Barry Parkin

Outside Wales

SUMMARY

I have business and management experience at Company Director level that I believe will help YesCymru take the significant and important step of transitioning from Unincorporated Association to Limited Company. My management experience within a fast-growing environment will also help YesCymru to manage the high growth that it has been experiencing and to build on that growth.

YESCYMRU SITUATION

All organisations that grow, especially those that grow fast, suffer “growing pains”. That is clearly true of YesCymru over the recent months and there will be further operational challenges for YesCymru in maintaining that growth whilst transitioning smoothly from Unincorporated Association (operating largely outside Company Law) to Limited Company (operating very much within Company Law). This is a very critical stage of YesCymru’s growth.

As well as strong leaders focused on planning, managing and promoting the campaign for Welsh independence, YesCymru needs people with solid experience at Limited Company Board of Director level, to ensure that YesCymru is governed in compliance with Company Law, the Articles of Association and the Bye-laws. This background should ideally be coupled with hands-on managerial experience in a changing, high-growth environment.

MY PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

I have held board-level directorships of Anritsu Ltd (European subsidiary of Anritsu Corporation, Japan), Anritsu AB (Swedish subsidiary of Anritsu Ltd, operating across Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland), and Byre Projects Ltd (my own business consultancy company).

At Anritsu, I was head of a €250,000,000  business in the telecommunications equipment field, leading a remote sales, marketing, service and software development team of about 200 people in 11 countires across Europe. This was during a period of extremely high growth and I developed new management systems to cope with that growth. Working within a Japanese organisation and with Scandinavian customers, I learned the concept of continuous improvement; that is, no matter how well an organisation is doing, the operation can, and should, always be improved. My role also required me to have face-to-face dealings with government ministers (British and overseas).

When running my own one-man company, I gained hands-on experience of all aspects of the detail of complying with Company Law.

I joined the army at 16 years old and trained initially as a technician, later as a telecommunications engineer, serving in Royal Signals for 11 years, including 4 years teaching electronics at a military college. My 3 years as a TV broadcasting engineer at ATV Networks’ Birmingham studios was followed by a 30 year career in global sales, marketing and general management with British, American, French, German and Japanese companies.

In my first technical sales job, I received formal training in Contract Law, which I found extremely useful when negotiating multi-million pound contracts, and potentially useful to YesCymru in future procurements.

In my management roles, I have always believed in fairness and justice when dealing with people, and in valuing the inputs of all team members. I believe that teams work best in a bottom-up organisational structure, where the contribution of every team member is valued.

MY COMMITMENT

I will strive to:

  • Ensure that YesCymru remains focused on its one unconditional objective:  the attainment of Welsh Independence
  • Ensure harmonious working between directors or members with differing opinions
  • Ensure good two-way communication between the NGB and the local groups and members, so that the voices of members and local groups are both heard and listened to
  • Ensure financial transparency through regular reporting to the membership
  • Ensure good governance and compliance with Company Law, the Articles of Association and the Bye-Laws.
  • Transfer my Limited Company governance experience to other directors whose main strengths may lie in other key areas.

I also have knowledge and experience that the NGB could use in the areas of corporate structure;  budgeting and the monitoring of performance against budgets; procurement;  lobbying and advocacy; and training, as well as in governance.

The coming year will see YesCymru change and come of age. I believe I can make a significant contribution to that change.

MY PERSONAL BACKGROUND

Now retired, I was born in England, but my mother’s maternal family originates in Pembrokeshire (St Davids and Newport); her paternal family is from the Valleys (Aberdare/Mountain Ash). My mother was born in Merthyr Tydfil, where I still have family. My grandfather, a miner, moved the family to England to find work during the depression but we spent many family holidays back in Merthyr.

I have always had an interest in languages and can do business in French, German and Spanish; in my role as Chairman and Director of Anritsu AB, I learned sufficient Swedish to be able to read contracts. I can hold simple conversations in Dutch and Japanese. When I retired, and with very limited self-taught knowledge of Welsh (my mother could only say “ychafi”, which I heard a lot!), I set up a local U3A Welsh language self-help group, using video recordings. I later attended two one-week residential Welsh courses at the University of Wales, Lampeter and also took evening classes at the London Welsh Centre. My level is probably “Foundation”, approaching “Intermediate”.

MY YESCYMRU MEMBERSHIP

I am a fervent believer in the cause of Welsh Independence, but living outside Wales, I wondered whether I could meaningfully contribute. However, since joining YesCymru in January 2020, I have been able to help by working closely with several YesCymru local group leaders, including dealing directly with Azets (YesCymru’s accountants) and with obtaining expert legal advice on the governance of YesCymru. The 10 supporters nominating me come from right across Wales, from Gwynedd, through Mid and West Wales, to the Valleys.

Political Affiliation: Labour Party Member