The first meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the UK Cleaning and Hygiene industry since its inauguration early this year has been hailed as a ‘great success’.
Some of the most prominent figures from the sector briefed MPs and Peers in the session entitled ‘Cleaning and Hygiene’s Role in Restoring the Public’s Confidence Post-Covid in Using Work and Public Spaces.’
The aim was to brief and introduce MPs and Peers to key industry issues and answer their questions. The public session was watched by industry guests, bringing the total number of participants to over 60.
The British Cleaning Council (BCC) is the secretariat for the APPG. BCC Chairman Paul Thrupp said: “The cleaning and hygiene industry came together with the aim of informing APPG members about the work of the sector and opening a dialogue with them. We are very pleased with how the meeting went, it was a great success.
“It has helped raise the profile of the sector among Parliamentarians and give them an idea of the importance of our work to the UK’s recovery from the virus.
“We were pleased to see a number of Parliamentarians in attendance. They were very interested in finding out more about the industry’s work and there were several questions.
“Attendees now know about and understand the cleaning and hygiene sector much better. Before the APPG was established, it was much harder for the sector to reach out to MPs in this way.
“But the meeting was only a first step on the journey and there is a lot more to be done. There is a huge amount of preparatory work going on behind the scenes on key APPG priorities. When this work is complete, we will be able to put forward concrete proposals for the APPG to consider.”
Leading industry figures took part in the panel discussion on 20 April, including:
- Deborah Bland, Global Marketing Manager BSC and Retail, Diversey
- Delia Cannings, BCC Director and National Lead for Education & Training, the Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (ahcp)
- Dave Fuller, Account Director, Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene
- Dr John Hines, Director of Research and Development at SC Johnson Professional
- Darren Marston, Executive Chairman, Industrial Cleaning Equipment Ltd
- Kim Phillips, BCC Director and Chair of the Association of Building Cleaning Direct Service Providers
- Jim Melvin, Deputy Chairman of the British Cleaning Council, Director Cleaning & Support Services Association (CSSA) and Group CEO, Exclusive Contract Services
- And Jason Towse, MD People Services, Mitie.
The debate covered a number of topics including:
- The importance of communication in restoring the public’s confidence post pandemic.
- The need for improved labelling so the public can differentiate between effective hand gels and those being produced by unscrupulous pop-up companies that don’t protect from pathogens.
- The need for the public to continue to behave responsibly with regards to personal hygiene and social distancing in order to reassure others that public buildings are safe to visit and to prevent future Coronavirus spikes.
- How cleaning continues to be vital in preventing the spread of the virus, despite claims to the contrary.
- Key things learnt during the pandemic, such as the importance of the role played by the cleaning and hygiene sector and its workforce during the pandemic, and how they deserve to be fully recognised and thanked.
- The need for further education and training for cleaning and hygiene personnel.
- The role of innovation in developing products that enable the demand for higher standards of cleaning to be met.
The recording of the full discussion can be seen at: https://britishcleaningcouncil.org/2021/04/21/catch-up-with-the-latest-appg-meeting/