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AGM 2011


Cadet 150 Parade, Preston 2010


Chairmans Report
The SDSR was predicated on the recommendations of the governments National Security Strategy which were to ensure British forces in Afghanistan had the equipment they needed, to bring the defence programme back into balance and to enable this country to retain the best and most versatile armed forces in the world. The SDSR made it clear that the flexibility of the Armed Forces and the maintenance of a broad spectrum of capabilities were highly important, as were geographical reach and ability to engage in high intensity operations. It declared that the Armed Forces would be balanced, flexible and adaptable, rigorously prioritised on pragmatic decisions based on needs and expeditionary in character. Regrettably it did not include any specific statement about the broad strategy to be followed. Major decisions were made about the future size and shape of the regular Armed Forces but there was no mention of the Reserve Forces. end of June 2011. Throughout the Review team will report periodically to the Prime Minister. We hope that by the Summer we will know the role and future size and shape of the reserves which will affect so much of what we do.

Defence Youth Engagement

Concurrently a Defence Youth Engagement Review is being carried out to determine what youth engagement should be undertaken by defence and how it can be most cost effectively delivered. The review team is being led by Brigadier James Plastow and is scheduled to produce its report by October 2011. The review is tasked with determining the defence requirement for engaging with young people, recommending the posture defence should take within the wider Government Youth Agenda and proposing options to deliver the defence requirement. Currently Brigadier Plastow is carrying out visits to the regions to seek our views and take sounding. Thus far he has visited the North West only very briefly and has not engaged with the Brigade or ourselves. To date much of his focus has been on the service cadet organisations.

Colonel CT Hillock RD* DL

This has been a very demanding year for all with the first part of it dominated by the General Election and its aftermath and the last part by the announcement of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). The detail provided following the SDSR announcement in October was largely strategic but the review did set in train a plethora of different workstreams aimed at finalising the detail and that work is still in progress. Specific to us and following on from the Review of Reserves, the Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) review was set up. Another directly relevant piece of work which emanated from SDSR was the Defence Youth Engagement Study. Against this background this year has also seen the highly successful celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Cadet movement.

Future Reserves 2020

Subsequently we learned that there was to be a review of the Reserve Forces, the aim of which is to provide properly structured reserves to enable the most efficient use of their skills, experience and capabilities in the modern era. The review is receiving its direction ultimately from the Prime Minister but it is being led by the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Houghton, and Mr Julian Brazier MP - former TA officer - and advised by a group of experts. Many of the workstreams are being directed by Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff Reserves and Cadets. The review is being conducted in 3 phases, the first being to establish the requirement which took place between December 2010 and February 2011. The second phase is to develop force generation options and that work is currently ongoing. The final phase will be to write the implementation directive with the report being produced at the

In my Autumn News report I mentioned that the Volunteer Estate Modernisation Team (VEMT) had visited the Association earlier this year and that we could expect their work on modernisation and rationalisation of the estate to begin in earnest following the SDSR announcement. This turned out not to be the case and initially we believed that their work would be delayed until after the FR20 report had been made public in June 2011 when the future role, size and shape of the Reserves would be known. I understand that the bulk of that work will take place later this year but ahead of this we have been asked to identify assets, such as empty TA Centres, for potential early disposal.

4 LANCS Fusiliers honour Gallipoli Day

Freedom of Copeland awarded to Whitehavens Sea Cadets

103 Regt RA 216 Bty

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) is a new body being set up as part of the restructuring of the MOD to achieve the goals set out in the SDSR. The DIO will provide estates, utilities and facilities management services to all the Front Line Commands, hitherto undertaken by Defence Estates, the Defence Training Estate (DTE) and the Single Services individually. The new organisation will come into being on 1 April 2011 and it is designed to provide better services at less cost. On the training estate side, the DTE will become part of the Training and Evaluation Estate (TEE). The vision is that parts of the Volunteer Estate will be absorbed into this body, the clear purpose being to ensure that the entire MOD training estate is fully utilised. There are some concerns about this as many Cadet Training Centres (CTC) for example are located on the Defence Training Estate and RFCAs would not wish their CTCs to be controlled by the TEE nationally. We believe strongly that CTCs should be controlled locally by the ACF Permanent Staff and that the current arrangements when others such as regulars and reserves use these facilities when they are available, but controlled by the ACF Permanent Staff rather than the TEE, remain in place. Altcar Training Camp (and the Merseyside ACF CTC) are owned by this Association and will not be affected by this, at least not yet!

