The CLOA agenda
In the first of a regular series of contributions to The Leisure Review
from CLOA, the professional association for leaders in culture and leisure,
John Bell explains what the organisation has on its agenda
Taking the new ball on leisure's behalf
CLOA’s executive met at the Local Government Association (LGA) last month and among the hot topics were improving CLOA’s advice to the LGA, sports provision for young people and CLOA’s involvement with a number of continuing initiatives.
CLOA is the main source of holistic advice to the LGA on cultural and leisure matters and the CLOA executive agreed a number of improvements to the current arrangements for discussion with the LGA early in the New Year. The LGA is one of the key influencers of government policy in our sector and has regular meetings with ministers so it is crucial for those meetings to be informed by the best advice from our sector’s leaders.
CLOA is the host agency for the Cultural Services Leadership Improvement Programme, an important programme which aims to provide a quality leadership improvement programme for heads of service in the culture and leisure fields. CLOA has responded to the IDEA on the proposal to create a strategic dialogue on cultural matters in each region and the CLOA executive discussed the experience of members with regard to free swimming, identifying the key issues that are emerging from this programme. One of the issues is to convince the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) of the benefits of earlier consultation with LGA/CLOA on new government initiatives such as the free swimming programme. It was felt that earlier consultation would help to avoid some of the difficulties that have been experienced in implementing free swimming.
A national conference supported by CLOA on the subject of sports provision for children and young people attracted over one hundred delegates to Anfield, home of Liverpool Football Club, on 27th November. Vincent Paliczka, director of environment, culture and communities for Bracknell Forest Council and CLOA executive member, made a keynote presentation, highlighting the way in which the national agenda for local government through the indicator system tends to focus on those priorities which can be ‘easily’ delivered, for example reducing youth re-offending rates rather than rates of offending. Similarly, the children and young people’s agenda is focused on a relatively small part of the population, for example obesity in Year Six children.
Vincent argued that we need to balance this by focusing on generic community issues, of which obesity is one of the most serious. We need to focus on issues which are not measured by the national indicators and on the prevention agenda. For example, government has been reluctant to accept the link between better health and exercise yet there is now substantial evidence demonstrating the benefits of exercise to the health of the population. He concluded his presentation by praising the physical education and sport strategy for younger people (PESSYP), which aims to develop essential community skills such as leadership, confidence, self-esteem and leadership in young people
John Bell is honorary secretary of CLOA.
CLOA can be found online at www.cloa.org.uk. Further information regarding CLOA can be obtained from David Albutt, CLOA policy officer, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Leisure Review, December 2008
© Copyright of all material on this site is retained by The Leisure Review or the individual contributors where stated. Contact The Leisure Review for details.