The votes have been counted following the Referendum on 23 June 2016 and its farewell to the EU. But what does this mean for those working within pest control in either the UK or internationally? Although there is still considerable uncertainty, Pest invited some of our industry leaders to share their initial thoughts.
Paul Rodman of Kent-based Monitor Pest Control took over the helm as president of BPCA from Martin Harvey, of Harvey Environmental Services, who had completed his two year term.
Unfortunately, for unavoidable personal reasons, Martin was unable to attend to perform the official handing over of the presidential baton, but Henry Mott (the immediate past president) stepped into the breach.
|Henry also read out the speech Martin had prepared which he had planned to give at this event. In it Martin reflected on the past two years from a personal point of view saying: “I have enjoyed my time ‘at the helm’ as there have been, I think, lots of things that have happened in the last two years that are for the good of the Association and therefore for the membership as a whole.
“I’d like to think I’ve ‘made a difference’, after all in the business world if you don’t make a difference then you normally find you’re pretty quickly found out and then moved out!”
Amongst the highlights Martin picked out, he identified the fact that during his term at the helm 100% of all technicians from BPCA member companies now have to hold one of the recognised qualifications and be a member of BASIS PROMPT. This had led to 34 companies leaving the Association, but 25 of these had since rejoined. Martin said: “This had been in the offing for the previous seven years so those that left it late don’t get a great deal of sympathy from me I’m afraid!”
The introduction of the European Standard for Pest Management Services EN16636 was also identified as a highlight. He explained this now seen by influential players in the industry as an important certification to have when being considered for certain contracts.
In something of a heartfelt plea, Martin went on to say: “Membership of the Association is not just a logo on your vans, on your letterheads and on your membership certificate. It means a lot more than that.
The mission statement of the Association is: Driving excellence in pest management and we all have a part to play in the achievement of this.”
As to be expected, Martin thanked all the BPCA staff for their hard work and his fellow Executive Board members.
Henry Mott reading the speach prepared by outgoing president, Martin Harvey
The official handing over of the president’s chain of office to new president, Paul Rodman
|In his concluding comments, Martin noted: “In finishing up I’d like to remind you all that the Associations’ strategy is based on three pillars – these being:
Professionalism – doing the right thing at all times
I suggest it is yours as well,” he concluded.
Following this part of the AGM, the officers for the incoming year were proposed and seconded.
These posts are held by:
There followed an election for four further Executive Board members from the nominations received. These spots were taken by Dan Gaskin (Acclaim Environmental), Robert Long (Sabre Kent), Savvas Othon (Rentokil) and Howard Taffs (Good Riddance Pest Control).
|Consultants not consulted
Following the AGM, the meeting was thrown open for an open discussion. First on his feet was Dr John Simmons from Acheta Consulting who made his views perfectly clear regarding the article which had appeared in the most recent edition of PPC 83, in which the BPCA announced the launch of their new commercial consultancy service.
In brief, John said he totally rejected the idea that BPCA could offer an independent, or commercial, consultancy service. The manner and speed of its introduction, without any prior consultation, neither with the Servicing nor Manufacturing & Distribution Committees, nor with BPCA consultant members was, he felt, contemptuous.
He concluded by saying: “BPCA is in effect setting themselves up in a position of unfair competition against its own consultant members. The Association realised this would attract criticism, but that commercial considerations of likely income to the Association overruled this.”
Dr John Simmons expressed the frustration of consultant members
|Echoing this apparent money-making attitude was Paul Hoyes, representing Rupert Broome from Killgerm, who was abroad on business. He said: “The stated ethos of the BPCA is that it is a ‘not-for-profit organisation which acts in the interests of our members’. This consultancy scheme fulfils neither of these. In addition, the accounts for the year show a healthy profit of over £49,000. Is the Association proposing to either refund this or reduce subscriptions?”
He went on to make the point that if BPCA is to offer a consultancy service, is this just the ‘thin end of the wedge’. Taking it to the extreme, he asked if BPCA planned to extend their operations by starting-up selling and distributing products, or offering pest control servicing. He made the point there was no difference and concluded saying: “This is a very disappointing state of affairs.”
Finally Mike Ayres, from Precision Pest Management Solutions – a member company that offers both servicing and consultancy – said: “This proposal treads on our toes. It would come at a highly subsidised rate, which members would be paying for.”
Regrettably the Executive Board was unable to comment as this subject was an agenda item for its meeting that very afternoon. A statement released later that evening said:
“Having listened to the membership, the BPCA Executive Board has agreed to withdraw the BPCA consultancy service, recently launched within PPC 83.
The initiative was proposed following requests for further support from some of the servicing members. Following the launch of the BPCA consultancy service, the Association received correspondence from some of the membership, along with further comments at the open forum (following today’s AGM). The BPCA Executive Board recognises that there has been insufficient discussion and communication through the existing committee structure on this matter. With this in mind, the Association will now engage with the membership, in order to understand and discuss their broader needs with regards to support, so as to drive professionalism throughout our industry.”
Regional meeting with exhibition stands followed
Accompanting the regional meeting there were also a number of exhibitor stands in the foyer area outside. A selection of these exhibitors can be seen below.