A Happy New Year to you all and I trust that you will have an excellent year in 2008. It certainly promises to be an exciting year with many new policies and changes to the regulatory landscape on the horizon. We look forward to working with you and all of our partners, from Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) to LACORS, from Better Regulation Executive (BRE) to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)…to deliver improvements in the health, safety and well-being of the workers and those affected by work activities.
On the subject of new beginnings, LAU now has a new head, Tony Hetherington. Tony is a HSE inspector, but his early career was spent in London Borough of Islington's Environmental Health Department. For the last two years, Tony has been Head of Operations in HSE's Field Operations Directorate, East and South East Division. Those of you with longer memories may recall that Tony has worked in LAU before, providing programme management support at the outset of the partnership.
Always in search of a story, I asked him how he felt about his new job. He said "I expect it to be an interesting time as there are lots of things happening at the moment: LAAs, the impact of BRE and forthcoming S18 guidance for HSE and Local Authorities (LAs). What has surprised me already is just how different the landscape looks now compared to when I last worked in LAU. Partnership really has become the way HSE and LAs do business together and that's very pleasing. We need to build on this excellent foundation and work together to meet the challenges ahead".