New addition to the SCAG Stand-on mower range

New addition to the SCAG Stand-on mower range: The V-Ride is a stand-on mower designed for professional use; the compact machine size, ease of manouevering and clear view for the operator have lead to the V-Ride becoming increasingly popular for intricate mowing areas.

The Ride-On SCAG machines, because they are purpose-built for grasscutting, place the operator directly above the cutting deck, and one of the main features on the new V-Ride is that the revised configuration of the stand-on deck follows the same concept, placing the operator nearer the centre of the machine.

New addition to the SCAG Stand-on mower range

The new version of the original V-Ride was announced in 2017 and had revised features that exhibit SCAG’s policy of continuous improvement and response to operator feedback, which combine to make them such a successful machinery manufacturer.

The latest machine in the range addresses the need for gate-access –

the new 2020 V-Ride 32 version.

The V-Ride 32A-16FX:

  • 32” Advantage Deck
  • 16HP Kawasaki FX
  • Electric start
  • Drive wheels: 20 x 6.5 – 10
  • Fuel capacity: 4 gallons
  • New style 2020 V-Ride operator pad
  • All other features as on the 36” V-Ride

The machines are available through the STM dealership network. To find your nearest dealer ring 01789 488450, email info@st-mach.com or look at our website www.st-mach.com

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GKB to showcase reliable products at BTME

GKB to showcase reliable products at BTME: For the 5th year running, GKB will be attending the BTME 2020 show to showcase their range of machinery. The show will be taking place on 21st – 23rd January at the Harrogate Convention Centre.

Visitors can expect to see the Sandfiller, Sandspreader and Combiseeder on display at the show and will be impressed with the versatility on turf surfaces throughout the season.

GKB to showcase reliable products at BTME

With last year’s show seeing nearly 9,000 visitors from turf managers, golf club owners and industry decision-makers, the BTME 2020 is a great event from networking opportunities to seeing the latest innovation in the turf maintenance industry.

From perfection from the green until the tee and the perfect combination of maintaining and improving drainage systems, to discovering a fast and efficient way to seed or overseed your golf course. GKB Machines will be encompassing everything you need to maintain your golf courses during the year. Like the much loved Sandspreader enabling you to distribute a great variety of materials, GKB is proud to be presenting a range of our impressive, durable maintenance machines at the 2020 show, perfect for your golf course.

Tom Shinkins, Operations Manager, said “BTME is a great opportunity to exhibit our products for the golf sector.”  Tom adds, “The amount of course managers that attend the event for networking and educational needs is growing year on year and it’s vital that we are there at the show.” Visit us on stand Purple 406 to book your demonstrations.

For more on GKB Machines and their impressive range of machinery for natural, hybrid and synthetic turf, visit www.gkbmachines.com or contact us on 01778 348864.

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First European zero-turn mower built in Oxfordshire

First European zero-turn mower built in Oxfordshire: The first zero-turn mower to be manufactured in Europe has been produced at the AriensCo factory in Great Haseley, Oxfordshire.

The decision by the US-owned company to build in Britain follows industry analysis which showed exceptional growth in demand for zero-turn mowers in the UK and Europe in recent years. Until now, zero-turns have mainly been imported from the US.

First European zero-turn mower built in Oxfordshire

“Sales of zero-turns in Europe have experienced outstanding growth over the past three years,” says Darren Spencer, AriensCo Vice President – EMEA and Asia. “We have experienced this growth in numerous markets and, based upon extensive research with our distribution partners, we expect the progress to continue. The industry analysis points to the many opportunities to be met by producing zero-turns at our Great Haseley plant. We currently sell into ten different countries within Europe and aim to increase our European footprint in 2020.”

Future growth is predicted to accelerate as the benefits of zero-turn mowers are understood by potential customers, namely increased speed of cut, greater versatility and overall productivity. Zero-turn production in the UK is seen to offer significant advantages, allowing for rapid delivery and improved availability throughout the year. There is also the potential for zero-turns to be adapted with features and benefits to meet local market needs. AriensCo says they have made a significant investment in the Oxfordshire factory with the new zero-turn production line, fixtures and tooling. A number of CE zero-turn models will be produced for European markets and close collaboration with the US will be maintained to match up to Ariens’ reputation for manufacturing quality, says the company.  Increased utilisation of the Great Haseley factory has provided operational cost benefits and will generate a number of new jobs for the area.

