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Dismay as cash-strapped charity makes chief executive Martin Gilman redundant

Published: 1 Jul 2013 08:001 comment

A GROUP that provides support for charities in Bracknell Forest has made its chief executive and another member of staff redundant. BFVA (Bracknell Forest Voluntary Action) - which required a £60,000 bailout from the council earlier this year to keep afloat - says Martin Gilman and partnership development manager Chris Cowap "are no longer required".

Martin Gilman has been made redundant as chief executive of BFVA.

A GROUP that provides support for charities in Bracknell Forest has made its chief executive and another member of staff redundant. BFVA (Bracknell Forest Voluntary Action) - which required a £60,000 bailout from the council earlier this year to keep afloat - says Martin Gilman and the development manager Chris Cowap "are no longer required".

The pair have left with immediate effect, following an independent review of the organisation - which provides admin resources and other support for charities and community groups.

In a statement on its website, BFVA chairwoman Janet Dean said: "An outcome of the review was a need to restructure the organisation to better meet the challenges ahead and regrettably the posts of chief executive and development manager are no longer required. This was a difficult decision but one that was necessary for the financial sustainability and long term viability of the organisation, and these changes are with immediate effect.

"BFVA's commitment to the voluntary and community sector in the borough remains as strong as ever.

Some members of Bracknell Forest charities have criticised the redundancies and the consultation process carried out by BFVA ahead of the decision. They have called on it to release the report and results of the questionnaire.

Ed Glasson, chairman of Bracknell Forest Federation of Community Groups, said: "There is no financial crisis so acute in BFVA that it is necessary to summarily dismiss both BFVA's chief executive and its partnership development manager.

"And to do so within a few days of the conclusion of the independent survey which you and BFC have commissioned, and before any community groups have had sight of the outcome of that survey, is both incomprehensible and inexcusable."

Mr Gilman is away on holiday and was unavailable for comment.

Are you a member of a local charity or community group that relies on BFVA? Do you think the cuts will have a knock-on effect on your group? Please leave your comments below.

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