Ipswich businessman quits FSB in wake of region-wide reorganisation

Ipswich butcher George Debman.

Ipswich butcher George Debman. - Credit: Su Anderson

A prominent member of the Federation of Small Businesses in Ipswich has quit the organisation following the resignation of three leading branch officers in Suffolk.

Branch chairman Chris Soule, vice chairman Christopher Storey and secretary Karon Sanders have all resigned following the creation of a new regional steering group.

They say that the new structure is lacking in democratic accountability and has made it difficult for the branch to deliver the kind of initiatives on which it has previously worked.

Although the trio remain members of the FSB, Ipswich retail butcher George Debman – an active member of the Suffolk branch although not an office holder – has now quit the organisation in protest at the changes which prompted their resignations.

Mr Debman said that, under Mr Soule and his team, the Suffolk branch had acted effectively on behalf of members in a number of areas, including hygiene regulations affecting abattoirs, delays in the roll-out of broadband and banking.


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“In fact several issues saw them negotiating at Government level for the benefit of local business here in Suffolk,” he said.

“Having phoned the FSB headquarters to terminate my membership, I was even more amazed that nobody had heard about what had happened or was able to explain why a committee that had achieved so much had resigned to the detriment of every small business here in the East,” he added.

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The FSB declined to comment on Mr Debman’s resignation but, in response to the resignation of the three Suffolk officers earlier this week, Salena Dawson, who chairs the new regional steering group for East Anglia, said: “The FSB is currently undergoing a process of modernisation across the entire organisation.

“In East Anglia, we are moving forward with a new team – strengthening the membership, seeking new recruits and developing new partners. Of course, we do all this while supporting and engaging with the local branches.”

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