CLOA/Local Authorities meet with NGB’s to discuss Whole Sport Plans

Dear Colleagues,

Following on from discussions at the back end of 2011 cCLOA has been working closely with Sport England to try and improve the engagement of NGB’s and Sport England with Local Authorities. This culminated in cCLOA being invited to a meeting of NGB Chief Execs and Development Directors early this year to set out our challenges and the how we could possibly work more closely together to increase participation.

One of the main outcomes of this event was to explore some of these opportunities and challenges in more detail and subsequently a 2 day session was held over the 26-27thMarch. This event included most of the key NGB’s that are reliant on our support e.g. the FA and ASA, as well as a number of local authorities and CSP’s from across England. Members of the cCLOA were also invited.

In summary some of the key messages were;

  • The Landscape is fast changing and NGBs must understand it, including the role of LA’s as commissioners.
  • There is scope, and a real willingness on all sides, to significantly improve joint working  
  • We (all of us) need to considerably simplify the offer on the ground if we are to link to commissioning bodies better  
  • There needs to be investment in the ‘people’ side of sport, developing stronger clubs to be less reliant on LA support  
  • The growing proliferation of community clubs/operations seeking charitable status (eg following CAT’s) presents wider challenges about economies of scale, coordination, support, skills and resource commitment.  
  • CSP’s and LA’s are best positioned to coordinate activity locally  
  • We need to try and test  new ways of working that are place based (this year)
  • Local Leadership is vital, making sense of things on the ground
  • The emphasis on 1×30 mins as  key measure has particular resonance with LA’s and health, but we need to package an offer (multi sport and targeted) locally.
  • NGBs have a growing recognition of the need to work much better together, but there is a long way to go.
  • We all need to use insight and e-marketing/social media techniques to better understand what prospective consumers’ want and to sell our offers more effectively .   
  • There is a genuine move on Sport Englands part to work with LA`s and this has to be welcomed

 Next steps

  • Further national level engagement opportunities to be explored   
  • Local engagement events rolling out in April 2012 – follow this link to register
  • Explore possible transformation projects focusing on ‘place’
  • A further core cities event to follow in June

cCLOA will continue to engage with Sport England and influence the development of the Whole Sport Plans. Whilst Plans have to be submitted by May 14th 2012, assessment  will continue until after the Olympics. Furthermore there is growing recognition on the part of Sport England for the need to have some flexibility in the Whole Sport Planning process in order to respond quickly to an ever changing environment.

Mark Allman, cCLOA Panel Lead for Sport

The Community Games are coming

It’s been a hectic time since the Cardiff conference – catching up back at the office being a priority, and then attending a number of cCLOA engagements that demonstrated to me how important it is to get involved in your professional organisation, shape the debate and as a leader broaden your experience. Each of my recent cCLOA meetings has had real relevance back in my own patch.

So in relatively quick succession I’ve dipped my toes into the CSPNET conference, visited The National Archive, and picked up on the LGA’s Physical Activity conference. 

In the past when we’ve debated CSP roles at cCLOA you get that ‘marmite’ feeling – love them or well… indifferent to them. I always struggle a little with this ‘indifference’. After all CSP’s are here, for at least the duration of the latest DCMS/Sport England strategy, and are clearly a trusted funding route for Government (albeit to drive national programmes locally).

The latest announcement on the Big Society Award of ‘Community Games’ funding, described at the event by Dave Moorcroft, is a good example of this.  The Community Games programme will be coordinated through the County Sports Partnerships who will provide support and resources for communities to organise their own local sporting and cultural events in celebration of the London 2012 Games.  The events will be anything from a triathlon or a sponsored walk to a live concert, and will reflect the interests and needs of the local community.

The test of the CSP will of course be how this scheme is integrated with the local authority or local community’s partnership approach to legacy, and critically how flexible the local organising arrangement can be to achieve real value and extend a post Games legacy.  Maybe I’m fortunate with my local CSP relationship – but we already had a route map for Community Games in hand. Then again I do like Marmite.

On a more serious note I think CSPNET have achieved a good result with this fund. I look forward to future meetings with Chairman Richard Saunders and Director Lee Mason to join up on areas of shared interest notably around physical activity and health and well being. 

