The Board of BHETA has called on the membership to focus on the issues surrounding its proposed merger into a “super federation”, rather than its row with member Charles Harrison.
In an open letter to members ahead of Thursday’s extraordinary general meeting, the Board describes the events that have led it to take Harrison to court as “a very sad situation”, but says that that is not what the debate should be about.
The letter reads:
The Board of BHETA is keen to ensure that the debate is focused on the main issue, which is with regard to plans to relocate our operations to Birmingham. We are aware that the majority of the BHETA membership understands that this is the key issue and do not want to see a continuation of what has become a very sad situation.
This is the purpose of the EGM and we believe this is where the debate should be had.
Charles Harrison was given ample opportunity to give undertakings not to publish emails that he acquired without the Board’s knowledge or consent.
Like every other Board of directors, to be as effective as possible, in acting in your best interests, it is vital directors can hold discussions in total confidence and not worry that anything they say in the context of a particular debate might be misinterpreted whether innocently or maliciously.
That duty of confidentiality had to be protected, as indeed we expect every member would do if put in a similar impossible position by someone threatening to disclose confidential material.
That is not just the opinion of the Board, but is the opinion of a High Court Judge who confirmed that in his judgement BHETA had a powerful case. The Judge did not accept any of Charles’ arguments and found overwhelmingly in BHETA’s favour.
This is why interim costs were awarded at this early stage in the proceedings.
Charles now has an opportunity to end the matter if he chooses.
The emails in question will not be published. BHETA is bound by the same confidentiality ruling as Charles.
The Board is trying to develop BHETA for the future at as low a cost base as possible because we believe that such an organisation can best serve the interests of its members effectively and efficiently.
As far as the creation of a ‘Super Federation’ is concerned, despite the advertisement that Charles is funding [on HousewaresLive.net], the facts are there is no non returnable fee payable and the deal has not been done.
We look forward to seeing members at the EGM and having the opportunity of answering any outstanding questions that you may have.
The BHETA Board