Some good news could be on the horizon it seems for our valiant Car Wash Association chairman David Charman, and the few trusty souls that have continued to support the car wash cause, particularly through some rather dark and lonely days.


David reports (in his column on page 7) that there may be progress in ridding the industry of illegal hand car wash operators, that have done so much to eat into the valuable car washing market, which was once the profitable domain of the traditional forecourt network. A report by Datamonitor, (also on page 7) which claims hand car washing has taken a 45% share of the car wash market, shows just how much business has been lost. However the report recognises that service station car washes are fighting back, highlighting the environmental benefits of using automatic machines over hand washing. This is proof that the Car Wash Association message has been getting through.


But better news is that following constant and time-consuming lobbying to relevant parties by CWA, David says legislation against harming the water environment is now a possibility albeit some way off. But he is also heartened by the forthcoming introduction of a new offence within the water industry of ’discharging without a permit’; and of the interest shown by the Serious Organised Crime Association in illegal immigrants typically associated with roadside car washing operations.


All credit to David, who has a thriving business and a family to run, and continues to shoulder the huge task of rescuing the car wash trade on behalf of the industry before it quite literally runs down the drain. He would welcome and surely deserves your support.


David is also assisting RMIP chairman Brian Madderson in the long-running battle over business rates. Brian has been sending missives to everyone in the new government and was encouraged by a recent meeting with ministers (see page 4). It may be hard, but lobbying can work.