BCC elects new Chair and Deputy Chair

The British Cleaning Council (BCC), which is the voice of the UK’s cleaning, hygiene and waste sector, officially elected a new Chair and Deputy Chair at its recent Annual General Meeting.

Delia Cannings, who has served as Deputy Chair of the BCC for the past two years, has taken over the Chair from Jim Melvin.

Delia is a well-known and respected figure in the industry, having worked in the sector for 45 years and in fields including both the public and private sectors and the cleaning, health, hospitality, commercial, education and training sectors.

Delia is the owner and Executive Director of Environmental Excellence Training & Development Ltd, which she founded. She is also National Lead for Education and Training for BCC member the Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (ahcp) and Deputy Chair for the UK Housekeepers Association (UKHA), Midlands Committee.

Delia plans to continue with existing BCC priorities, as well as championing education and training in the sector and calling for Government to allow more Apprenticeship Levy funding paid by cleaning and hygiene businesses to instead be invested in industry initiatives.

She said: “I am truly humbled to be elected as the third ever Chair lady of the BCC. My passion for this industry began many years back.

“I have been honoured to observe some great leaders in the field building bridges and striving for change. Combined with the advancement of cleaning technology, these things have inspired me and enabled the sharing of best practices across the industry by way of education and training.

“We have work to do, that is for sure. Jim Melvin has left big shoes to fill, and I will give my heart and soul to solidifying the footprint already created in support of the work led by a great man and inspirational leader Jim Melvin.”

The meeting also elected a new Deputy Chair, David Garcia, who is also a leading industry figure.

David has been closely associated with BCC council for a number of years and is Treasurer and Vice-President of BCC member the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA).

He has been in the industry for almost 50 years and was the founder and former Chairman of Polaris Plastics, which is one of the UK’s leading providers of refuse sacks and bin liners to the away from home market.

He said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed as Deputy Chair of the BCC. I’m very much looking forward to working with Delia and other colleagues for the betterment of the Industry in general.

“There is a lot to be done and I am sure under Delia’s leadership there will be some meaningful and lasting developments. I would like to pay tribute to Jim Melvin and other past Chairs at this time.“

During Jim Melvin’s time in office, he drove the work of the sector’s All Party Parliamentary Group and the lobbying campaign for the recommendations in its report from last year to be accepted in full by Government. He will continue to lead on APPG work during Delia’s term in office.

Jim, who was elected Chairman in 2021, repeatedly called for cleaning operatives to be recognised and supported by Government, as part of which the BCC launched the ‘We Clean, We Care’ campaign last year.

Jim also prioritised the push for an Apprenticeship-Levy funded Apprenticeship for cleaning  operatives, which has made huge progress and could soon be achieved.

Jim continued to make sure the voice of the industry was heard through the media during his time in office, making a significant number of high-profile media appearances and interviews.

Jim Melvin said: “It has been a huge honour and privilege to be Chairman of the British Cleaning Council and I genuinely hope that we have assisted the associate members and indeed the industry in some way.

“I now pass over to the new Chair in Delia Cannings who has been of outstanding support to me and the BCC in general. Delia will be a hugely successful leader, with drive and passion aligning with her extensive experience.

“I will be happy to help where appropriate but in the meantime, I would like to thank all the friends and industry colleagues who have supported me over the past two years.”

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