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.

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