Experience and Reflection: Letter from CABE President Ant Burd
28 May 2020
After my welcome and farewell piece in last month’s issue of Building Engineer, you probably thought that might be the last you would hear from me. I’m afraid not; not quite yet.
I hope you and yours are continuing to keep safe and well, and as I sit here and pen this reflection piece on my time as CABE President, many of the news channels are abuzz with discussion about government slowly starting to lift the lockdown – in fact, a few of the homebuilders and a small number of contractors are already back on site.
These are indeed unprecedented times and I for one long for normality, or whatever the ‘new normal’ ultimately looks like. Now, I told you last June that my year of being President of the Association would be over ‘in a blink of an eye’, and I can confirm that this truly is the case. It’s been great travelling around the UK, Ireland, and the Middle East to join so many of you, our members, at your events and having the ability to represent the Association at various industry forums.
We do what we do because of the active support of you, our members. I would, however, like to go on record, once again, to say thank you to the Association’s Board and the various related committees and groups for all their time, energy and support this past year too.
As I step down as President we also have to say thank you and goodbye to our Past President, David ‘Two Terms’ Taylor, Richard Smith and Darren Burrell all of whom leave the Board. Our quarterly Board meetings take place at the weekends (and what with COVID-19, ‘virtually’ of late) and several of its members also continue to support CABE activity within their respective regions too. This is a huge undertaking, and we continue to be truly grateful for all that they and everyone at the Regions, do for the Association.
Now, you might think I could just sit here and reel off all off all the things that I’ve achieved while President at CABE, but it doesn’t really work like that. We’re a team and we have a clear and established five-year strategy of all that we want to achieve. On that basis alone, a year is a very short period, and therefore, my claim can only ever be that my hand has been on the CABE Presidential tiller to help steer it for all of a very short while. However, in that time, working with and being supported by our amazing HQ Team, we have continued to move forward, all the while helping to set the agenda and leading by example. Including, just some of the following highlights:
publication of our Code of Professional Conduct supported by guidance on Ethical Professionalism coupled with our revised Competency Framework
involvement in all aspects of the Grenfell response and the Hackitt Review; including development activity around professional competency across the industry and providing input into MHCLG’s revisions of both the technical and procedural aspects of the English Building Regulations
the CABE rebrand (including our new journal, website, and digital member’s platform)
establishment of CABE’s sustainability strategy, including the CABE HQ Refurbishment – designing to nearly zero energy
the establishment of our new Regional Office in Hong Kong; and last, but not least,
securing full membership of the Engineering Council.
I’ve had the privilege of being on the CABE Board for almost three years now, where much of the above and more has been considered, developed and decided upon. I served two years on the Board as a Vice President (VP), one as President and now, upcoming, one last year as Immediate Past President. In that time, I’ve made some great new friends and forged ever deeper relationships with some old ones. The debate is always healthy, the challenge always professional and the support unstinting.
I will look back with considerable pride with all that we’ve achieved this last year but now it is the time to handover to our new President, Jayne Hall. Jayne has been a friend of the Association for a very long time. But what can I tell you about the Convent Schooled Lady, from Burnham on Sea? She was never going to be held back from doing what she wanted to do, that’s for sure.
Initially she entered our industry with a focus on Architecture and had a design consultancy that specialised in signage and wayfinding.
Thereafter, finding herself a single mum she entered a profession close to my heart, Building Control. Starting as an assistant trainee, Jayne undertook a part-time degree in Building Control Studies, recognised by then ABE. She was joined on that course by Diane Marshall PPBEng, so clearly a course which was a hot-bed for future Presidents of the Association.
From there she became a Chartered Member of CABE, and a committee member for the South West Region. She quickly became Head of Building control for her authority and following a dabble with national activity she soon became a Vice President and then President of LABC. She now finds herself heading up the Building Control and Planning Enforcement team for South Gloucestershire Council.
Jayne is a doer, a get up and goer and she has a passion for all things Built Environment related. She’s hardy, she’s resilient and she seeks collaboration in all that she does. She’s also our diversity champion and I’m so proud to hand over to her.
Right, that’s quite enough from me. It's been an honour and it is plain for all to see, that CABE continues its journey, onwards and upwards. Now, time to hear from our new President, and Chair of the CABE Board, Jayne Hall.
Take care, stay safe, and if I’m anything to go by, get yourself a haircut.
MIFire PCABE FCABE FRICS
Chartered Building Engineer
President, soon to be Immediate Past President