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I mentioned in last week’s Leader that I was heading up to London for the 55th Annual Cleaning & Support Services Luncheon – for the third year a sell-out event – and as I strolled across to the Savoy via Waterloo Bridge I paused a couple of times to gaze out over the River Thames to some of London’s iconic buildings - most of which are cleaned by CSSA members. I reflected on the fact that however impressive they are from the outside, unless they’re properly cleaned for their users, they could be considered a waste of space, so I felt proud to be joining some of those whose teams ensure that these impressive looking buildings are kept fit for purpose.
During his Chairman’s Speech, Principle Cleaning Services’ Doug Cooke, who, during his 50 years in the industry has enjoyed two stints as chair of the CSSA, recalled how the Association had almost died a death a few years back, as a result of a failed merger with the Building Futures Group. He recalled how in 2016 five CSSA members nervously agreed to back the relaunch of the Association (you can read about it at: https://www.thecleanzine.com/pages/10947/cssa_relaunch).
On rereading the article myself just now, it’s quite clear that the guiding principles put in place back then by those who spearheaded the relaunch, have exceeded all expectations. “We are now fast approaching 200 members,” said Doug last week. “We are now a sustainable business with stable finances and we have an organisational and operational model which continues to grow and evolve.”
I'd like to congratulate everyone involved. They’ve shown that it is possible to reincarnate something that is virtually defunct, with the right people on board, careful planning & heaps of commitment. A project 'from the heart', I believe.
I was sad to learn that Doug is relinquishing his role as CSSA chair but having heard him sing the praises of new encumbent Paul Ashton, CEO of Birkin Group, (currently vice-chair) I can see the Association is going to continue to promote the professional face of cleaning in the best possible way. I believe industry Associations – wherever they may be in the world - play an important part in promoting professionalism and providing value for money for the customer. Long may they continue!
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23rd June 2022