The last six months has been a difficult period for the FMB. Your Board had to make some tough decisions about how the services of the Federation are delivered.
We have filled some important posts that had been vacant and as I have written before we have created a new post of Head of Training. The recruitment for these posts, and several consequential changes, has now been completed and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to several new members of the FMB staff team:
- London Region has had to share a Regional Director with Midland since the start of 2009. Phil Slinger joined FMB on 1 July as the new Regional Director in London which will allow John Watson to concentrate exclusively in the Midlands. Phil will be making himself known to members in London over the coming weeks and will, I am sure, become more widely known within FMB before too long.
- We have recruited a new Regional Director for Yorkshire & Trent which Helen Osgood, the Regional Director in Eastern Region, has been covering since Ron Wilson’s retirement in March 2010. Phil Parkinson will start as Regional Director in Yorkshire & Trent on 8 August and be meeting members across the region over the summer.
- Barry Oliver, our Regional Director in Northern Counties since 1996, retired at the end of June. June Davidson, who has worked for FMB in Northern Counties since 2007, took up the post of Regional Manager Northern Counties on 1 July. June is, of course, already well-known to members throughout the region.
Hayley Fry, the Regional Director in Southern Counties since the start of 2008, has been appointed to the new post of FMB Head of Training. Neil McQue was recruited as the new Regional Director in Southern Counties and joined the FMB on 7 June. Neil will be travelling around Southern Counties during the summer making himself known and meeting members.
Particular thanks are due to John Watson and Helen Osgood for having taken on the burden of running two regions. I wish the two Phils, Neil, June and Hayley well in their new roles – they all have a lot to do. I know that several events are taking place within the Federation to thank Barry Oliver and wish him well for the future and I would also like to take the opportunity to put on record my appreciation of all he has done for FMB over many years.
The new Regional Directors will be home-based, though spending most of their time out meeting members and key stakeholders. Members seeking to make contact with their Regional Director should either email (email@example.com) or call the Membership Administration Centre England (MACE) in Birmingham. To phone MACE, use the number you have always used for your regional FMB office and the call will automatically be routed to Birmingham, or you can phone the national membership hotline number 0800 965765. Members in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should still contact their respective national office.
THE MEMBERSHIP ADMINISTRATION CENTRE ENGLAND (MACE)
MACE has been operational since 6 June as the first point of contact for members needing support from FMB. The office is managed by Celia Watson, who has worked for FMB in the Midland Region since 1990, supported by Nikki Ellsmore, another member of staff with long experience of FMB, and new recruits Charlotte Boden and Daniel Shaw.
The debate about the accuracy of data collected about the state of the industry continues. You may have picked up from the papers that the Construction Products Association, among others, are concerned that the Office of National Statistics has under-reported industry activity in recent months, resulting in the weaker than expected estimates of economic growth in the first quarter of 2011. FMB’s own State of Trade survey tends to support the ONS data but we are just looking at the market experience of FMB members rather than the industry as a whole. Just to further confuse the picture, as I’ve been writing this column more data has been published. The monthly report from Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply suggests that the construction industry had a successful May. Let’s all hope that this is the upturn that we have been waiting for.