8 - 12 October
On Monday I worked from home in the morning before going into the office in the afternoon to discuss our forthcoming meeting with the Local Government Ombudsman. We need to improve our response times and we have put a number of internal improvements in place to support this.
I then went to the Multicultural Centre in Derby Road, Hounslow. We are inviting the current occupiers to move to the Wellington Day Centre and the plan is to convert the building back to housing. Catering facilities at the Wellington Day Centre will be upgraded so that the centre can continue providing their popular meal service for local residents.
I then returned to the Civic Centre before attending the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting. This is an essential committee of the council’s which holds the Executive to account and acts as a critical friend. Read the report.
On Tuesday I attended London Councils meeting where all 33 London boroughs come together to discuss policy and issues affecting London as a whole.
In the afternoon I chaired an interview panel for the appointment of a Chief Executive for the West London Alliance, which includes Hounslow, Harrow, Ealing, Brent, Barnet, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hillingdon. I am pleased to say that the recruitment process was fruitful, and a new Chief Executive will start in the new year.
My final meeting of the day was the David Henry Waring Trust. We have been working very closely with the Trust to ensure its future. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recent communications from the Charity Commission regarding our future proposals for the trust.
It was a routine Wednesday, office work and meetings. I did however have a one-to-one with Alan Adams, Interim Chief Executive to discuss how the OFSTED inspection of our children’s services is progressing. Undergoing an inspection puts a lot of extra demands on staff which can be very stressful. I’d like to thank all of our staff in Children’s Services for going the extra mile in supporting the inspection. The outcome of the inspection will be known in due course.
On Thursday morning I attended the corporate induction for our new staff, of which there were over 70 in attendance. We went through the political makeup of the council, our corporate plan, how it relates to our pledges and manifesto commitments. We also talked about the structures of the council, how they are managed, staff and resident engagement and of course the finances. We also told staff about “corporate parenting”. There are about 260 children in the care of the local authority, and we act collectively as their parents to make sure they are safe, have a good education, health provision, accommodation, and are very well cared for, as any parent would.
We had a Q & A session at the end of the induction session which as always was interesting and challenging. Later on, I had a meeting with Cllr Pritam Grewal, Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Corporate Performance.
Today I attended an Ofsted feedback session with the children’s services senior leadership team. I then had a conference call with the senior officer from London’s Councils regarding the forthcoming Capital Ambitions Board meeting, that I chair, to discuss the agenda.
We’re very sorry to hear the announcement that Dean Smith, Manager at Brentford Football Club has left to join Aston Villa.
Brentford have been doing so well this season to date. I hope that this change doesn’t adversely affect their performance going forward. I wish them the very best tomorrow against Queen’s Park Rangers at Loftus Road.