This month our council took a decision to start talking to Conwy County Council about the possibility of voluntary merger. This was a major decision for our council and a correct one. Our members have shown that they are willing to consider this option if it can help to protect services to our residents. Whether, when we examine the details of the option, the case for voluntary merger is strong remains to be seen, but it’s right that we seriously consider it.
Researching the issues involved in council mergers is obviously crucial and I was pleased that Nicola Kneale, who is a current member of our HwB, has agreed to work on this with me. The HwB provides an opportunity for people across the organisation to be part of the many exciting and varied activities going on in the council that they may not have the opportunity to participate in within their current role. The commitment from Hwb members use some of their time and in return they will learn new skills and have access to other development opportunities. I have recently heard from the other members of the HwB too and it was great to hear how these colleagues are developing their skills while contributing to important corporate projects. It is proving to be an excellent idea.
I have met with two groups of staff who have been with the council for less than a year. These meetings are really important for me because I hear, directly, from staff who have been here for only a short while and they are happy to share their perceptions of the council and compare their experience with previous employers. They are also a great way of communicating some key messages about expectations – both ways.
My son has secured his first job since graduating this summer. He has a casual (zero hours!) contract as a football analyst and he has just been appointed to a temporary post of salesperson for Harrods’ Toys Department. He also has four ‘clients’ (all school friends I think) who he trains in our garage, which I’m sure you’ll recall is now a super gym!’