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Kent businesses get better access to expert advice

Kent businesses get better access to expert advice

Better Business for All - Maidstone

29 July 2015

The regulators training day, held on 7 July 2015 at the Gallagher Stadium, Maidstone Football Club, was opened by Kent Fire & Rescue Service’s (KFRS), Chief Executive Officer Ann Millington, showing the Service’s commitment to the Better Business for All, (BBfA), programme. The event, which brought together regulators from a variety of services to help make it easier for local businesses to seek advice, proved a big success.

Ann Millington said: "Kent Fire and Rescue Service has been changing the way it works with businesses for some time aiming to support and help them grow and prosper whilst staying safe –  we welcome this excellent initiative as part of that work"

The day was organised by the Kent & Medway Steering Group who are promoting the BBfA programme by enabling regulators to understand businesses and instigating a culture change that encourages them to tailor their services to meet business need. Presentation and break out sessions involved KFRS, Trading Standards, Environmental health, Building Control, Planning, Licensing, the Environment Agency and the Heath and Safety Executive. The Federation of Small Businesses was also represented.

Chair of the Training Task and Finish Group Alison Trainor explained: "The first BBfA regulators' training event proved very successful with much positive feedback and many individuals expressing enthusiasm to take the initiative forward. Ann Millington opened the event with an inspiring message and business owner Brett Holmes gave a passionate presentation on his journey navigating regulation over 15 years to achieve business success through effective working with regulatory services.

Local businessman Brett Holmes said: "This was not only a well organised training event but also an exceptionally productive and motivational day too. A presentation by Environmental Health Officer Geoff Drysdale was very successful in highlighting the importance of soft skills training in "how to effectively communicate with Businesses", which will be essential in breaking down barriers between the regulatory authorities and businesses.

Mr Holmes added: "Very importantly the day also bought together all the relevant regulatory bodies, giving them an opportunity to give a brief overview of their respective roles, and through this it was clear that they all understood the importance of this BBfA initiative. As a business owner that has experienced the negative side of regulation to turning a full 360 degrees to become a firm advocate of BBfA, I can wholeheartedly say this training day was exceptionally reassuring, and that the desire to create a change in culture is not only essential but is also being embraced with such passion."

Fire Safety Engineer Julie Oliver, who is KFRS’s lead for BBfA said, "The service is pleased to have contributed to the work of the Kent and Medway Steering Group, in particular the regulators training day. I hope the outcome of the day improves communications and builds good relationships between the regulators and businesses."

For more information regarding BBfA email: bbfa@kent.fire-uk.org.

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