A new All-Party Parliamentary Group for the cleaning and hygiene industry could be formed and inaugurated in early 2021.
The aim is to give the industry a voice in Parliament, allow it to influence discussions, debate and pose questions and to influence ministers and the government.
Parliament needs to approve the establishment of an APPG. If the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Cleaning and Hygiene Industry group goes ahead, it would also elect its own chair. Details of its membership cannot be confirmed until it is formally inaugurated by Parliament.
APPGs are informal cross-party groups that are run by and for members of the Commons and Lords, though many choose to involve individuals and organisations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities. The British Cleaning Council (BCC) is sponsoring the creation of the APPG and has been working to attract prominent MPs to join, targeting those who represent constituencies where cleaning and hygiene sector businesses are based, particularly SMEs.
It is working alongside Stephen Kerr, the former MP for Stirling, who knows the cleaning and hygiene industry well, as both a former sales director with Kimberly-Clark Professional before his election and as an unpaid parliamentary adviser to the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) during his time as an MP.
Chairman of the BCC, Paul Thrupp, said: “Cleaning and hygiene operatives were once known as an invisible workforce but during the coronavirus pandemic and due to the BCC’s constant lobbying, there is now much more recognition of the industry and its operatives.
“The creation of an APPG for the cleaning and hygiene industry is the next step in that process.
“Through it, we will ensure that MPs, ministers and the government are made aware of the huge size of this industry, its massive contribution to the economy and the vital role that cleaning and hygiene operatives have in protecting people’s health and safety, particularly as we recover from the pandemic.
“The APPG will enable us to provide expert guidance and assistance to the government and the country, allow us to put critical and relevant issues on the parliamentary agenda and provide a forum for an exchange of views between MPs and those involved in the cleaning and hygiene industry.
“It will give the industry, the BCC and all our members a voice at the highest levels, helping to ensure that we have a say when decisions are made that affect us, at a time when we have never been so depended on or needed so much.”
Kerr said: “The APPG will make a massive difference by ensuring MPs are informed and aware of issues relating to the cleaning and hygiene sector.
“It is about MPs working together with the BCC to get the UK cleaning industry a fair hearing in Parliament and with ministers. Over the past five years, with Brexit and Covid, we have seen that it is essential for business to engage with politicians.
“MPs need good information about business. When they make policy decisions which are detrimental to a particular business sector, it is usually because that business has not communicated with them, so they are not fully informed. “