The Subsidence Forum Elects a new Chair
At the 2023 Annual General Meeting, Sarah Dodd (Tree Law Ltd) stepped down as Chair of the Forum as her 2-year term came to an end. Liam Hanlon (The Forshaw Group) was elected as the new Chair and Paul Duddle (Catalyst Services UK) was elected as the new Vice Chair.
We thought it would be a great idea to get to know our new Chair! Without further ado, let us hand over to Liam to introduce himself…
Liam Hanlon BSc (Hons) ICIOB – MD The Forshaw Group
Over the past 28 years, I have helped develop The Forshaw Group from a sole trader organisation (Les Forshaw), to become a dedicated, multi-million, award-winning insurance repair specialist. Throughout this time, I have also enjoyed a lifelong passion for adventure sports, and I have combined this through the tri-4-life team, to be part of some of the most amazing community and charity challenges all around the world.
I joined the construction industry in 1984 as a YTS trainee and served a four-year apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery with Balfour Beaty Building & Civil Engineering. This was following by 10 years of night school and professional development to progress though the management training programme from joiner, trade foreman, general foreman, to site manager and then contracts manager. I joined Les Forshaw in 1995, as a self-employed joiner to fund my university studies. I attained an honours degree at Liverpool University in Combined Science.
Following a management buyout in 2013, I became joint managing director of The Forshaw Group, and we expanded our service offering to the industry in North Wales and the Northwest of England, supporting all major subsidence, storm, and flood surge events.
The Forshaw Group formed its own apprenticeship training academy in 2014 and committed to all aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social and governance (ESG). We have partnered with many leading insurance companies over the years to help develop, pilot, and deliver the concept, processes and technologies that lead our industry.
The subsidence repair sector continues to develop and evolve at an ever-increasing pace, in-line with scientific and technological advances. Attracting, training and retaining the appropriate professional services and skills will be a key contributing factor to this sector helping to reduce the causes of subsidence damage, using carbon neutral techniques to slow the wider impact on global warming.
My aims and objectives for the forum are to keep an open dialogue for everyone involved in the subsidence industry. To encourage the executive committee to take lead roles in the areas they feel passionate about and to actively encourage the next generation to do the same, by involving them in our communication and activities. We will continue to make increased use of social media and other digital channels, as well as data about the forum to support discussions.
Together with the support of the executive team and the Vice Chair Paul Duddle, we will continue to engage apprentices and trainees with the Subsidence Forum. We will expand on the collaboration of the forum with I Love Claims, and engage with all interested parties from the recent Subsidence Surge Conference, with an emphasis on dialogue with the public sector Local Authorities and the London Tree Officers Association.
We are amid an unprecedented surge in subsidence claims. It will be interesting to see how the industry responds to the demands over the next few years. I am excited by the support the Subsidence Forum can offer the industry, as a platform for discussion and understanding how to best serve our industry with the relevant communication, information, and training days.