2015-10-12   facebook twitter rss

Changes Afoot for RIDBA

RIDBA, the Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association which campaigns on behalf of agricultural building contractors, with knock-on benefits for farmers, is preparing to power up.

The Rural and Industrial Design and Building Association has most notably helped its 197 members through the new CE Marking regulations which made it a criminal offense after July 2014 to supply a building that did not meet the new criteria.

RIDBA national secretary Tony Hutchinson retires in 2016

RIDBA national secretary Tony Hutchinson retires in 2016

It did this by linking up with regulatory body BM TRADA to give its members (typically steel and timber frame manufacturers) preferential access to guidance manuals and training which has markedly reduced their costs in meeting the requirements, costs which they could have chosen to pass onto their farmer clients.

It also more recently warned farmers that under the new CDM (Construction Design and Management) Regulations, which came into force in April this year, they are now the ones responsible for being satisfied that the building contractors they appoint will allocate adequate resources to health and safety.

But the retirement next year of its national secretary Tony Hutchinson, who has held the post for 16 years and was the driver behind its evolution in the last five years from small trade association with just 75 members, has prompted a review of its future format and function.

A sub-committee reviewed how other trade associations are managed and recommended that RIDBA's secretariat be managed by Build UK, the newly-merged National Specialist Contractors Council and UK Contractors Group.

Build UK, which represents 27 of the industry's largest main contractors and 40 leading trade associations representing over 11,500 specialist contractors, and is currently providing the secretariat for four other organisations, will employ a dedicated trade association manager to run RIDBA, supported by the rest of the Build UK team as required.

The review of other trade associations also revealed that many were incorporated and most did not pay tax on any surpluses they made from servicing members. Therefore, an extraordinary general meeting this month will recommend that RIDBA becomes a company limited by guarantee, with a board of directors rather than a council, and Articles of Association rather than a Constitution.

As part of these changes RIDBA's membership categories will evolve to include two levels of corporate and associate membership, for frame and non-frame manufacturers respectively, with less and more than six employees.

A RIDBA statement said: "It is clear that the challenges of CE Marking and its associated legislation will continue and as such will detract from the national secretary's time in dealing with the day-to-day. If we are to grow our membership, and more importantly seek to deliver the additional services requested, we needed to develop our administrative function.

"These changes will put RIDBA in a far stronger position to face the issues of the future. With Build UK's contacts in all the key Government departments and its experience of representing contractors we can have more influence on Government action in these areas. It will also allow RIDBA to move forward in other important areas, such as accreditation of site practice and a closer relationship with the NFU."


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