For more information visit ariens-uk.com or call 01844 278800.

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Farol use new Foley Company Grinders

Farol use new Foley Company Grinders: Farol Golf and Turf Machinery Limited has purchased a Foley Company Accu-Pro 633 with Accu-Touch 3 Control and an Accu-Pro 661AT bedknife grinder to bolster their essential grinding operation.

Grinding is an integral part of the company’s business and is fundamental to what they offer to the golf and leisure industries. Their current relief grinder, an Accu-Master 650, has proved popular with technicians and was one of the reasons they decided to go with Foley again and continue working with ProSport UK Ltd. www.prosportukltd.com

Farol use new Foley Company Grinders

When it came time to decide on new grinders, after-sales manager for golf and turf, Oliver Longden, consulted with the technicians and appraised the Foley machines against others on the market.

“We had a look around at what else was available, but there was nothing comparable for what we need to do,” Oliver explained. “Our guys are already familiar with the Foley machines, and we’ve had a good history with our Accu-Master. We’ll continue using it alongside the Accu-Pro 633 during the peak grinding season because it still does exactly what we need it to.

“The most significant benefit with the 633 against other manufacturers is being able to relief grind correctly. We can relief grind any units without having to make massive changes to the machine, whereas with other manufacturers you must take a part off or swap something over and it all takes time.  With the Accu-Pro you can switch from 7 to 11 to whatever number of blades, easily and quickly.

“Once it’s set up everything is automated so the guys can get on with stripping down the next unit while it’s working, because you don’t have to keep coming back to it to make adjustments.

“The training function was another big plus for us. We sometimes get new technicians who haven’t used the machine before. It’s a very good feature because it shows them a step by step set-up and how to work it, so anyone can jump on it straight away and get going.”

The Accu-Pro 633 uses Accu-Touch 3 Control to fully automate spin and relief grinding. It features the automatic reel selector and cylinder height stop which automatically locates the reel for a fast and easy spin and relief grind in one quick set-up. Pre-set relief angles are easily identified on the relief angle adjuster, allowing technicians to effortlessly grind the correct angles and achieve proper clearances for each reel type.

The simplicity of operating the Accu-Pro 633 is mirrored in the Accu-Pro 661 AT bedknife grinder and was another important consideration for Oliver.

He said: “The selling point for us is that it’s a very simple and easy machine to use. We needed a machine that all the technicians with varying skill levels could use. Someone who has little experience of grinding can work just as well as someone with 20-years’ experience, and that ensures consistent quality. And again, once it’s set up and going, you can leave it to do the job and get on with other work, and that’s really the beauty of it.”

Farol recognises that when it comes to cutting, it is ultimately the blade’s that do the job. To achieve the best cut possible, they need to be sharp and restored to how they function best, which is by relief grinding them back to the original manufacturer’s own specification.

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Fentons of Bourne win award

Fentons of Bourne win award: Fentons of Bourne, Price Turfcare’s local dealer for Lincolnshire and the East Midlands, won the Best Allied Trade Stand award at the Midlands Machinery Show held at Newark Showground on 20-21 November. 

The Midlands Machinery Show is one of the fastest-growing annual events in the agricultural sector, bringing together farmers, agricultural contractors, and suppliers in a friendly and relaxed business environment. Over 300 exhibitors were displaying products and service in the covered halls, with the larger products situated outside on the showground.

Fentons of Bourne win award

Fentons of Bourne in conjunction with Price Turfcare, created a demonstration area where visitors could see displays highlighting the versatility of the tractor unit and associated attachments. The demonstration arena featured two Ventrac all-terrain compact tractors and 14 different attachments including a selection of mowing decks, trencher, stump grinder, blowers, power brushes, power rakes and more.

Glen Bellamy, managing director of Fentons said,

“We were delighted and surprised to win this award. At mid-afternoon a team of show organisers turned up, mid-demonstration, and presented us with the award. Rupert Price and his team put in a lot of effort to make the demonstrations meaningful for the attendees and there was considerable interest in the products. The Ventrac was probably the smallest machine on display amongst all the large agricultural machinery, but it certainly punched above its weight.”

