The LWBLA Board is keen to consult with members before agreeing the subscription fee for the forthcoming year.

We have looked in detail at how the Alliance generates its income and what it costs to operate.

The headline figures are that we generate circa £120,000 a year to deliver all the current services. Our membership fee generates one-third £40,000 and the balance of £80,000 is sourced from a variety of project and consultancy work that we undertake.

Over the past two years the Board has backed investment in our online web based services in addition to maintaining all the face-to-face meetings. The result is a reduced operating cost and an expanded the service offer.

Whilst we always look to be more efficient the Board accepts that to meet member expectations the current running costs are a realistic reflection of the activity and services we deliver.

Realistically we cannot assume the same level of project income going forward so this means either raising our membership fee or radically reducing what we do.

The consensus of the Board is we should not reduce services at this time given the pressures we face and the need for effective representation. This means addressing our membership fee.

Our annual membership fee of £250 has been deliberately kept low to attract members and over the past two years we have almost doubled in numbers with 145 paying organisations. The membership year runs from April 1st to 31st March.

We would be grateful if you could take a couple of minutes to complete the survey that will inform the fee and service offer for the next 12 months.

The Board wants to present two options to you for consideration.

Option 1 is to retain a standard membership fee irrespective of organisational size or contract value, and Option 2 would introduce a sliding scale based on contract value.

The Board accepts that membership may fall if the fee is too high so the key issue is what do you consider to be acceptable. The logic is to reduce reliance on project funding and give us long-term stability.

The Board will make decisions on the 1st March following this consultation. A feature of the Boards discussion was the number of different associations and bodies that providers are members of, and the substantial differences in fees and services. We are interested to see what members think is of most value, and how we should plan for the future.

This is an important part of being open and transparent in our affairs. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.

Nicola

* 1. Should the Association retain a standard membership fee for all providers irrespective of size or type?

* 2. If the answer was yes the Board has three standard fee options. The higher the fee the more sustainable the Association is without relying on project funds. Which do you support?
(Please skip question if you answered 'no' to Question 1)

* 3. Alternatively you may prefer to see a sliding scale membership. The LWBLA Board is recommending the following fee scale.

* 4. Given the options above I would prefer to see either:

* 5. Are you a member of other fee paying association, trade bodies and interest groups?

* 6. Please name the associations and how much you pay (optional)

* 7. Which association or trade body do you think gives best combination of value for money and services?

* 8. If you could change what the LWBLA does, how would you do so?

* 9. the Ambassador service has been funded by NAS for the past two years. If costs over £14,000 to run across all 32 Boroughs with 29 ambassador providers in London. The grant exclusively pays for a part-time post. Are you an Ambassador?

* 10. If NAS do not provide any grant would you be prepared to pay separately a service fee of £500 per provider?

* 11. Any other comment:

Many thanks for taking the time to complete our survey. Further details on LWBLA activity can be found at our website www.lwbla.com or follow us on Twitter at @LWBLA

T