Last week we said our ‘official’ farewell to Nick Booth
who after ten years stepped down as a Trustee. You might remember me mentioning that due to our new Constitution, Trustees now only serve for a maximum of 3 years. It is with equal sadness that we also have to say a huge goodbye and thank you to Les Sparks OBE who became a Trustee in 1999 soon after he left his job as Director of Planning and Architecture at Birmingham City Council.
We have been extremely fortunate to have Les’s support, expertise and clout at the Trust for over 13 years.
I asked Les to reflect on his time as a volunteer Trustee …
What have been your personal highlights of being involved with BCT?
“My Personal highlights would be:
- the Trust’s acquisition of the listed but dilapidated Back to Back properties with their sitting tenants
- the contractor’s start on site after a long gestation period
- the signing of the agreement with the National Trust, securing an end use and return for our endeavours
- the celebrations following the completion of the project and all the awards and national acclaim we won.”
What have been the biggest challenges?
“The challenge has been remaining positive despite repeated set backs, particularly in pursuing the Coffin Fitting Works project where we have been regularly knocked back by changes of process and personnel in our dealings with Advantage West Midlands and the European Regional Development Fund. It sometimes resembles a game of ‘snakes and ladders’.”
What are you most proud of?
“I am proud to have been part of such a successful Trust; I don’t recognise any particular contribution of my own as everything has been the product of teamwork led by Elizabeth”.
Is there anything that you will miss about the Trust?
“I will miss the crises and the high risk environment which offer constant challenges and excitement!”
Les, it has been a privilege and a pleasure and we wish you every success in the future.