The British Cleaning Council (BCC) is sponsoring the creation of an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to represent the cleaning and hygiene sector in the Houses of Parliament.
The aim is to give the industry a voice in Parliament, allow it to influence discussions, debate and pose questions and to influence ministers and the Government.
The BCC has been working to attract prominent MPs to join the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Cleaning and Hygiene Industry, particularly those who represent constituencies where cleaning and hygiene sector businesses are based, particularly SMEs.
It is working alongside Stephen Kerr, the former Member of Parliament for Stirling, who knows the cleaning and hygiene industry well, as both a former Sales Director with Kimberly-Clark Professional before his election and as an unpaid Parliamentary Adviser to the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) during his time as an MP.
Parliament needs to approve the establishment of any APPG and it is hoped that this ‘inauguration’ could happen early in 2021. The group would also elect its own chair. Details of its membership can not be confirmed until then.
Chairman of the BCC, Paul Thrupp, said: “Cleaning and hygiene operatives were once known as an invisible workforce but during the Coronavirus pandemic and due to the BCC’s constant lobbying, there is now much more recognition of the industry and its operatives.
“The creation of an APPG for the cleaning and hygiene industry is the next step in that process.
“Through it, we will ensure that MPs, ministers and the Government are made aware of the huge size of this industry, its massive contribution to the economy and the vital role that cleaning and hygiene operatives have in protecting people’s health and safety, particularly as we recover from the pandemic.
“The APPG will enable us to provide expert guidance and assistance to the Government and the country, allow us to put critical and relevant issues on the Parliamentary agenda and provide a forum for an exchange of views between MPs and those involved in the cleaning and hygiene industry.
“It will give the industry, the BCC and all our members a voice at the highest levels, helping to ensure that we have a say when decisions are made that affect us, at a time when we have never been so depended on or needed so much.”
Mr Kerr said: “The APPG will make a massive difference by ensuring MPs are informed and aware of issues relating to the cleaning and hygiene sector.
“It is about MPs working together with the BCC to get the UK cleaning industry a fair hearing in Parliament and with ministers. Over the past five years, with Brexit and Covid, we have seen that it is essential for business to engage with politicians.
“MPs need good information about business. When they make policy decisions which are detrimental to a particular business sector, it is usually because that business has not communicated with them, so they are not fully informed. “
The BCC has 21 members from across the cleaning and hygiene sector. Research it published early this year shows that the sector is a UK top ten industry, employing 1.63 million people and contributing over £54bn to the economy.
All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal cross-party groups that are run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords, though many choose to involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.
APPG members meet to discuss a particular issue of concern and explore relevant issues relating to their topic. APPGs regularly examine issues of policy relating to particular areas, discussing new developments, inviting stakeholders and Government ministers to speak at their meetings, and holding inquiries into pertinent matters.