Rupert Price added,

“We were invited to attend the show in conjunction with Fentons and it was too good an opportunity to pass by. It gave us some brilliant exposure for both the product and the brand to a new audience and that was our main aim. However, it did more than that; we came away with demo requests and the icing on the cake was winning the award.

“Although tiny by comparison to some of the huge tractors and other agricultural equipment, the visitors readily appreciated the design features of our machine and the fact that it can generate such consistent power from a sub-25 hp engine. I think they were also impressed with its manoeuvrability and versatility.

Definitely a very good event for us and it made two days standing outside in the cold, well worthwhile.”

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IOG award for Callum Allsop

IOG award for Callum Allsop: Award sponsors Toro and Reesink Turfcare, an official UK Toro distributor, are delighted to announce Callum Allsop from Leicester City Football Club’s Belvoir Drive training ground has been crowned the Most Promising Sports Turf Student of the Year at the 10th annual Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) Awards.

Having worked in the turf industry for 10 years, Callum was recognised for his dedication to the industry and education. As well as leading a team of nine as head groundsman at Leicester City Football Club’s Belvoir Drive, Callum is also currently undergoing studies for his Level 3 in Sports Turf Management.

IOG award for Callum Allsop

“I got involved in the industry volunteering at my local club at 14 and really enjoyed it,” says Callum. “Since then, I’ve worked my way up and worked hard to get to where I am, and education has been a large part of that career progression for me.

“I strongly believe that in order to be successful, you have to make sure that every piece of work you do is always done to the best of your ability and that you should strive to learn more. Always ask questions and stay interested in what you’re doing, and you will reap the benefits from that.”

Callum was presented with his award by Reesink’s national key accounts manager, Alastair Rowell, in front of an audience of 650 leading groundscare experts from the UK and Europe. And when it comes to gaining the benefits of winning the award, he wants to use his new platform to inspire others as well as improve himself.

“I think currently in the industry, more needs to be done to encourage younger people,” he says. “That’s why awards like this are important, because it’s vital to raise awareness of the career and educational opportunities available to young people. In fact, at Leicester we’re looking at the possibility of going into schools to speak about the careers in groundscare as many young people aren’t fully aware of what they might be able to achieve in this industry.

“Personally, winning this award has been a great experience, and the highlight for me has been meeting so many top professionals in the industry. I hope winning this award at such a key point in my career will open up more opportunities for me in the future.”

Marketing manager at Reesink, Rochelle Bedford, says: “Sponsoring this award is just another demonstration of ours and Toro’s long-term commitment to the development of the industry and our investment in the careers of young people; a hugely important undertaking for us. It’s wonderful to see Callum has achieved so much in his career already, and we hope the award helps him to progress his career further and inspire more young talent like himself.”

The awards, which took place on 31 October at the The Vox at the Birmingham NEC, recognise leadership, innovation and outstanding achievement across every aspect of groundscare and highlight the progress of young, student grounds professionals. And Reesink and Toro are proud, as ever, to play a part in giving a platform to the best and brightest young people in the industry through the sponsorship of such an important award.

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Ransomes Jacobsen at Newcastle United

Ransomes Jacobsen at Newcastle United: Since 2002 the pitches at Newcastle United’s Darsley Park training ground have been cut with Ransomes and Jacobsen mowers.

Currently, three LF570s and five Mastiffs are used to cut the 13 pitches that are maintained by head groundsman, Mick Curran, and his staff with two of the original Mastiffs from 2002 still in use.

Ransomes Jacobsen at Newcastle United

Through the years Newcastle’s ride-on fleet has graduated through the LF range, and it is the new features and excellent service from Ransomes Jacobsen dealer, Rickerby, that has kept Mick cutting with orange and green for almost three decades.

“I started off with the LF’s in 2002, and they’ve got better as the years have gone on,” Mick said. “On the newer model you can set the reel speed and forward speed, so if I think the lads are cutting too fast, I can peg them back, and that’s a big point. It helps with the consistency of cutting across the site, and the cut we get from the mowers is first-class.

