It is not just about sitting in an office
For me being a Portfolio Holder is not just about sitting in an office, it is about getting out there and showing who you are. In between the many briefings and meetings I have made the effort to get out of the office and visit people.
It is fundamental for me and I believe any portfolio holder is to talk to the staff and listen to what they have to say. This will help build relationship which will (hopefully) result in trust and understanding. And show you are also a person and not just another politico assigned the role. Sometime politicians consult staff last or do not consider the full impact on changes to staff. For me, staff is one of the most important parts in any service delivery. Get it wrong with the staff and service delivery suffers. It is not about the ‘royal visit’ but to actually spend time that will able me to see what each department does and the challenges they face.
Then there’s talking to the councils partners. Not an easy task in keeping them onside, as they all have their own and sometimes very different agendas. In the coming months I have many visits booked in and I am looking forward to seeing the work they do.
Today as part of the process getting out there and talking, I met two members (Kay and Sandra) of the Parent Carer Council (PPC). This is a great organisation which has over 850 members and works hard in highlighting the many issues faced by their membership in Cornwall. The relationship between the PPC and the council has not always been a bed of roses. However, from the meeting today, I am confident – while we will not always agree on issues – we have started our relationship on a very good footing. With clear lines of communication open and scheduled bi-monthly meetings.
And those who thought I had forgotten about my blog, I haven’t. It is still very much an important part of my role of keeping people informed.