Well I know I’m a Dean Martin fan (oops, other musical confession made), but I didn’t really expect the weather to change so significantly over last weekend. As a Scotsman I’ve usually looked on with a degree of bemusement to the reaction to snow the further south I’ve lived. On this occasion, my degree of bemusement came back to bite me and I’ve spent the start and the end of this week working from home with a car that was unable to get me onto a main road due to the weather! It also meant that I spent time working remotely and ensuring that the Adverse Weather Policy provisions were applied for Cambridgeshire’s operation, we seem to have coped really well and our gritting teams especially have worked really hard. I hope your own organisations are coping well and that you have all been safe and warm.
PPMA wise, I’m really excited about next Friday – which sees the formal launch of Raising the Standard, a major product that PPMA has been working to implement with our colleagues at the IDeA and the IES. The brain child of our one and only Alan Warner, this is something quite special that was trailed at our conference in Brighton last year.
Talking of Mr. Warner, many of you will by now be aware that he is moving onto pastures new (not put out to graze) after some 22 years as a Director at Hertfordshire CC. Without wanting to make Alan blush with embarrassment (which I’ve never seen happen anyway), he is quite simply one of the most outstanding HR professionals in the public sector and has been at the pinnacle of his profession of years. Under his leadership, Herts CC HR has become an exemplar of best practice to many of us and is still innovating – I seem to remember Alan and the team being the first in the public sector to win a Personnel Today Award, but that’s a few years ago now and just says how long I’ve been around! Seriously, Alan’s gain is Hertfordshire’s loss….but I’m confident we can find a way to ensure his continued contribution to PPMA in the future. Whilst on the subject of ‘movers and shakers’ Brendon Hills from Shropshire CC and Chair of the West Midlands PPMA region / lead officer on LGR is also moving on – Brendon’s decided to break with tradition and move out of the HR profession into a front line job as Corporate Director (Community and Environment) at the London Borough of Harrow – you see, HR people can go onwards and upwards! I wouldn’t be surprised if Brendon wasn’t a Chief Executive in the future.
Finally, I know that you’ll probably have other things on your mind, but the relentless march of time towards our conference in Manchester continues – and so will my reminders to book a place if you haven’t already. Also as a reminder, have you nominated your ‘Most Influential’ for HR Magazine this year? The clock is ticking on this as well – points make prizes, or in this case votes create profile for the public sector – get e-mailing and if you need the details of where to drop your votes, please see my previous blog entry on this subject.
Right, that’s about enough for this “Winter’s Tale” (l promise no more sad musical references).