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April 24, 2013

Speed up culture change

Most people agree that the way we think about and deliver public services in the future has to change. The Christie Commission’s report into the future of public services was unequivocal about this. Implementing the necessary changes will be a huge challenge and it’s no surprise that those with the most to lose seem to be resisting them the most.  But if the deeply embedded culture that shapes so much of the public sector isn’t challenged and changed quickly, this recent sorry tale from Lochaber will become an all too familiar norm.


Speed up culture change 

It is with great sadness that we write to inform you that we, the Board of Lochaber Sports Association, are on the point of resigning, and not standing for re-election at our forthcoming AGM.  

We are being forced to shelve both the Indoor Training Facility project and any hope of developing a sustainable pitch maintenance programme for Lochaber’s sports pitches.

It seems it has become well-nigh impossible for LSA’s current Board of Directors to work with Highland Council, whose support is essential to move either of these exciting projects forward.  

We outline, as attached, summaries of events leading to this conclusion and urge you to support us and make your feelings very clear, as we are now doing – to your councillor, MSP, local radio station and the wider press.  Although most of you have already contributed to the 2009 questionnaire, the 2010 survey, last year’s independent Feasibility Study and public consultation, it seems this is not enough. We are writing to Ron MacKenzie, Head of Support Services (Education Culture and Sport) to ascertain exactly what criteria they base their decision-making on, if not the clearly expressed and independently researched needs of the community.

This outcome is totally devastating to all of us; we have worked extremely hard for four years in our efforts to address the most urgent needs of our clubs, and the disappointment of potentially letting so many of you down is immense.  However, we wish to make it very clear that we believe Lochaber Sports Association has much to achieve in many other essential areas of sports development and are happy that in our time, and with your support, we have gone some way to bringing the clubs and community together.  In the right hands, the Association will continue to have a strong voice and if it comes to it, it may even be that a new Board will have the courage to take up the cudgels with the facilities projects.  

Meanwhile, we thank you for your support and will shortly announce a date for our forthcoming AGM.

With Best Wishes

From the Board of Lochaber Sports Association

Jane Blanchard

Duncan MacPhee

Christine Falconer

Leen Volwerk

Alastair MacIntyre

Damian Foster

Stewart Sandison

Lochaber Sports Association