National seat

Geoffrey Burgess

Region: Sussex, South east region

BASC membership: 14+ years

Proposed by: R Wilson

Seconded by: A Musselwhite

I believe the experience I have gained, both in my working life and through a lifetime involvement in shooting and conservation, would be of benefit to BASC.

As a teenager I began shooting 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 pests and, subsequently, game. I have been a member of several BASC-registered DIY syndicates carrying out conservation work.

Over the last five years I have taken on the role of a part-time gamekeeper for a family shoot. I participate in pest control, cull deer for an estate, and enjoy wildfowling. I am also a Sussex Deer Warden, performing humane despatch. I have mentored individuals stalking for FAC approval.

I have owned a working springer spaniel for the last 5 years – training is in progress!

To increase my knowledge, I have undertaken courses organised by BASC, including DSC1, Carcass Preparation and Butchery, Safe Shot and Shotgun Safety Officer.

I am an accredited BASC Shotgun Coach and regularly support Young Shots days and BASC Coaching lines at events. I am also a safety officer/range officer on BASC Bisley range days at the British Sporting Rifle Club. In 2017, BASC presented me with a special award in recognition of my outstanding 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, including 15 at board level, with significant operational and budget responsibilities. I gained a lot of experience of public consultations, and user involvement and engagement in developing services that were fit for purpose. My experience in developing effective communication strategies, using social media and electronic communication, forming alliances and collaborating with a wide range of organisations to achieve common goals will be invaluable to BASC in achieving political objectives.

My principal concern and reason for seeking election to the BASC council is that I believe I can make a significant contribution in supporting the organisation and ensuring the future of shooting sports and associated activities.

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 educate the wider public, as well as the politicians, that shooting is a legitimate sport, pest control is essential for agriculture, forestry, habitat management, and that game is both sustainable and dealt with respect and in a humane way.

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

THE ELECTION IS NOW CLOSED

The election results are due to be announced at the BASC AGM on 11 July 2020.

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