I attended the leaving party for Charlotte Graves who has been Chief Executive of Newham Homes for the past two years. In this period, I have been very impressed at the way the business has turned itself around and really sought, successfully, to improve its exploitation of ICT.
I consider this the best model we have in Newham of effective engagement with the business; and I'm proud that this was achieved in spite of the fact that this ALMO (Arms Length Management Organisation) has greater freedom to explore other avenues of supply than other council services. I am, therefore, genuinely sorry to see Charlotte leave. Our loss is to be Hackney Homes' gain!
Piers, Alf and I met with Bob (executive director of resources) to brief him on the business base that will accompany our report on the larger Newham Telecommunications Convergence report, which is going to Cabinet on 20 March.
We explained the two phases. The first will deliver the infrastructure and five projects that drive the payback. Assuming this gets the go-ahead, we immediately start on the second, which is predicated upon commercialisation of the network. We also discussed the 2012 Olympic connections and other prospective developments – a "public-sector mobile portal", datacentres, and related property issues. Exciting stuff!
At home, in the evening, I discovered that the hard drive on my own PC has packed-up. It's used every day, but there was no hint of trouble to come. I rely on it for so many things, but didn't extend the warranty when it expired!
So, it was on to eBay to buy a new drive, and I'll need to get back early from my upcoming weekend away to rebuild the machine. Flippin' IT!