The Vehicle Repairers Association (VRA) held its first Annual General Meeting last month in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, and Chairman Sean Hegarty and Secretary John Moran outlined the significant progress that the Association has made in its short history to-date.
This has included work in the promotion of member’s interest, organisation of training initiatives and marketing and promotion of member bodyshops. Most importantly the VRA says, it has rigorously campaigned on the issue of environmental regulation on behalf of its members, highlighting the inadequacies and the injustice of the current system which has seen compliant bodyshops penalised through added cost and administration while illegal operators often continue unhindered. The present system of regulation is now under review and new draft regulations will be published later this year.
John Moran said: “We feel we have achieved a lot in our campaign against the present environmental regulation system and we will continue to work hard on this issue to secure an acceptable system of regulation for our industry.” He added: “These are very challenging times for all bodyshop operators and there are lots of other issues that the VRA now needs to address.”
At the meeting an appeal was launched for repairers who are passionate about the industry to put themselves forward to take up positions on the VRA Steering Committee. Sean Hegarty said: “We want repairers with strong views and drive to come forward and help shape the future direction of our organisation. If you believe that our industry is worth fighting for we urge you to come forward and get involved with the VRA, even if you are presently not a member.”
The VRA was founded in County Mayo and at present the make up of the steering committee and association officers reflects this. The VRA wants new people to come on to the committee and take up representative roles within the association to reflect the growing national membership base. Moran added: “It does not matter what part of the country you are from, if you are passionate about the industry then we would like to get you involved.”
Hegarty and Moran stress that taking up a steering committee role would not entail a huge time commitment but would give someone an active input into future association policy and initiatives.
Moran noted: “Right now it is more important than ever for repairers to work together to protect their future. Without strong representation, bodyshops will face more and more problems and an uncertain future, so we urge repairers that care about their business and their industry to come forward.”
Anyone interested in taking up a role on the VRA steering committee is urged to contact the organisation. Sean Hegarty can be contacted on 087 2323048 and John Moran on 087 2385337, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details.