MHS appoints new business managers

The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) has appointed a new team of business managers as part of its transformation programme.

Following a rigorous selection process, twelve managers were appointed to oversee the work of MHS vets and meat inspectors in Britain's 1500 slaughterhouses and meat cutting premises.

The team will replace the current 29 area managers and act as a link between MHS operational staff at each approved meat premises and the MHS headquarters in York.

They will have responsibilities for working with food business operators and MHS staff to ensure consistent application of meat hygiene and other regulations, finance and budgets, performance management, risk assessment, and contract management.

Steve McGrath, MHS Chief Executive, said: "These are key appointments in the transformation process, and I am delighted with the quality of those appointed following rigorous selection procedure. Each of the new managers has worked with the MHS in the past, and we are confident that we have bought together an experienced and qualified team".

The appointments, which take effect from 6 April 2008, are part of the transformation of the MHS which will see it shed 190 jobs, make savings of £16million and close five regional offices in a bid to become more efficient and effective.

The Business Managers are:

Steve Lomas

Steve trained at Harper Adams Agricultural College near Newport, Shropshire mainly in livestock. He spent several years in the leisure industry, including periods in Spain and Dubai. After a spell in the brewing industry he joined the MHS as an Area Manager.

Martin Evans

Martin has spent most of his working life in the meat industry having worked at the Midland Meat plant at Crick, Northamptonshire, as a Meat Hygiene Inspector with the local authority. He transferred as a Senior Meat Hygiene Inspector to the MHS when it was set up in 1995 and has recently worked as an Area Manager. He has also worked in Buckinghamshire and Gloucestershire which will be included in his new patch.

Nick Varga

Nick has been with the MHS for five years following a spell as an Operations Manager in the drinks industry. He has worked as an Area Manager and has most recently headed the MHS Operations Support Unit. Much of Nick's previous area is included in his new patch.

Kirsty Shaw

Kirsty is a graduate of the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, and has a degree in business management. She has worked as an agricultural economist, and with the Countryside Agency, on access and recreation. She joined the MHS in 2004 as an Area Manager in the South-West.

Robert Jackson

Robert has worked for the MHS for five years as an Area Manager and is Chair of the MHS Investors in People Focus Group. He was part of the cold store audit team sent to Northern Ireland in 2005. Robert was bought up in rural Co. Down, Northern Ireland, has worked as an Operations Manager with a financial services company, and holds an MBA.

Frank Gorman

Frank worked as a Meat Hygiene Inspector with Bedford Council and has also worked in Cambridgeshire and Glasgow, transferring to the MHS on its formation in 1995. Four years ago he became an Area Manager covering Suffolk and looks forward to working across Essex, Kent, London and the South East.

David Lowe

David first worked for a small family butchery and is a graduate member of the Institute of Meat. He worked as an environmental health officer in Birmingham. David joined the MHS five years ago as an Area Manager and was until recently acting Regional Director in the North Region.

Kevin Maher

Kevin joined the MHS from the butchery trade in 1996 and is a graduate member of the Institute of Meat. He became a Senior Meat Hygiene Inspector in 1999 and an Area Manager in 2006. He spent nine months on secondment to the MHS Veterinary and Technical Directorate in 2004.

Robert Locker

Robert joined the MHS four years ago and worked as an Area Manager in the East and West Midlands. He has his own farm and is a livestock judge. Before joining the MHS, he was a fish farmer in Orkney, and has an MBA and a degree in agriculture.

Archie Drummond

Archie has been with the MHS for five years. He started as a consultant civil engineer then joined local government becoming the Director of Housing and Environmental Health for a large local authority.

Ian McWatt

Ian joined the MHS five years ago as an Area Manager and a qualified environmental health officer and meat inspector. He has led a local authority multi-disciplinary team responsible for food safety, enforcement, and health and safety. Ian is a member of the Royal Environmental Health Society of Scotland.

Collin Willson

Collin is a qualified vet and has worked in the meat industry for thirty years. Most recently he was a Regional Veterinary Advisor in the MHS Wales Region. He is honorary secretary of the Council of the Veterinary Public Health Association.

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