Once the Brexit issue is finally sorted one way or the other, launderette owners may find they need NALI more than ever, as Life Vice-President Joe Wayne points out in his Journal article
BREXIT AND THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING A NALI MEMBER
About five years ago, an article was published in Launderette and Cleaning World on the importance of every existing member of NALI continuing to be a member. This is still as important as ever, even though there is not much new legislation coming through that affects our industry these days, but one can never tell what unwelcome surprises may land on our doorstep in the future! The number of launderettes in the UK has fallen from its peak in the 1970s and this has obviously had an impact on the total membership today, so every member counts, in order to give the Association the ‘clout’ to talk and be listened to by Government and Local Authorities.
With ‘BREXIT’ in the pipeline, we will, hopefully, no longer be at the receiving end of more legislation from the bureaucrats in Brussels, once we actually leave the EU. However, after we leave, new legislation will be enacted by our own Parliament and who knows, some of it could affect the launderette industry. That being the case, NALI will have to take action on behalf of its members. That’s where numbers count!
Being involved with health and safety, I have often worked on resolving problems and disputes, something I have been doing for NALI members since 1981. I therefore make no apology for reiterating some of the salient points made in that article of 2014.
I realise that there must be some members who feel that they don’t really know what work NALI is doing on their behalf! Why should you continue to be a member, you may be asking yourself? You can, of course, find out a lot more through articles in this and previous journals. Just one pivotal example is the intensive work that was done by getting a piece of Government legislation (originating from the EU Commission in Brussels) amended in Parliament in October 2006. The original legislation would have hurt launderette owners with installed coin-op dry cleaning machines, in their pockets! It took the Association many months, not only to convince DEFRA that the original legislation was flawed, but also to formulate the wording of an amendment that would be acceptable to Parliament. Our relations with DEFRA, which have been very friendly for many years, facilitated their co-operation and understanding of the problem.
This shows what can be done and is just one example of a noteworthy victory for NALI that benefited many members. Behind the scenes, members of the Council of Management work tirelessly in their respective areas of expertise, often spending hours of their free time dealing with problems, some very arduous, that arise all the time. Much of their work is not readily recognised by members and let it be said here and now that Council Members, who are unpaid, do their jobs voluntarily!
If NALI did not exist, launderette owners would have no accredited body to represent them to officialdom, be it Government, Local Authorities or the gas, electricity and water authorities, to name just the main ones. The trouble is that the voice of a single launderette owner carries no weight with these authorities. It needs the voices of all launderette owners in the form of a nationally recognised organisation, such as NALI, to be effective in protecting and guiding the industry! I would respectfully suggest that without NALI, launderette owners would have been at the receiving end of an appreciable amount of onerous legislation and regulation, which the Association has prevented from seeing the light of day, over the past many years!
I repeat therefore, that it is of the utmost importance for every existing member of our Association to continue being a member and to try to spread the message to other launderette owners, be they friends or even competitors, to join our ranks. There is safety in numbers and the safety factor increases significantly with every new member.
Health & Safety Committee