Welcome to a new Chief Executive

Nottingham City Council held its full council over a telecomms conference call today, and broadcast its proceedings on Youtube.
This is a first for the council.

The main item of business is the appointment of a new Chief Executive, Melbourne Barrett.
The following are the points I wanted to make, but the actual speech is available online.

I welcome the report recommending the appoointment of a new Chief Executive.
Yes, I haven’t met him.
Yes, I haven’t heard him.
But the appointment comes after a proper advertisement.
The appointment comes after a proper process.
The appointment comes with a unanimous recommendation from the appointments committee.
And I’m pleased to hear the strong recommendations from the committee members, just made.
So how to welcome the Chief Executive?
By recognising just what an important role this is.
Yes, the politicians make policy and do the most to express our pride in Nottingham and our ambition for it. To be the advocates and representatives.
But we need to council to be well run to spot the opportunities and deliver the projects and services.
Councils have tried to run without a Chief Executive elsewhere and come a cropper.
We can help the process by expressing our commitments to the core values in corporate governance.
Our commitment to the Nolan Committee principles on standards in public life.
Our commitment to working within the law and legal guidance; understanding the importance of the section 151 officer; getting to grips with risk management and analysis.

Embracing the tests of corporate governance.
that we are ambitious;
That we want our projects and services properly planned;
performance mangement;
That we have within our staff and partnerships, the capability, the capacity and the culture to deliver for the people.
that we are legitimate in what we do.
There is within our staff and our partnerships and huge amount of knowledge and there are from reviews from the past plenty of good things to draw upon such as gateway reviews from project management.
Our mantra – proud, ambitious, clean and safe. Maybe now adding green would be a good thing.

There is a good deal to be proud of in terms of the ambition shown for Nottingham by the Council.
Turning our public square into a massive stage for events; our castle and our green flagged public spaces; our theatres, concert hall and ice arena; our power station and district heating; our bus company.
Time and again we’ve seen the value in public ownership to keep the value of the proceeds.
(Seg: green public transport)
And to be proud of our city. Much changed. Two very highly regarded universities; the huge provision of health and social care services; medical and bio-technology research; pharmaceuticals; data warehousing and video games; war-gaming come to that; being the regional capital.
Just headline examples of the most enormous assets we have to draw upon.

But we know the challenges too. The public health emergency; the disrespect for local government from government and the national civil service; the direction of resources away from social need; the forthcoming betrayal of promises made on funding the crisis.
That beyond the national challenges of the off-shoring of the wealth made and an ageing society; and the global challenges of globalisation itself, including upon retail, and climate change.

So welcome Melbourne.
Welcome to a great city with great opportunities; with great challenges too.
Know that you are welcome and you have our support, confident in the selection process and the recommendations.
And be confident in the knowledge of the value we hold for the role of the chief executive and wanting good corporate governance.

Public Health Emergency – revised government advice

Superseded on 1st June, 2020.

The government has issued new advice on how to behave and you should refer to it if seeking advice on what to do. The advice is –
“You must:  Stay at home as much as possible; Work from home if you can; Limit contact with other people; Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible); Wash your hands regularly; Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.”

A previous web-page I published is now marked as superseded.

You will always use your own judgement on all advice issued.
There may be issues about whether it is safe to return to work. The Government has now said you should talk to your employer first. The law will support you if you believe the workplace to be unsafe: discuss such issues first with managers, and then staff reps (or your trade union), and then with perhaps health & safety agencies, or public health agencies, including the function run by Nottingham City Council – phone 01159155555.
Same applies if your own health, and/or the welfare of friends and family, would be affected by a return to work.
There is advice on how you should travel to work.
There was some unclarity about the new guidance, so I have updated this part of the advice.

My contact details are available and you can phone or text me on 07876203352.  
You can write to me at michael.edwards@nottinghamcity.gov.uk 

Lilian Greenwood MP continues to reach out to her constituents.  
My trade union, TSSA, continues to represent its members. 
Responses of other service providers – 
Nottingham City Transport
Nottingham Express Transit
Nottingham City Homes

How on earth did it come to this?

Keir Starmer took apart Johnson’s claims of Britain’s apparent success in tackling Covid-19 in the Hour of Commons.

As seen by Matthew Parris.

Lilian Greenwood was to ask a question on council finances. Citing Nottingham City Council’s challenge of £56 million, Boris Johnson said the bill would be met and that Nottingham had already had £19 million.

Enviroenergy – March 2020

The Coronavirus Covid-19 public health emergency touches all businesses in so many ways. Ability to supply, customer demand, customer ability to pay.
People rely on Enviroenergy for heating so the heat station has to be kept going. It has to keep taking the steam to turn into electricity and the hot water to supply the district heating scheme. So that’s where the focus is and the control engineers are being given maximum support.
All the other staff are working from home.
Support is also being offered to people who may be struggling to pay the bills, but whilst emergency credit is being offered (like other suppliers), for heat customers who pay via a prepayment card, they still have to get updates from the point of sale machines (cos that’s how the technology is).

Outturn for end of 2019/20 is likely to be £1/4m better than expected 12 months ago, but there are still a few days to go, and some of our customers (e.g. the shopping centres) are not likely to be drawing the heat they might usually do.
We are also affected by the global changes in energy prices.
Looking to the future, we are hoping to expand in the future, supply heating to the Island site as it is developed and even offer heat station management services to other businesses.

Public Health Emergency

Later advice is available.

The Coronoavirus Covid-19 pandemic is the worst since the 1918 influenza pandemic and is happening in a global age.
A worrying time for everyone, cos none of us know of the like.
How do we do the best for our family members and friends, some of whom will be very dependent on others for help?

Follow the government advice.

The advice on what to do is – follow the government advice.
Nottingham City Council’s response and actions are available. You can phone the council on 01159155555.

I am following government advice on social distancing.
Councillors’ Advice Surgeries have been cancelled.
But you can still reach me.
My contact details are available and you can phone or text me on 07876203352.
You can write to me at michael.edwards@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Lilian Greenwood MP continues to reach out to her constituents.
My trade union, TSSA, continues to represent its members.
Responses of other service providers –
Nottingham City Transport
Nottingham Express Transit
Nottingham City Homes

If you want to help on COVID-19

Nottingham City Council’s focus is on help the most vulnerable who need access to food and medication and we are awaiting a list from the NHS of people who need our support the most. We will be prioritising support for these people before moving on to identifying and responding to other needs.

If you would like to donate to help those who are vulnerable please donate to the Robin Hood Fund

How can organisations and community groups help?
A spreadsheet has been set up on SharePoint to allow organisations to log their offers of help. Please visit this spreadsheet and fill out the details required or contact NCVS or Nottingham Citizens and ask them to add your organisation to the list:

What should I do if any concerns are raised to me or if I become aware of community tensions?
Please report any community tensions to cpintelligence@Nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk so that these can be monitored and responded to.

Whilst there is plenty to rehearse and discuss about the Government’s policies and actions, how it has differed from the responses of other countries, and indeed may well be rehearsed elsewhere on this web-site or in my Facebook account,

I will not seek to re-state the Government’s advice.
My advice on what to do is – follow the government advice.

The following web-pages may be useful in following the occurrence and medical impact of Coronavirus Covid-19 –
Office for National Statistics: Coronavirus UK: how many confirmed cases are in your area?
Worldometer: United Kingdom
Information is Beautiful.