Following on that theme cCLOA Executive member Grant Aitken led an excellent workshop at the recent LGA Physical activity conference.  Grant’s message focused on taking the opportunity of the health reforms to create change. Reversing the downward trend in physical activity will require a whole system approach, infrastructure, education, integration with primary care and community programmes. You can view the presentation on our website archive section

Seamlessly moving from our web archive to The National Archive (TNA), the last leg of my mid March tour was fascinating. The scale and operation of business at TNA is impressive, and you cannot fail to be impressed by the professional quality and customer focus of the service. My first cCLOA meeting with CEO Oliver Morley and senior managers has built the foundations for a good strategic relationship with the organisation that took on the leadership and advocacy role for the archives sector last October.

The five key areas on TNA’s agenda are:

  • sustainable services
  • workforce and leadership
  • digital preservation
  • models of delivery (and on line access)
  • cultural and learning partnership 

cCLOA is keen to hear about planning and developments for archives services in your area particularly shared or new models for delivery.

TNA and CLOA have agreed a number of areas we can move forward on together recognising cCLOA members’ strategic role across local authorities but right now views are sought on the developing Archives Accreditation  TNA are keen to have a strategic overview on the standard so please take a look at the topics under discussion and get engaged.

On a final note, our cCLOA annual Members meeting has been set for June 15th at Bisham Abbey. Save the date in your diaries and I look forward to a good day of debate and networking to add to cCLOA archive of great events!

Best regards

Richard Hunt, Chair, Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association.

Post-conference reflections

The LGA/ cCLOA conference in Cardiff was always going to give a barometer reading of the sectors’ mood after the first serious set of savings have begun to bite and council cultural budgets for 2012/13 have been set.

I have to say that I came away with an impression that the glass was ever so slightly half full, with some determination evident among delegates, to do what was needed, to work collaboratively, and grasp the opportunities to sustain and improve and in some cases transform culture, sport and tourism services.

A menu of ‘2012’ inspired plenary and workshops will always leave us with a feel good factor, but with 140 days to go to the start of the Games, many delegates were actively going the extra mile to engage communities and maximise 2012 benefits, and importantly developing legacy planning.

Leaving the ‘2012’ factor for a moment there were some notable highlights that got me scribbling in the note pad and illustrated agendas needing a cCLOA broader input and conversation with partners.

Firstly, the ‘Future of Libraries’ ably facilitated by Cllr Florence Nosegbe (LB Lambeth) and ‘Improving Museums and Archives’ featuring Somerset’s excellent joined up Heritage service illustrated for me that visioning, transformation, technology and digitisation were all at the forefront of leading sector conversations. On the subject ot harnessing low cost/no cost technology in these tough times, it was with interest I read an article by the Museums Association on the use of Pinterest, an interactive pin board, to increase people’s enjoyment and interaction with collections. 

The case for supporting the sector’s workforce development and skills for 21st century service is clearly also at the heart of the agenda and our colleagues at CIMSPA were keen to highlight how leaders of the future could be supported through their Rising Talent programme.

Secondly, Vince Paliczka facilitated an excellent workshop developing our thinking around leadership in the ‘tough times’. The summary from this workshop will soon be available on the cCLOA website, but the session reinforced the resources, expertise and good practice we already have in place to support members and how as a network within cCLOA we can support each other.

Resilience, clarity of message, influencing and positioning, and managing the political interface were all explored in the context of our sector operating in a more ‘localised’ framework.

The big opportunities were confirmed by delegates over the conference – commissioning through health and well being, culture and the creative sector growing jobs, the local economy and importantly the visitor economy, and of course that 2012 legacy.

David Moorcroft urged us in his call to action not to reflect in 2013 and have that ‘if only’ moment. So let’s not disappoint, let’s work together and support each other (through cCLOA) and grab these opportunities. In addition to promoting initiatives to encourage grass roots participation such as Opening Night In and Super Saturday, he alerted us to the Community Games toolkit, which encourages communities to celebrate and interpret the Games in a uniquely local way (Innovative ideas include ‘throwing a tantrum’; I’m sure we can all think of some promising talent for the gold!)

One final conference top tip was illustrated by Harriet Harman – answer those tricky questions by returning it straight to the questioner. Good tactic and produces much better answers!

Best regards

Richard Hunt, Chair, Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association

All to Play For?

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to be writing this week from Cardiff, where over a 100 delegates have made their way to the LGA/cCLOA Culture, Tourism and Sport Conference.  There is a notably higher representation of Councillors than in previous years, which whilst is encouraging, reflects the current pressures facing cCLOA Members to ‘get out’ to these valuable networking events.  Conscious of this, we have set up an online forum for cCLOA Members that offers a convenient way to share ideas, exchange knowledge, and ask questions.  If you have not already signed up, I urge you to join here as the forum will better unable us to support each other in our work.

