The first APHA Executive meeting of the year had a good attendance with people attending from Guernsey, Southampton, Cornwall, Wales, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland, plus the North of England.
Councillor Pat McCarthy welcomed everyone to the meeting, and informed the meeting it was his intention as chairman to welcome everyone to APHA, to feel involved and take the Association forward.
The first item discussed was a report by Val Cameron following a meeting a few days previous with the CIEH in London. The meeting had been called following decisions made at the previous meeting of the Executive in October 2014. The idea was to hold exploratory talks to discover ways in which APHA and the CIEH could work together in the future.
APHA had already been invited to join the National Environmental Health Board and the Institute of Food Safety and Integrity Board. Opportunities will arise in future for Port Health to be included in other decision making bodies activated by the CIEH. Contact will continue via the policy officers at the CIEH during 2015.
It was noted that whilst the APHA administration and issuance of the annual subscription had been undertaken by the CIEH in 2014, it was agreed that APHA would undertake its own administration arrangements in 2015.
Regarding holding meetings at the CIEH: Concerns over poor communications of audio conferencing had proved frustrating. A number of delegates had been unable to join meetings, this was very frustrating for all concerned.
As a gesture of goodwill following the APHA conference, Graham Jukes agreed to make a donation to APHA as a goodwill gesture.
There were a number of decisions that needed taking as a result of this meeting, those decisions are as follows:
Appointment of part-time web administrator: It was agreed following the successful launch of the new APHA website to appoint the person responsible for the creation of the website, as a part-time webmaster. Job Description and Terms subsequently agreed by the APHA Executive membership.
Appointment of part-time technical officer: The APHA Executive recognised the need to appoint someone with a technical background to coordinate the professional elements of Port Health within APHA. Job Description to be drawn up, and circulated to the APHA Executive for consideration at the next meeting in April 2015.
Management of meetings and organising meetings: Clarification sought on responsibility for setting meetings and dates and venues. Difficulties in 2014 with venues, publicity and attendance. Agreed responsibility rests for technical meetings with the under secretaries of the Association, and all physical bookings to be undertaken and publicised via the APHA Administration.
Financial Report: Karen White attended on behalf of Gary Cooper and Cornwall to deliver the financial report. The bank balance as of 31 December 2014 stood at £29,028.53.
With subscriptions due, to be sent out to member authorities in February 2015 for April payment, this will bring in between £40,000 to £50,000 in renewed subscriptions for 2015.
APHA website and resource implications: AJS introduced this item and the strategy behind the new website. Introduced the basic format, facebook account, twitter account and flicker account now available for use by the membership.
The chairman thought the new website demonstrated what APHA had been missing. Now got a tool to provide much needed information for all the membership. Everyone must help and provide information to build on what has been achieved already.
Chairman’s letter and fund raising initiatives for APHA: the chairman outlined his strategy to create an income stream for APHA. Cannot rely on subscriptions alone in the future. Meeting decided it was a very good idea, but needed attention after the general election in May. Ideal to be ready once we know outcome of general election.
Media Policy and responsibility for Communications: As a result of the website and adoption of the APHA administration by Manchester. It was acknowledged the need arose for some clear lines of responsibility. Agreed the under-secretaries should be in charge of technical areas of APHA work, with the chairman responsible for political issues.
Progress with APHA Conference in Liverpool: Mercola Douglas outlined the proposals for the next APHA conference, with the theme of ‘Evolution-Adapting to Change’.
The event will take place in Liverpool from the 8-10 September. With a three day, three night package of £700 inclusive. Also idea to introduce an early bird reduction set at £650 to encourage early bookings. All arrangements will be handled by Mersey Port Health Authority, (further information within the newsletter).
Creation of the APHA Operational Board (OB): Val Cameron presented a report on the APHA Operational Board (OB). Expressed the thoughts that the OB would be a decision making body on front line activities. Chair would be invited to attend APHA Executive meetings and engage with the Executive board to make technical changes for the benefit of the membership. Develop training courses, refresher courses, on line training rather than travelling to venues for meetings, in short modernise the way in which APHA operates.
Any Other Business: Adoption of proposed increases in ship Sanitation Charges for 2015. A 1.5% increase to take into account inflation. To be implemented from 1st April 2015.
Hosting the APHA 2016 Conference: Those authorities interested in hosting 2016 conference invited to provide a presentation at the next meeting of the APHA Executive at Manchester Town Hall, 15 April 2015.