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Change must start in the public sector; COMMENT & DEBATE: YOUR LETTERS TO THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF WALES.

SIR - Another initiative to re-brand Wales by seeking to change perceptions of Wales by spending money in London is putting the cart before the horse ("Drive on to reinvigorate Welsh brand and banish stereotypes", Jan 7).

The attitude of the public sector to small businesses and private citizens who live and work in the principality needs to change. Micro businesses are the raw material that can transform Wales.

As an FCA, I have worked advising this sector for over 40 years and know that many are bursting with ideas and enthusiasm for promoting Wales.

Unfortunately their individual voices rarely get heard and they end up becoming frustrated and use their valuable time and meagre resources elsewhere. If they are persistent they might achieve a meeting with risk-averse junior public officials who are mainly concerned with protecting their own jobs and have no experience of working for themselves.

To get past these many layers and reach the movers and shakers in the public sector becomes well nigh impossible. These deliberate barriers ensure that many private ideas generated in Wales by stakeholders which might require some public support, encouragement or just introductions to the right people often fail at the first hurdle and never see the light of day.

Recently I gave up several hours of my working day to go to a pre arranged appointment with local government officers to discuss a project which was described as exciting and innovative.

On arrival I was informed that the officials I had arranged to see were not in the building and would not be seeing me.

Needless to say there was no apology and no attempt to reschedule the meeting. Project abandoned.

Until change at this level can be achieved Wales will continue to languish. The international community will not respect Wales when the public sector is indifferent and ignorant about the businesses and citizens it purports to represent. MARTIN SMITH Hirwaun, Merthyr
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 18, 2011
Words:320
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