Aldershot. The new Headquarters Initial Operating Capability date is January 2012 and its Full Operating Capability date is August 2012. The number of regional brigades will reduce from 10 to 8. The recommendation is that 42 and 145 Brigades will merge but, contrary to previous information given which indicated 42 (NW) Brigade would merge, no decision has yet been made. A decision is not expected on the second merger until May 2011 at the earliest.

Turning to funding, PR10 has been a challenging year but a greater financial one, for PR11 and beyond, is on the horizon. We received two in year cuts in PR10 to our Grant in Aid and Employer Support funding, the most damaging of which was to the Establishment Grant which directly affected the financial support we have been able to give to TA units and sub units. Having said that our Regionally Generated Income stood up well and we have been able to provide support to units for a whole raft of activities. Regrettably the outlook for PR11 looks worse. Overall RFCAs Grant in Aid funding has been cut by over 4M and our Grant funding (for estates) by a similar amount and that is before the financial year commences. Specifically the Administrative Grant will be cut by 13%, the ACF Consolidated and Travel Grant by 33% and the Establishment Grant will disappear. Further the AOs post in support of the RSCD is to be made redundant on 31 July 2011 and the ATC Grant will be cut although the precise percentage is not yet known. The position thereafter is looking even more bleak and contingency plans are being debated at Council of RFCAs level to determine the best way to meet these challenges.

Cadet 150 The celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the start of the cadet movement have been an enormous success both nationally and regionally. Nationally there was a large parade in London in July 2010 when nearly 2,000 cadets paraded past His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in the Mall and afterwards they attended, with their families and Adult Instructors, a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Regionally Cadet 150 was celebrated as part of the Preston Military Show in June when cadets from all service cadet organisations participated in a highly entertaining arena display. Greater Manchester ACF Headquarters and County Cadet Training Centre The new build County Headquarters and Cadet Training Centre at Holcombe Moor is nearing completion. As the only capital project being built on the Volunteer Estate nationally, it has been visited by a large number of VIPs and has received considerable attention from interested parties such as Defence Estates and DInfra. There has been much favourable comment about the quality of the work and the way the project had been managed by the Association. These superb new facilities are due to be opened by the Commander in Chief Land Forces General Sir Nick Parker on Sunday 25 September 2011. New Years Honours List 2011 We were absolutely delighted when our President, Colonel Sir James Cropper, and our President designate, Colonel The Rt Hon The Lord Charles Shuttleworth, were appointed Knight Commanders of the Victorian Order (KCVO) in the Her Majesty the Queens New Years Honours List. Both of them thoroughly deserve their awards for outstanding service in and commitment to their respective counties over many years. On behalf of all Association members, I would wish to send them my warmest congratulations.

Project AVANTI
Shortly before Christmas all members were emailed with an update on Project AVANTI. The purpose of this project has been to examine Command and Control arrangements within the Armys Personnel and Support Command and achieve savings that the Army has been directed to make. So far it has been decided that 2 Division (Edinburgh), 4 Division (Aldershot) and 5 Division (Shrewsbury) will be dissolved by the end of 2012. They will be replaced by a Single 2 Star Support Command Headquarters, based at

I would like to conclude this part of my report on a positive note by mentioning 3 events:

SaBRE Report
General Trends in the Region
Each year in this report, the work of the Associations members on the County Employer Support Groups is properly and gratefully acknowledged. Our members continue to take great pride in what they achieve on behalf of our Reservists within the business and wider community. In the midst of a recession we are all looking at ways to do more business, more efficiently and, if possible, to deliver our support and services at a lower cost. Within our region many organisations have been forced to retrench and even shed staff in the battle to survive. It is against this backdrop that Employer Support must continue to be delivered to meet the demands of the Reserve Forces and Employers alike. It is pleasing to announce sustained numbers of Supportive Employers, but we must not take their continued support for granted. In the last year 183 members of the TA, 18 ranks from the RNR and a further 16 from the RMR have deployed from the North West. Additionally, the RNR have 10 ranks on FTRS and the RMR have 1 Officer on FTRS. And we should not forget the superb contribution made by 207 (Manchester) Field Hospital (Volunteers), who had a very demanding but successful tour in direct support of ISAF in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. Some units have had nearly all their trained strength mobilised since OP TELIC in 2002 and the longer the campaign runs in Afghanistan the more the continued operational requirement for Reserve Forces in theatre is self evident. Employer and community support are of crucial importance and we clearly owe a debt of gratitude to those employers within the region who willingly give moral and practical support to our Reservists. This simple truth should not be lost in these difficult financial times. As mentioned earlier the SaBRE activity budget was cut in year which had an immediate effect on our regional campaign activities. Nonetheless, by any measure the County Employer Support Groups are lean and effective and have demonstrated their value through their local knowledge of employers and business, and in Community Engagement.

