We had some thunder, lightening and hail with sleet this afternoon. Brilliant.
The weekend is with us and as a precursor to it, today was a training and planning day for my unit at work. We all got together for an away day - away from the phones and computers and worked hard at what we we are going to do for the financial year 2010/11. There are lots of positive moves to make and improvements on the horizon for working better as a team to integrate parts of our roles for our business.
The difficulty we all face is the looming spectre of public spending cuts (potentially 25% announced today) on the agenda for all the political parties after the general election which will no doubt come along on 6 May when we have local elections in the UK. Our roles will be looked at and face scrutiny and our future is uncertain.
I'll say this as a last comment on this for now because I don't want to spoil my weekend: We (as a certain public service) have worked damned hard to get to the position we are in providing probably the best service we have done for as long as I can remember. We are doing what Government and the public demand of us more or less and performance is as good as it's ever been and getting better. People provide that service, not computers or machines or equipment. When 85% of your budget is spent on staff, only the staff are going to give way. Government and the public expect (quite properly) to get a decent service. When staff is cut and demand for improvements continue, something has to give and it WILL be performance and the service you get. And yet ladies and gentlemen - you will pay not one penny less in your taxes and services will deteriorate. Why? Because your Government are making YOU pay for THEIR inadequacies on allowing the global financial crisis to happen, failing to manage and regulate and curb PRIVATE sector banking excesses and to boot, bailing them out with OUR money - and its the public sector, already pared to the bone who will bail them out. Is that a triple whammy for us - they must think we're bloody stupid? I can see a real summer of discontent on the horizon - it's already started with British Airways and the railway signalmen's dispute (aren't there any lady signalmen by the way?)
Whoopee bloody doo!
I have been working on a World Cup 2010 (football for the uninitiated) sweep stake system to raise a few pounds at work, some of which will go to charity, the rest to the winners who will have to predict the scores and who will reach the finals. We discussed this today during our break and will be a little fun for the summer. My colleague 'E' will administer the system (she volunteered) and she knows nothing about football at all. That's dedication.
The youngest son is home today, back from University for the Easter break - welcome home!
I hope you enjoy the weekend and catch some of the occasional sunny intervals that will be squeezed between the showers.