Scrutiny

On Monday evening I attended our Resources and Corporate Scrutiny committee which considered a number of items, including our ‘connectivity journey’ in Camden. The journey started in 2015 and the most recent London connectivity data shows how successful the programme has been with Camden benefitting from above average super- and ultra-fast broadband. (The data is available online here > http://bit.ly/2JHTqMM.)

The data also shows that we need to do more to promote full fibre connectivity in the borough. The discussion at scrutiny considered the public health aspects of connectivity and how we and telco operators better communicate and engage with residents and citizens as part of the programme.

Balancing different needs and opinions is always challenging and it feels more and more important for the telecoms industry to rise to the challenges. The industry needs to be taking more responsibility when it comes to coverage and self-regulation, and to considering solutions that don’t compromise health or the aesthetic of our public spaces.

Inducting new staters

We welcome new starters to Camden once a month. While this can be seen as restrictive, it allows us to have a comprehensive induction including a breakfast with some of the senior leadership group. This month the Chief Executive, the Director of Integrated Commissioning and I joined the session.

I find the sessions fascinating. It’s a great way to meet some of the people joining Camden, and to get a sense of what motivates them personally (and why they chose Camden). Some of the discussion this week touched on what matters in Camden: not just in the council or in terms of the services that we deliver, also in Camden the place. We spoke about the role that businesses can (and should!) play in the borough, part of communities rather than appended to them.

With so many enthusiastic people with so much potential I feel optimistic about what we will achieve and do in the coming months!

Listening to our staff

I joined a conversation with the team in our Hampstead office earlier the week and we spoke about comments from colleagues across the organisation that had been collected as part of the Chief Executive’s “listening box” exercise.

We covered a range of topics such as the working environment which is key in supporting our agile and flexible working approach and for well-being and mental health. It was interesting to learn in the conversation that we provide bikes for travelling between sites (and even more interesting that not everyone knew about them!).

I was particularly taken by the discussion on how we work as a team, and the importance of trusting each other as part of the team. Rather than checking each other’s work, or considering how it could have been done differently, our system thinking approach encourages us to take a step back, and focus on how the system as a whole works.

… and onto week 30

Next week I’ll be at the third LOTI workshop, planning the away day for the Digital Services senior leadership team … and thinking about ‘what next’ from our digital future external challenge.

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