Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) co-chair, Caroline Sandall, says the ‘time is right’ to step down role after playing a vital role in the creation of the new fleet representative body.
As chair of the Association of Car Fleet Operators (ACFO), she helped create the AFP in March of this year through its merger with the Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM).
The new combined organisation aims to give fleet decision-makers ‘increased voice through combined strength’, but also cater for those with fleet responsibility working in HR, finance and procurement roles and the fast-emerging mobility function.
Sandall said her decision to stand down as co-chair had been driven by “personal circumstances”. “Like many people during lockdown, I’ve been taking a look at my work-life balance and decided that some changes were perhaps overdue in terms of reducing my commitments to focus on some key aspects of my career and home life,” she said.
“Also, having helped to oversee the creation of the AFP, now seemed like a good time to step back in order to enable some other people take centre stage.
“The expertise that exists within the new organisation is considerable, and I am leaving it in very good hands.”
Sandall has been involved in ACFO for more than 20 years and held a variety of positions including regional officer, director, vice-chair and chair.
She continued: “I have enjoyed my time with both ACFO and the AFP tremendously. The fleet sector is vibrant and creative sector full of people who are capable, talented and simply nice. I very much intend to remain involved available in a support role when needed.”
Paul Hollick has now been elected chair of the AFP, having previously held a co-chair position alongside Sandall.
He said: “I’d like to thank Caroline for the service she has given the industry as part of the AFP and ACFO over many years. Her expertise and commitment has been unparalleled, and she will no doubt be missed.
“She can lay claim, as much as anyone, to being responsible for the creation of the AFP which has been very quickly gathering momentum over the months since its creation.”
The AFP is currently urging fleet managers to join one of its seven new committees to help influence the industry’s future.
The seven committees – covering electric vehicles, low carbon and alternative fuels; light commercial vehicles; Covid-19; Government bodies and trade associations; road use and planning; risk and compliance; and future mobility steering – are designed as incubators for ideas that will ultimately affect not just fleet strategies but policy and action across Government, the HMRC and the DVLA.
How hard fleets have been hit by Covid-19 is revealed in the results of a Fleet News survey, with three-in-five fleets (59.3%) still have drivers furloughed, while a third (32.7%) say less than 10% of their company cars are being driven for work.
Hollick concluded: “We have recently made announcements about our new committee structure, and are looking forward to unveiling further plans for the organisation in the near future.”