BCC columns in the news

The British Cleaning Council and members write monthly columns for both Cleaning and Maintenance and Tomorrow’s Cleaning magazines. You can read recent columns below.

To read the columns as they originally appeared, please visit  https://cleaningmag.com/issues and https://www.tomorrowscleaning.com/back-issues

Awards events fly the flag for the industry

By British Cleaning Council Chairman, Jim Melvin (This article was first published in Tomorrow’s Cleaning in August)

I’m writing this column for the first time as Chairman of the British Cleaning Council (BCC), having been elected to replace my predecessor Paul Thrupp last month.

I would firstly pay tribute to Paul on his two years as Chairman on what has been the most difficult time that we have collectively encountered.

His leadership has been exemplary and achieved great success in terms of industry recognition and the All-Party Parliamentary Group and having been part of it, I know just how hard Paul has worked.

I therefore have rather large shoes to fill but I am very honoured to have been entrusted with the role and I look forward to continuing and, where possible, advancing Paul’s success and that of the BCC.

What I can guarantee is that we will remain passionate, enthusiastic and dogged where required in achieving our strategic aims.

Achieving recognition for the cleaning and hygiene industry and our colleagues has always been a primary aim of the BCC.

Since this tragic pandemic began, we have seen heightened awareness of the vital work of our teams, as indeed there should be, and so driving further improved recognition for our work will continue to be a key aim during my Chairmanship.

Thinking about recognition for our industry, there are upcoming events in which BCC members are involved that provide great opportunities for our sector to further fly the flag.

The Cleaning and Support Service’s (CSSA) excellent Innovation Showcase is also supported by the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) and is an opportunity for sector organisations and businesses to showcase the industry’s most innovative products, services and initiatives.

The Showcase judges include some of the industry’s most prominent figures who are real thought leaders in the sector.

The ultimate event, of course, will be at the Cleaning Show on 2 – 4 November which will be held at ExCeL London and, if your product or service makes the finals, it will be exhibited at the show which is the UK’s largest cleaning and hygiene event attended by more than 7,000 people.

That’s a huge audience of potential customers and clients and in a venue that couldn’t be more prestigious for such an exciting occasion.

I would strongly encourage businesses and organisations with innovative products, services or initiatives to take this fantastic opportunity to shout about them. The deadline for entries is 3 September 2021, so let’s use this opportunity to celebrate and gain more recognition for the huge innovation and creativity in our sector.

More information can be found at www.cssa-uk.co.uk/innovation-showcase-1. Entries can be sent to the CSSA via email on innovationshowcase@cssa-uk.co.uk

The Cleaning Show will also be announcing a new awards programme for the event – more detail soon.

Another event I’m hugely looking forward to is the awards night due to be held by another BCC member, the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc), on September 30.

The BICSc Annual Awards are an important and much-anticipated event which has long celebrated industry excellence, and rewards those who strive to uphold BICSc standards.

The BCC is delighted to be able to support it by sponsoring the historic Eric Hill Medal for the third time.

It is too late to enter and BICSc has announced the finalists. They all deserve to be warmly congratulated for making it to the finals, what a fantastic achievement! I look forward to seeing who takes home the prizes. Find out more at https://www.bics.org.uk/awards

Finally, a word about The Kimberly Clark Professional Golden Service Awards 2022, which is being supported by BCC members the CHSA, BICSc – which oversees judging – and the CSSA.

Entries have just opened, providing another opportunity to celebrate all that’s best in our industry.

I look forward to these events giving well-earned recognition to organisations, businesses and people in our sector.

A future of little relief

By Raymond Martin, Managing Director, British Toilet Association (BTA) (This article was first published in Cleaning and Maintenance in August)

From the very first announcement of the arrival of Covid-19, the Government has been repeatedly telling everyone to “wash your hands” regularly and every time you come into contact with others. So, like my colleagues in this industry, I wonder WHERE can I do that?

Throughout the course of the pandemic, the BTA has been primarily firefighting the lack of publicly accessible toilets across the UK.

We’re all still reeling from the end of the first lockdown when hundreds of thousands headed for our beaches and visitor attractions only to find that public toilets remained shut due to a lack of cleaning, funding or any Government guidance on how to get them fit for purpose.

As a result, street fouling figures have escalated and the local authorities have had to spend considerable sums of money on cleaning up our streets, beaches and beauty spots. Covid-19 is transmitted in human excrement and urine, therefore forcing the public to use our open spaces to go to the toilet can only be a recipe for its continued or increased transmission.

Across our beautiful country, that was once the envy of the world because of its sanitation systems and hygiene controls, those responsible have allowed us to fall far from the standards our forefathers achieved.

Due to the continuing lack of legislation and funding from central or devolved governments, public toilets are rapidly vanishing and many of those that remain display totally unacceptable levels of cleanliness and hygiene because they are under severe pressure.

How can we care so little about the health and wellbeing of our society, our residents and our tourism revenues?

The lack of decent toilet facilities drives shoppers away from shops and high streets to out of town superstores; leaving the villages and town shops with diminishing revenues and the constant threat of closure. Mary Portas was right when she talked about the death of the high street.

Communities are being run down and ruined as people cannot afford to spend extended time away from home because they cannot find relief.

Anyone suffering with an accessibility issue or those caring for someone who has limited mobility or a medical condition are deemed prisoners in their own homes because they cannot join society and enjoy the local amenities with access to a toilet.

Society cares but without the proper toilet provision – so much for equality. With over a third of the population needing to visit a toilet on an urgent basis, how can they actively participate in everyday activities and feel socially included?

 As we travel further and further afield these days, we plan our journeys around the toilet. From families with young children to business travellers, drivers delivering our daily essentials, staycationers, day-trippers and those on longer holiday breaks to older persons wanting to visit family, all wonder where, when and if they might find relief.

As a nation we fought and conquered a raft of disease and pestilence through the centuries; cholera, dysentery, typhoid and many more, all defeated by our determination to raise standards of sanitation and hygiene.

Then along comes one of the deadliest pathogens for many generations and, unbelievably, this Government cannot see the need to make available any primary funding to force local authorities to expand public toilet provision and cleaning during this prolonged crisis.

It’s time that this Government made sanitation and hygiene a major priority and supported the local authorities to stop the closures, restore standards and tackle this pandemic in our public buildings and spaces.

Hand washing materials cost money, hot water costs money, cleaning materials and staff costs have to be factored in as well as a return to an acceptable level of provision, so we all can continue our journey through this life and along this country’s roads knowing that relief is around the next corner. 

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