Activity and Effects

Despite a reduction in SaBRE funding there have been a number of employer support events worthy of note, which have included: A successful employer day hosted by 4th Battalion The Duke Of Lancasters Regiment at Altcar. The theme was on employer participation in a number of military events including live firing and military fieldcraft. Employers commented that they appreciated seeing their reservists in their training environment and had a better understanding of reservists as a result. An evening visit by Employers to the Army Careers Exhibition at Altcar was followed by a curry supper in the Officers Mess; where over 140 attended and the Commander 42 (North West) Brigade, Brigadier Bill Aldridge CBE, presented 18 Supportive Employers Certificates. An employers visit to Germany was hosted by 208 (Liverpool) Field Hospital, to witness pre-deployment training with a US Field Surgical Unit with whom they will be working on their forthcoming tour in Afghanistan in late 2011. A reception in November hosted by the Mayor of Sefton for employers of deployed Reservists and local supportive employers was a great success. Supportive Employers Certificates were presented by the Mayor to 4 Sefton employers. Notwithstanding the loss of EX EXECUTIVE STRETCH and the planned Employers Abroad visit to EX HAIRSPRING in Norway due to in year financial constraints, it has been a successful year of engagement with Employers in the North West. Mr Michael Carr, Chairman of Wirral University Teaching NHS Foundation Trust received his supportive Employers Certificate from Brigadier Bill Aldridge CBE An employer enjoys shooting practice with A Coy, 4th Battalion The Duke Of Lancasters Regiment at Altcar

Mrs Adele Wills, Principal, and Mrs Jan Regan, Head of Personnel King George V College receive a Supportive Employers Certificate from the Mayor of Sefton at a Reception held at Bootle Town Hall has proved very difficult due to the Government directed ban on marketing and the in year cut to the SaBRE activity budget. The recent changes to the public image of SaBRE and its rebranding are steps to attain an increased public profile. However the imposed marketing ban has worked against enhancing the brand profile. The cuts within the Public Sector have required the Association to provide guidance and support to our reservists who work within this sector. Tracking and maintaining the employment details and status of our reservists and their current employers on our database are crucial to our continued success.

SaBRE Campaign Developments

In view of the continued operational requirement for our two Field Hospitals in the North West to mobilise in support of OP HERRICK, the SaBRE campaign targeted local Primary Care Trusts; we achieved almost all as supportive (94%). Across all employment sectors the region exceeded the target for securing online support, whereby the employing organisation is recorded on the SaBRE website. The Advocate target was achieved but the Supportive Employer target

Employers from two Liverpool NHS Trusts visit Germany to see the training of 208 (Liverpool )Field Hospital (Volunteers) with US medical teams

