20 – 26 August
I hope you’ve had a good week. I took a couple of days out of the office to meet some mates and watch the cricket in Taunton, Somerset Vs Essex. It was a great match, with Somerset coming out on top by 45 runs. Please note I was there as a neutral!
Back in the office on Wednesday, most of the day in one-to-one meetings with colleagues, including Chief Executive Mary Harpley. It was our penultimate catch up as she will be leaving next week to take up her new position at City Hall, working for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and the London Assembly.
In the afternoon we held a farewell gathering for Mary, with colleagues across the council and our partners to say our goodbyes and wish Mary all the best in her new role. We will of course be keeping in close contact with Mary.
The recruitment process for the Chief Executive role is well underway, with final interview being held on 4 September 2018. Once we make an appointment, I will of course let you know.
This week I also had my monthly finance meeting with Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services, and Clive Palfreyman, Director of Finance and Corporate Services. It was a very positive meeting but we are, as you all know, in a very difficult financial position due to the cuts brought on by central government austerity measures.
In the afternoon, I attended my uncle’s funeral, held in Leatherhead, Surrey. It was nice to catch up with my extended family but for all the wrong reasons.
As a coincidence I was invited to tour Mortlake Crematorium and grounds as I sit on the board of the crematorium as a Councillor with Cllr Unsa Chaudri, Osterley and Spring Grove ward. There were also Councillors from Hammersmith & Fulham and Richmond. The crematorium is going through refurbishment works, particularly in the grounds, and they are looking beautiful. I was particularly impressed with the children’s area, it is very fitting and respectful. It was really nice to meet the Superintendent, Natasha Bradshaw and her staff, who do a great job on our behalf.
Today, I had a very interesting meeting with John Stewart, Chairman of Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise (HACAN), who is a well-known and respected campaigner against the expansion of Heathrow airport.
I hope you all have an enjoyable long weekend. Thank you to all our staff and emergency services staff that will be working over the bank holiday weekend.
Good luck to the Bees who have had a fantastic start to season. This weekend they’re off to Ewood Park to play the Blackburn Rovers.