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Geoff Burgess

  • From West Sussex
  • Proposed by Allen Musselwhite, seconded by Robin Wilson
  • Retired
  • BASC member for 16 years

I am the ideal candidate for council because of the experience I have gained both in my working life and from a lifetime’s interest in shooting and conservation.

I started shooting as a teenager with an air rifle, then working weekends in a gun shop enabled me to buy a shotgun and go clay shooting. This progressed to shooting vermin and subsequently game.

I have been a member of several DIY syndicates, carrying out conservation work.

Over the last five years, I have taken on the role of part-time gamekeeper for a family shoot. I participate in pest control and deer management for an estate and enjoy wildfowling. I have owned a springer spaniel for the last four years – training in progress!

I am a Sussex deer warden, performing humane dispatch. I have mentored individuals stalking for FAC approval.

To increase my knowledge I have undertaken courses organised by BASC, including DSC1, Carcass Preparation and Butchery, Safe Shot and Shotgun Safety Officer. I have completed the Shotgun Safety Coaching Course and intend to complete the final assessments in 2019.

Since my retirement six years ago, I have regularly volunteered for BASC, assisting with Young Shots days, game and country shows, safety officer and range officer duties at Bisley range days and Taste of Game events. In 2017, I was presented with a special award in recognition of my contribution to the organisation.

Participation in a wide range of shooting related activities, attending events, training days and shows has given me contact with a wide range of BASC members and their views. Keeping updated with current events enables me to have an informed opinion on a wide range of issues.

Prior to my retirement I worked in the NHS for 42 years, 15 at board level, with significant operational and budget responsibilities.

I gained a lot of experience of user involvement and engagement in developing services that were fit for purpose. Developing effective communication strategies, maximising the use of social media and electronic communication, experience of forming alliances/collaborating with a wide range of organisations to achieve common goals will be invaluable to BASC in achieving political objectives.

Most members of the public are not enthusiastic about either private gun ownership or game shooting. BASC and the other organisations need to work together to develop a common approach and strategy to convince the wider public, as well as the politicians, that shooting is a legitimate sport and that game is both sustainable and dealt with in a humane way.

That approach has to include a review of not only how gun ownership is managed to minimise risks to the wider population, but also how the sport(s) can be regulated to enable bad or illegal practices to be identified and eliminated.

 

 

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