WOW what a weekend, I spent yesterday in the company of approximately 100 Greens colleagues discussing the upcoming council elections in 2016 and the ways in which we can best serve our communities. What thoroughly impresses me about my Greens colleagues is that even when there is a rare occasion where we don’t agree, we work through the options, discuss the alternatives and reach an amicable and appropriate outcome. Listening and sharing ideas, skills and best practice was uplifting. As I was driving home it struck me that with a little effort and an open mind or two councils could work the same. The only thing actually missing is the will to make it so. I sit through all the council meetings, on some occasions there are non controversial topics on which councillors really can’t find anything to disagree on, but most of the time its a matter of muscle flexing and bravado, even perhaps opposition for opposition sakes.
Today was National Tree day, I’ve only missed one in recent times and with this one being literally on my doorstep this was certainly not going to be another. I am thoroughly impressed with the professional and passionate way in which our staff work together, the organisation and the willingness to get in there and make things happen. I was equally impressed that people with whom they work outside council feel comfortable enough to choose Liverpool as their National Tree day location, even when a family event still manage to come along and work alongside our community. Congrats to all those who shared the morning, from the local scouts group to the amazing Lions volunteers who ensured a hot snag and cool drink were there for those planting. This made me reflect on a comment the Mayor made at another program recently where he said that the outdoor staff would soon be facing a similar proposal as that of the customer service staff and engage a private organisation to manage the staff., along the lines of Propel. I remember when the CEO was first engaged I received emails from his former staff who suggested that outsourcing was his preferred method of staff management, this too has me wonder why we need so many executives if we are going to progressively outsource the management. It also raises the question as to whether this is the preferred option for the community, do we need to give our hard earned rates money to organisations who only have an interest in outcomes not necessarily the long term health and viability of our community. our staff and the bottom line?
I’d like to quickly offer my best wishes to Eva Constantino (Manager of Customer service) who sadly is said to no longer work at Liverpool council, after at least a decade and a half of service to Liverpool, it has been suggested that she has taken redundancy and left council employ. Eva if you happen to read my posts please get in touch, I’d like the opportunity to thank you for your years of dedication and wish you well. Her leaving does raise the question about no forced redundancies or sackings with the Propel proposal. Of course clarification would be nice however no one I’ve spoken with at council seems to know what actually happened. Change in an organisation as big as Liverpool council is inevitable, change of management styles and people is also inevitable but are we being fed a line or are our staff (so many of whom have left and still keep in touch as they are passionate about what happens in Liverpool) leaving for greener pastures or simply leaving because they no longer belong?
I’d best be off, I still have the finer detail of the Business papers to read for this weeks council meeting.
See you on Wednesday… it will be interesting to see if the Mayor mentions his latest foray in the papers or provides an explanation of sorts or not.
If you were planting today, have a comment or view different to mine, please share. As always opinions differ and I’m happy to share yours if you’d like to share it with me.