An early kick off on Day 1 saw Hugh Robertson MP,  accompanied by Queen at one stage (2012 inspired video rather than HRH!) layout the positive legacy achievement of 2012 to date.  In terms of legacy much has been achieved already from an economic perspective, which will see the 9.3 billion invested delivering some genuine long term benefits across the country. The future has been secured for 6 of the 8 iconic buildings and a series of international sporting fixtures planned to take place in these world class facilities, such as the World Athletics Championship in 2017.

At a more local level, a key success story has been the Inspired Facilities funding programme, which has seen voluntary and community groups, sports clubs, playing field associations, education establishments and local authorities each receive between £20-150K.  The good news is that 2013/14 will bring a further 2 funding rounds - so be sure that you make the most of this opportunity to bring a new lease of life to facilities in your community.

As part of the GREAT campaign, 20.12% will be building on the staycation market by offering fantastic discounts on accommodation and attractions across the country.  It will also act to encourage visitors to stay longer and explore our regions.  This offers the opportunity to showcase the distinctive and unique in our local areas, so be certain to develop plans with your destination management partnerships to make the most of this initiative.

However, we need to do more work to ensure the social benefits are fully realised and the Minister for Sport and the Olympics made a plea to get all schools signed up to Get Set.

Ultimately this social legacy is locally owned; whether the Games is used to grow sporting participation, inspire more community volunteering, instigate health improvement, it will very much be driven by local leadership.  So with the finishing line in sight – now is the time to reflect on whether we have put in place plans to derive the maximum benefits from the 2012 agenda over the coming years.  Of course an important aspect of this work will be evaluating the 2012 impact locally; I’m particularly interested in hearing how you are planning to use this as advocacy for the sector and would welcome your comments through the cCLOA Members Forum or you can take part in our Quick Poll.

One area the Minister didn’t mention today was the dabate around the sports participation measurement.  Yesterday’s Guardian comment referred to APS as ‘utterly daft measurement system’, that needs to be overhauled.  Probably always good to review methodology and efficiency of the system, but I’d urge caution in dismissing the  credibility of the current data – many of us base our forward plans on the Sport England tool and profile.  The gap in measurement maybe around the Under 14′s and we need to challenge this oversight in the evaluation system.

Best regards

Richard Hunt, Chair, Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association.

Message from the Chair

Dear Colleagues,

2011 was a challenging year I’m sure for most of us, with the impact of savings beginning to bite, and change the one certainty in our daily business. I’m sure that like me, it has been a case of repositioning the culture and sport sector in local political and managerial thinking, and steering painful cuts hopefully into a sustainable opportunity for services to grow, when recovery arrives.

Many of us have been waiting with real excitement and anticipation for 2012, this year of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, to arrive. Up until recently 2012 was hailed as the much anticipated “golden” year for the sector – an opportunity across the country for the sport, cultural and tourism sectors to shine, and engage a whole range of new audiences. The Games were an opportunity to illustrate that culture, and sport were core public investments for a healthier, stronger and more vibrant community.

None of the aspirations or ambition described above has changed of course for many of us – it’s just become a little clouded by the gloom of the economic climate, and reality of rapid reduction in public spending this year and in the foreseeable future.

I’m confident that cCLOA and cCLOA members are ready to make the most of, not just the 2012 Games and local legacy, but also the opportunities that leaders in this sector are so adept at taking to diversify and align service offers to developing markets, across health and well being and the prevention agendas notably. This stuff isn’t easy, and cCLOA and it’s members have a leadership role to play nationally in opening more doors, and locally in facilitating and sharing innovation and good practice.

cCLOA is in good shape to do more of this, and do it better in 2012. In my first months as Chair, the cCLOA Executive have driven three important steps forward.

Firstly we’ve looked at what we do, and recognised that as an organisation we need to work effectively and efficiently in changing times. A renegotiated sponsorship with Big Wave, has provided us with this fantastic new website, offering a more interactive model to keep cCLOA members engaged in strategic policy development, innovation, learning and sharing of good practice. 2012 will be a year that cCLOA members have more opportunity than ever to get involved.

Our other CLOA sponsors for 2012 are XN Leisure, Lifetime and Powerleague and more opportunities to interact with these sponsors will emerge through the new website. cCLOA greatly values the support of these strategic partners for 2012.

