Firstsite trustees resign as company instructs auditors


THREE TRUSTEES and a Financial Director have resigned from Firstsite Colchester as the company instructs auditors to examine financial records.

Dr Noorzaman Rashid has resigned as the Chair of Firstsite’s Board of Trustees, along with two other Board members.

Dr Rashid, who was appointed in July 2015 has taken the decision to step down following questions about his links with Friary West Limited, an Essex-based human resources company.

He was made a director of Friary West Limited on January 28th 2016. This was declared in the Board of Trustee’s Register of Interests, stating he has received no financial reward for his work for the company.

In addition to Dr Rashid’s departure, Robert Surman, a Firstsite Trustee since September 2015, has also resigned.

Companies House records show Mr Surman became a director of Friary West Limited on January 1st 2016. The appointment as director was declared in the Board of Trustee’s Register of Interests. Mr Surman has also stated he has received no financial reward for his work for Friary West.


In light of the ongoing questions relating to Dr Rashid’s links with Friary West, Firstsite has asked auditors to ‘examine all of its transactions with Friary West’, and will also ‘undertake a review of its Board procedures.’

A spokesperson for Firstsite said: “The accounts filed by Friary West Limited at Companies House do not show any payments made to Dr Rashid.

“However, because of ongoing questions about Dr Rashid and Friary West, Firstsite has instructed auditors to examine all of its transactions with the company. It will also undertake a review of its Board policies and procedures.”

The Director of Finance for Firstsite and a third board member, Helen Organ have also left the company. The company confirmed their decisions were “unrelated to the audit of transactions with Friary West.”

Friary West Limited, a Human Resources company in Maldon Essex founded in 2014, have previously completed work for Firstsite.