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Reunion 2015: Q&A Session

One of the main events at Gilwell Reunion each year is the Question and Answer session.  This year Chief Commissioner Wayne Bulpitt and Chief Exec Matt Hyde, were joined by UK Youth Commissioner Hannah Kentish to answer any questions that attendees had.   We were on hand to record the full session.

Individual questions are broken out later in the article.

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Unsurprisingly, the progress of Compass was the first question raised with Wayne joking that:

“This might have been something that we were expecting.”

Matt Hyde went on to explain:

“It goes without saying…that the impact of Compass and the launch of Compass over the last year has been horrendous and has impacted on people locally in a way that it has made it so much more difficult for you to do your jobs for a management tool that was designed, and is designed, to make your lives easier.”

Matt added:

“We want to apologise and we keep apologising for the impact that this has had on you locally.”

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The next question was around the change of membership fees where adults will no longer have to pay a membership fee to headquarters.

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Wayne explained that:

“January of next year sees a change, not to the total amount of the membership fee, but the way we [The Scout Association] collect the membership fee“.

You can find out more about the fee changes from our recent article on the news http://scoutradio.org.uk/2015/07/uk-membership-…ts-in-scouting/.

Next we heard concerns that local authorities are very antiuniformed organisations and are not doing enough for Scouting.

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Wayne countered these concerns by stating:

“At the moment the independent youth services are complaining that the uniformed organisations are getting too much money from central government”.

Wayne also highlighted that at the recent British Youth Council delegate vote

“Almost every candidate was referencing their Scouting experience to show why they should be a BYC delegate, that’s an amazing turnaround from the image that Scouting had within environments like BYC, within local authorities, within the local community.”

The next question surrounded grants for new sections being based on post codes as opposed to looking at the needs of the area with Burton being used as an example.

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“We are very conscious that there are potential local conflicts between the very targeted areas that the central government funding is focused on and the widening resources that we are trying to use, and how there is a postcode and when you are a yard the wrong side of the funding to help you get started changes dramatically.”

Moving away from the questions there was time for some praise for the Scout Association around a few pieces of design including the World Scout Jamboree UK Contingent logo:

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“The crane has very special significance in Japan, particularly around Hirosioma and you would not believe how many people I met in japan after the jamboree who were really touched that we had adopted that.” 

This was concluded by the suggestion that the TSA design team should look at the current uniform.

The final featured question was about the scouts.org.uk website and whether there are any plans to improve it:

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Matt admitted that the project to improve the member resource section has been put on pause explaining that:

“We are looking at it as part of our wider digital strategy”

before reassuring all that the Scout Association want to do things properly.

Visit http://scoutradio.org.uk/reunion for more news and interviews from Gilwell Reunion 2015.