British Cleaning Council member The Association of Building Cleaning DSPs (ABCD) – the membership association for managers of local authority cleaning and support services and their suppliers – recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with a special celebratory event at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London.
The event was also used by the ABCD to announce the 2019 winners of its Cleaning Teams of the Year awards, and to hold its 2019 Annual General Meeting.
Jim Fitzpatrick – MP for Poplar and Limehouse – was the ABCD’s host for the day and he led an entertaining and insightful tour of the House of Commons before joining ABCD members, award finalists, award judges and award sponsors for lunch.
Mr Fitzpatrick also took the opportunity to speak about the value of public cleaning and the important role which the ABCD plays before helping the present the ABCD annual awards which were divided into two categories.
First was the ABCD 30th Anniversary Award for Innovations to deal with Austerity in Local Authorities, sponsored by The British Cleaning Council, which went to Telford and Wrekin Council. Rotherham and Shropshire Councils were Highly Commended.
The judges said of Telford and Wrekin’s entry that in the face of budget cuts and increased competition they were constantly striving to do more with less and, through creativity and innovation, were successfully winning new clients and boosting their revenue.
The judges concluded by saying that Telford and Wrekin “…demonstrated that they are not afraid to think out of the box, and we would recommend to all ABCD members who are looking at how they can improve the services they offer to clients go an talk to Telford and Wrekin.”
The second award was for the ABCD Cleaning Team of the Year and was sponsored by Denis Rawlins Ltd.
This was won by Nottinghamshire County Council’s mobile cleaning unit, with Shropshire County Council and St Helen’s Council both highly commended.
On awarding the trophy to Nottinghamshire the judges said: “This team is called upon for backup when cleaning in schools and other establishments becomes a problem. Covering up to 60 buildings, they provide the service in a seamless way that minimises disruption. They fit into the existing cleaning teams, and then move on when the issues are resolved. They really are the A Team and provide a service that most other councils could learn from.”
Kim Phillips from the ABCD, who is also a British Cleaning Council member, said: “The standard of entries this year were once again of the highest quality and demonstrates how the public sector teams often go the extra mile when it comes to cleaning our shared spaces and our public realm. All the winners and highly commended entrants should feel very proud.
“I would also like to thank our judges and sponsors for their time and support, and Jim Fitzpatrick for being a wonderful host for the day and for being a true champion for what we stand for as an organisation.”
Simon Hollingbery from the British Cleaning Council said: “The BCC was very happy to sponsor the ABCD’s Innovation Award as it is new ideas and fresh approaches to tackling the challenges of modern day public sector cleaning, competitive procurement frameworks and deepening council cuts which drive improvements and raise standards.
“It’s also fantastic to have Jim Fitzpatrick so closely involved with the commercial cleaning industry.
“He is a passionate supporter of the sector and has regularly spoken out on key topics such as litter and waste, the Living Wage and the importance of training and skills, which are all vitally important to the BCC and its members.”
James White, Managing Director of Denis Rawlins Ltd said: “We are proud to continue our long association with the ABCD and were delighted to sponsor the Cleaning Team of The Year for the fourth year in succession.
“Further, everyone involved in these awards deserves recognition for their achievements, and it was great that we were able to celebrate their work in a place as significant as the Palace of Westminster and in the presence of someone as respected and committed to public service as Jim Fitzpatrick.”