4.17 — weeknotes — election week!
Sorry for the radio silence last week — I was off on the Friday and didn’t have the time or space to do any weeknotes, and I have said to myself previously that it is OK to miss the odd week, and be late as well. I think this week given the election it is OK to be a bit up in the air with timings.
A good couple of weeks, very much focused on the elections, the count and then the set up and induction of the new Councillors — the next few weeks will be very hectic!
Last week had a day with CLT and other colleagues going through the priority programmes as part of the One Hounslow work, was really good to get through all the up and coming work just before the election. Lots of exciting projects and programmes coming up.
Had to step out of the session for an hour or so to speak at a Housing Quality Network event — How good data drives good governance. A coming together of Housing Associations and Local Government — I presented the Hounslow journey as part of our Housing system replacement — Building effective data foundations Hounslow Council’s forward-thinking approach to data. Was a really good session and panel discussion on the importance of data and how to make sure that it is embedded early into projects. There was one comment in the chat that really stuck with me: “Replacing the Housing Management System is like rewiring the House without turning off the electricity!” — they are right!
Obviously the main focus this week has been the election. I do think that this is the most important thing we do as a Council — and it really is democracy in action. So much planning goes into it, so many hours of preparation goes into it to ensure that it all goes smoothly!
Whilst there is a lot of paper still involved in an election, IT is still absolutely involved and crucial to the smooth running of the elections. This year we were piloting tablets in the polling station which went really well and were able to get really good management information throughout the day. Huge numbers of my team are involved in all aspects of the election, a great team effort.
My personal highlight is always the Count. For as long as I can remember now I have been a supervisor at the count, and really enjoy it. It is so good to see it all come together. So many people involved to make it happen.
We also had local elections in Crawley and of course I voted bright and early :-)
We arrived at Twickenham Stadium at 7 to ensure all prepared and set up, polls close at 10, so we were able to start to verify the postal votes at this time and slowly the ballot boxes come in from across the Borough. We then verify all the boxes before moving on to the count. My role was a Senior Supervisor which meant I had 7 wards to look after, keeping the flow of activity moving and using the teams as efficiently as possible to get it done as quickly and accurately as possible.
Was a longer than expected one. Thought was that we would be done by 5 but due to a number of recounts I didn’t leave until 0830 — in beautiful sunshine. It is always a bit discombobulating when you have spent hours in a room without any windows then straight into daylight. Even after getting home I couldn’t sleep and ended up watching the results come in across the Country. I managed to get a couple of hours sleep eventually.
I absolutely love the election process and especially the count, seeing it all come together. It really is democracy in action. The hard work starts now….
Tune of the Week: Sometimes I agonise about what song to use for tune of the week — but this one was just perfect — given that it was the election this week and Eurovision next weekend — there is only one choice… Bucks Fizz — Making Your Mind Up