part of my endeavours to bring business to Havant in particular
and Hampshire in general I have sought assistance from
Business Link Hampshire (for a few years known as Business Link Wessex).
has included meetings with David Bartlett, Business Development
Director of Business Link Hampshire.
no such assistance has been forthcoming.
Business Link Hampshire have known about my esoteric, non-physical
side since at least 1999 as far as telephone conversations are concerned
and 2000 in terms of E-mails. They have also been well aware
of its value in business terms.
inability to obtain advice or assistance from Business Link
Hampshire coincides with the wrecking of the Technology Diversification
Centre project, which I spent several years setting up. Before
that time, Business Link Hampshire, as the organisation was
then, was extremely helpful. Since then, numerous letters and
E-mails have been ignored and my time wasted on the very rare
occasions that a meeting has been granted.
One member of
staff was honest enough to advise me that there had been a "management decision not
to respond" to me. David Bartlett, Business Development Director
of Business Link Hampshire telephoned me to deny this. However, E-mail exchanges,
telephone conversations and meetings with Business Link
since then have only resulted in wasted time and effort for me.
The reaction of a business advisor at a major Bank, when I told him of
my experiences with Business Link Hampshire was, "Oh, you've been
blanked". as far as I was aware the Business Links were not allowed to
discriminate against people; at least hat was the theory.
The only contact I am allowed with Business Link Wessex is
David Bartlett, though I would prefer the expertise of other
members of staff.
You can easily verify this by telephoning Business Link Wessex
on +44(0)1329 223242, giving my name and address (all details on
and asking for a meeting to discuss what they might do to help
me/you now. Unless the rules have unexpectedly changed, you will
only be allowed to speak to David Bartlett.
If you wish to ask David Bartlett directly why the special arrangements
are imposed on me, at considerable cost to myself and far more to the
region, his number is +44(0)1329 223202 E-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org, though I do not know if that
E-mail address still works.
to 1999 Business Link Wessex, or Business Link Hampshire as
it was then, was quite helpful.
During 1998 and the early part of 1999 the project I had spent several
years setting up was taken from me by Havant Borough Council and given to
someone else wrecked it; that person, among other things, asked for
"non-charge invoices" to submit for matched funding and falsely claimed, on
his business card, to be a Member of the Institution of Electrical
Engineers, though did not include CEng on his card, even though all
Corporate Members of major Engineering Institutions are, automatically,
Chartered Engineers. (The Institution of Electrical Engineers became the
The Institution of
Engineering and Technology in 2006.)
I never expected a Council or a Business Link (represented on the Board
which oversaw my project, among others) to acquiesce to such basic dishonesty as false
By contrast anyone who wishes to do so can verify my professional status
of BTech, MTech, MIMechE, CEng with
the Institution of
Mechanical Engineers and the
Engineering Council; all that I claim
is entirely genuine.
The change in approach and willingness to helpful of Business Link Wessex just happened to correspond
with Havant Borough Council starting to work against me, very soon after
they wrecked my project.
Those are the business standards that apply in at least some parts of
then, I have not been able to obtain any advice or assistance
from Business Link Hampshire, or any other organisation in Hampshire
which is supposed to assist and support business, with the exception
of the Chambers of Commerce, plus Mark Torokwa of the Economic
Development Department of Hampshire
County Council. The problem with the latter contact is that
Councils tend not to help directly but devolve to the Business
Links, so, if the local Business Link will not help, which is
the case with me, you are close to being finished in terms of
your chances of obtaining any assistance or support.
Two Visits to
South Hampshire Enterprise Agency (SHEA), which is
based at the Regional Business Centre, is headed by Tim Austin and is supposed to help local business, came to nothing. The meetings
were with June Parker and, in September 2004, with Mike Burley.
I felt, rightly or wrongly, that the outcome of the meeting was
predetermined. as it happened, I was due at another meeting not long
afterwards, which included a very senior Hampshire business
representative. she declined to disabuse me of my feelings about the
earlier meeting, instead responding quickly, "Go with Sussex", that is
Business Link Sussex, which is run by Sussex Chamber of Commerce and ahs
Chamber of Commerce values. That I should have done and may still have to
under the control of Business Link Wessex.
Link Hampshire and SHEA receive most of their income from public
funds to help local business. I have received no help from
either since prior to 1999, despite asking for such assistance
on several occasions. Neither organisation has written to me, or
communicated directly to me by other means, any reason for not helping me.
They have just wasted my time by ones means or another.
The time wasting included telephone calls from Sam Bartlett, of Brighton
Films/Electric Sky offering to meet me. That came to nothing other than,
following a blunt E-mail from me to Sam Bartlett and Directors of Brighton
Films, an E-mail reply from Sam Bartlett saying that he was just doing his
father a favour.
There was a time when I telephoned SHEA asking for assistance, this being
denied after referring to the "Line Manager", which turned out to be David
Bartlett. a short time later I telephoned with only a slightly different
request, giving a different name and my mobile telephone rather than
land-line number. Assistance was offered on that occasion, though I called
it off at the last minute, hours before the consultant was due to arrive.
What a difference a name makes.
I know of the
owner of a glass blowing workshop who asked for business advice,
did not receive it, struggled on until he had to make a choice
between his art and his new family, decided he had to commit to
the latter and gave up his glass business.
I was told of someone else in Hampshire who had to go to
Business Link Surrey for advice and assistance.
There are many who find the situation in Hampshire strange.
Business Link Wessex also covered Dorset and the Isle of Wight
but I have no knowledge or experience of working from those
areas. Latterly, the situation ahs reverted to Business Link
Hampshire just covering Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
The Small Business service, to which the Business Links are
responsible, seemed unable to help me or protect me.