“Reliability, quality of cut and being able to get spare parts easily has kept me using them for 17-years along with the service and back-up we’ve received from Rickerby which has been excellent.

“It’s very important for us if we get a break down in the summer when we’re cutting 24/7 that we can get a part or have it fixed as soon as possible. Nine times out of ten they’ll be out the same day sorting the problem, and that really is important for us.”

While the LF570’s are in action for the summer, once winter rolls around the Mastiffs take over. Like most training grounds, Mick is under pressure to keep the pitches cut and ready for use, and the warmer wet weather in September and October 2019 has highlighted the importance of having reliable pedestrian machines.

“The little club I started at had Mastiffs, so I’ve been brought up on them. It’s in wet conditions like we’ve had over September and October this year that the Mastiff’s really work well for us. The quality of cut is second to none, the finish has always been good, the blade setting and height of cut is dead easy to set, and the maintenance of them is easy as well.

“We need the reliability from the mowers because if you get behind it can be really difficult to catch up. We’ve had horrendous weather in these last two weeks, and the grass is still ticking away where you need to cut it twice a week. So, when you get that sort of weather this time of year, and you can’t cut for two or three days you start falling behind.

“In the winter, we put the LF’s away, they get cleaned down and serviced, and we get the Mastiff’s out. We use them in the winter when the grass isn’t growing as much, and you’re looking to avoid stressing the turf and using the pedestrian machines rather than the ride-ons is perfect for that.”

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A record-breaking SALTEX 2019

A record-breaking SALTEX 2019: SALTEX (Sports Amenities Landscaping Exhibition) once again proved to be the industry’s showcase event with over 500 brands on display and a record-breaking 9,104 visitors in attendance.

As soon as the doors opened on the first day of the show there was an electric atmosphere with groundscare enthusiasts swarming into the NEC halls eager to see the latest and most technologically-advanced innovations in grounds management.

A record-breaking SALTEX 2019

The record-breaking 9,104 visitors consisted of those working in or involved with groundscare, sports turf, amenities, estates and green-space management. The show not only attracted visitors from the UK but also a high number of overseas visitors due to the venue’s easy access to national and international transport links.

In fact, SALTEX 2019 saw visitors attending from 49 overseas markets. Many attendees made the journey to the NEC from Europe, Asia, America and Africa – underlining the fact that SALTEX truly is an international event.

One such international visitor was Ebi Ezekiel Egbe, managing director of Monimichelle Sports Construction, who travelled to SALTEX from Nigeria. Ebi explained why the long journey was worthwhile: “The most important thing for us in Africa is to broaden our knowledge on how to maintain the highest standard of sports pitches and to bring the latest innovations in groundscare to the African market. SALTEX gives us the opportunity to do exactly this. It’s a beautiful show and I’ve had a great time.”

SALTEX is also the perfect platform to inspire the next generation of groundscare practitioners and it was encouraging to see a younger demographic of visitors on the show floor, such as 13-year-old Jack Davies who enjoys gardening and mowing lawns in his spare time and aspires to be a professional landscaper.

“I’ve been wanting to come to SALTEX for the past two or three years and this year I have finally managed to convince my Dad to take me. This is like Christmas for me,” he said.

The SALTEX College Cup competition, sponsored by Toro and Reesink, demonstrated just how well young groundscare students are being academically prepared for careers in the industry. The Myerscough College team saw off competition from four other colleges to win this year’s trophy and can now look forward to a visit to Real Madrid’s Bernabéu Stadium where the winning students will get the opportunity to learn from Paul Burgess, director of grounds and environment for the Spanish footballing giants.

The competition was just a number of show attractions and the new Eco Village indoor demonstration area made a storming debut. In a dedicated area on the show floor the Eco Village featured a programme of daily product demonstrations which featured cutting-edge sustainable technology by Fleet Line Markers, STIHL UK, Overton UK, Avant Tecno, Cub Cadet, Linddana, Husqvarna, Allett Mowers and Sherriff Amenity in front of a large crowd of show attendees.

