ACFO director Stewart Whyte, writing to forum chairman and chairman of Lex Service Sir Trevor Chinn, insists that direct fleet representation is 'an absolute prerequisite' for the organisation to obtain 'any credibility whatsoever'. At the start of this month, Fleet NewsNet reported on the insult handed down by the forum as it gave places to organisations including the AA, RAC, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and even the National Federation of Women's Institutes, but not the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association or ACFO itself.
Sir Trevor insisted that fleets had all the representation they needed, including his own knowledge of fleet, despite the BVRLA alone representing some two million drivers. Whyte said: 'To read that the AA, the RAC and your own personal experience is apparently enough to represent fleet operators sounds very odd. The AA and RAC, while engaged in serving some aspects of the fleet community, are still essentially retail motorist orientated.'
Calling for formal representation on the forum, Whyte reminded Sir Trevor of the confident messages which were put forward by Transport Minister Lord Whitty that the fleet industry would gain representation in the forum. Relations between fleet organisations and the Government were thrown into confusion when ACFO was shut out of a Government car seminar in November.