This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

After the CSSA's withdrawal: Strange times for the BFG

Author : David Strydom

09 January 2015

The Cleaning & Support Services Association (CSSA) has ended the merger process with the Building Futures Group (BFG). Where does that leave the BFG's CEO, Sarah Bentley?

Sarah Bentley at the PFM Awards 2014

News that the Cleaning & Support Services Association (CSSA) has resolved to end the current merger process with the Building Futures Group (BFG) is surprising but not unexpected. CSSA members, we’re told, wish to focus on the contract cleaning sector and are now ‘considering their options’.

The BFG, for its part, will continue to focus on the FM sector ‘but also support the wider cleaning sector’. So now we know: the all-encompassing merger announced with such flourish less than a year ago (but without BIFM, which pulled out during negotiations), may not be quite so all-encompassing after all.

That realisation is cause for regret. PFM has long called for a single voice to speak for the industry; it’s now very clear we won’t get that, and just as apparent we won’t get much else, either. Still, all is not lost. Sarah Bentley, the canny CEO of the BFG, is a breath of fresh air.

Since her elevation to the post, and despite an element of reserve (wise, perhaps, in an industry where you can fall out with someone without even knowing it), she’s quickly become a prominent, respected figure in the sector. Nobody should underestimate the gargantuan task she was expected to undertake in moulding together differing entities.

When I spoke to Bentley by phone soon after the news, she was upbeat, dismissing the suggestion that the CSSA’s departure pointed to flaws within the BFG. “It’s not a big issue,” she said. “It’s unfortunate but it doesn’t affect our status one bit, and certainly doesn’t impact on our plans for the future.”

Does that mean the BFG would look at other associations with which to merge? “Not at this moment in time. We aren’t having merger agreements but we’re working really closely with RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). I don’t want to be distracted from delivery for my members.”

Yet, Bentley left the door open a sliver. Yes, she agreed, consolidation among associations ‘is the right thing’. “I truly believe in it. We can’t afford as an industry to be disparate. We’ve established that.” In addition, she said, a BFG merger with another association is not something she was looking into, before adding:  ‘immediately’.

The possibilities for the future are endless, but not many of them are particularly desirable.

While it’s clear BIFM has chosen its own path and that RICS is unlikely to partake in any official pacts despite it’s close work with the BFG, it’s conceivable the BFG could be drawn into an arrangement with an entity such as the Business Services Association (BSA), which has valuable influence with government, but which lacks a skills wing (Bentley was previously CEO of Asset Skills, the organisation she brought into BFG).

The future fate of the BFG truly is Sarah Bentley’s to decide.


Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page

www.fsifm.com
www.uhub.co.com


MOST VIEWED...

View more articles
Article image

WCRS continues expansion drive with appointment of new Director.

Waste Cost Reduction Services (WCRS) are delighted to announce the appointment of Sales Director, Roland Archer. This appointment comes at a very exciting...
Article image

Mental Health Awareness Week

Today sees the launch of the Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 initiative, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, which continues to see increasing impetu...
Article image

Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the r...
Article image

Queen's Speech announces lifetime skills guarantee for workers

Yesterday saw the airing of the Queen's Speech from Parliament, which has received an enthusiastic reception from many for its announcement on support for ...
Article image

Preparing for the next round of health and safety legislation

Expectations for new requirements to consider so that each workplace complies with future health and safety legal requirements....

Measuring FM Performance

Counting costs rather than measuring performance and demonstrating value to business is one of the reasons why FM has failed to achieve a strategic role in...
https://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&pubid=78915b1c-0f11-4b5e-9468-ba601ad89761