The week is running away from me, so this is a briefer weeknote than normal to make sure I keep on track.
Learning from the housing neighbourhoods team
I took some time last Monday morning to get out and about with a colleague from the De Beauvoir and Queensbridge neighbourhood housing office. I find opportunities like this really valuable as it helps me get a better understanding of the work that the users we support do.
We took a walking visit around one of the estates he’s responsible for, starting out by discussing potential placement for additional secure cycle storage with a colleague from the asset management team (there’s growing demand for cycle hangers across the borough, including residents of our estates). And we also talked about areas where there might be opportunities for us to help with the use of data to help our colleagues better understand assets and demand across our estates.
It was very encouraging to hear how positive the team are about the work we’ve been doing with housing colleagues to provide better digital tools for staff. The app for tenancy visits is proving very valuable and the team are looking forward to further processes being added to this and also the ability to report and follow up repairs while they are on the move. Our work on connectivity is also meeting a real need, with current providers being very variable in the service they provide to our tenants and leaseholders.
I also heard that the work that’s taken place to integrate waste and cleaning services for housing estates as part of the services provided for the rest of the borough has gone very well – with very positive comments about the quality of service that housing receive from the Hackney waste service. And it was interesting to discuss how AirBnb has impacted on estates, with some leaseholders letting out their properties to short term guests.
Other highlights from last week were:
- I caught up with a colleague at another London council to share experiences from our work in Hackney and discuss ways we might learn from their work too.
- I popped to Regent Street for a preview event at Microsoft’s new store, which opened the following day. It’s an interesting development that they’ve clearly put a lot of effort into, with a big push on their offer to consumers as well as their traditional business market. I got to try out one of their Hololens augmented reality headsets, which is a concept that I think has a lot of potential. Although the live demo gremlins showed up and it took quite a bit of faffing to get it to work!
- I joined other colleagues to discuss work across central and local government to improve the UK’s cyber resilience. It was positive to see that we’re in a good position in terms of the work we’ve been doing at Hackney to make sure our systems and data are secure.
- And the week wrapped up with a sporting theme with the annual Hackney rounders tournament on Thursday (we lost, but recovered our pride by winning our last game) and the Shoreditch 10k on Sunday (where I was chuffed to crack the 50 minute barrier and get a personal best time).
Something I’m learning
I’ve been thinking about hippos. I’m mulling over how we make sure that we continue to Trust the Team and also how we tie that in with making decisions in the right way, by the right people (linking with the governance principles that Cate set out (https://blogs.hackney.gov.uk/hackit/governance-so-good-people-prefer-to-use-it). I think that’s one for a blog post, so watch this space!