March Regional Forums – Overview19-March-2018
March Regional Forums – Overview - (Details of June Forums to be confirmed soon)
South East Regional Forum
Wednesday, 7th March
9.45am-12.30am, Llanhilleth Institute, Llanhilleth, NP13 2J
The Forum well attended forum (20) included a talk on the roots and history of the Institute and a tour of the building. All AGM motions were supported and amendments were submitted on motions 2,4 and 5.
An Emergency Motion was proposed for the AGM concerning the Council’s decision to reduce SMT to three members. It called for a fourth strategic manager with sole responsibility for teaching and learning.
Also discussed were issues affecting branches including the 20% of funding that could support non-accredited learning and the introduction of the Welsh Language Standards. It was agreed that there would be further discussion, guidance or support concerning these matters.
Mid Wales Regional Forum
Wednesday, 7th March
12.00-2.00pm, Ponthafren Association, Longbridge Street, Newtown, SY16 2DY
A lively, constructive and well attended (19) forum with a strong contingent of Ponthafren (and other) learners as well as a good representation of community partners including Ponthafren, Montgomery Family Crisis and NPTC.
The Ponthafren art group exhibited their work. Cecilia Forsythe, the newly elected Regional Chair presided over her first meeting, filling a position that had been vacant since the new Mid Wales region was formed.
A substantial part of the forum was spent on Ponthafren Learners ‘having their say’. They requested extra courses, and were of the view that course paper-work was too complex and commented on the numerous bilingual formats used . They also set up the ‘Ponthafren Arts Learner Forum’
North West Regional Forum
Friday, 9th March
10.00am- 12.am, Llandudno Football Club, Maesdu Park, Builder Street West, Llandudno, LL30 1HH
The forum was welcomed to Llandudno Football Club and joined by a group of learners participating in the joint provision on the site. A total of 15 were present including Gisda and Llandudno FC as partner members.
The forum’s main focus was accommodating the learners from Llandudno FC who in turn contributed to the success of the event and were keen to set up a Learner Forum and become members. Free membership for learners and incentive schemes were discussed and had much support.
David Elis-Williams, the Regional Representative on Council updated the forum on recent developments and reported back on questions raised in the previous forum concerning the Coleg Harlech endowments.
North East Regional Forum
Tuesday, 13th March
1.00pm – 3.00pm, Unite Office, 33 King Street, Wrexham, LL11 1HR
The forum was a fairly small but constructive gathering of members and staff (8) including two partner organisations. One of the main focuses of discussion was reinvigorating future forums by moving them from Wrexham and linking with learners and community venues.
Ashok Chopra, a learner who now is a Counselling tutor with AOC|ALW (and has been nominated for an award) explained his journey and discussed his experiences. An electronic voting system was trialled to process votes on the AGM motions.
All the AGM motions were supported and an amendment suggested for motion 5 asking for consideration of free membership for learners. Michelle Kerswell, the Regional Manager explained the new opportunities of relocating the office to the Unite building and reported on the provision, award nominations and the successful visit of Eluned Morgan to Mynydd Isa
Central South Wales Regional Forum
Thursday, 15th March
10.00am – 12.00am, Room 4, Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales Office, Coopers Yard, Cardiff, CF10 5NB
There was an improved turnout on the last forum (11) with representatives from Riverside Centre and Women Connect First and Co-op and Mutuals Wales.
Re-invigorating branches and learner engagement was discussed at length. The post Communities First environment was also discussed mostly in the context of the Riverside area.
Kim Vidal, (Curriculum Development Officer) gave an overview of provision in the region, Caroline Davies (Regional Representative) reported from Council and Kathryn Robson (Chief Executive) presented her communication to members and branches.David Smith (Co-operatives and Mutuals Wales also reported on the joint Co-operative event on 18th November.
South West Regional Forum
Friday 16th March
9.30am – 11.30am – Room 10, YMCA Swansea, 1 The Kingsway, SA1 5JQ
A good gathering of members and branches (14) were present, including two Individual Members who had not previously attended. Very constructive discussions materialised on membership and the AGM motions. The implications of the Welsh Language Standards on branches was also discussed. Jayne Ireland (regional Manager) reported on progress and Sonia Reynolds (Regional Representative) reported from Council.