I am writing from the white house in Pembrokeshire. (My house is indeed white in colour).
The role of CIEH President is to be an advocate for both the profession and for CIEH, providing a touchstone and sounding board for the organisation, and to engage with members. My tenure commences on 1 January and I thank the Chair, Chief Executive, CIEH personnel and Board for all their assistance and allowing my immediate involvement since the recent resignation of Julie Barratt our previous President. On behalf of all members I wish to thank Julie for all her work as President for the last three years and also the support for me from you with the President’s first confirmatory vote. It has been a very busy induction.
What, who, when, how are key considerations in communication to achieve a common objective for a distinct cohort. Members of CIEH are a unique and special professional cohort. I hope these regular and timely bulletins will be useful to you all as we move forward. I will endeavour to keep them as short as possible.
The President’s Commission
The CIEH President's Commission (PC) is a programme that is intended to be passed from President to President, and through which they will take forward projects that are personal to them and will define the period of their presidency. My programme for the PC will be “Environmental Health capacity and capability”. The role of EHPs is vital yet university EH courses are in decline. One course has just closed. There are a scarcity of EHPs to fill vacancies. Skilled EHPs are retiring. EH services may not be funded adequately. A recent FSA report identified capacity and capability issues for food, port health and trading standards. It is wider than this. These are issues we must acknowledge and address, and they are a priority for CIEH as we go into 2024. I will report more on this soon. Previous PC activities will continue and be developed.
There are immediate challenges ahead for CIEH. The Board recently met to define priorities for 2024, you can read more about these in a recent blog from Judith Hedgley, CIEH Chair. I have talked to many members recently seeking their ideas and thoughts and it is reassuring to hear the support and passion from our community, if you would like to share your thoughts, please do email me: [email protected]. In the spirit of openness and transparency, it was agreed at the recent Board meeting that declarations of interest for the Board and EMT will be published on the CIEH website, this will go live in early 2024. At this moment I have no declarations of interest in accordance with CIEH governance officeholder policies.
I worked for many years directly to a Chief Executive of a unitary authority in Wales. He used to walk into my room on a morning regularly and ask me “how is it”? I remember this was always augmented with, “tell me as it is, not what you think you want me to hear”. I certainly will be as forthright as possible in these bulletins, good or bad.
CIEH is progressing through a challenging period. As President I want to tackle these challenges, provide open and transparent updates, and work with you all to build a thriving profession. I am confident with the dedication of the Board, CIEH personnel and support of members, CIEH will be a thriving prosperous professional institute.
Cyfarchion y tymor i bawb.
Seasons greetings to all.
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