Mike Luckwell, speaking at a regional UK Post meeting in Manchester last Thursday (28 October), said that UK Post is yet to satisfy its own remit. 'Our brief has not been fulfilled,' he said. 'We have 72 members, only nine of which are outside London.' He went on to declare that the association should not be just for London-based companies. 'Half of post-production employment is outside London. It's not right that a voice of the industry is London-centric.'
Luckwell said he wanted to see a balanced board that is more proportionally representative and reflects the numbers of post companies located outside the M25. He quoted the Salix 2002/03 Department of Trade and Industry study which set up funding for the trade body as the source of his claim. On this basis, half of the current board would have to be changed when the next election takes place in May 2005.
However, the UK Post representatives at the meeting said that although the board has the ability to co-opt regional board members - such as Bryn Roberts of Cardiff-based Barcud Derwen - that this was not an option that it wanted to pursue.
It is thought that regional membership will have to increase significantly to achieve greater balance on the board, which chief executive Gaynor Davenport, as well as Luckwell, is committed to.
Some Manchester delegates responded to Davenport and Luckwell's plea by confirming membership on the day. Sumners, Red Vision, The Sound House and NorthWest Vision all signed up, joining Flix Facilities which was UK Post's only Manchester member before the meeting. Davenport said she felt confident that 'as many again' are on the brink of signing up.
UK Post now has 76 members, 13 of which are from the regions. A second regional board member will be voted on at the end of January following further meetings in Bristol and Glasgow designed to boost regional membership.