Performance Targets
Despite the in year savings measures we remain on target to deliver all our outputs and in many cases more than has been asked of us. As ever this has been possible because of our ability to inject regionally generated income into almost all of our output areas such as Employer Support, Community Engagement, Welfare (of Reserves and Cadets), Recruiting Support and Estates. A summary of our Regional Generated Income expenditure is shown elsewhere in this document. Our outputs are determined by Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between our customers and the Council of RFCAs which in turn are cascaded down to Associations. Five SLAs are in place (Estates with DE, TA and ACF with HQ LF, Recruiting Support with HQ LF, Employer Support/ SaBRE with RF&C and RAuxAF and ATC with HQ Air Command). Two remain outstanding and have done so for over 2 years, namely the Financial Framework with HQ LF, which is held up for legal reasons, and the RNR and RMR with FOSNNI. It falls to us at the regional level to work around the stove-piping of this funding in order to deliver the synergies between our outputs that are so necessary for Reserves and Cadets and to achieve both effect and value for money. The summary of our achievements against the targets set in our Management Plan will be published at the end of the financial year but as has been said above we are very confident of meeting them. That said, there are a few areas of concern that deserve highlighting. The lack of funding and the ban on marketing campaigns have meant that TA officer recruiting remains critical, despite the best efforts of the chain of command. As well there is an increased shortage of ACF officers which both 42 (NW) Brigade and ourselves are doing our best to rectify by running an awareness campaign in February/March 2011 which we hope will increase the number of ACF officers. Lastly the in year cut of employer support funding has reduced the number of activities we have been able to run for employers and made the achievement of reaching our year end target of supportive employers unlikely. Finally the corporate business software package SYMPHONY has been with us now for about 3 years and, to some extent, it remains a challenging system with which to work. Designed as a Financial Information System, it is being used increasingly as a Management Information System with the inherent accompanying problems. Continued training, in year improvements and the replacement of the RLI by HALDANE2 have helped and will continue to improve functionality.

Financial Year, Management and Year End Position

The year began with global reserves of 241K. Just under half of these were our Grant in Aid reserves which were within our permitted limit. Total funding for the year was just over 14.5m which included receipts in advance of 1.5m brought forward from last year mainly for the Holcombe Moor Capital Project. The pie chart below illustrates how this funding was allocated to our outputs with nearly 52% directed to Estates. By Year End our Grant in Aid reserves should only contain approximately 130,000 (which is our permitted retention of 2% of all Grant in Aid monies received in year). All other reserves that existed at the start of the year will have been utilised. During the year we were subject to several cuts in our funding specifically to the Establishment Grant, ACF Travel and Consolidated Grants, Heating, Lighting and Cleaning (HLC) Grant and small cuts to the Salaries, Administrative and Employer Support Grants. In addition we returned 53K of our ATC Funding as our projections at Year End showed an underspend and similarly 124K of HLC was returned. During the year we generated income of 290K all which will be spent by the end of the Financial Year. Only 3K was bank interest, the remainder being generated through telephone mast hire, TA Centre and Altcar hirings. Regional Generated Income was distributed as follows: Refunds to units for use of facilities for hiring to 3rd parties 40,000 Donations to units for Adventure Training, Expeditions, Community Engagement etc 30,000 Recruiting Support and Publicity 36,000 Employer Support 4,000 TA Centre Refurbishments 55,000 ACF Hut Improvements 100,000 Photocopies/IT for ACFs 25,000 The Symphony system continues to be updated and our fixed asset register, which covers all our vehicles and trailers, will be incorporated in our annual accounts at Year End for the first time. In the future all purchases and sales of such vehicles will be recorded in our books with provision for depreciation being made and the relevant assets shown in the Associations balance sheet. Turning to Non Public Funds, those held by the County ACFs are now audited regularly by the Association Finance Staff with Cheshire ACF about to be audited on the change over of Commandants. Turning to our Trusts, once again they have been limited in the amount they can distribute as there has been virtually no bank interest. However, as dividends improve there should be more funds available in the future.

The Trusts have made grants this year as follows: Stretford Road Trust Macclesfield Drill Hall Trust NW Army Cadet Force Trust Fund Congleton Drill Hall Trust Yorkshire Street Trust Total 4,944 2,126 12,796 170 2,822 22,858

Electricity 1,041,286 7.08% Gas 694,191 4.72%

Rents/Leases/Lettings/NDR 1,774,551 12.07%

Staff Costs 2,547,732 17.32%

Other Costs 496,540 3.38%

ACF Travel & Consolidated 330,603 2.25% TA Establishment & Band 39,488 0.29% Purchase of Vehicles - Capital 140,900 0.96%

