The appointment of Andrew Glover, the Managing Director of West Yorkshire Windows, was announced at the beginning of February 2015.
Mr Glover says that he will continue to support “the GGF’s political campaigns for the home improvement sector” that have been central to the organisation’s work over the last few years.
One of the key areas identified by the new Vice President where the GGF is seeking to inform policy is the incoming Consumer Rights Bill.
Concerns were initially raised that the legislation did not include adequate protection for companies, and the Federation is currently involved in providing guidance on the impact of the changes, which are due to be implemented this year.
Mr Glover says the GGF is “doing a lot of work… preparing Members for the incoming Consumer Rights Bill, producing new and updated consumer leaflets [and] applying for a GGF Consumer Code of Approval via Trading Standards.”
Securing a VAT cut on home improvement, repair and maintenance from a rate of 20% to 5% is also priority for the organisation, which would “boost local and national economies by giving homeowners a 15% saving for improving their properties.
“The same initiative would also help remove from the market, many rogue companies who have the competitive advantage of not including the 20% VAT in their prices to customers,” according to Mr Glover.
The GGF will also continue, Mr Glover says, to “drive for energy efficient windows to be included in Government energy policy and schemes such as Green Deal and ECO.”
The new Vice President sees communication with both Federation Members and parliamentarians as a vital part of his role, and promises to “continue to support the campaigns with comments, ideas and suggestions at forthcoming quarterly GGF Board meetings and Home Improvement Executive meetings.
“In addition, with the GGF’s strategy to engage with more MPs in the build up to this year’s election, I am open to meeting politicians to outline our key concerns and will try to be accessible to the media for quotes on the current issues and our industry in general.
“On the Home Improvement side, I will continue - along with Mark Hanson of Ultraframe - to Chair the Joint Conservatory Association and Window and Door Group meetings and attend the Home Improvement Executive meetings.
“Listening to any Members’ concerns, opinions and views is also extremely important and I welcome contact from other GGF Members to hear their views.”
Although newly appointed, Mr Glover has a wealth of experience to bring to the post.
Working for over four years on the GGF’s specialist groups under the Home Improvement Executive enabled him to gain “a sound understanding of the GGF,” he says.
He anticipates that one of the biggest challenges he will face “will simply be keeping abreast of all the detail of policy and legislative changes that affect GGF Members’ businesses.
“In the last few years the GGF has been excellent at informing Members of the latest issues affecting the industry and we must continue in this vein to ensure Members are given the required help to ensure they can adapt and cope with any market changes.”
Mr Glover takes seriously the trade organisation’s role as a voice for the industry, describing it as the “most direct avenue to Governmental departments, policy makers and Ministers” for its Members.
Most politicians, he says, “are unaware of the day to day issues that home improvement companies face,” which is why it is vital “not just to lobby Government but also to meet and inform them of the facts, the reality of companies in our industry.
“That is completely understandable as they don’t work in the industry and have a huge remit in addressing all the other issues raised by other UK industries.
“It’s a big undertaking and I appreciate their time must be precious.
“It may seem obvious, but Government can’t possibly find the time to listen to all the concerns of hundreds if not thousands of companies in the glass and glazing industry. And this is where the GGF comes in.
“Through trade federations such as the GGF that represent an industry, they do seem to be prepared to listen and take on board the very real concerns of the collective industry.
“Listening to concerns and absorbing information is one thing, taking decisive action and making change is another.
“The GGF has to continuing its interface with Government to fight for changes that will make the business environment fairer and better for companies in our industry.”
Mr Glover’s appointment was welcomed by GGF Group Chief Executive, Nigel Rees, who said he was “delighted Andrew has agreed to become our new Vice President and I am sure he will be a great asset to the GGF.
“With so many issues affecting our industry, his experience and input will be invaluable.”