Having returned from the Christmas / New Year break I was fully expecting business to start getting back to normal. However, rather than a gentle re-entry to business as usual its been pretty full on from Monday morning til Friday night, with Council budget discussions woven into much of the activity. The highlights as follows -
Monday - mostly consumed by preparation for forthcoming committee meetings i.e. briefings on reports.
Tuesday - Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation. As a new member of the Grants Committee this was a training session on new software to assist the assessment process and an introduction to how the grants application and decision making works.
Wednesday - A very constructive meeting with some of the key players in the Advice Services sector in the city to discuss ideas on how we can all work more collaboratively to meet the challenge of an ever increasing number of victims of Welfare Reform changes seeking help and advice.
Thursday - Visited Castlebrae High School in Craigmillar with a few colleagues. The school is under threat of closure, partly due to the declining number of local families choosing to send their children there. Have to say though that we were very impressed by the commitment of staff and current pupils and the warm, welcoming atmosphere throughout the school. The additional community based services that provide an additional layer of support and identity to the place certainly made an impression too. Then a quick dash across town to say a few words at the retirement do of Rab McEwan, long serving "Jannie" at Clovenstone Community Centre. Having been a loyal public servant Rab is retiring to spend more time with his Boxing Club !
Friday - Second meeting of the new Shadow Health and Social Care Partnership. Much better than our first meeting last month with a greater feel of ownership of the many areas that are still under development prior to us "going live" in April. Still an awful lot of work to do and we agreed to bring strategy document / work plan back to the next meeting so that we can monitor progress more effectively.
So, busy start to the year and every indication that its going to get busier !