Estate Maintenance 3,406,818 23.16%

Recruiting Support 33,144 0.22%

Land & Buildings - Capital 4,201,438 28.57%

Aintree TA Centre site of relocated Armed Forces Careers Office

Building work at GMACF County HQ and Cadet Training Centre at Holcombe Moor

Joint ACF/ATC new build at Wilmslow

Estates and Facilities Management

Funding to manage our estate was reduced by 1.6m in FY 10/11 which in some ways reflected the reasonable condition of our estate. However, this reduction in funding was put under pressure by the exceptionally low temperatures in December which caused widespread damage to several of our properties. Nevertheless all Statutory and Mandatory inspections and works have been carried out together with Responsive and Planned Maintenance. This has ensured that we have been able to deliver a compliant estate. We have received cash injections in year from our customers, namely from HQ Air Cadets who have funded many minor new works for their squadron buildings and from Recruiting Group who have funded works services for their AFCO and ACIO accommodation. The Royal Air Force has funded the upgrade of Aintree Barracks which will be the new location of the RAF owned Liverpool AFCO currently located in the City Centre. One significant new development for our Estates Department this year has been the task of designing housing adaptations for disabled soldiers. So far D Infra, who fund the work, have referred 6 cases throughout the North West to the Association. This is new, relevant and rewarding work for our staff. Work continues on the new Greater Manchester ACF County Headquarters and Cadet Training Centre at Holcombe Moor. During the year the site has been visited by Lieutenant General Mark Mans, the Adjutant General, Colonel Malcolm Llewellyn, AD D Infra, Air Vice Marshal Paul Luker, CE Council of RFCAs, and on frequent occasions by Defence Estates staff. All the visitors have been impressed by the architecture and the quality of the workmanship. Project Completion is at the end of April 2011 with the facilities likely to be occupied in June. A Joint Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps facility has been completed at Wilmslow. Two further joint builds have commenced at Alsager, Cheshire and Prescot, Merseyside. The maintenance of the Cadet Estate is given high priority by the Association and we devote significant amounts of Regionally Generated Income to it. All Associations, in consultation with HQ Air Cadets and ACF County Commandants, have been tasked by the Council of RFCAs to produce a 15 year replacement programme for the renewal of the Cadet Estate. This piece of work was completed by the end of February. However, the majority of the existing Cadet Estate dates from 1960s and 1970s and to make a significant impact, the programme would need of the order of 6/7m per annum spent on it to modernise it appropriately. Ownership of the former SCTC Inskip has recently been transferred to HQ Air Cadets. This facility will provide accommodation for HQ Cumbria & North Lancashire Wing ATC together with training facilities for the cadets and adults of Lancashire ACF.

Cadets and Youth

The North West and the Isle of Man is the 3rd largest region for the Cadet Forces with a total of 2922 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) and 12,698 cadets. A detailed breakdown of strengths is given in the table below. As in previous years ACF summer camps were very well supported and took place as far as South as Crowborough in East Sussex and in the North at Barry Buddon in Scotland. The usual vast range of activities were enjoyed from range work and patrolling to rock climbing and rapid descents on a zip line. Warcop Training Camp was again the venue for the CCF annual summer camp at which over 400 cadets turned out over a 2 week period. Activities at the camp included demonstrations and training in watermanship, first aid, adventurous training and racing over obstacle courses to name but a few. Cadets from East Cheshire & South Manchester Wing visited the Northern Region Activity Centre at Altcar Training Camp to take part in a multiactivity camp. For over half the cadets it was their first time away from home with the Air Training Corps. The Activity Centre is one of two high class facilities in the region and allows staff to teach aerospace activities on the one hand and shooting and fieldcraft activities on the other. St. Marys College Combined Cadet Force attended a 5 day Autumn Camp with 68 cadets covering a very comprehensive programme of events at Altcar Training Camp. Supporting them were TA Volunteers from 4 PARA, 33 Sig Sqn (with hi tech space age equipment) and a 16 Ton DROPS vehicle from 156 (NW) Tpt Regt which was used to demonstrate the Regiments roles in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Although they were subject to plenty of hard work, including exercises with 4 PARA, an assault course and a march and shoot competition, the cadets had a NW RFCA Overall Cadet Figures Cadet Organisations ACF ATC SCC CCF Total Officers 191 270 130 143 734 WO/NCO 694 191 431 31 1347 CI/CGIs 575 266 841 Total 885 1036 827 174 2922 Cadets 4630 3686 2281 2101 12698 Total Overall 5515 4722 3108 2275 15620 thoroughly worthwhile and rewarding camp. The Lancashire ACF girls hockey team represented the North West Region at the National ACF Hockey finals in York. After a hard fought competition, the team regained the national title winning the competition in style to become National Hockey Champions for the second time. In place of the cancelled national girls football competition, the ACFA ran an indoor 5 a side competition at which the North West won the senior match. The junior girls pulling team from the Huyton with Roby Sea Cadets represented the North West Area at the National finals recently. The team is fast becoming one of the areas most successful teams in history, after becoming silver medallists at the Sea Cadet National Regatta. Lancashire ACF girls hockey team

