British Association of Landscape Industries to develop a strategic vision

Clarity over a future vision for the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) will be reached by the end of the month, according to its chairman.

Following a board meeting last week, a strategy is being developed that will cover membership, the size of the organisation, and closer working with other bodies.

However, there will be no "major changes" without full consultation and a vote at BALI's AGM in September, assured chairman Richard Gardiner.

He explained: "We are looking at where we go in terms of membership, whether we are looking to grow, and maintaining the quality of the membership.

"By April, we will be clear about what we want BALI to look like."

Since chief executive Sandra Loton-Jones resigned from her post in January due to health reasons, the board members have been examining a way forward. Although no decisions have yet been made on a replacement, the formulation of a new strategy will help the body appoint the "right person", according to Gardiner.

"We have got no immediate plans to advertise for Sandra's replacement," he revealed. "At the moment we are working on a strategy for the whole organisation, but until we have thrashed that out and got a very clear plan as to where we want to go in the short, medium and long term, we are not going to make an appointment.

"It is unlikely we will make any fundamental changes before the AGM in September."

Board members including John O'Conner, Neil Huck, Martyn Mogford, Robert Field and Chris Carr attended last week's meeting. Also involved in talks were recently-appointed board members Tim Grace and Christine Parsons. The board will meet again at the end of the month to finalise a strategy.

Gardiner and vice-chairman Paul Cowell will visit the nine regional AGMs held in April to discuss ideas with members.

In addition, a networking event is being organised in the coming months with the Association of Professional Landscapers and Society of Garden Designers, added Gardiner. "There is a willingness from all parties to make sure we are working closely together," he explained.

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