September 12, 2014
‘The Llangollen International Eisteddfod was again amazing this summer. I attended on the opening night to see ‘Sweeney Todd’ starring Bryn Terfel. There must have been over a thousand people there, all on our feet at the end of the show applauding the brilliant performances. The following night was sponsored by Denbighshire Council and included young people from all over the World. The Gundini jugglers were excellent, look them up if you haven’t seen them before.
I did my YouTube message to staff on the hottest day of the year. The studio didn’t have any air conditioning or air full stop. It was literally like doing an interview in a sauna but with lots of lights shining on you as well. I hope my physical appearance didn’t distract people from the message.
We’ve had a good summer this year and the Rhyl Airshow at the end of August was a great way to end it. There were over 140,000 visitors to Rhyl over two days – the highest number for any single event and a great boost to the economy of the area.
I met an old work colleague and friend for dinner in London. I told him he looked well; he told me he has cancer and was given a month to live by his doctors, a year ago. Thankfully, they appear to have it under control and he has the best doctors in the World to care for him, but I couldn’t even imagine the stress and worry he would have experienced when he though he would die within a month.
I’ve had a good break over August and did a lot of DIY. I have been building on my previous experience by painting white a couple of mahogany bookshelves and transforming a leaking garage into a decent gym – for my son not for me!’
June 13, 2014
The Chief Constable asked me to help him with the appointment of his Assistant Chief Constable and I was pleased to accept. Apart for supporting partners, this is a really useful way of learning because organisations have different ways of doing things and you can always pick up tips for your own work place. I think the Police’s system is far more efficient than ours. There were only three of us on the panel, advised by a senior HR colleague. Of course there was work done to research the candidates and obtain references from reliable sources, but the short listing and appointment process was much quicker than making a similar appointment in local government. An excellent appointment was made.
We had the European Elections recently and conducted the count in Ruthin. On this occasion the voting took place on Thursday but the count had to wait until Sunday because many European countries were conducting their elections on Sunday and we all had to start the count at the same time. We had to lock up the ballot boxes in a safe place between Thursday night and Sunday evening and while we were pretty confident of our arrangements there was always a niggling worry, at least in my head, that a major disaster would occur and all or some of the ballot boxes would be lost. Everything went very smoothly on the day and our staff were complimented by all the political parties.
Following the Council’s successful Learning Conference in April there have been some interesting developments. A number of our officers and members have been asked to speak at other events about good practice in Denbighshire. I’m very keen on sharing good practice because I think Wales needs to do a lot more of it. It’s also very good for our Council’s reputation. I have personally been asked to offer advice on various corporate matters to two other Councils. I always note the learning from these experiences and bring ideas back to Denbighshire. I was really impressed, for example, by Monmouthshire’s flexible working arrangements for staff.
I would describe myself as a semi-competent DIY person. I have recently decorated my daughter’s room. I know that’s not impressive but while taking the wallpaper off chunks of plaster also came off too! So I turned to my iPAD and watched a few YouTube videos and taught myself how to do patch up plastering. The results were outstanding. Well, let’s say acceptable if you hang a picture on that area!