CIPFA North East Annual Dinner
2017 Annual Dinner
On Friday 28 April, 90 CIPFA members and guests attended this year’s Annual Dinner, held at a sparkling new venue, The Crowne Plaza Hotel, located in the Stephenson Quarter, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, just behind the Central Station.
Given the hotel’s pride of place as location in a key area of Newcastle’s city centre regeneration, renewal emerged as a key theme of the evening.
A personal message from newly elected regional president Judith Savage, stressed the importance and value of CIPFA, public services and the North East to her as she championed CIPFA North East efforts in bringing together these three important strands in her life. The successful Regional Programme of Events was highlighted, with the NE Conference (2017 Event now confirmed as 1 December at the SAGE Gateshead), the various professional update seminars and the Sixth Form Management Games being key features of this.
The progress in developing support to Students was highlighted, with strong student representation on the Executive Committee, and at the dinner.
A final key aspect of Judith’s speech was partnership working and in that context we welcomed senior representatives from our fellow CCAB Institutes as well as the IRRV and AAT.
One welcome development at this year’s dinner was the re-introduction of the David Clark Award. Before stepping down from the Regional Executive Committee, David commissioned a wonderful trophy from the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, to be awarded to a North East student not simply based on examination success but overall contribution involving support to her fellow students and enthusiastic participation in CIPFA activities. The 2016 winner, Laura Hayward of Newcastle City Council was in attendance to receive the award from Judith.
Brian Roberts, CIPFA’s National President, spoke of his conviction in the role of CIPFA accountants as problems solvers, as years of balanced budgets in the face of shrinking central funds testify. The key CIPFA message of excellence in Public Finance has never been more important. Brian highlighted three key areas for achieving this:
- capacity, skills and development
- breaking down organisational barriers to facilitate conversation and co-operation
- stronger medium term planning and financial sustainability.
A charity raffle raised £520, to be divided between Save the Children, the charity nominated by the first prize-winner, Gareth Davies of Mazars and St Cuthbert’s Hospice in Durham. CIPFA North East would like to express its gratitude to Mazars, Engie and Sellick Partnership both for their support of the event and their generous sponsorship which were integral to the success of the evening.
'The North East' was a theme of a challenging quiz set by George Clark, which stimulated much debate.
Overall The Locomotion Suite proved an entirely appropriate setting for the dinner, which moved at relentless pace and never ran out of steam as guests’ discussions continued long into the early hours of Saturday morning.