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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Business lobby sacks staff to cut costs
BCC logo
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has cut its staff by nearly a third in order to reduce costs and keep members happy.

But the restructuring is being seen as the end of any attempt to rival another employers' organisation, the CBI, as a national voice for business.

David Lennan
David Lennan failed to raise the BCC's profile
The BCC has made eight people redundant but has cut a total of 15 jobs at its London headquarters.

This follows the sacking of its director general, David Lennan, days before its national conference earlier this year.

Since then, nearly all the senior managers have left or lost their jobs.

High fees

One insider said things had "snowballed" since Mr Lennan left.


The changes... will enable the BCC to build on existing strengths as the premier voice of business

Isabella Moore
BCC President-elect

He was appointed last year to lead the organisation through a programme of change, but was dismissed after the BCC's board decided that he had failed to raise the organisation's profile.

The campaign for change has come from affiliated chambers of commerce around the country.

BCC spokesman Malik Thahid told BBC News Online the "limited restructuring" now was in response to demands from the local chambers to run the organisation better.

Making it better

Local chambers have been arguing that they are paying too much to belong to a national organisation that appears to have very little clout, and they are demanding cost cuts and a higher profile.

The man behind this latest restructuring is the temporary director general David Frost, who is chief executive of the Coventry chamber.

Critics say that he came in with a mission to cut costs and did not seem to understand that he was running a national organisation.

But the president-elect Isabella Moore said: "We are confident that the changes outlined will enable the BCC to build on existing strengths as the premier voice of business - at a local, regional and national level."

But even before these latest cuts the BCC found it difficult to compete with the wealthier and much better-staffed CBI.

See also:

23 Apr 02 | Business
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19 Apr 02 | Business
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