A year of work in progress – day 164

Day 164 – 30 September 2014

The day of the restructure announcement was never going to be a good one. Getting to this point has taken an enormous amount of effort, not by me I hasten to add but by my team. There were some last minute things to sort as always, but it was a relief to get there in the end.

You’d think after five years of cuts we would be getting used to it but it is becoming harder and harder to provide the services that everyone relies upon. Life goes on though and today was filled with meetings as usual.

We started off with a Customer Engagement and Liaison meeting which reminded me that I have to do something for the upcoming conference but that can come later. With less than a week to go to Customer Service Week I still haven’t got my head fully around that presentation. I had another stab at it first thing and it seems to be taking shape. I need to take a few photos and tidy it up.

Claire, the Funding and Programmes Manager in Regeneration and Economic Development (RED) was yet another tier 4 manager. Her team deals with everything to do with external funding that can be used to meet the Council’s objectives, from finding it in the first place to making sure that it is spent appropriately. Funding can come from all sorts of places including the National Lottery, Europe and the Northern Lands Fund which focuses on animating tourism (making it more animated rather than drawing a cartoon). There is even a transnational officer (they are not transnational themselves) who looks after projects across more than one European country.

After lunch I headed down to meet Carolyn at Durham University. The strange thing is that I have more relationships with Newcastle and Sunderland universities than I do with the one that is local. The meeting was to try and redress that balance. It was held in the new Palatine Centre, a very impressive building which made me think about going back to study. That’s the second time I’ve had such feelings in a month and perhaps it bodes well for when I eventually stop work.

The students are coming back and there were a lot of fresh faced youths finding their way around. Durham town centre was very busy.

Everything went fine for a first meeting. We talked about some tactical things and some strategic things. We talked about Dynamo and the opportunity to attract more women into the ICT industry and I invited her to the Dynamites event later next month. She is going to think about it but we agreed to stay in touch.

Back at County Hall I met up with the new office accommodation programme manager.

Learning points for today: Knowing what you don’t want to do is as important as knowing what you do; Durham has an electric bike trail; dark skies is an animating tourism project and; ten minutes lost is hard to make up.

Today’s enjoyment rating 5/10 – casts a long shadow.

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