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London Living Wage headlines at CSSA AGM

Published 19th July, 2011 by Neil Nixon

London Living Wage headlines at CSSA AGM

Members of the Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA) attended its AGM and annual lunch in London at the Savoy Hotel on 16 June, formally electing Doug Cooke of Principle Cleaning as chairman of the CSSA. Peter Goodliffe of OCS Group was elected vice-chairman and Michael Rutherford of Victoria General Cleaning Services was elected honorary treasurer. It was also agreed that Peter Goodliffe will become chairman at the end of 2011, and Doug Cooke will assume the role of vice-chairman, to ensure a smooth handover between the two.

Addressing the AGM was Michael Fallon MP, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and a long-term member of the Treasury Select Committee. The annual lunch followed, and was attended by over 240 of the CSSA’s members and supporters, as the association marked its return to the Savoy after a three year absence.

CSSA members also raised over £2000 for Red Kite Learning, which was again chosen as the CSSA’s charity of the year. Red Kite will use the funds to continue its work of improving the employability of individuals furthest from the labour market, through the provision of careers advice and guidance.

Commenting on the CSSA’s role in the cleaning industry as it passed its 44th year, Doug Cooke said: “It’s been a tough year for our industry, but I think we have showed the importance of continuing to work together. I have been involved in the cleaning industry for almost 40 years, and I still find it one of the most exciting industries to be in. The London Living Wage campaign is gathering pace and I think that contractors and their clients are really starting to recognise the importance of fair pay. Despite all the technological innovations that the industry has made, we are still heavily dependent on labour, and treating workers fairly is a subject that deserves the attention and thought of all of us.”

Commenting on areas of the coalition government’s recovery programme, guest speaker Michael Fallon MP, said: “We always said that it would be a choppy recovery, and it may still get choppier, but the action we are taking now to address the deficit will ensure financial stability for the future. I was listening to Meryvn King (governor of the Bank of England) speak at Mansion House last night about the deficit, and he reminded us that ‘there is no alternative’. He is right - we must take action now to ensure that our children are not left paying the bill for our mistakes.”

Fallon promised additional measures to ensure that banks begin to provide more credit to small and medium sized organisations, and invited businesses to highlight the regulations which they believe are stymieing growth via the Government’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’ website. He also stated his belief that widespread public support for the coalition’s austerity measures showed a widespread understanding for the scale of the challenge the deficit poses, and he believed that the Conservatives would benefit from their tough policies through enhanced credibility at the next general election.

Brendan Tarring, of Red Kite Learning, concluded: “We were delighted that the CSSA has decided to support our charity once again. It was also pleasing to hear the chairman support the London Living Wage during his speech, as this will really benefit workers in the sector and help people develop confidence in pursuing careers in the cleaning industry.”

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