News Update - February 2015
Tax, Bullying, Quaker Finance and the future
On Wednesday 25th February 2015 eight members of Quakers and Business (Q&B) management committee met at The Priory Room, Birmingham. The meeting reflected just what great work the Quakers are generating in business and planned strategy development for the future.
Ipswich Meeting asked Q&B to help with its inquiry into tax and tax avoidance by investigating the tax paying status of the shops on its high street. Q&B’s Bob Tilley has warmly welcomed the opportunity. As well as this analysis, an event being organised with the help of Q&B’s Eric Walker will also hear from Q&B’s Richard Murphy, a key player in this field through his work with the Tax Justice Network and elsewhere. For people interested in this event it is scheduled for 15th April at Ipswich Friends Meeting House.
The Meeting also heard the welcome news that Q&B have supported the registration of the Tim Field Foundation as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation which through its website (bullyonline.org) offers support to individuals experiencing bullying in the work place and elsewhere as well as training to organisations wanting to tackle bullying that occurs there.
The Quaker Finance Trust which has been launched by Q&B came to the meeting with two requests:
- That we ask Q&B Members if their businesses would be interested in borrowing under the Trust’s service.
- That we ask Q&B Members to approach their Area Meeting Treasurer with the idea of inviting the Trust to present its service as an opportunity for Area Meetings to invest some of their reserves in businesses operating according to Quaker principles.
More can be found about the Quaker Finance Trust at qft.uk.com. Members wishing to either:
- explore accessing funds via the Trust, or
- introducing the Trust to their Area Meeting
Q&B Clerk Mark Lockwood contributed to Australia Yearly Meeting in January by running a 1 day workshop: 'Quakers in business/Living life in the light', sharing some of the experience that has been developed by Q&B. He has also been asked to contribute that experience to the Silver Wattle Quaker Centre’s development of itself as a Quaker business.
The Q&B book “Good Business: Ethics at Work, Second Edition 2014”, available via http://qandb.org/resources/publications/ethics-at-work is now being translated into Polish. The book was mentioned in the January 2015 ECCR Newsletter. (Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility). We have also been delighted to accept the request to use sections of the book on the website on Quaker Aging Resources - www.quakeragingresources.org. Copies have been given to:
- The Right Honourable Vince Cable MP - Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills – with covering letter
- Brian Griffiths - Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach – chair of CEME (The Centre for Enterprise Markets and Ethics)
- Revd Dr Richard Turnbull – Director of CEME
Q&B has contributed to two inquiries by Meeting for Sufferings; The Way Ahead consultations and its review of relationships with listed informal groups.
With a catalogue of successful initiatives over the last 4 years, Q&B’s work continues with a healthy membership of 147, a strong financial and cash flow position to continue its work. The meeting began to plan the next Q&B Strategy meeting. This is the opportunity for Q&B Members to decide where Q&B should be going and what it should aim to achieve over the next period. Details will be circulated to members in due course, with the day being planned for May.