CIEH provides Best of the Best

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Delegates gathered for three days (21 – 23 September) at the East Midlands conference centre in Nottingham to attend the Best of the Best 2009 conference.

Organised by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) this was the third time this event had been held in Nottingham. Despite running for three days, it was really only day three which concentrated on professional pest control issues.

Having said that, Professor Hugh Pennington gave the key note lecture on day one. He is certainly a realist, declaring that EHOs are a low priority in many councils. Their status, he feels, is unlikely to improve considering all the funding priorities faced by local government. Environmental health is going to have a hard struggle to even keep the position it has, he predicts.

Fittingly, the pest control session on day three opened with a presentation by David Hine and Claire Ritchie from Westminster City Council. They presented an overview of year one of the Council’sAiming high in pest control project . The project’s aim is to raise standards of pest control in selected areas by means of a training and partnership approach – between the Council’s Environmental Health team, the restaurateurs and also the pest control contractors. Having initially only covered three hot-spot areas, an area within Soho was added to the project in April 2009.

Steve Hughes from Liverpool City Council related the experience faced by this inner city authority when the Council decided, almost overnight, in 2005 to introduce a charge (£15) for the treatment of public health pests – a service which historically had always been free to rate payers. At a stroke, the number of treatment visits virtually halved. After less than a year, free treatments were once again reinstated.

Dr Dini Miller, associate professor and urban pest management specialist from Virginia Tech in the USA, described the problems faced in the USA with the control of bedbugs. If we think things are bad in the UK – go to the USA – as their arsenal of effective products is far smaller than is available here.

Adam Juson from the Merlin Group gave a UK perspective, whilst also making some perceptive comments regarding the efficacy and effectiveness of some of the newly introduced bedbug monitors.

The range of pest control booklets in the CIEH National Pest Advisory Panel (NPAP) portfolio is shortly to increase. A new booklet entitledPest control procedures in the housing sector has been drafted and is currently doing the consultation rounds – any comments are due in by 31 October 2009. When finalised this promises to be yet another first-class publication.

Supporting the conference was a somewhat limited exhibition. For those with long memories, this used to be a much larger affair. On the pest front, both NPAP and the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) had stands.



BOB - Westminster
Westminster City Council is aiming
high in pest control

BOB - Steve Hughes
To charge or not to charge –
Steve Hughes relived the saga

BOB - Dine Miller
From the USA, Dr Dini Miller related
their experiences with bedbugs

Dr Moray Anderson and Jonathan Peck announce the latest NPAP booklet

BPCA was representing the private pest control industry

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