Hailsham Council suspend Lyoness local merchant project
Last month we brought you the story of the council of a town in England, gearing up to encourage local businesses to sign up as Lyoness merchants.
That town was Hailsham, with our coverage attracting the attention of town council staff.
In an attempt to answer some of the questions raised in BehindMLM’s initial article, John Harrison, Hailsham’s Town Clerk, reached out to us.
I am the Town Clerk for Hailsham Town Council. Please could you email me directly and I will be able to answer some of the ‘questions’ and put right some of the incorrect assertions you have made on your blog concerning the promotion of Lyoness by Hailsham Forward.
I took the opportunity to refine some of the questions raised in our initial coverage, with the aim of seeking absolute clarification on the issue of a local government seemingly promoting Lyoness.
Here’s the questions I sent back, along with the answers Harrison kindly provided a few days later.
1. Who pitched Lyoness to Hailsham Council?
The first presentation by Lyoness to Hailsham Forward was given by Chris Thomson and the second by Chris Thomson and Liz Wright.
As a prominent promoter of Lyoness in Hailsham, I’d already guessed Liz Wright was probably involved.
Chris Thomson was a new name to me though, with research revealing him to be the Managing Director at Lyoness UK Limited.
2. Is anyone on Hailsham Council staff a Lyoness affiliate?
This one was a bit of a surprise at first, but the answer to the next question explains why.
3. Who signed up Hailsham Forward into Lyoness. And if that hasn’t happened yet, who is the planned recipient of the upline position?
Hasn’t happened yet. Hailsham Forward as an organisation is the planned recipient.
It was agreed they would need an individual named contact. That hasn’t been agreed yet.
So we know somebody from HailSham Forward was to sign the organization up, but who had yet to be decided.
With local businesses invited to a Hailsham Forward presentation on October 2nd, presumably the contact would have been decided upon by then.
4. Who thought signing up a bunch of local businesses into Lyoness and getting them to invest in AU positions was a good idea in the first place?
This was discussed by the Hailsham Forward Executive and a democratic collective decision was made to carry this forward.
To what extent those who decided were aware of the specifics of the Lyoness compensation plan is unclear.
5. Has any government (public) funds been spent by Hailsham Forward or Hailsham Council on Lyconet/Lyoness Accounting Units?
No public monies have been spent on signing up Hailsham Forward to Lyoness or on Lyoness accounting/shopping units – either from Hailsham Town Council or the Hailsham Forward ‘Portas’/Town Team funding.
Now this was great to hear. Once you step over that line of public funds being pumped into a privately held business opportunity, things get all sorts of murky.
6. What conflict of interest policies and procedures does Hailsham Council have in place to deal with situations like this?
Hailsham Town Council has adopted a code of conduct which is available on our website.
This code of conduct is that recommended by the Wealden District Council Monitoring Officer.
7. Have those policies and procedures been followed, or has nobody sought to investigate who stands to profit personally within Hailsham Council if local Hailsham businesses sign up to Lyoness?
I believe that they have, because no one individual within the Town Council or Hailsham Forward stands to profit if Hailsham businesses sign up to Lyoness.
The second answer was interesting, as it suggests an existing Lyoness affiliate (Wright?) would have been the direct upline to Hailsham Forward’s affiliate position.
I say that because Nick Collinson is apparently out, as per the following clarification from Harrison:
Cllr Nick Collinson has no affiliation to Lyoness.
Lyoness have not been presented at any of Chapter 12’s Business networking events.
Chapter 12 Wine Bar is not signed up to the Lyoness scheme.
Might Chapter 12 Wine Bar have signed up to Lyoness at a later date, thus giving Collinson an effective Lyoness affiliate position? Who knows.
But at the time of publication, that’s purportedly where things stand.
Oh, and there’s also this:
This project has been suspended until the Town Council and Hailsham Forward has more thoroughly investigated the scheme.
As I informed you last week, the 2nd October Hailsham Forward Business Forum meeting will now not include a presentation or ‘launch’ from Lyoness.
Glad to see Hailsham Council are looking further into the whole AU side of merchant affiliate accounts. Probably should have been done before the green light on encouraging local businesses to sign up was given, but I digress.
We’ll keep you updated on any further developments.