All change at NPTA

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NPTA held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday evening – 15 March – and there was definitely change in the air. Iain Turner from Alpha Pest Control chaired his first AGM having taken over from Peter Crowden at the association’s management meeting in February.

Peter had stepped down for personal reasons and Iain took the opportunity to formerly thank him for all his hard work.

New management board
New in his role too is vice-chairman Adam Hawley from Guardian Pest Control Ltd who replaces Paul Burton. Paul, who retired from the management board at the end of last year, was one of the original four founder members who created and developed NPTA back in early 1993. Present too at his first AGM since joining the management board was Gary Jakeman from Pied Piper Pest & Wildlife Management. It’s worth remembering that all the NPTA management board give their time for free allowing the association to keep its costs to a minimum and achieve a lot of bang for its bucks!

Margaret to retire
Yet more change is on the horizon when Margaret Coleyshaw retires at the end of June after 10 years with the association. Margaret and her colleague Julie Gillies are largely responsible for keeping the whole NPTA show on the road and, once again, their contribution to the smooth running of the office, all the admin and PestTech was recognised at the AGM.

The formal part of the AGM, which related to the year 2010/11, was summed up by the then chairman Peter Crowden in the Annual Report as one of consolidation. Membership totals were roughly the same at around 850, with some leaving and others joining. As Peter writes: “We can never please all of our members all of the time but we try our best to offer membership benefits that are of great value and to represent our members best interests.”

Presenting the report to the AGM Iain Turner pointed out the steady growth in accredited members. These members are subject to audit and reach the highest standards in their profession. “It means when members of the public contact the office for advice on which pest controller to choose, NPTA can recommend accredited members with confidence,” he said.

Industry changes
The formal part of the AGM over, Iain also highlighted the changes coming the industry’s way, not least over rodenticide use. Difenacoum is currently going through the authorisation process and there are major concerns raised about the appearance of label requirements on some products for notices to be displayed where rodenticides are used in public areas. He said that this was, in fact, one of the items discussed only last week at a stakeholder meeting with HSE, organised by CIEH. The meeting was encouraging and it is hoped that the confusion about the requirement for signage will be sorted out.

He also said that when it comes to rodenticide use HSE seem to be making a distinction between specialist trained professionals (pest controllers) and non-specialised professionals (gamekeepers, farmers and so on). We will be consulting with members to see if they would support us lobbying HSE to raise the bar and make it a requirement to hold a certificate of competence for rodenticide use. This would not be an onerous requirement for most professional pest controllers and it would be a useful tool to demonstrate that true professionals can mitigate the risks associated with rodenticide use and that would go some way towards ensuring the industry continues to have access to the anticoagulants.

New life member
Last but by no means least NPTA chief executive John Davison announced that the board had unanimously decided to recognise the contribution made by Barrie Sheard by making him an honorary life member. Barrie was clearly delighted.


Iain Turner
Iain Turner is the new chairman of NPTA

Margaret Coleyshaw
After ten years service,
Margaret Coleyshaw is to retire
at the end of June

John Davison & Iain Turner
Chief executive John Davison and chairman, Iain Turner, field questions during the AGM

Barrie Sheard & Paul Burton
Barrie Sheard, left, with Paul Burton
– both ”mentioned in despatches” at the AGM

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