We are also now supported by a new administration and development service, through Culture First, led by cCLOA member Heidi Bellamy.  I’m sure you will join me in thanking David and Sarah at Leisure-Net for all their support to cCLOA – this has been much valued appreciated by the whole membership.

Secondly, we have made important strides in reconnecting with strategic partners in 2011. Relationships with LGA, ACE and Sport England have all been redefined in the post CSR world, and there have been successes in building trust and understanding particularly in relation to the unwrapping of localism for local agencies. DCMS and Government departments are also listening to cCLOA advocacy, and the excellent Culture and Sport advocacy document around Crime Reduction and ASB has received an encouraging response. Ian Varah’s successful efforts to maintain and refresh the NCF, and DCMS commitment should also be noted and applauded, as well as our support to enable a forth programme of Leading Learning to developing sector strategic executives.

The forthcoming LGA/cCLOA conference in Cardiff also looks to be a really interesting couple of days in a great city, with thanks to John Bell in helping shape the programme.

Thirdly, despite a sticky outlook around ‘improvement’ resources in the early part of the year, cCLOA has played a significant role in helping to shape with partners some encouraging support programmes with a sector wide focus on supporting strategic commissioning in 2012 emerging. cCLOA of course has led the way in terms of broader thinking around health and well being, with an excellent event hosted by Birmingham City Council, and SERCO, kick-starting our advocacy for HWB in 2012.

Despite the financial support for improvement networks falling away from central and regional agencies, the sector is still trying to sustain network activity, and this is something I am keen that cCLOA develops in 2012, supporting thriving networks such as London cCLOA, and the East, and South East and nurturing new groupings in local areas.

So my first 7 months as Chair have flown by, and I’d like to thank all of the Executive for their support. With the glass more than half full, I’m optimistic that 2012 will be our ‘golden’ year. It might not be overladen with resources, but surely plenty of opportunity. As sector leaders we have to take these opportunities and share the expertise and knowledge.

Best regards,

Richard Hunt, Chair, Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association.


CLOA calls for fresh thinking on tackling Anti- social Behaviour –

Dear Colleagues,

The summer riots highlighted some tough problems in tackling the underlying issues of crime and anti-social behaviour. Tough problems require creative local solutions and the Chief Cultural and Leisure Officer’s Association have now released some preventative options for decision makers to consider, using the creative, cultural and sporting sectors to engage young people.

Central government and local authorities spend over £800 million per annum dealing with youth crime, primarily through the Youth Justice Board nationally and Youth Offending Teams locally. Ten per cent was spent on trying to prevent young people becoming offenders. Most of the rest was incurred in dealing with offending behaviour, including over £300 million on custody, which is used to deal with 3% of offences. The National Audit Office has estimated that the total costs to the UK economy of offending by young people could be up to £11 billion a year.  cCLOA is proposing a rethink at local level around efforts to prevent offending, and in times of austerity investing in prevention more creatively.

With the cost of placing one young person in custody for a year at around £45,000, it is clear that councils and their partners will need to renew the focus on efficient and innovative ways of providing joined up services to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

Furthermore, as new arrangements for the governance of policing and or community safety partnerships and funding develop, it is vital that creative, cultural and sporting preventative activity is an integrated part of local planning. The examples published in our report demonstrate cost effective ways of engaging young people in positive and life changing activity.

Interviews with young people after the summer riots involved have revealed motivations that many local authorities and community safety partners have heard in “listening “exercises for many years. Young people had “nothing better to do”, or wanted “something exciting to do”. They articulated little in the way of prospects or “nothing to lose”. Others had no attachment to their community or felt aggrieved that provisions in their area were being removed by authorities. None of this takes away the decision making to take part in criminal activity – young people and older people made a choice during these events of the summer.

The role of Culture and Sport in reducing crime and anti social behaviour offers some alternative options for local partners using the positive engagement of young people through sport and culture. This publication invites Government, local authorities, police and community safety partnerships to be creative drawing on a series of successful interventions across the country reducing crime, anti social behaviour and the fear of crime.

We have submitted the report as evidence to the the Riots Communities and Victims Panel and recieved endorsement from both Local Government Association and the Association of Chief Police Officers. Future discussions are planned with the Youth Justice Board.

I do hope that you find the document informative and, in order to help us grow the body of evidence, invite you to share your own local best practice by completing and returning this case studies template.

Best regards,

Richard Hunt, Chair, Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association.