3.06 — weeknotes — a bit of a rant this week

A really interesting week this week, well I meant they all are I know that but some different things going on this week just to mix things up a bit.

It’s been a lovely week with the snow, it does make everything just look nicer and even better that I don’t have to be outside in it or on cold trains. We haven’t had a huge amount, as other areas of the country has but it has been fairly constant all week and so cold that there has been a covering for most of the week.

Monday afternoon I was invited to a Bradford University transformational Government conference with a focus on digital inclusion. It was really good to get others perspectives on the issue. They were trying to be really challenging in the thinking and the role that local government can have in shaping digital inclusion. Particularly on the role that Local Government has in ensuring that no one is left behind. The question that was posed was that the push for Digital by Default has actually contributed to dividing society. A really interesting view and i think has a point. Certainly there are right ways and wrong ways to provide and develop services.

One of my arguments was that the word digital is often misunderstood. I think it means to co-design and co-create solutions and services against genuine user needs but often I think it is viewed as channel shift. Throwing things online and expecting them to stick!

One of my main takeaways from the day was from Helen Milner from the Good Things Foundation who talked passionately about being as hyper local as possible. I think that is so right. Local Government and partners are in such a strong position to make the change needed.

Local Government has been in the news this week thanks to Handforth Parish Council and the legendary Jackie Weaver — Best of the Handforth Parish Council Planning & Environment Committee Thursday 10th December 2020 . It is worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. There was a really nice moment on the Last Leg — not sure whether anyone watches it but Sandi Toksvig gave a bit of a shout out to Local Government — nice to hear! https://twitter.com/Vek_B/status/1358124054876725251?s=20

Tuesday and Wednesday was the Socitm Share National conference on Accessibility: From Compliance to Confidence.. Unfortunately I could only attend the first day but it was really good to be part of. I know others from Hounslow attended both days and got a lot of information from it. I loved the session on the first day where a video was played going through the Sign Language for A-Z — was great!

I had a bit of a rant on Twitter on Friday about those suppliers that really do overstep the mark when it comes to trying to get in contact. I appreciate that getting contact with the right people is difficult especially at this time but there are limits. It feels like I have been inundated with repeat emails; phone calls and chasing over the last few week. Especially at this time of dealing with the pandemic, pestering the Chief Exec is not a clever way of selling anything. Was good to get some colleagues on Twitter feeling my pain and was reminded of Rob Millers Service Standard that he produced and will ensure that I use this in the future.

Been an odd week all in, I described it as one of the fastest slowest weeks ever. But still managing to moves things along and continue to provide the services that we need to.

Managed a couple of runs this week which I am actually really pleased about due to the weather conditions. Some of my slowest times ever but I managed not to fall over on the ice and snow — so will take that!

Tune of the Week: Well you know how much I like a mashup so these seemed to be entirely appropriate this week…

Handforth Parish Council: The Musical

You Have No Authority Here, Jackie Weaver (Official Remix)

Director of Digital & IT for the London Borough of Hounslow