There's been a lot going on in the Area over the last six weeks or so. From my perspective most of this time has been spent trying to set out an organisational chart of the Area (easier said than done), carrying out reviews with Area Team members and attending meetings. Here's a summary of what's been going on:


Adult Leader Training
At the beginning of November, Llangollen District ran several Adult Leader training courses over the weekend of the 5th/6th November. In addition, some leader training validation was carried out. I was able to visit on both of these days and was disappointed that only a handful of leaders took up the opportunity to partake in the training on offer. That said, thank you to the following leaders for giving up their time:


Nigel Bond - 1st Hawarden
Vicky Bond - 1st Hawarden
Debbie Fullard - 1st Llangollen
Eleanor Cole - 1st Corwen
Nicki Martin - 1st Llangollen
George Jones - 1st Trevor
Suhani Ghavan - Explorer Scout - Young Leader


Thanks also to Vicky Bolton for taking time to get her training validated, and also to Jo Gregory, Ben McCarthy and Roger Cragg for ensuring the weekend happened.


On the 26th and 27th of November, five leaders undertook Module 38. I'm sorry but I can't remember all of those who attended, but you know who you are... Thank you! Thanks also to Phil Smith, Carole Smith, Helen Smith, Mark Jones and Jill Lewis for facilitating the course.


I know that other courses have taken place in and around the Area, but I was only able to visit these two. Thank you to everyone who has recently undertaken and supported adult leader training.


On the 14th November I met with our Area Treasurer, David Jones, to look at creating an Area budget. This was discussed at the Area Team Meeting on the 7th December. The proposed budget will mean spending £7,300 per year on operating the Area. Our operational account is currently sitting at around £13,000 with circa £5,500 being ring-fenced for the Centenary and New Horizons fund i.e. we have have £7,500 to spend. It doesn't take a genius to work out that with an annual income of around £4,500, we'll soon be eating into our reserves. Once the Area Team and the Area Executive Committee have agreed the budget I should be able to advise you if/when we will need to put up the Area membership fees, and by how much. Having viewed the initial figures, I expect the Area membership fee to be £3.75 by the 2015/16 financial year. Although these figures haven't been agreed by the Area Executive (so may change), as a minimum, please plan for the Area membership fee to be as follows:


Financial year 2013/14 - £3.25
Financial year 2014/15 - £3.50
Financial Year 2015/16 - £3.75


Area Executive Meeting
There was a meeting of the Area Executive Committee on the 22nd November. I don't intend to go through what was discussed here as by now you should have received your copy of Hotliner and I will be repeating myself.


Area Development Planning
The District Commissioners for Llangollen, Flintshire and Wrexham met on the 28th November to discuss were the Local Development Officer (LDO) will be working during the next 6 months (Vale of Clwyd come under a different LDO and their plan will come out soon). It has been identified that the following Groups may benefit from receiving LDO support over the next six months:


Spring Term
Planning: 1st Rhosnesni, (Wrexham), 1st Mynydd Isa (Flintshire), 1st Bistre (Flintshire)
Recruitment: 4th Wrexham Beavers (Wrexham), 1st Connah's Quay Cubs (Flintshire)


Summer Term
Planning: 1st Coedpoeth, (Wrexham), 1st Bwlchgwyn (Wrexham), 1st Trevor (Llangollen), 1st Johnstown Llangollen), 1st Flint (Flintshire)
Recruitment: 1st Wrexham Beavers and GSL (Wrexham), 1st Kinnerton Scouts and GSL (Flintshire)


Area Team Meeting
I met with some members of the Area Team on the 7th December. At the start of the meeting the DCs fed back on what was happening within their Districts. By the sound of it there are a range of activities taking place across the Area so thank you for supporting these activities. Other items discussed were:


The budget - Already mentioned.


Scout Network - Ultimately Area is responsible for opening and closing Scout Networks but it's apparent that Scout Network at an Area level doesn't work. Within Clwyd we will be having District Scout Networks, meaning that Districts will be responsible for running and funding their respective Network. To support this function, DCs have been asked to appoint a District Scout Network Leader. Currently we have two Networks that are in the embryonic stage; Llangollen and Wrexham.


XChange - This will be held at Cox Wood on the 7th/8th July and is an event for leaders to gain and swap skills. It's a free event with the chance to socialise on the Saturday evening.


Hotliner - If you are involved with Scouting within the Area you should have, by now, received the December eddition of Hotliner. Moz proposed four options with regards to the future of Hotliner:


1) As current: Post a black and white copy to everyone with Hotliner+ once per month.
2) Stop posting* Hotliner with a three times per year full colour online Hotliner, and Hotliner+ once per month.
3) Stop all posting* with a shorter, more regular, full colour online Hotliner and no Hotliner+.
4) Post a shortened colour 'Hotliner Express', with the full version online* and a Hotliner+ once per month.


* we will send a full copy out to those who can't get it online.


The Area team currently favour the fourth option.


In addition to he items above, I was invited to attend Wrexham District's Carol Service, which was also attended by The High Sheriff of Clwyd and Hi Worship the Mayor of Wrexham. The majority of the District attended the service the about 100 Scouts went on to take over Wrexham's ten pin bowling centre; a great evening.


As a member of the Wales Area Commissioner team I've been asked to sit on the selection group to Montgomeryshire. For me this is a new experience; not being on a selection panel, but trying to understand how a single District within a single Area works. Although Scouting has a framework, we can adapt it to local circumstances. This is why we're so successful (within Clwyd: 2500 young people and 1000 adults supporting the Movement).


With this success in mind, thank you for everything you have done during 2011 and best wishes for 2012.

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Area Commissioner's Blog


Gordon Richardson is Area Commissioner of Clwyd. Read here what an AC gets up to e.g. Wales AC meetings, DC meetings, presentations, Area exec etc, and also his thoughts and observations


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