First off let me apologise for the muted nature of our Musings over the last few weeks, it’s been rather a busy time here at BPA ‘towers’, where we’ve been preparing for a number of major events to connect our members.

Arranging events is a tough enough task in itself, without the interference of the weather, but despite the snowy conditions both events were deemed successful. All told we had some 200 attendees from across our sector at two events, spread across the centre of the country from South Wales through to Warwickshire and involving organisations from across the country.

First up was the Wales Conference, held at the Liberty Stadium Swansea, the home ground of Swansea City Football Club. This conference focused exclusively on parking and transport issues affecting Wales, beginning with an open forum discussion. The rest of the conference consisted of presentations and updates from a variety of members and stakeholders including Cardiff City Council, OLEV, Ministry of Justice and PATROL, before closing on the future of parking and transport with a presentation on the intricacies of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). GDPR could prove to be extremely significant, not just for our sector but for the entire economy, given the range of the digital and data economy.

On the following day, we arrived in snowy Birmingham for the inaugural AOS Conference for our approved operators. The AOS conference was held at the venerable location of Villa Park, the home of Aston Villa Football Club. (Are you detecting a theme here – next stop Old Trafford). At the conference, our approved operators were treated to a collection of presentations and discussion on a variety of subjects, from both BPA staff members and external stakeholders. Topics covered included an update on the workings of POPLA and a presentation on being GDPR ready. The most significant section was an update and discussion on the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill. The Bill has now reached Committee stage in the House of Commons and could prove to be a hugely significant piece of legislation for all those managing parking on private land. The event closed with a speech from Inspirational speaker Rory Mackenzie, who having lost a leg in Iraq and after 2 years of rehabilitation, took up skiing and rowed the Atlantic for charity with a team of Amputees.

These events are just the first of a whole range of conferences and meetings that we are running this year up and down the country. Our programme of events over the rest of the year includes 3 workshops on GDPR, Parkex in June, Parking Scotland in March and September and the Annual Conference in October before concluding with the Members Dinner in November. Interspaced amongst these major occasions are dozens of regional and interests group meetings, all of which offer great opportunities for learning, knowledge sharing and of course, networking. So, a busy year ahead, we encourage all our members to get involved.

If you are interested in attending any of these events, whether it’s presenting or sharing experiences please contact the Membership Team by emailing

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