This year, the Community Transport Association was honoured to be supported by KPMG for our 2016 Roadshow events in England. KPMG’s offices in Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cambridge and Southampton provided the perfect setting to gather as a sector and talk about the CTA’s vision and strategy for the future; the current policy landscape that we’re operating in; how we can improve the services that we offer; and how we can all champion the vital work that community transport does.
Each roadshow event comprised of a number of different sessions and we’ll be posting recaps of each session on our blog over the next few days.
It’s often said that at any event the slot after lunch is ‘the graveyard slot.’ Everyone is well fed, perhaps a little tired, and their attention tends to wonder. It was for this reason that, after a lunch where attendees networked with each other, swapping stories and sharing best practice, we decided to have an interactive session.
Attendees were split up into groups, with each group being given two envelopes, one marked “CTA” and the other marked “Elsewhere”. They were also given a series of cards with different examples of services or enquiries such as: technical advice on operating services using a section 19/22 permit; to find the latest developments in national policy; purchasing and buying a vehicle; and sharing best practice. Bill Freeman, Chief Executive, asked each group to discuss the various cards and decide where they would go for help and support: the CTA or somewhere else.
The exercise led to some very productive discussion, giving food for thought to everyone involved. There were many positive affirmations of the services the CTA offers as well as areas raised where the CTA could offer further support to its members.
Discussion varied at each event, but in the large part members across England gave similar answers. They often go to the CTA for, amongst other services, technical advice and support; to find out about what’s happening in the community transport sector; to find the latest developments in national policy; and to raise the profile of their organisation at a national level. One of the most common places that members went outside of the CTA for help and support was their Local Authority. This, said Bill, emphasises the importance of the CTA working with organisations like Local Authorities to support our members.
Of course some members went elsewhere for certain services whilst others went to the CTA, and vice versa, and some went both to the CTA and other organisations for services such as training.
The session led to interesting discussion amongst members and provided a good opportunity to directly discuss with the CTA’s Chief Executive how we can ensure the work that we do benefits our members in the best way possible.