The buzz on the show floor was palpable, as recognised by the legendary Keith Kent, former head groundsman at Twickenham Stadium. “The Institute of Groundsmanship has done tremendously well in bringing so many exhibitors and visitors in and it is just a joy to see such a busy show. You cannot walk anywhere without seeing something that catches your attention,” he said.

Indeed, there was something for everyone on the show floor and this year’s SALTEX Innovation Award certainly caught the eye. From robotics to hybrid mowers, ground printers to state-of-the-art irrigation, grow lights to line trimmers – visitors had the opportunity to see the record-breaking 34 entries on the show floor.

With the entries submitted and rigorously evaluated by an independent panel of judges, it was decided that there were three stand-out innovations – the Forza 360° football goal wheels from Net World Sports, the BU50 grow lighting system from SGL and the INFINICUT® SM34 rotary mower from MTD Specialty Turf Products.

The three finalists were given a final opportunity to impress the judges as they took to the stage and the INFINICUT® SM34 rotary mower was pronounced the overall winner. Second place went to SGL and third place went to Net World Sports.

The INFINICUT® gained rave reviews with the panel of judges claiming that it “has taken the rotary mower into the 21st century,” and that “the revolutionary introduction of a side collector has allowed for rollers, not wheels, thus eliminating wheel marks on the turf.”

An increasing number of manufacturers on the show floor were also showcasing eco-friendly products. As well as those demonstrating in the Eco Village, exhibitors such as Pellenc, John Deere, Ego, Ryetec, Demon International, AMS Robotics, McConnel and Dennis Mowers all used SALTEX to launch new robotic and battery-powered products.

A record-breaking SALTEX 2019

“These innovations have low vibrations, are environmentally friendly and great for health and safety – all things that help people on the ground like me. It’s great to see so many of these machines in one place,” says John Ryan, founder of the Lawn Care Legends online networking community.

Reflecting this trend, the IOG incorporated dedicated seminars which further explored these topics into the expanded Learning LIVE free-to-attend education programme. Chemical-free sports pitch management, and environmentally-friendly turf maintenance were just some of the 57 free-to-attend CPD accredited seminars.

Many visitors also benefitted from free one-to-one turf management advice in the Ask the Expert feature; received career advice in the Job Clinic and had their soil samples assessed in Pathology and Soil Science LIVE- as well as specific technical advice gained from industry experts on the exhibition floor.

Commenting on the effects of the record-breaking attendance at this year’s show, many exhibitors thought that a large proportion of visitors to their stands were high-quality buyers with serious intent.

“We’ve exhibited at a lot of shows in the past couple of years, but this has been the busiest show that I have ever experienced,” said Jordan Watson, grounds care field support for STIHL UK.

Echoing Jordan’s comments, Les Malin, managing director of Etesia UK, said: “We’ve been a long-term exhibitor at SALTEX for over 20 years and I can honestly say that I cannot remember a show were we had so much activity and people on the stand right to the end of both days.”

According to sales manager, George Potter, debut exhibitor JCB enjoyed a hugely successful first SALTEX experience: “We’ve had lots of people on the stand, a huge number of enquiries and quite a lot of demo requests, which has been great.”

All eyes now turn towards SALTEX 2020 the exhibition’s 75th anniversary and CEO Geoff Webb is already looking forward to the celebratory event.

“SALTEX has moved from a horse racing track in Windsor to the National Exhibition Centre in the middle of the country and the fact that we are now gearing up for our 75th annual show next year is testament to the community of the sports turf industry and how it has grown.”

SALTEX 2020 will take place at the NEC, Birmingham on 4 and 5 November.

For more information please visit www.iogsaltex.com

Follow SALTEX on Twitter @IOG_SALTEX and Facebook – www.facebook.com/IOGSALTEX

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Proline H800 for holiday park

Proline H800 for holiday park: A demonstration of the Toro ProLine H800 for Haven Seashore Holiday Park was all it took to bring improvement to the grounds of the 57-acre site in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

As part of a national portfolio of 40 holiday parks and with a rolling investment programme to bring improvements to all, the timing for the ProLine coming on board and resulting in the quality of the grounds having never been better according to site manager John Zoet, is exemplary.

