September 2014

October 7, 2014

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!’

August 2014

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!’



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