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Chair’s Opinion

Richard Hunt

Time to pass on the baton… Richard Hunt signs off as his term as Chair of CLOA comes to an end.

In a few days time I will have completed my term as Chair of CLOA.  To be honest, I haven’t had too much time to reflect on the journey we have made as an organisation, but my instinct tells me that CLOA is in excellent health and ready for the significant challenges ahead.

It’s usually at this point that an outgoing Chair might list the highlights and achievements of the organisation, and I’m sure at some point in the next few days I’ll slip into this mode. Claiming CLOA responsibility for a GB Olympic gold medal will have to feature in the list somehow!

However, for now I want to sign off with two messages –firstly reinforcing the value of CLOA, and secondly recognising the contribution CLOA colleagues have made during my period as Chair.

I want to give a gentle reminder to CLOA members, sector colleagues and partners about the unique value of this organisation. More than ever CLOA is an organisation that within its membership holds the solutions to many of the challenges we will face in sustaining the sector infrastructure over the next few years. I cannot recall a single CLOA meeting, workshop or conference where I haven’t left with some new approach or developed thinking to take back to Suffolk.

We have excellent strategic leaders across the country, innovating and transforming services, creating new partnerships and CLOA shapes the opportunities to share and develop this learning, strategic skills and direction with partners.

CLOA members have to continue to take the lead now, to continue to be proactive in an increasingly defensive environment, and CLOA is providing part of our support framework. It’s really a simple reminder to us all – to join in, put something in, share, support and learn and gain something back!

Look no further than two current CLOA opportunities.

  • The local network planning seminars developed with the TCPA coming up as an opportunity to develop and influence long term cultural sustainability.
  • CLOA work in supporting and developing influence across the health and well being agenda is also about to be launched. Early case studies are already available to review on the website.

Finally…there are a whole range of colleagues I need to thank for their support over the past two years, including the Executive members. CLOA has created a particularly productive working relationship with Sport England, also colleagues at ACE and TNA, and of course with the LGA team.

There are far too many individuals to list of course, but two special mentions. Firstly my genuine gratitude to those wise old CLOA advisors and friends that have given me a steer when needed  – they know who they are! And secondly to recognise the excellent support I have had from Heidi Bellamy, at CLOA’s centre – and her patience!

If you have the opportunity to join me at Lilleshall on the 14th June for our members meeting – please make the trip. The quality of our speakers is once again outstanding, as will be the quality of debate. I look forward to seeing you there and passing on the baton to our new Chair!

Richard Hunt, Chair of CLOA
richard.hunt@suffolk.gov.uk

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