Tim Keeler has become the new chairman of the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors, announcing a new focus for the association.

Tim Keeler, managing director of Sitec Support Services on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border, has become the new chairman of the Association of Plumbing

He said: "During the last couple of years, our industry has been hit hard by the recession. My business was affected; we had to re-look at all of our costs and make changes. This process highlighted that if we can afford enough time to analyse our costs, we can save money and provide an even better service to our customers.

"At APHC, we have been doing some similar analysis. At a time when members and non-members alike need to make every penny count, we are determined to provide outstanding value for money. We will do this by ensuring that all member benefits are relevant and rewarding and, where possible, money-saving.

"In addition, while it is important to try to influence events on the large scale, we have discovered that operating at these – often global – levels is time-consuming and very much a long haul. Meanwhile, plumbers and heating engineers are still going out to work every day and facing issues such as rogue traders, unsustainable tender pricing, confusing red tape, new regulations, appliances being sold to novices, litigious staff, bad debt, difficult apprenticeships and so on.

"Therefore this year our focus will lie much more heavily on those everyday, down-to-earth things that matter to our members – and to the industry at large.

"We will also be seeking to work more closely with other industry bodies. We’ve always worked well with the likes of SummitSkills, UK Skills and BPEC. I look forward to speaking with my colleagues in these bodies about how we can get our heads together and work closely for the greater good of the industry."