News from the British Franchise Association

The British Franchise Association's 28th Annual General Meeting reported a number of new developments, writes bfa Client Services Manager Pip Wilkins

Taking place at the Red Lion Hotel in Henley on Thames on Thursday 8th December, the bfa AGM was opened by outgoing bfa Chairman Brian Lewis, who reviewed the Association's achievements during his two years as Chairman.

'The bfa has grown in stature and in the support offered to its members,' Brian reflected. 'In the last year the Association's turnover has exceeded £1 million for the first time in its history. In the last two years we have increased our franchisor membership from 223 to 312.

'I am truly delighted that the BFA has acquired the coveted Investors In People Award. This effort will help the future take care of itself as the measuring disciplines learned will benefit not only our professional staff at Henley, but the franchise community as a whole.' Rees Pollock was again elected as the Auditor for 2005/06 and the then Board Member for Finance and now newly elected bfa Chairman Nigel Toplis summarised the high points of the bfa's accounts. A special resolution was passed at this year's AGM so that if an individual representative on the bfa Board of Directors moves on from the member company, the place that individual held on the Board will now become vacant other than the company simply nominating a new representative to sit in their place.

In his annual report to the membership bfa Director General Brian Smart highlighted the work the Association had done over the past 12 months including increased accreditations, preparations for the logo launch at the start of the New Year, work with the Dti on the Unfair Contract Terms Draft Bill, work with DEFRA on the new waste regulations and work with the European Franchise Federation on the franchise communities approach to disclosure.

'I am very proud of the work the Association has done this year and the growth in membership income and net assets which it has secured,' said Brian. 'I hope that our members are also proud. The real prospect for the bfa next year comes from the opportunity its new staff resources will have to make a real difference to the recognition of franchising by the world at large'.

President of the bfa Sir Bernard Ingham took a few moments to recap the year from his point of view. He told the meeting of his high hopes for a resurgence of the Franchisee Forum in 2006 and how, even though the task of influencing the government is 'like painting the Forth Bridge' the re-education of officials must be continued. The bfa's task, he said, together with the franchisee forum, was to establish its influence with government, commerce and industry to raise the profile of franchising.

The bfa Legal Adviser announced the new appointments to the bfa Board of Directors and new Regional Chair posts.

Continuing Board Members:

  • Brian Lewis (Cash Generator)
  • Les Gray (Chemex International)
  • Nick Stojic (McDonald's Restaurants)
  • Nigel Toplis (Recognition Express)
  • Sean Derrig (Snap on Tools)
  • Max Woolfenden (Wimpy International)

Re-elected Board Members:

  • David Corbett (Signs Express Ltd)

Newly Elected Board Members:

  • Chris Gillam (Mail Boxes Etc)
  • Tony Rafferty (
  • Richard Edwards (Stainbusters Ltd)
  • Marilyn Keen (Swisher)
  • Steve Emmerson (Ventrolla)

Affiliate Member Representative:

  • Mark Scott (NatWest)

The Board's 15 members also include Brian Smart and John Pratt, the bfa's Legal Adviser.