Saturday 05 August 2006
Last day before I go on holiday to Portugal, have a series of meetings with all of the Principal Advisors based in Manchester Mo, Debbie, John and Phil, as well as Andy the Principal Consultant. Basically we catch up on all outstanding issues and agree direction of travel for next few weeks, basically mines is South.
Annual seminar at Newham now starting to take shape, with delegate bookings going well and already three quarters full on the 650 target for our annual awards dinner. Have a lengthy chat with Des, our Principal Advisor based in Scotland, about this and he convinces me everything is in hand.
Finish off on the media strategy and new logo designs with Mo. We agree way ahead and have a telephone chat with Mark Fletcher to agree proposals.
Friday 04 August 2006
Assistant General Secretary at UNISON Malcolm Wing visits our office in Manchester to get some demonstrations on how the services we provide are contributing to helping local authorities improve the services they provide. Malcolm is someone who's opinion I have always valued, he speaks a lot of sense and understands the bigger political picture incredibly well. He is someone who I am comfortable turning to for advice.
We manage to get through a whole range of issues, performance mangement, BSF, efficiencies, insourcing, community benefits, equal pay and housing. Malcolm also takes time to listed to what we are doing across our range of services and gives some advice on our media strategy.
Wednesday 02 August 2006
Did a number of visits today. Started at St. Helens where I met Assistant Chief Executive, Mike Foy. We had lengthy discussion on future of local government and Mike had some good ideas around better Asset Management and Shared Services. We even discussed things turning full circle and local authorities sitting as a centre point to a great big doughnut, managing a whole host of services, partnerships, contractors, utilities, public sector agencies on the publics behalf. Is this the future role of local government, well after years of reductions in powers its nice to consider something of an expansionist policy.
Met incoming National Chair and Secretary Cllr John Kerr-Brown and Peter Moffat at Warrington to discuss themes for their year in office and more importantly for me the performance targets they want me to achieve.
In the afternoon I visited Peter MacLeod, Executive Director for the Environment at Knowsley. Peter showed me some great work that the in-house team has done in bidding to deliver an integrated FM approach within the Building Schools for the Future Programme.
My final meeting of the day is with our new PR agency, Reputation. Mark Fletcher runs through some ideas with me about how we can improve the Associations media profile in the future. I like what he has to say and we part company agreeing to a series of development targets.