Greater Manchester ACF on Mount Whitney in the United States of America

PO Cadet Megan Duxbury from the Accrington & District Sea Cadets won the Cornwell Medal, which is awarded annually to the cadet who obtains the highest exam mark on completion of the Petty Officer Cadets advancement course at the SCTC based at HMS RALEIGH. The medal was named after Boy Seaman John Cornwell VC who died as a result of wounds sustained in action at the Cadets from East Cheshire & South Manchester Wing ATC at the Battle of Jutland in World War 1. This award was instigated the year after his Northern Region Activity Centre at Altcar Training Camp death and has been awarded every Two high flying Stockport Air year since 1917. Cadets have recently been awarded Huyton Sea Cadet Keith Lord became their BTEC Level 2 Diplomas the first cadet from the unit to achieve in Public Services, each worth a BTEC in Music. The BTEC Level four GCSEs. These have been 2 in Music is offered by the CVQO awarded as a result of their hard and has been designed to develop work and achievement in a variety a basic understanding of music as of areas during their time with a profession and combines both 162 (Stockport) Squadron. Cadet technical skills with practical elements Flight Sergeant Dale McLaughlin and research. Keith adds this (17) who is a student at Aquinas qualification to his previously awarded College and Cadet Flight Sergeant BTEC in Public Services, meaning Thomas Stoddard (17) who is a that he has achieved the equivalent student at Manchester College of 8 GCSEs through the Huyton Sea have both completed the Diploma Cadets and CVQO. to Distinction * Level which is equivalent to 4 GCSEs at A* Level. The Tameside Sea Cadets were given the prestigious privilege of performing a Window Ladder Display to the accompaniment of a Royal Marines Band at the launch of the Royal Navys sixth Type 45 Destroyer, HMS DUNCAN, on the River Clyde in Glasgow. The team performed at the invitation of BAE Systems and were given

Tameside Sea Cadets performing their Window Ladder Display at the launch of HMS DUNCAN

Cadet Flight Sergeant Dale McLaughlin and Cadet Flight Sergeant Thomas Stoddard receive their BTEC Level 2 Diplomas in Public Services pride of place in front of over 15,000 spectators. Recently returned from adventurous training in the United States of America were a group of intrepid mountaineers from Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force. The group, led by the County Commandant Colonel Les Webb and a band of experienced adult instructors, flew out to the United States at the end of August to spend a fortnight hiking and climbing in the Grand Canyon, Death Valley and ultimately scaling the peaks of Mount Whitney, one of the highest mountains in North America. Amongst their many adventures, they encountered real-life cowboys and mule-trains, crossed the Colorado River and learned how to protect their food supplies from bears!

Lancashire ACF Annual Camp

Community Engagement
The role of the Association in Community Engagement is to influence the community, seek recognition for the Armed Forces and to do all we can to enhance and promote their reputation. We do this by providing a sustained presence across the region through our membership. We also aim to develop and enhance the RFCAs relationship with the community in order to improve their understanding of and support for the Armed Forces and Cadets. This is done through planning, managing and use of representational, recruiting, cadet and Employer Support activities. Many of you will be aware that the Association continues to enhance and reinforce the mix and status of the membership of the County Employer Support Groups with a view to using this combined wealth of experience for wider engagement with business and the local community. The value of our members local knowledge of the business and public sector was demonstrated last year with the mobilisation of local reservists for flood relief duties in Cumbria, contacts were quickly and effectively provided to support the Reservist response. All our Employer Support events normally offer a wider Community Engagement opportunity and we seek to exploit these at all times. Service Presentation Team events, ship visits and all local Civic/ Military events can be, and frequently are, supported by the County Employer Support Groups. This must continue, there is no room for complacency, we must maintain, nurture, and develop our community based support.

