The British Home Enhancement Trade Association’s imminent merger into a “super federation” will be a disaster, and a new wholly housewares association should be formed instead.
That is the view of Charles Harrison, managing director of CAT Enterprises. He is contacting all BHETA housewares members to seek support for a requisition that will force the association to call an extraordinary general meeting. He hopes to see BHETA wound up and new associations for the housewares and DIY industries established.
BHETA is about to merge with the British Jewellery, Giftware & Finishing Federation, a move which BHETA argues will create a more powerful lobbying voice, stronger representation at government level and more member benefits.
Last month, BHETA’s housewares director Pam Plant resigned.
Harrison said: “Following the announcement of Pam Plant’s resignation I have had conversations with a number of fellow members and the consensus is that the association has lost its heart and soul.
“The question now being asked is whether the plan for BHETA to merge with BJGF best serves the interests of the sector. I firmly believe that it will be a disaster and what is really needed and wanted is an association that single-mindedly represents the interests of the housewares industry – more in line with the IHA in America.”
He went on: “BHETA has never given its members the opportunity to support the establishment of separate housewares and DIY associations, even though the Articles and Memorandum of Association cover this eventuality. There is clearly concern amongst members and I have decided to raise my head above the parapet so that the full extent of the concern can be measured.”
Under company law it requires the support of 10% of the voting members to requisition an extraordinary general meeting. Harrison is confident that the 30 members needed to make the requisition effective will be reached following the conclusion of next week’s Exclusively Housewares show.
“There are some really good people on the Housewares Sector Committee at BHETA,” said Harrison. “These are the people that should form the first board of a new housewares association and I hope they will now lead from the front and support the requisition.”
BHETA members voted 95% in favour of the merger with BJGF.