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Scot at helm of World Plumbing Council

A Scotsman has been elected as the chairman of the World Plumbing Council(WPC) and has set raising standards in developing countries and improving the industry's profile in developed countries as priorities for his term of office.

Robert Burgon has been employed by the Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF) based in Edinburgh since 1978 and also manages the £1billion plus UK wide Plumbing Industry Pension Scheme.

The father of two has served on the Executive Board of the WPC – which includes since 2002 and has been Deputy Chairman since 2005.

Mr Burgon said: 'We have members in all five continents of the world and one of my goals during the next three years will be to see our membership grow, particularly in developing countries.

“Sadly many people in developed countries do not respect the importance of the work which is done by professional plumbers. It is possibly too long in most people's memories to recall the importance that clean water supply and sanitation have made to the general health of our populations.

“We have become complacent and tend to see plumbing as a nuisance purchase. At the same time millions of people die each year in developing countries as a direct result of the lack of plumbing services.

'The WPC hopes to be able to change attitudes towards the industry in the developed world and to encourage the use of plumbing as a way of improving health. In addition, today's emphasis on the conservation of water and energy sources along with the increased use of renewable technologies are all areas in which the plumbing industry is actively involved.'

The WPC includes the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), APHC Ltd. (Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors), the British Plumbing Employers' Council (BPEC), the Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF) and the Joint Industry Board for Plumbing Mechanical Engineering Services in England and Wale

Mr Burgon added: “WPC aims to promote the importance of plumbing as a contributor to health and the environment and it has already had a number of important successes since its establishment in 1990.

'“For example, we have jointly published a book on the 'Health Aspects of Plumbing' with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and have also been recognised as a NGO in relationship with the WHO.'

The WPC executive board elected in Calgary includes representatives from USA, Canada, India, China and the UK.

It will meet for the first time next month in Seoul in South Korea to plan the strategic direction of the organisation over the next 3 years.

His term in office will end in September 2011 when the World Plumbing Conference will take place in Edinburgh.