Weeknotes 2019 10 25 — Where did that month go?

I can’t believe that a whole month at Hounslow has gone already! I even had to renew my monthly season ticket this week so I better go back for month 2.

A really varied week this week and got out and about a fair amount!

Tuesday

I attended the Council’s Corporate Leadership Team on Tuesday morning, as Clive was away. The agenda was over a hundred pages long, but I don’t think the two are related — pleased that it was electronic! Gave me more insight into other areas of the Council and the amount of work and change taking place in all areas. A range of things were discussed from the Organisational Development Strategy, communications and culture change to Medium Term Financial Strategy, replacement of systems and no meeting is complete without an update on Brexit and the planning around this.

Tuesday evening was the launch of the #StopItBeforeItStarts homelessness campaign at Hounslow House. This is a really important piece of work for the Council to prevent homelessness in the Borough. It was really good to see so many partners from across Hounslow at the event and the tone of the event was very much that it can be prevented and we can help people by working together across the Borough. There are many areas where I think Digital can assist with this as we move forwards, by gaining a wider and more complete view of our customers across our systems we should be able to predict future issues.

Wednesday

I got some time out the office in the afternoon to visit the MD of Coalo — Colin, at the site in Feltham. Coalo have recently been re-branded, in part to reflect the wide range of services that they are providing — including housing repairs, grounds maintenance and facilities management. We talked through the range of work that they are doing and how IT is supporting them at the moment, the areas that we need to improve on and the opportunities for the future. Fair to say that historically there has been some challenges in the services that we have provided to them and it hasn’t always been plain sailing but was good to have an honest conversation and we agreed a way forwards to start to work together more and get some historical issues resolved.

Niall also launched the #1Hounslow change programme today by doing a live broadcast to all staff across the Council — we ensured we did lots of testing beforehand to make sure that the technology worked seamlessly! Pleased to say it did and Niall did a great job at getting the message across to staff in through a medium that that hasn’t been used before at Hounslow. Good to see Digital & IT getting involved with the broadcast, the only thing missing was the popcorn…

Digital & IT getting involved with the launch of #1Hounslow

Thursday

A day in central London!

Started the day with a morning meeting (i.e. Coffee!) with Dom from FutureGov. Was really good to catch up as it’s been a while, and was good to chat through some of the things we have been doing and how they apply (or not) to some of the challenges and opportunities that I have at Hounslow.

I then decamped from that coffee shop to another, taking advantage of the mobile working and spent the time working on a report for the One Hounslow Board in a couple of weeks.

City Hall

In the afternoon I went to the London Peer Group meeting at City Hall, organised by Theo Blackwell. The meeting today had a theme of accessibility. There are a range of requirements for all public sector websites and mobile applications to ensure that our services are accessible to all. Was really good to hear about some of the changes and things that we need to ensure we are doing (added to the do to list!). Also good to catch up and hear from colleagues across London.

Thursday evening I ventured back to Kingston — just before I left, the Digital & IT team adopted a couple of local charities as a team. Together with Public Health we took over a pub in Hampton Wick and had a pub quiz… I was fined £5 for being late — good start! Thanks to Quiz Master Claire Brookes- Daniels and Rachel Cadle — we raised £250 for two local charities Playwise in Sutton https://www.playwise.org.uk/ and The River Thames Board project in Kingston https://thamesboatproject.org/ — was a great evening and for two very worthy causes. Although I am regretting the decision to do Sober for October — there is only a week to go!

Taking the camper van away this weekend — so just testing out the heater!

Tune of the week — thanks to the quiz I still have it in my head…John Legend — All of Me

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Mark Lumley

Mark Lumley

Director of Digital & IT for the London Borough of Hounslow