3.29 — weeknotes — the importance of Pride — where did August go?

Well this is an improvement, fortnight notes! I am on leave next week so didn’t want to peak too soon with getting back to weeknotes, but the plan is certainly to get back to normal in a couple of weeks. Although I have liked some of the flexibility on the dates and not rushing to get something out each week. Will see where we get to.

August has flown past, I know I have had a couple of weeks of annual leave but it really has been a quite hectic month. Usually August is a time for playing catch up, but this year with the amount of work that we have going on across the council there hasn’t been any time for catching up and we continue to move forward at pace.

The council continues with its recovery plan as well as the transformation programme. There continues to be a range of digital projects and programmes in flight that are progressing well and starting to make some real inroads into the change that the organisation is aiming to achieve.

The council is also progressing with our world of work programme, and I have started to go into the office one day a week. We have also started to relax some of the restrictions that were still in place in the building to make the space work for us now. There are some amazing opportunities to be a very different organisation to provide even better services for our communities as we continue to be rooted in Hounslow. I certainly haven’t missed the hour and a half each way on a train though!

The situation in Afghanistan has meant that the council again goes into response mode with the refugees. Managing that together with the pandemic and as usual, Local Government at its finest to deliver what is needed.

Over the bank holiday weekend, Crawley had their first gay pride. For a small town like Crawley this is a really big deal and an important event in so many ways. I’ll be honest I was quite nervous about going, it was a bit of a last minute decision to go, I didn’t know what to expect there, didn’t know how safe it would be or how busy it was going it be and so on.

Earlier on in the week I had gone out for some drinks in Wimbledon with an ex colleague who I hadn’t seen since before the pandemic. Was great to see him and catch up about his family etc. until… Not going into details but we ended up at the end of the night being squared up to by a guy and then involved in in what I can only describe as a minor scuffle/altercation outside the station — that got very homophobic very quickly. No injuries, police came and were brilliant but no one should have to have words like that used against them.

So Pride events are just so important to ensure that we remind ourselves of the progress made in our society but that we cannot be complacent. We need to do more and we need to be better. Crawley Pride was brilliant, it was a great safe space, so many families, young people, the community really coming together for a real celebration. It was great to see in Crawley and proud to have gone to support them — already looking forward to next year.

Tune of the Week: Robin S — Show Me Love (Official Music Video) [1993]

Director of Digital & IT for the London Borough of Hounslow