Huge achievements are down to our own efforts

Having been singled out and named by one of your correspondents (Postbag, last week) I find myself regretfully drawn to clarify some howlers made by the council. Firstly, I have the utmost respect for Bill Murphy and I feel sure he has been fed some inac

Having been singled out and named by one of your correspondents (Postbag, last week) I find myself regretfully drawn to clarify some howlers made by the council.

Firstly, I have the utmost respect for Bill Murphy and I feel sure he has been fed some inaccurate information.

Our company has not received any financial assistance from the council in relation to Investors in People accreditation, nor has any formal commitment been made.

It was, in fact, the strenuous efforts made by me in my own time which saw the head of Investors In People contribute to the council's coffers. Our organisation has never benefited from this bequest.


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Our key skills initiative was part of our overall and on-going commitment and started in 2002, not 2008 as suggested.

It was initiated by us, not by the council, and there was a great deal of disappointment when funding was withdrawn and many of my team were left feeling extremely let down.

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It is welcome that Bill Murphy recognises the tremendous commercial achievements of our team, but it is entirely disingenuous to suggest the council are solely responsible for this. I find that unfortunate piece of disinformation completely unacceptable and I'd be grateful if it were revisited by Bill Murphy and his team and retraction given. The phenomenal success of this team is down to many factors.

It is down to the hard work of a dedicated team of professional people.

It is down to the commitment of school-leavers who join us and, with our support, go on to win Young Business Person of the Year or, with our support, devote a year of their own time in returning to college to gain GCSEs in subjects their schools could not, or did not, achieve for them.

It is down to the commitment of young people - some at the margins of society through crime or drugs - who are willing to join us, work hard, gain technical qualifications and turn their lives around.

It is down to the commitment of a young apprentice who joined the team 12 years ago and who is now a junior director in our business.

It is down to a group of shareholders willing to take a long-term view and commit to investing in people and skills and training and development of a team.

Bill and his colleagues had no hand in any of this and their attempts to take the plaudits through your publication are irresponsible and not very welcome.

What my colleague sought to point out a fortnight ago was the complete inequity in the way in which the council addresses compliancy internally and the contrast to how it behaves with hard-pressed business and the message that sends.

His comments were born of frustration at a lack of perceived value for business from the council.

As for the alleged "danger" Bill Murphy refers to arising from a few shrubs, I'd suggest he looks again at your pictures and he will see the embarrassing situation his comments leave him in.

The only "danger" is probably getting some pollen up his nose!

To seek to mislead your readers is, in my view, extremely regrettable. I would hope that would be corrected.

Chris Oliver

Managing Director

AJC Wilson Bodyshop

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