wins US Predidency - (2008-11-05)
  [1769] July child ponders on August children - (2008-08-23)
  [1729] Back from the future - (2008-07-30)
  [1579] Rome, and the faith of Rome - (2008-03-17)
  [1573] Budget tax increases hit vehicle market - (2008-03-14)
  [1526] Carers at work - court case changes - (2008-02-01)
  [1428] Travel Across Wiltshire - the game - (2007-11-11)
  [1386] New software product for warmblooded programmers - (2007-10-10)
  [1260] An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPs - (2007-07-06)
  [1247] An afternoon at a public enquiry - (2007-06-27)
  [1175] Local elections - choosing who to vote for - (2007-05-03)
  [1135] Government pressure on me to shut up after I make the papers - (2007-04-05)
  [1109] False imprisonment - a contrast from the news - (2007-03-15)
  [1060] What a relief from the tax office. - (2007-02-01)
  [1003] Room at the Inn, Guy at the station - (2006-12-21)
  [967] Realistic on line shoot'em up - (2006-12-05)
  [875] Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones - (2006-09-22)
  [780] Separation and Integration - (2006-06-27)
  [750] Almost everyone loses - (2006-06-07)
  [696] Is than an uphill or downhill task? - (2006-04-23)
  [682] Iran has enriched uranium ... - (2006-04-12)
  [674] Wiltshire to get an extra MP - (2006-04-07)
  [671] Both ends of the animal - (2006-04-05)
  [607] On being British - (2006-02-14)
  [602] MP face to face - (2006-02-12)
  [539] rich and famous - (2005-12-23)
  [505] Would you steal ... petrol? ... a training course? - (2005-11-26)
  [469] Yesterday was Kiss and Ride - (2005-10-19)
  [415] Campaign Drift and efficiency. - (2005-08-15)
  [384] Managing conflict and disappointment - (2005-07-20)
  [377] A Strengthened City - (2005-07-14)
  [335] Sad priorities - (2005-06-03)
  [326] UK Tax payment totals and where the money is spent - (2005-05-27)
  [313] Making bona fide international marriages more difficult - (2005-05-16)
  [301] General Election day, UK - (2005-05-05)
  [289] MP for Devizes, Wiltshire - (2005-04-23)
  [280] Spotted - the local MP - (2005-04-15)
  [257] Politics gets nasty. Must be an election coming up. - (2005-03-25)
  [216] Cheap purchase - votes paid for with selfish promises - (2005-02-15)

Z401 - Federation of Small Businesses
  [3522] Networking - North and West Wilts FSB Style - (2011-11-15)
  [3214] Melksham Campus - any last minute inputs from Melksham businesses? - (2011-03-26)
  [3032] Coincidence, or Conspiracy - a wrong email address - (2010-11-06)
  [2524] An update on legal changes from the FSB? - (2009-12-03)
  [2517] Blogging accuracy - open invitation for any corrections - (2009-11-29)
  [1937] Getting hold of the wrong end of the stick - (2008-12-12)
  [1880] Melksham Chamber of Commerce, or the FSB - (2008-11-12)
  [1855] Volunteer v Employee - a skewed balance? (FSB) - (2008-10-25)
  [1823] FSB - an update. - (2008-10-07)
  [1654] The old sayings are the best (FSB) - (2008-05-26)
  [1544] FSB, EGM, AGM. - (2008-02-18)
  [1515] Keeping staff up to date on hotel room status - (2008-01-22)
  [1512] Summer Ball at Bowood - Saturday 12th July 2008 - (2008-01-19)
  [1479] FSB leaves its members feeling like mushrooms - (2007-12-20)
  [1286] A wasted evening? - (2007-08-01)
  [1284] An update on the West Wilts show ... - (2007-07-30)
  [1278] West Wilts Show - (2007-07-26)
  [1249] Is this how to run a business for businesses? - (2007-06-27)
  [1246] An oddball day. Strange experiences! - (2007-06-27)
  [1157] Speed Networking - a great evening and how we arranged it - (2007-04-21)
  [1133] B-2-B Networking, 20th April. Useful for YOUR business? - (2007-04-03)
  [1097] Train and business balls all in the air! - (2007-03-02)
  [1078] Wiltshire - multicultural community - (2007-02-13)


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or
Horse's mouth home
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Compressing web pages sent out from server. Is it worth it?
Some other Articles
Match the Bedroom to the Hotel
Mood shots
Actionscript / Flash / Flex (IAQ/FAQ)
Compressing web pages sent out from server. Is it worth it?
FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) Western Region
Cash is not an acceptable way of paying
Screw it or Glue it? Access to Object variables - a warning
Wireless Internet Access at hotels - an update and some pitfalls
Evening, Devizes and Sells Green
Perl and Shell coding standards / costs of an IT project
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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