Over 100 delegates recently attended the BVSF annual AGM held at the Walton Hall Hotel and Spa in Warwickshire. The all day event provided a mixture of official AGM business, presentations providing thought and debate, a chance to network, rounded off with a night of entertainment and the opportunity to catch up with old friends well into the early hours.
The members of the BVSF were greeted by Honorary Chairman, Percy Snow and Secretary General, Roger West. The report from Roger emphasised the many issues that Dismantlers/Salvage Buyers are facing and how the BVSF are supporting its members. Much work has been carried out with regards to the CoP and how the Federation has proven that some Insurers were capitalising on the way it was written by applying a Cat S to a Category B vehicle. Several meetings with those involved in its creation had taken place to offer the view of Vehicle Dismantlers/Salvage Buyers and to see what action could be taken. His report highlighted the ever increasing benefits the BVSF brings to its members including special rates from insurer companies, training, assistance with attaining technical competence which implementation they challenge and finally how they can support individual members with the many challenges that they face. When this was combined with examples as to how the BVSF liaised with other agencies including the ABI, EA, DVLA, the police and DEFRA, there was little surprise when voting took place to continue with the work being done.
With the formalities over, the day was set up for various representatives from companies and associations to highlight their services or issues that had an impact on the vehicle dismantling and salvage industry. Highlights included representatives from The Road Rescue Recovery Association (RRRA) who were able to convey the dangers they face with regard to recovering vehicles and their battle to change public awareness and government legislation. The morning session was concluded by James Dalton from the ABI who used the AGM to address six loopholes in the salvage system. An address that has been reported on widely – see here
A lunch time to savour the setting of The Walton Hall Hotel in the sunshine, network and speak to Strategic Partners about the services they provide which fuelled those present for the afternoon session of presentations. Firstly Ecobat and T4A Consultancy drew everyone’s attention to the need to focus on EV batteries and safety issues surrounding them. By showing some video examples of the batteries potential ignition ferocity, those in attendance were able to realise the need for training their staff surrounding the safety issues that EV batteries will present. Following this Detective Chief Superintendent, Chris Todd from West Midlands Police highlighted the role Vehicle Dismantlers/Salvage Buyers have in combatting car crime and Chop Shop operations. It was also made clear that it is also the Insurance industry and those not categorising damaged vehicles that help to make such criminality so lucrative. He was keen to ask the audience for advice and suggestions and also point out that action had already been taken highlighting the move by SYNETIQ to stop cash payments. As Chris Todd opened the floor to questions, many operators asked many sensible questions and provided their thoughts to current problems and although many showed their support to the issues that Chris highlighted it was also pointed out that some of the figures provided in the presentation were misleading in relation to salvage categories and the supply of parts to repair. Chris also agreed to look into the sale of uncategorised vehicles with police interest.
After a day of presentations, with the view amongst many being very absorbing and thought provoking, attentions turned to the evening function. With wine provided by David Harcourt of SYNETIQ and the guests being bamboozled by a magician offering not only wizardry but wonderful one liners, the evening rounded off a success. However, the BVSF kept the entertainment going throughout the evening in the form of a raffle which kept those present in suspense and also raised money for specified charities. The suspense was brought to a climax with the announcement of the Combellack award for services to the vehicle dismantling and salvage industry which was awarded to Geoff Bridges from GW Bridges with the prize being presented by last years winner Scott McLaws from CCRS Brokers. With all formalities over it was just left to those attending the event to laugh and chat into the night.
When asking for his thoughts, Roger West commented:
“The Federations AGM and Seminar takes a vast amount of work and organisation and I hope that not only does the format meet with members and guests approval but the content goes someway to show that membership of the BVSF is very beneficial.
Any company is welcome to apply for membership. Please feel free to apply by email requesting an info pack to firstname.lastname@example.org“