ASSIST Conference 2009 – ‘Superheroes of FM’

Another well received conference – hailed as the best yet!

Many had thought that the 2008 Conference was the best for a number of years but it was surpassed by the 2009 Conference. The quality of speakers was superb, marshalled well by the returning MC for the event, Adrienne Lawler.

The keynote speaker was Lord Digby Jones and he did not disappoint. Speaking without notes he held the audience captivated with his thoughts about the ‘growing apartheid ‘between the public and private sectors. Mark McAteer of The Improvement Service followed Lord Jones with his own view on the changes that are necessary amongst local authorities, and provided some extremely sobering predictions about future local government funding. Pat Watters, Chair of COSLA, gave an update on the Concordat and his view on the issues that were the most important to the ASSIST membership. Verner Wheelock gave an in depth and fascinating talk on his views that concluded that all nutritional information was misleading at best and at worst was wrong. Nigel Risner completed day one and was roundly regarded as one of the best motivational speakers that the audience had ever heard.

The exhibition on day one was extremely well attended and 11 new suppliers were on show.

Day two started with the ASSIST AGM, at which Ken Campbell was unanimously voted Chair of the Association. Ronnie Dinnie was voted on as Vice Chair. Shona Grant from Fife was welcomed onto the committee.

Lindsay Graham of Redbrook Garve gave a talk about the Midlothian schools Pilot scheme that empowers the pupils to register their opinions on schools/meals, etc. She was followed by Jamie Maxton who outlined his thoughts on the future political landscape for Scotland and how this might affect the councils.

Bill Kennedy introduced the School Cook of the Year scheme – SCOTY – and showed the benefit that Tayside Contracts have had from taking part. And finally Fergus Chambers came back to the conference a year on from his talk on Direct and Care Services becoming an LLP to give an update on Cordia and how well the transition has gone. His talk was, as always, extremely informative and entertaining.

The awards this year were as follows:

ASSIST Chair awardFife Council (for their apprenticeship scheme)

ASSIST Best Achiever awardAlison Sinclair, Tayside Contracts (Alison was runner up in SCOTY and her dessert was produced for the Gala Dinner)

ASSIST Best StandGreen Gourmet

The Committee would like to thank Catherine Nelson for her tenure as Chair of ASSIST. Catherine has represented the Association vigorously and effectively and her efforts are very much appreciated.

Speakers’ Presentations

Below you will find a selection of PowerPoint Presentations* shown at the conference. Click on a link to view the presentation.

*Note: In order to view the presentations above, Microsoft PowerPoint must be installed on your computer. If you do not have PowerPoint, you may download the free PowerPoint Viewer by clicking here.

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