ATF Professional was invited to last week’s British Vehicle Salvage Federation (BVSF) AGM & Convention – a great success after a two-year interval due to the pandemic.
On the 7th of April, the all-day event was once again held at Walton Hall Hotel and Spa in Warwickshire. Over 70 delegates attended and heard the latest AGM business and expert speakers, and it provided the opportunity to network. The day merged into night, where dinner and entertainment were offered, followed by further networking with new and old friends into the early hours.
After the registration, members (and guests) of the BVSF were welcomed by Honorary Chairman Percy Snow. Then, in his report, Secretary General, Roger West, highlighted the continued problems with illegal operators and their effects on the vehicle recycling industry. He talked of how they are still looking at changes to the code of practice. And although member numbers have decreased since the pandemic, the association continues to strive to ensure existing members still benefit fully from the association’s work, including advice when it comes to taking the AQP exam or looking at fire prevention plans (FPP).
He said that officers of the BVSF had changed with the loss of Jason Cross and that they now welcomed Jane Pocock, Managing Director of UK and Ireland, Copart, to the Management Committee.
Once AGM business was concluded, it was straight onto the first speaker of the day, Mike Allen from Business Doctors, to discuss business growth and what vehicle recycling operators could consider to make improvements if required. Following Mike was Senior Fire Advisor at the Environment Agency, Peter Buckley who talked about FPP guidance and the work being undertaken by the EA on this, including the Cyber Guardian Project, a project that successfully saw a halt to £6 million worth of trade online so far.
Before breaking for lunch, delegates heard from the President Elect of the Institute of Automotive Engineer Assessors (IAEA), David Punter, who provided examples of how straightforward the Appropriately Qualified Person (AQP) exam is and how the IAEA can offer training on this subject.
The afternoon’s presentations began with one of ATF Professional’s regular contributors, Robin Edwards, owner of ONIS Consulting and consultant to Industry and Law Enforcement agencies, who told delegates of the recent metal crime projects he has been involved in and their success so far, and what vehicle recyclers can do to assist in this continued success. Finally, the last speaker of the day was Tom Seward, EU Key Accounts Director at Ecobat Solutions. He discussed how 80% of batteries coming into yards have a second life, but only 5% are actually being processed for second life use. When asking vehicle recyclers in the audience whether they would like training on EV battery storage safety, there was a resounding yes.
As the afternoon session came to an end, the evening dinner would follow but not before some further networking and obligatory drinking (for some!). Later, guests gathered together to enjoy a delicious meal whilst being entertained by a highly skilled and very amusing magician. After much wine and conversion, the raffle and auction concluded the evening, where money raised was donated in part to the RNLI. Of course, the night was not over, with chatting and drinking continuing into the early hours (for some!).
We asked Roger West, Secretary General of the BVSF for his opinion on this year’s AGM and seminar:
“It is my belief that it ran well and was enjoyed by all; this makes the work involved very worthwhile, and I look forward to the next event at a new venue.”