The Groundsman

June 2016

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Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions EU REFERENDUM the Groundsman June 2016 In addition, one groundsman suggested "increased economic uncertainty could lead to many job losses which would put more pressure on groundscare teams who may lose staff as a result of the economic uncertainty and possible economic downturn. This could have a big impact on industry standards". According to one grounds manager: "If we leave the EU it may make the UK more isolated and that in turn will slow the economy, and leisure will be the first to be cut back." Another, in a similar role, reckoned: "I think my job would go on but the country at large would suffer through the breakdown of various trade deals, which could affect my job." Machine manufacturers are clearly concerned, with comments such as "we trade extensively in the EU so it could be an issue if we have to negotiate trade agreements to sell our products there" from one company, and "export sales would be seriously damaged if we leave", from another. That said, one manufacturer commented: "We believe that leaving the EU would have no impact on our sales to the EU and it would also allow us to tap new markets outside the EU without restrictions." The fear surrounding the potential of rising costs was clearly evident in the pro-Europe camp, with one equipment manufacturer saying that "adverse foreign exchange due to a weakening pound is already causing pricing challenges on European exports". One machinery supplier said "a 'no' vote would depress the economy – definitely in the short term but also, possibly, in the longer term - and that will affect spending, which will lead to less business". Said one grounds manager: "The uncertainty of life outside the community could create difficulties in the supply chain (of machinery, materials and the transfer of knowledge), not only in terms of prices but also in availability and after-care." Interestingly, education was also highlighted as a possible casualty if Britain left the EU: "There could be an impact on the transferability of qualifications," said one respondent, "along with a reduced drive for continuously improving health and safety in the workplace, plus a negative impact on our approach to sustainability, weakening environmental controls and less control of pesticide use." An assessor of apprentices added: "I would be worried about continued government cuts to education/training funding, which could lead to less opportunities for young people to get into the careers they want. I am also concerned about the direction the government would take with regard to workers' rights. Working in the education system I always feel that we are just one policy change away from unemployment as it is! Life goes on While one groundsman perhaps sums up what the nation thinks by saying "my mind is not made up because nobody has presented a simple 'advantages- disadvantages' argument to leaving or staying in the EU", another groundsman said life will go on: "The grass will continue to grow and UK groundsmen will continue to produce the best surfaces in the world." l In your Opinion, do you think the UK should stay within the EU? Answered: 577 Skipped: 0 Yes No 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Answer Choices Responses Yes 38.47% 222 No 61.53% 355 Total 577 29

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