July saw the publication of our annual report and accounts, as promised in my last blog. I appreciate that these are rather formal, but they do show how we performed last year, how we spent licence fees and where we are on the proposals for changing the regulatory regime.
During the month, a lot of my time has again been focussed on seeking the views of our various stakeholders on the future of regulation. At the end of June I attended the Security Institute Annual Conference which provided me with another opportunity to speak about our proposals and take questions. Our Minister, Lynne Featherstone, also spoke about the government’s commitment to continued regulation of the private security industry and how the planned changes are likely to be taken forward.
By background, I am an accountant and I attended my institute’s Annual Conference in Birmingham. The event, held in the International Convention Centre focussed very much on the current economic environment, with a presentation on the Japanese experience as well as from Government Minister, Eric Pickles and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Margaret Hodge. The conference also allowed me to see some of our licence holders at work and to chat with them about the issues they face at work, as well as the future of regulation.
I also got a valuable insight into the work of SIA licence holders whilst making my annual visit to the Latitude Festival in Suffolk. Despite the very wet weather, the event was made safe for all those attending, largely through the professional efforts of security operatives. I was impressed by the varied and challenging roles that were undertaken; these ranged from crowd management and queue control to providing security at the wide variety of bars on offer. All of the staff I encountered were polite, helpful and effective in miserable conditions with a number of often challenging customers. Nevertheless, I was glad to escape the campsite and return to the relative civilisation of the office.