Altcar Training Camp

Altcar Training Camp continues to support regular units on pre deployment training for Afghanistan and recruit training by ITC Catterick. As ever it also remains heavily used by our own Reserves and Cadets as well as the Brigade Regional Cadet musicians at Altcar Training Centre. Overall and not surprisingly we experienced an The National Rifle Association, increase in tri service units requesting the County of Lancashire Rifle use of Altcars facilities at the bidding Association and the Canadian conference held in November 2010. open competitions were well The majority of bids were accepted attended and were great but unfortunately some were successes. rejected. The shortage of training facilities, particularly in the North West, places an ever increasing burden on the ranges, training and accommodation facilities at Altcar.
Several TA and Cadets camps

UKRFA International Military Skills Competition

Altcar Estate Development

A 6 month trial period to relocate the Red Rose Club to the Sergeants Mess in the main camp was a great success and therefore the Altcar Committee approved a permanent relocation. The site within the main camp is far more accessible to our customers and therefore much more heavily used. At long last I am pleased to report that the Junior Ranks Dining room is to be replaced by the end of April 2011. The old one was heavily used as over 100,000 personnel use these facilities each year and it was in danger of falling down. As far as the ranges are concerned two ranges, A and B, have been modernised with A range being electrified and B range having a new target system installed. Plans to build an Afghanistan style Forward Operation Base are being redrawn to reduce its size, but nevertheless this will be a major asset for troops on pre deployment training. We should see work commence in 2011 if the plans and funding are approved.

through June, July and August.

The Army Careers Exhibition in

There have been many events that have taken place at Altcar during the last year and the following are highlighted:
The Brigade Skill at Arms

October which was visited by about 15,000 young people.

To commemorate Cadet 150, cadets from all 4 Service Cadet organisations planted 2000 trees in February 2011 (postponed from December 2010). The Altcar Conservation Group in consultation with English Nature, Mersey Forest and The University of Liverpool continues to record and map numerous amounts of wildlife, flora and fauna on the estate. One of the many projects being carried out is the one million pond project, being funded by Defence Estate (DE). Altcar also remains one of the few sites in the country which has a large red squirrel population, so much so that the Altcar Conservation Group will submit this as a conservation project to DE, with the intention of competing for a Sanctuary award in 2011.

Meeting. This competition was held in May and is now an annual feature on Altcars calendar.
The Cadet Band concentration

was held in April with over 300 musicians taking part.

The UKRFA International

Military Skills Competition. The competition was held in May but with a reduced number of teams from the volunteer reserve forces because of funding constraints. That said, some foreign teams attended.

Publicity and Recruiting Support

The SDSR has brought many concerns for the future of the Reserves with the inevitable implications of cutbacks, changes and amalgamation. Although the final outcomes may not be know until June, there will inevitably be change throughout the North West. This uncertainty has made it a very difficult year for units to maintain their normal levels of recruiting but, where requested, the Association has been able to support some activities with funding raised through Regionally Generated Income. In conjunction with HQ 42 (NW ) Bde and others, the Association contributes to the TA officer recruiting debate through the Higher Education Sub-Committee. This group seeks to improve the number and quality of TA young officers by streamlining the process and making the offer more relevant and appealing. Recruiting and retention of the TA in the North West is still our main priority despite the reduction in marketing funding. The Association continues to offer assistance and support to Commander Regional Recruiting NW under the umbrella of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) as follows:
Provision of advice to HQ 42

The submissions for the 2011 Association PR Awards have been judged and are available for viewing at the AGM. Each entry demonstrates the units year through its publicity in the press, community events, support to charities and life within the unit. The Volunteer magazine continues to be our main recruiting tool in the North West. CRR NW has maintained TA Young Officers financial support this year as have the ATC, SaBRE and ACF. We are receiving many more articles from units and from cadet forces which demonstrate the variety of events happening in our region. Despite reducing to 3 publications a year, 2010 has proved to be very successful for the Volunteer and, despite changes in the production team, it continues to spread the word about the Reserves and the Cadets. Select Travel Media in Horwich are now the sole publishers of the magazine and the mailing list is expanding all the time.

