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Active staff forum is key to success

LETTERS

As a former chairman of the Halcrow Staff Council I was interested to see Martin Cooper's letter (NCE 22 November) on the council's contribution to Halcrow's development.

During my time, I felt we were often ineffective in contributing to company policies by spending too much time raising relatively trivial issues.

I believe that an effective staff forum is an important component of a vibrant, progressive company. Consultancy firms' only real asset is their staff and the skills they possess. Senior management can often yield to tunnel vision while trying to develop the business and, unless staff councils offer constructive contributions and challenge poorly thought out policies, staff can be overlooked.

Many firms need to change their practices to improve profitability and allow increased investment in effective training and improved salaries.

An active staff forum willing to understand the pressures and objectives of the main board, and an open senior management team, would surely go some way to allowing any firm to bring these aspirations to fruition.

Peter Scott (F), The Dormy House, Combe Hay, Bath, BA2 7EG

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