Let’s forget all the squabbling

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I see the back biting is still going strong about the attempts to bring Bexhill Forum into the modern world which is a shame because there are far more important issues on which to spend their time.

Having been involved with the previous forum regime I can honestly say that the set up we have now is at least relevant to today’s world and above all, the pace of change and the needs of wider communication.

Two years ago, as a former communications professional working in the high pressure world of politics and the national economy, representing a UK wide business that employed 250,000 people I thought my skills would be valuable to such an organisation.

In short order I produced three reports for the then forum committee outlining a public relations strategy, highlighting key issues for the town and how they would be able to take a lead on them.

As far as I know, these reports were never circulated and I later learned that this was because the committee member I had passed them to thought they would be too much for committee members to think about.

Which was a shame because some of those issues are still key to the towns future.

As an aside I would say that had I charged my usual consultancy fees the work would have cost around £1,000. And I did it for free.

So perhaps people will understand why I gave up trying.

The new set up seems to be centred on moving away from the forums reputation as ‘a mere talking shop for the disaffected’ as a prominent member of the town’s community once described it to me and some good contributions have been made by it to touch in relevant and important issues.

By all means, let’s have those who are unhappy raise organisational and process issues at a relevant time – perhaps the forum’s annual general meeting. An ordinary meeting is not the place.

But one has to wonder what the hidden agenda is for some people when one hears, as I did after a previous stormy meeting comments along the lines of: “Well we nearly pushed them far enough.” (Presumably far enough to resign).

Now, making culture changes in any organisation are difficult and delicate operations so I hope that the current committee members will be given the benefit of the doubt and be given the chance to prove that their ideas can make a positive contribution to the way the forum operates.

At least they are making the effort to try to bring it more up to date – and don’t forget they are doing this for nothing but their commitment to Bexhill’s future. So give them a chance to do it without distracting squabbling.

Alan Whitt

Ridgewood Gardens

Bexhill

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