Proline H800 for holiday park

“The company has invested more in Seashore after seeing how well the park has been doing,” says John. “We have a new swimming pool and restaurant among other additions, and now there’s pressure to raise the bar of the park’s grounds in line with the improvements to the park’s facilities. With Toro on board that has been easy to do – the ProLine has definitely improved the grounds here; in fact they’ve never been better.”

As a direct collect rotary mower, the ProLine H800 combines the precision cutting expected of a Toro rotary mower with an added high volume 810 litre hopper allowing customers to cut more and stop less. Resulting in hassle-free grounds maintenance and minimised downtime, the features of the ProLine have certainly impressed at Seashore Holiday Park.

“The ProLine H800 picks up all the cuttings while still leaving a beautiful cut,” John explains. “It’s absolutely the best mower we’ve got, and the quality is incredible. We normally go with another brand for our maintenance equipment, but then we had a demonstration and saw the ProLine in action. It was eye opening to see.

“The way the ProLine H800 works is just perfect for us. After mowing we can easily tip the contents of the hopper into any skip we have on site,” continues John. “Plus, the maintenance is easier. Unlike other mowers we have, you don’t have to take the deck off to clean it, it just flips up easily which was something that really stood out when we had the demonstration.”

And the ProLine hasn’t failed to keep impressing since its demonstration says John: “The grounds maintenance here is a never ending job, so having a robust machine able to handle that, reduce downtime and still provide excellent results – well, it speaks for itself the value that brings.”

Since its launch two years ago the ProLine has been making its mark on both grounds and fine-turf customers, such is its versatility, and the fact that it can trim right up to the edges of pathways and borders is a huge plus for parks and urban areas.

“Customers notice the little things,” says John. “The fine finish around the caravans for example and around playgrounds and trees. It’s this level of care and attention that keeps people coming back and another reason why we opted for Toro.”

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Back to basics

Back to basics: This was the clear message emerging from a panel discussion on amenity management, held at SALTEX recently, and chaired by John Moverley from the Amenity Forum.

Whilst plant protection products continue to have a clear and vital role in managing pests, weeds and diseases, the need to take an integrated approach to the management of amenity spaces is equally important. The emphasis must be on preventative actions, ensuring all aspects of soil management, seed selections, cultivations and appropriate on-going management routines are in place to minimise impact and ensure plant protection products, when applied, are targeted and have maximum impact.

Back to basics

The Amenity Forum has produced a guidance document to assist in producing integrated weed management plans (IWMs) across all areas of amenity, together with a template to help in their construction. A supporter, Parks for London, is also working with the Forum producing a document to help in constructing policy statements on IWM, especially useful for local authorities. The Forum, subject to funding, is additionally hoping in the next year to produce similar guidance for integrated disease management approaches.

The Forum has also worked closely with the sector to develop the Amenity Standard. This will be fully launched at the start of 2020 and is seen as a game changer for the sector. Those operating in amenity management at the Standard will demonstrate their professionalism and re-assure all involved that practices undertaken on that amenity space follow an integrated approach and meet all requirements on safety and good practice. The Amenity Standard is a bespoke quality management standard very much like the Red Tractor standard in food and agriculture. Those operating to the Standard will be members of an approved and audited assurance scheme recognised by the Standard.

The Amenity Standard is designed to:

• Provide an industry benchmark
• Provide a basis for continuous improvement
• Focus on quality as an objective
• Provide assurances about the quality of the approved organisation and maintenance of the amenity space
• Ensure that quality assurance scheme operators recognised under this Standard use auditors with technical knowledge and experience of the sector concerned
• Promote confidence in organisations operating and providing resources in the amenity sector by provision of a robust and transparent standard

John Moverley, Amenity Forum Chairman, said ‘’the management of our amenity areas is essential and important and impacts on every UK citizen every day. The Amenity Forum promotes best practice and organisations who support this are committed to the highest professional standards seeking to produce safe, healthy spaces fit for purpose. Taking integrated approaches to amenity management should be the norm and, for those concerned with or employing operators for amenity management, I would urge you seek those signed up to the Amenity Forum aims and objectives and following our code. The introduction of the Amenity Standard will further assist in this process and we seek to roll it out across all aspects of the sector going forward’’

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