Fears for future of business forum

12:44 03 January 2013

The chairman of the East Devon branch of the Federation of Small Businesses raises concerns over possible plans to disband the East Devon Business Forum.

Greg Page-Turner has raised concerns over possible plans to disband the East Devon Business Forum.

He said: “As a regular attendee of the East Devon Business Forum, I am dismayed that the forum is under threat.”

“As the UK’s largest small business organisation, the FSB is very satisfied with the East Devon Business Forum, its wide business make-up and how it is run and operated.

“We are particularly impressed by the way that East Devon District Council hosts and provides a transparent platform for serious debate and discussion into business issues relating specifically to the East Devon region.

“It is absolutely vital that there is regular dialogue between the district council, its elected members and officers and the business community, both large and small, and this must continue.”

The FSB has more than 200,000 members nationally and is a non-political organisation, which lobby nationally, regionally and locally.

Mr Page-Turner added: “We understand that there is a move to divorce the Business Forum from the East Devon District Council and to charge a fee for membership. We would strongly oppose this move.

“The East Devon Business Forum represents all businesses, great and small; those who attend give of their time voluntarily and are pleased to do so.”

He said: “Our members in East Devon along with our colleagues in the chambers of trade need their voices to be heard at this business forum.

“We also need to continue with an open, transparent forum hosted by EDDC, to ensure that there is fair debate and discussion by all members.

“I would further ask those who are trying hard to dismantle the East Devon Business Forum to rally around the East Devon business community and support us in our endeavours.

“We are, after all, bringing prosperity, jobs and security to the area, which in turn will help with keeping council tax down, creating a better life for those who live in East Devon and helping to support the young with their prospects and elderly with their pensions.”

A spokesman for East Devon District Council said: “It is common knowledge that questions have been asked about the current relationship between the council and the East Devon Business Forum (EDBF).

“EDDC’s overview and scrutiny committee proposed that a Task and Finish Forum should be set up to produce an in-depth report on the EDBF, to include all business engagement and its relationship with the council.

“This process is in its very early stages and it is therefore premature to speculate how the future status of the EDBF might be affected by any of the Task and Finish Forum’s recommendations.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

Craig Boyde who will be riding from Watchet to West Bay. Ref mhh 5896-17-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Craig Boyde will be cycling from Watchet in Somerset to West Bay in Dorset on Sunday, May 17.

Read more
Local dignitries at the gardening event at the Honiton Hospice day care centre. Ref mhh 5386-16-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

A team from Honiton Round Table and other volunteers gave their time to help plant the garden at Hospiscare’s new day hospice in Honiton.

Read more
09:00
Father Trevor Smyth with Bishop Richard Hawkins. Fr Trevor says farewell to his parishioners at his final service at All Saint's Church, Exeter Road, as he retires from his post. Ref exe 3343-16-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

An Exmouth vicar has said a fond farewell to his parishioners after more than 14 years.

Read more
09:00
T-Rex

Phear Park and Manor Gardens are being discussed as possible venues for the return of dinosaurs to Exmouth.

Read more
Justin Wallace, former Bideford Round Table chairman; Dr Robin Buckland, North Devon Children’s Holiday Foundation; and Alex Dziurzynski, Bideford Round Table events coordinator.

The Bideford Round Table has raised nearly £3,000 to provide holidays of a lifetime for children with serious illnesses and disabilities.

Read more
07:00

Devon Freewheelers operates daily ‘hand-to-mouth’, never knowing where its next penny will come from.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30
The Lions' Santa float could enjoy an even brighter welcome when it visits Colyton again this year. Photo Ian Barradale.

An offer is in place to brighten up the town with new Christmas lights this year.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Tesco says it is still planning to come to Budleigh, despite a planning application for its proposed store having been withdrawn.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:58
David Cameron visiting Barnstaple this morning. Picture © Guy Harrop

Catch up with the latest General Election goings on and ministerial visits in pictures

Read more
Yesterday, 14:06

A man had to be treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation after a fire at Scarletts in The Strand, Exmouth.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 5°C

Most Read News

Family Notices 24


Devon's trusted business finder