In the office for 0800 to prepare for our informal gathering of cabinet members at 1000. At informal cabinet we discuss a range of issues with each of the portfolio holders bringing the rest of us up to speed on progress, issues and plans for the future. This gives the whole cabinet a chance to make sure individual portfolios work together efficiently and in a way that maximises output for the people of Cambridgeshire. As this is an informal meeting no formal decisions are taken but thoughts are shaped and challenged ahead of the formal decision making processes of the council. This is good pragmatic management and allows freedom of thought.
I was due to meet with my deputy at 1200, for a catch up, but we had to postpone this to deal with other matters, including putting the final touches to a community consultation process that is due out soon.
A quick baked potato before a pre cabinet procedural briefing at 1300. Then into a meeting with head of HR to discuss strategic HR issues. These meetings are always excellent. In a large organisation like the county council, there are always issues to consider, including pay, pensions, legislative changes, application of best practice and so on. Understanding what is happening in this complicate area is essential so that when we politicians make our decisions we are fully aware of the implications. We are blessed with outstanding officers, at the top and all the way down the HR organisation. I welcome their can do attitude which is so refreshing.
A brief meeting with democratic services before a pre meeting to discuss the North Area Committee pilot that is being run in Cambridge. Once I was comfortable with the issues we all had an enjoyable walk to the Guildhall for a meeting with the City Council. I am keen that the county and the city work more closely together to help solve some of the deprivation and reputational issues of the Arbury and Kings Hedges. This was a good meeting where we better understood the issues, recognised where we differ in approach and took the action to come more closely together.
The return walk back to Shire Hall allowed me to debrief officers who had attended the meeting and home for dinner. A good day.