Mark Allman, Chair of CLOA feels that the next 2 years are going to continue to be a massive challenge for those of us responsible for culture and leisure services, but there is reason for optimism and a raft of opportunities.
It is with great pride that I took over as Chair of CLOA at our recent AGM. We had a fantastic range of speakers that really provided food for thought and reason for optimism given the challenges we all face over the years ahead.
The next 2 years are going to continue to be a massive challenge for those of us responsible for culture and leisure services. We need to continually innovate and share best practice and to that end CLOA can genuinely provide the support network you need. In moving forward I’m keen to try and focus our work on areas that we think are most important. Time is precious so choosing the right things to do is vital. I will therefore be looking to my new Vice Chairs (Ian Brooke, Lisa Dodd-Mayne and Polly Hamilton) and fellow Executive to identify those key issues that you feel we should be looking at. We touched on some of them at our AGM, namely:
- How do we further better position culture and leisure within the commissioning landscape?
- How do we embrace opportunities from Digital technologies to refine what we do and develop innovative solutions?
- Developing our strategic partnerships at a national level.
- Growing our membership base
- Providing support for members
The trip down the rapids after the AGM at Lee Valley White Water Centre was somewhat symbolic of the journey ahead of us, turbulent, unpredictable and trying to keep the team in the raft! Our personal journeys back at work might not be as much fun (or wet), but by working together and sharing our knowledge we can exploit the opportunities ahead of us and achieve some great outcomes.
From personal experience playing an active part of the Executive has given me the chance to be engaged at the heart of a number of key national issues and I would encourage members to get involved yourselves as much as you possibly can. It can be as little or as much as you want, but the key point is to contribute. Our membership and peer network is diverse with a wealth of experience and one that can really help us help ourselves.
On behalf of you all, I would like to thank Iain Varah for all his energy and passionate approach as Chair over the last 2 years and I look forward to working with you and helping to promote the contribution that this fantastic sector can make to local outcomes.
Mark Allman, Chair of CLOA