It was back up to Birmingham, today, to attend the West Midlands Regional meeting. I was born in the West Midlands (Newcastle-under-Lyme) and most of my forbears worked in the Potteries. A great many of my family member still live in the area and I’m a regular visitor, but I stopped short of claiming to be a kindred spirit!

The West Midlands, as a Socitm Region, has more or less drifted apart in the last 18 months and its RIEP, which was represented at the meeting, has stepped-in to provide some of the cohesion required around ICT partnership working. Today’s meeting was held to garner interest in re-establishing an active regional Socitm base.

I did my update on the reorganisation and changes that we have been driving through in our Society, stressing that we have now embarked on the most important stage – that of re-engaging with, building and focussing on value delivered to our membership.

There was much discussion about the added value (or absence thereof) provided by Socitm, and of the multiplicity of interests that we now aspire to represent.

The small, but select, audience (of around 20), however, generally approved of the direction that we’ve set and, I am very pleased to say, elected a regional committee of willing volunteers to re-build a strong and effective regional representation and membership in the region.

Tony Riding attended to present an overview of the work undertaken by Socitm Insight in the last year, which made clear that was much more than just “Better Connected”, which was among the understandable impressions of the Society that had been represented in earlier discussions.

I had to leave at lunch-time to get home to prepare for quite a full day tomorrow, but the meeting was continuing in the afternoon, with items on regional back-up and Disaster Recovery, and the future work programme.

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