NW RFCA website, NW RFCA welcomes all articles and photographs for consideration and also welcomes advertising. Information can be obtained from NW RFCA by emailing or telephone 0151 728 2046. The NW RFCA website www. still continues to provide up to date information on North West reserve units and cadet forces. The job vacancy section has proved to be a useful tool and we are open to all suggestions to improve or add to the website. Finally, the Council of RFCAs has signed a new Service Level Agreement with HQ LF over the provision of welfare support to reservists. This includes:
Guidance to employers

(NW) Bde and units

PR and marketing in support

of unit and sub-unit initiatives including publication of the Volunteer

Recruiting of adults and cadets

into the ACF

Encouraging ACF cadets to join

the Army
Encouraging potential officers

and soldiers into the Regular Army and TA

Maintaining links with veteran

208 Fd Hosp training - NW RFCA has provision to support injured servicemen

organisations In conjunction with HQ 42 (NW) Bde, the Association has hosted the biannual PSAOs meeting at Alexandra Court. These are always well attended and an occasion where PSAOs can discuss their concerns and ask for advice and assistance in maintaining standards in their TA Centres with a view to improving recruiting and retention in their units. This forum is not only informative but is also an opportunity for strongly held views to be aired!

who might be affected by operational stress injuries

Specifically to provide

the alteration of injured servicemens accommodation

Provision of support to all

Recruiting of ACF Adult Instructors

injured service personnel

This will be the last Association AGM for Colonel Sir James Cropper in his capacity as our President. We are all most grateful for his leadership of the Association over the last 4 years and for his unstinting support to the Reserve Forces and Cadets. He will be succeeded as President by Colonel the Rt Hon The Lord Charles Shuttleworth. Colonel Sir James Cropper KCVO We will also be bidding farewell to Colonel Joe Harkon as a Vice Chairman of the Association in which capacity he has served for the last 10 years. He has made a huge contribution to Reserves and Cadets over the years and we are enormously grateful for all he has done. He will be replaced as a Vice Chairman by Lieutenant Colonel Leanda Pitt. Turning to the Permanent Staff, efficiency measures being taken nationally and the Civil Service recruiting ban have begun to affect all Associations. Due to significant cuts in SaBRE funding, we have been required to make the post of the Administrative Officer who supports the RSCD redundant. Further complicating matters when posts in Associations become vacant is the need for a business case to recruit a replacement to be forwarded to the Council Pay and Personnel Committee which is not always a given. It has been another incredibly busy year for all the staff and my report would not be complete without mention of the splendid work carried out by the Association staff at Alexandra Court, the staffs at Altcar Training Camp and in the ACFs across the 5 counties and the Isle of Man. All of them have continued to work exceptionally hard at a time of great uncertainty. We trade heavily on their goodwill with very few measures at my disposal available to improve their lot. We are very fortunate as we have a splendid retention record with a great proportion of the staff having served over 10 years and a few for as long as 30 years. For many of them it is not so much a job as a way of life and they continually demonstrate this through their loyalty, hard work and commitment.

Colonel Joe Harkon MBE TD DL

Looking back over the last 12 months, a great deal has been achieved under testing circumstances. All of the activities which we have conducted and the work of the Association HQ, Altcar Training Camp and ACF Permanent Staffs convince me that we continue to be a valued RFCA, completely united in our desire to support and promote the Reserves and Cadets in our various communities and in so many different ways. I believe the standing and reputation of the Volunteer Reserves and Cadets in the North West of England and Isle of Man remain extremely high. It seems that increasingly the public recognises our commitment and value to the nation although we must continue to work hard to ensure that this empathy continues in the current testing environment. As ever I would wish to record our appreciation for our President and Vice Presidents for their active and invaluable support to all aspects of the Associations work but particularly with Employer Support, Community Engagement and the Cadets. May I also thank all the members of the Associations Board for giving so freely of their time for the benefit of North West RFCA and for their advice, commitment and support in assisting with the delivery of our outputs. The splendid work undertaken by our President, Vice Presidents, our Board and our members is without doubt one of the main reasons why the Association has maintained its fine reputation and continues to be successful. Finally our thoughts go out to the many Reservists from our region who have been, are and will be deployed on operations both this year and next. They continue to acquit themselves superbly and rightly we remain justly proud of their achievements. On your behalf I would want to pass on our thanks to them and wish them every success in the months ahead. Let us recognise, too, the splendid support they receive from their families and their employers.

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