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an umbrella organisation, SEC Group can have greater power and influence with Government and Government bodies than SNIPEF can by acting alone. SEC Group is actively lobbying Government to mandate that cash retentions be placed in trust. Cash retentions remain a huge problem in the construction industry and must be addressed. Any one time £120 million of retention is outstanding in public sector construction but, for the supply chain, these monies are at risk with very few firms ever receiving the full amount back to which they are entitled. The Scottish Government must take steps to protect them. Larger Contractors Group – Edinburgh, 1 March Well-attended meeting of members of this Group. We were joined by Colin Hird and Clyde Ashby of Scottish Government Building Standards, Martin McGaffney of Clark Thomson and Graham Murray of T L Dallas. Matters discussed included Approved Certifier of Construction Scheme, credit and professional indemnity insurance, apprentice training and pensions issues. Gas Safe - Basingstoke, 7 March The CEO of APHC, John Thomson and I met with Gas Safe CEO, Jonathan Samuel and Mark Rolfe, Technical & Customer Services Director to discuss the latest Gas Safe Register thinking relating to the impending contract renewal process and the future training and skills development landscape given the current financial issues faced by skills development organisations. We had also planned to raise our concerns on the proposed introduction of the CGCS certification scheme and its relationship to business registration but this was withdrawn prior to our meeting. Shirley Williamson, Technical Officer The New Year began with a review of the Approved Certifier of Construction Scheme – seven years after the Scheme began we are looking at any possible improvements that can be made. The Scheme is becoming more popular and we want to make sure it is fit for today’s construction industry. We are working closely with the Building Standards Department and will be reporting on any changes in the coming months. I also delivered two ACCS training courses in January and was pleased with the feedback from delegates and highly value the experiences shared in the training room. The month ended with a visit to Scottish Water – as a key partner it is important to maintain a good working relationship with our water supplier. Health and safety has been high on the agenda in February, with the SEC Group Health and Safety Forum keen to engage with industry in supporting the HSE in their aim to improve the health of workers. More details are to follow. The next Technical Day is taking place at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on 26th May and I’m working on the plans for what I’m sure will be an extremely busy and successful event. Martyn Raine, Technical Officer We met with Rebecca Burgess from Water Safe to discuss the opportunities to work together moving forward into the New Year and beyond and how to promote our SNIPEF firms. I carried out Approved Certifier of Construction Scheme inspections In Alloa, Mid Calder and Edinburgh. Many technical enquiries were received from our members ranging from Waste Water Treatment Plants to flue support brackets and more. I attended a District Heating Camp 2017 held at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation. There were presentations from various organisations from Denmark and the United Kingdom. The presentations focused on existing and future District Heating projects operating throughout the UK and Denmark, the topics covered planning and funding of these installations. The Danish presentations explained how successful district heating has been in Denmark, specifically the city of Aalborg and their plans for the next generation of District Heating installations in the city. Other presentations were made from City of Edinburgh Council and Bristol City Council on their existing District Heating systems, Danfoss, Grundfos also made presentations on their products and components. I took part in the ‘Decade Review of Gas Safe’, this survey was designed to collect and collate information from current Gas Safe Engineers on their impression of Gas Safe, the survey allowed engineers to give feedback on the current performance and public impression of Gas Safe. We also met with the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) to discuss the current conditions in the industry and plans for the future. We discussed the need and demand for these systems in the social housing sector and the opportunities for SNIPEF members in this industry. I attended a the RPZ Valve Tester Sector Working Group in Bristol to discuss the Approved Contractors Scheme, the meeting was attended by WRAS, several water undertakers from around the United Kingdom and representatives from their Approved Contractor Schemes. I researched manufacturers who provide free CPD opportunities on their products for companies and their employees to complete to help keep up to date with new products, Pegler Yorkshire and Wavin to name but two. Had a meeting with RA Tech who manufacture components for the plumbing and heating industry, they were promoting the HOTUN mechanical tundish, we discussed the current Building Regulations and Standards in regard to safely terminating water from Pressure Relief and Thermal Relief valves. I’ve carried out new member inspections and Approved Certifier of Construction Scheme Inspections in Glasgow, Gourdon, Brechin and at the new Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh. I answered technical enquiries from our SNIPEF members ranging from the Approved Certifier of Construction Scheme to Legionella Risk Assessment and Landlords responsibilities. I have delivered Approved Certifier of Construction Scheme training At the SNIPEF office in Edinburgh, this scheme is designed for plumbing companies who sign off work that is connected to building warrants. • www.snipef.org 27


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