Management of amenity areas in all their diversity is both important and essential and impacts upon every UK citizen every day. This is especially the case in terms of weed, pest and disease management, providing a safe, healthy and sustainable environment and surfaces for sport and activity fit for purpose.
At a recent conference, Professor John Moverley, Independent Chairman of the Amenity Forum, urged all those awarding amenity management contracts and employing people to undertake such work, to ensure such operators demonstrate their professionalism and qualifications to undertake the work. One important element in terms of a contractor for example is asking whether they are one of the almost 70 organisations supporting the Amenity Forum. This in itself indicates their commitment to best practice and understanding of what is required. Another element is to seek their commitment to operating at Amenity Assured standards.
John said ‘’We have a high degree of professionalism in our sector and very high standards but, just as if employing an electrical contractor or a builder when you would seek evidence of an assured standard, so it should be the case for amenity management. The management of amenity areas is so important to us all and, if using a professional contractor, business or individual fully committed to best practice, you can be assured of the highest quality and operator standards’’
John referred to the food assurance scheme, often known as the Red Tractor, and would wish to see a similar scheme become seen as standard practice in amenity. John continued ‘’Whilst local authorities and other such bodies are clearly under high financial pressure, appointing contractors and others committed to assured standards and best practice is both wise and provides best value and performance for all benefitting from well managed amenity areas’’
The Amenity Forum is the voluntary initiative for the sector promoting best practice and working with all involved including government to deliver safe, healthy and sustainable amenity areas. They promote an integrated approach making the best and appropriate use of all methods available, both chemical and non-chemical. The standard for those organisations who support the Forum work is set out in the Ten Golden Rules, available to view on their website, www.amenityforum.co.uk