Wednesday

A quarter past eight found me sitting nervously outside the Mayor's office, awaiting a budget review meeting. The Deputy Mayor, the Executive Member for Process and Business Efficiency, the Acting Chief Executive, the Executive Director of Resource Services (my boss) and the Head of Finance, among others, were also in attendance for the 8.30am meeting.

We agreed upon some efficiency savings (that we have already programmed), and there were some additional savings requirements – the most challenging of which is to halve our overtime bill. Since much of the overtime is to enable maintenance outside normal working hours, this will inevitably mean negotiating more flexible working patterns, but that was already "on the cards" to facilitate extended hours of support! Rightly, however, ICT is seen as among the main enablers of organisational effectiveness.

I met at the PCT’s offices with senior colleagues in Adult Services and the PCT’s Director of Finance & Information to discuss joint programme management arrangements. There will be a new Programme Board and the PCT will appoint a Project Manager as "opposite number" to the Council's to initially assess its requirements. Programme content and proposed reporting arrangements will be developed but NeAT2 will figure large.

Back at my office, I met with The Head of Information Governance to review progress against the Information Governance Service Plan. We have continuing concerns about embedding a security culture, and are planning workshops with ICT staff.