EXCLUSIVE: Consultants bid to re-start disbanded FCSI UK&I chapter

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Efforts are being made to re-establish the UK and Ireland division of the FCSI just weeks after the chapter was dissolved, FEJ can reveal.

Representatives connected to a number of respected design consultancies are understood to be behind a move that would see the chapter become operational again.

The move is also believed to have won the support of more than a dozen ‘Allied’ members, or manufacturers, who see value in being associated with the FCSI on a local level. A meeting to discuss the next steps is planned within the coming fortnight.

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The UK&I unit officially closed on December 31 2015 after unsuccessful negotiations over certain terms and conditions with the EAME regional division led to the UK membership being terminated.

The former UK&I leadership team responded by indicating they would look to set up an independent body for UK consultants, however it has emerged that some members would prefer for the FCSI branch to be resurrected.

The FCSI Global division had left the door open for this scenario to happen when, in December, interim president, James Petersen, said: “While there will for the time being not be an administrative organisation exclusively for this region, there is nothing to prevent EAME from establishing a successor local unit at an opportune time to be determined.”

At a meeting of consultants who previously belonged to the FCSI UK&I on Friday, a statement was read out on behalf of FCSI EAME chair, Martin Rahmann, in which he said that FCSI EAME has been “working hard to ensure there is no loss of benefits or rights to UK&I members”.

The statement said: “We are communicating with the old administration to ensure all debts, duties, compliance, VAT returns and contracts up to 31st December 2015 are handled correctly.

Radford Chancellor FCSI is supporting EAME in an interim admin role on a voluntary (non-paid) basis to ensure a number of matters can be handled correctly whilst a new UK&I chapter is started, and new independent admin body is appointed. Ken Winch FFCSI, a Fellow of the FCSI is advising and mentoring Radford to ensure all FCSI rules and by-laws are upheld; a number of other Professional and Allied members are also helping.”

The statement also noted that the FCSI UK&I’s Aspire magazine, which has been paid for and is three-quarters finished, will be completed and published, while the Foodservice Forum from Allegra will carry on currently until 31 December 2016.

Rahmann added: “FCSI EAME welcomes the idea of a new UK&I chapter and will provide the support and advice to the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland membership as required. It is planned a meeting of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland membership is to be held in February to discuss the first steps forward.”

When contacted this morning, Radford Chancellor, who is overseeing the admin duties, said: “The FCSI has performed a useful function in bringing together consultants to the catering and foodservice Industry. However, it is clear that certain changes need to take place to ensure the future of FCSI in the UK and Republic of Ireland. A number of us are working closely to restart a new chapter, with a new approach for the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.”

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Andrew Seymour

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