President S Annual Report 2013

President S Annual Report 2013

President’s Annual Report 2013


It has been an honour and a privilege to hold the position of President of CIPFA North East for these last twelve months and to serve our members in the region. It’s also been truly inspiring to work with such a dedicated and enterprising team of volunteers that make up our Executive Committee and I’m profoundly grateful for the support of each and every one.

2013 - A Year to Remember

Throughout 2013 we hosted a range of events, attended by nearly 300 members, delivering great quality continuous professional development, thought provoking content and often great entertainment. Set out below is just a flavour of our programme.

Annual Dinner

The year started with around 60 CIPFA members and guests meeting at the Assembly Rooms, Newcastle for the region’s Annual Dinner. The evening started with a drinks reception and photographs of newly qualified members with the then Institute President Sir Tony Redmond and the then CIPFA NE President Jane Cuthbertson.

Following an introduction from Jane and acknowledgement to Deloitte as sponsors of the Dinner, Sir Tony Redmond gave a short pre dinner speech, emphasising the theme of Professionalism.

Dinner was followed by an entertaining quiz hosted by the irrepressible George Clark. Once the formal proceedings were over, colleagues old and new developed and renewed acquaintances and the discussions and networking continued late into the night.

Professional Update Day

Gateshead Civic Centre was the venue for our 4th annual professional development day. The event was yet another huge success with over 70 attendees enjoying a stimulating and thought provoking array of presentations, themed around collaboration.

The day started with Murray Rose from Darlington Borough Council explaining the approach to collaboration taken by Tees Valley authorities. This was followed by Clare Wilson from NHS England setting out the challenges and opportunities in the new health landscape. Next up was Dave Jennings who described the key role of finance in working collaboratively with service managers to develop solutions to the funding challenges of Redcar and Cleveland Council and then Mike Tait of Northumbria Police outlined the issues facing the police service, stressing the need to ensure that communities are at the heart of planning and the need to protect front line, visible, policing during this austere age.

The afternoon saw presentations from Mike Cockburn, Mandi Sherlock-Storey and Rob Gee on positive psychology, the importance of personal resilience, personal effectiveness and leadership. Students from the region also held a session with CIPFA's James Platt regarding the new Personal Experience Portfolio.

Annual General Meeting

The Professional Update Day was followed by the CIPFA North East Regional Annual General Meeting (AGM), marking the end of the two year tenure of Jane Cuthbertson as President of the Region.

Incoming president, Michael Brodie, reflected upon Jane's presidency describing her energy, commitment and passion for CIPFA North East as inspiring and a difficult act to follow!

Joint Masterclass on Procurement Fraud

The full house signs were up at Gateshead Civic Centre when CIPFA North East, in partnership with the North East Fraud Forum, held a master class in the prevention and detection of procurement fraud. Speakers from NHS Protect, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, Newcastle University and law firm Watson Burton highlighted the major risks from procurement fraud and the measures which can be taken to mitigate these risks.

Annual Golf Day

CIPFA North East hosted its annual golf day in June, sponsored by KPMG, at the fantastic Gosforth Golf Club – 'the Bridlepath'. The course was in immaculate condition and with a scorching day of sunshine the scene was set for a fabulous day of golf. With 21 players taking part the day culminated with CIPFA North East President Michael Brodie (left) presenting the Lady Lambert trophy to the winner, Alan Hall (right).

The North East Accountancy Awards

The awards evening took place at the Hilton Hotel, Newcastle/Gateshead in June and was a memorable opportunity to celebrate in the company of colleagues and peers. The awards ceremony was hosted by Carol Malia, BBC Look North presenter.

CIPFA North East were proud to sponsor the Public Sector Team of the Year Award, which this year was won by Cleveland Police. There were successes too for CIPFA members in the Finance Director of the Year and Employer of the Year categories.

Join Health and Social Care event

In September, CIPFA North East collaborated with the HFMA Northern Branch to host a joint workshop on Health and Social Care. Attended by nearly 50 delegates the workshop explored the issues and opportunities for closer working, identifying areas of good practice and how finance can add value to the integration agenda.

James Duncan of Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Patrick Melia, (then) of South Tyneside Council opened the session with fascinating insights from both an NHS and local government perspective. They set the challenge in context, identifying the scale of financial pressures and the need to integrate health and social care services in the medium term.

6th Form Management Games

Five teams competed in the second CIPFA North East 6th Form Management Games held at South Tyneside College in October. Based on the fictional Borough of Emmstone the teams were faced with the need to identify revenue savings (which increased as the day went on) whilst at the same time bidding for grant funding. Their two major tasks were to draft a report outlining their proposals and then do a presentation to the board of governors.

Throughout the day they were faced with interruptions and attempts to influence their decision making, giving them exposure to everyday working life in the public sector. After a very close competition Cramlington Learning Village came out on top. (A big thank you to the volunteers who made the day a success).

Annual Conference 2013

After the success of our first two annual conferences, we returned to the Sage in Gateshead in November to hold our third conference supported by our sponsors PwC, Sellick, and Zurich Insurance.

Sir Tony Redmond opened the conference and introduced the main theme of the day; the interplay between local, national and international issues. After a welcome from the Mayor of Gateshead, the Chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Paul Woolston, gave an overview of the local economic environment, and the role and achievements of the LEP. He noted the success of the North East as an exporting region and outlined the need for greater innovation connectivity and leadership.

Duncan Selbie, the enigmatic Chief Executive of Public Health England delivered an engaging presentation on the value of public health interventions and the importance of health and wellbeing, which is all too often conflated with the NHS and healthcare.

James Ramsbotham of the North East Chamber of Commerce then passionately advocated the North East as a great place to do business, addressing how the public sector can support local businesses leveraging benefits from collaborative procurement.

Ian Dormer of the Institute of Directors then delivered a thought provoking presentation and was followed by Rob Gee of the Sellick Group who spoke about authentic world class Leadership.

The final speaker of the day was Rob Whiteman, CIPFA Chief Executive who talked authoritatively on a range of topics from the economy, through to the future direction of CIPFA. This was followed by a lively and challenging panel session.

Looking to the future – 2014 and beyond

The Executive Committee at CIPFA North East are passionate about being the best regional committee we can be. During 2014 we will focus our energies on the following four enduring priorities :

  1. We will provide great services for our members through an interesting and varied series of professional and social events
  1. We will model as a regional institute the increased collaboration that our members need to undertake in their day to day professional roles
  1. We will increase our influence both regionally and nationally with local employers, regional and national bodies and the wider profession
  1. We will support our students in the region by continuing to explore options with CIPFA nationally to deliver an improved offering


As proud as I have been to serve CIPFA members in the region this year, I count myself as equally fortunate to have such dedicated and talented colleagues supporting me on our Executive Committee. Our annual conference, golf day, dinner and events programme just wouldn’t have been possible without their enthusiasm. These things don’t happen by accident.

Equally, I’d like to say thank you to all those who have supported the region through volunteering to act as exam invigilators or supporting our wonderful 6th form management games.

And finally …

With its emphasis on public service and value for the taxpayer, CIPFA is a truly special Institute and one which looks set to go from strength to strength in the years ahead. As a region, we have a real opportunity to help shape the future and influence public service financial management. I’d therefore ask every member to spare whatever time they can to help support the development of our profession, our Institute and our region. Do please get in touch through any of the following routes :

CIPFA North East Region group CIPFA in the North East Region

CIPFA in the North East Region page @cipfanortheast

Michael Brodie

President – CIPFA North East

March 2014