Meacher resigns from SIA's chair

Related tags Sia License Resignation Termination of employment Security industry authority

by John Harrington Molly Meacher, chairwoman of the Security Industry Authority (SIA), who caused confusion last month when she misleadingly said...

by John Harrington Molly Meacher, chairwoman of the Security Industry Authority (SIA), who caused confusion last month when she misleadingly said licensees and bar workers would need to take doorstaff exams, has resigned for "personal reasons".

Meacher told the annual conference of the Federation of Licensed Victuallers' Associations in November: "Anyone employed in-house to supervise the door, whether that be managers, barstaff or licensees, needs to have a licence."

She added that this could include any part of a door supervisor's role ­ even turning drunk customers away.

Meacher's comments caused widespread confusion among trade groups.

The SIA later admitted there was a "mix-up".

Only a host who carries out the duties of a door supervisor would need a licence, the association said.

SIA spokesman Robert Buxton denied Meacher's resignation had anything to do with the incident.

"She resigned for personal reasons.

It had nothing to do with the speech," he said.

Meacher was made chairwoman of the SIA in March 2002, and led the authority through its launch in April this year.

Her resignation comes as the SIA is preparing to pilot its new doorstaff licensing scheme.

The regime will be tested in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from March to June 2004 before going across England and Wales, region by region, by April 2005.

But the SIA said Meacher's resignation would have no effect on the timetable.

Meanwhile, details of the new syllabus for doorstaff qualifications were announced by the SIA this week.

Split into two units, the first deals with the roles and respon-sibilities of doorstaff, including searching, evicting and seizing items.

The second is concerned with conflict management, with advice for high-risk situations.

The units will last 30 hours in total, with two one-hour exams.

The SIA said it would cost between £250 and £350, but grants of £102 are available.

Caroline Nodder, spokeswoman for the British Institute of Innkeeping, which helped develop the award, said: "We hope this will provide the kind of training for the skills they need ­ and also the recognition they deserve."

Doorstaff who hold the BII's existing qualification will not need the new award.

For further information visit www.bii.org or www.the-sia.org.uk.

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