The FSB has chosen a new-look senior team to head up the group’s local grassroots lobbying activity in the South East.
Following a special meeting in Surrey, Brian Woods, who was previously FSB’s Chairman for the Surrey and West Sussex Region, has now become the first holder of the new wider role of Regional Chair for the whole of the South East.
Brian, Managing Director at WS Planning and Architecture, said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed to this key role and want to ensure that the voice of small businesses across the South East is clearly heard. I look forward to working with our South East team and our members across the region to make sure we stay at the heart of local debate and at the forefront of business policy decision-making.”
Brian’s new position is part of a new national FSB restructure which will see a renewed focus on collective campaigning, both from a national and grassroots perspective across 12 major areas of the UK, overseen by Regional Leadership Groups, made up of key FSB members and staff situated at the local level.
Every LEP area will also have its own FSB Area Leader with leaders chosen for Kent - Deborah Turner (pictured above) and David Milham, Surrey - Brian Woods and Geoff Williamson), and East Sussex - Darren Hathaway and Nicolae Trofin.
Brian is joined on the new regional top table by Kent accountant Stephen Askew (pictured above) who is the region’s South East National Councillor, and Geoff Williamson from East Sussex, who has been appointed as the FSB Regional Policy Representative.
Clive, who runs Project Fusion Ltd in Brighton, said: “I’m really pleased to have been chosen as the new Regional Policy Representative which will allow me to campaign on the issues which really matter to small businesses in the South East.
“There are so many concerns for small business at the moment including business rates, transport, skills and broadband connectivity. We’re looking forward to actively campaigning on them on behalf of our members.”
Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: “Volunteers are crucial to FSB’s success as it’s only by drawing on the experience of our members who run their own small businesses that FSB is able to be such a strong campaigning voice – locally and nationally. Therefore, I want to congratulate Brian, Stephen, Clive and all the Area Leads on their new roles. I know they will be strong advocate for businesses across the South East.”
“FSB was founded to enable grassroots activists to fight for change. As we look back over the last year, we can celebrate a number of significant wins for our members – £6.7 billion taken out of the business rates regime, the scrapping of NICs increases for the self-employed and reforms to Making Tax Digital – all sparked by members at a local level.”
“This restructure is about ensuring all of our members have their voices heard and are equipped with the tools they need to create change. That is, after all, where FSB has its roots.”