I attended a meeting with Newham's Mayor, and Head of Crime & ASB, together with our soon-to-be Head of CCTV to discuss CCTV strategy.
Mark's first job, when he starts with Newham in just over two weeks, will be to develop a plan for rapid deployment of wireless cameras to crime hot-spots, and options for development of a new Control Room. I was at the meeting as CCTV will now be based on "ICT" (digital) infrastructure and this, of course, links to the Newham Telecommunications Infrastructure (NTC) Project.
In this connection, the Mayor's main requirement for CCTV is the flexibility to deploy as many cameras as necessary anywhere in the borough.
Later, I met with the Executive Director of Resources for a briefing on his own meeting with the Mayor concerning the NTC investment.
Some final assurance/ clarification is required in four areas before the final go-ahead for the project can be given – long-term sustainability, community benefits, the presentation of financial information – confirming that it includes all associated revenue implications – and exemplification of commercial opportunities in phase two. I agreed to arrange provision of the requested information in a paper to go to the Mayor's Proceedings on 5th June.
We also discussed the Data Centre proposals, concerning which we are ready to reach heads of agreement with the developers, and the Public Sector Mobile Portal (PSMP) development.
In between times I worked on Socitm business, initiating a barrage of e-mails to board colleagues that earned me a mild, but deserved, rebuke for not using our GovX portal's discussion forums. I have to admit to being guilty of what I've often accused others of – seeking to use e-mail as an instant communications medium, which of course it's not.
Having got used to using OCS (Outlook Communications Server) functionality within Newham ICT, 'though, this does highlight a major requirement, in my view, of collaboration media – the availability of presence information to facilitate dispersed team working.
I'm looking forward to deployment of the federated solution for the Shared Learning Group, and hope that, soon, we are able to exploit similar facilities in Socitm which, after all, should be demonstrating leadership in its use of technology. However, for the time being, there are greater priorities!