Thursday

I met with two representatives from the BRE (Better Regulation Executive) – part of BERR (Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) formerly the DTI – don't you just love these acronyms?! – to discuss its REP (Retail Enforcement Pilot) project.

This aims to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses and to promote partnership working between the different enforcement agencies through the promotion of best practice, planning of visits and avoidance of multiple visits.
We discussed how this would fit with Newham's own approach to joining-up, information sharing and its use of "Middle Ware" and hope to follow-up in a meeting with Newham's Strategic Manager, Public Protection.

Gary and I then "attended", from my office, a remote demonstration of "Abacus" a product from Avolution – an Australian company – for systems modelling, documentation and analysis, which is apparently being introduced in Birmingham City Council. Shane attended from his home in Birmingham. We were interested, and intend to investigate further.

I attended the latest Government Connect Stakeholder Advisory Board at the DCLG's offices in Victoria. There's not much I feel I can say about the meeting, except that this is yet another re-launch / repositioning, although I think attendees generally felt that this was accompanied by an apparent genuine intention to consult and listen.

At our meeting on CCTV, earlier in the week, the Council's Interim Executive Director of Neighbourhood Services expressed interest in our plans for developing the strategic approach to GIS in Newham. I had therefore arranged to brief her, this afternoon, with her ICT Portfolio Manager, Priya Javeri, and I'm pleased to say she is supportive of our proposals.

I'm on leave for a couple of days – TVR's "Big Northern Gathering" – see you on Tuesday!