Weeknotes — 2019 11 01
Week 6 — The Halloween edition…
Today is the first day that I am able to drink alcohol again, having given up for Sober for October. Now it’s not like I drink lots normally but my leaving do’s and holiday meant that I had consumed my fair share in a relatively short period of time, so took the decision to stop for October. It has been an interesting journey in exploring no alcohol wine and beer — and actually there is more out there than I realised and some of them are actually nice! I feel sooo much better for not drinking, I have lost a bit of weight and whilst part of me is looking forward to one, I am not going to rush into having that beer!
So it’s been another productive and interesting week for me and the team. Some of the highlights in-between a number of meetings with some suppliers and the team.
I took the Digital & IT team on an away day, well a couple of hours, a morning and an afternoon session so that we were able to continue to provide service to the Council. It was an opportunity after a month to get everyone together to have a think about successes and challenges.
The team were not ready for me. I think the culture of IT was quite one way communication and they were expecting 2 hours of me delivering a presentation full of corporate updates for them. That did not happen as you will see in the pictures. The aim of the session was to be interactive, for me to really understand what makes them all tick, how I can improve and change things for them as part of the #1Hounslow programme, what we need to improve on and so on. I would have been bored with delivering 2 hours of slides so god knows how they would have been.
Received some really positive feedback from a number of people after the event, my challenge now is to keep the momentum up and demonstrate change to them and the rest of the Council.
I went on some site visits across the Borough this afternoon to try and get a sense of both the Borough itself and the variety of sites that we support. With thanks to Peter for his guided tour. We went to a variety of sites:
- Lamptons 360 Depot where the waste and recycling service operates from
- Bridge Depot in Hounslow where parking services and fleet management are located
- Hounslow Professional Development Centre in Isleworth, which was a multi use building with Professional Development, Youth Counselling and other services
- Finally we went to one of our sheltered accommodation where we support the warden to provide services but also visited the team providing the support for telecare.
What always amazes me is the variety of services that the Council has, and therefore the variety we have to support. And we only scratched the surface here as well. Often the remote sites do feel removed from the ‘main council’ buildings. (must find a better name than remote sites) I guess this is no surprise but there are a number of things that I took away to investigate further that would take away that would try and help in some of these areas a bit more.
I attended the Cabinet briefing in the evening with Clive — the ideal meeting as I didn’t have any papers but was a chance to meet the Portfolio holders that I hadn’t get met as yet. Was good meeting with a range of things being discussed. One of the main areas of discussion was the forth coming general election and how that impacts the Council.
I even got the opportunity to sit outside Gatwick Airport for 30 mins due to a signal failure at 10pm… So that was nice…
Started the morning with the Finance and Performance meeting with the CEX, which is now my second of these meetings. Performance of IT is strong on the indicators that are presented but they are not really hitting the mark for me, so working with the team to review these. It’s great that uptime is 100% (we would soon know if this was dipping) but they don’t really put our customers at the heart of what we are doing in a meaningful way. So work to do here.
We are going to undertake a customer service questionnaire across the Council on the services that IT provide and I drafted some comms, perhaps getting a bit carried away with the Halloween puns:
Don’t be spooked by the survey and be honest, as it will give us ‘pumpkin’ to talk about….
I had my one month in review with Clive. We covered a huge range of topics from some of the practical on boarding / HR elements to how we start to move forwards some of the Digital strategy work that we need to do. But all going well and starting to move forwards.
Song of the week: Monster Mash — (well I just had to…)