The fool on the hill

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Reflections on lockdown

The world is feeling very strange. Yesterday, there were more people on Clapham Common on a lovely Saturday afternoon than I can remember seeing in 10 years. Earlier, I had been putting together a trello board with the tasks our team designing our new, socially distanced, office space will undertake to test out our prototype solution in Hackney Town Hall. Should I be angry, demotivated or say to hell with it and join my fellow south londoners? This is bonkers. Am I mad or are they?


Writing week notes weekly is…

The Bare Necessities

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Reflections on two more weeks during the lockdown

The flow of work has changed markedly in the last two weeks. Calls to our support desk each day are about a quarter of the number we received during the busiest period at the beginning of lock down. Systems are performing well and are stable. Colleagues are benefitting from being able to access systems outside our network and where systems are still deployed in the old fashioned way, the Infrastructure team has worked wonders to get the systems running as well as they can run. …

Dazed and confused

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Reflections on another extraordinary week

The last week or so has felt like one of those inbox exercises when you have to decide how to approach a dozen things that appear to need doing in half an hour. What is urgent, what is important and what can be put to one side? In what order should you do things? The difference is that the exercise continues from 8am in the morning until 6 pm in the evening, every day. …

No particular place to go

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Reflections on an extraordinary week

Sometimes I think we are guilty of hyperbole in HackIT. This week has been truly extraordinary and the team’s response likewise.


There is not enough room to talk about all of the achievements this week. Others have already done so. In short they include:

  • Supporting 4000 people to work from home
  • Rebuilding old laptops using Linux and deploying them to homeworkers
  • Building data models to understand who is most vulnerable in Hackney
  • Introducing new web and telephone services to support the most vulnerable
  • Taking thousands of phone calls from…


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My challenges

Last week I failed to meet two out of my three challenges. I still haven’t tweeted about what I am reading (I have spent too much time binge-watching nordic noir box sets) and didn’t produce a week note either. Ironically, given my TV watching proclivities, I was not at all grumpy this week. This is also surprising as I hurt my back and was in quite a lot of pain most of the time. …

Parallel Lines

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Highlights of the past week

Many and varied conversations about digital connectivity

I have spent a lot of time over the past week talking to people about our digital connectivity programme. I have met with:

  • The mayor and lead members to provide an overview of our plans and the progress we have made. They were very pleased and I will be sharing my note to them on our HackIT G+ community
  • Various housing colleagues to talk about how we remove barriers and drive forward our delivery plans. Improving connectivity in social housing is central to our programme
  • Telecommunications companies that…

A day in the life

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My challenges for January/February

Last week I outlined my 3 personal challenges for January/February and explained that I would be feeding back on how I get on. They are:

  • Write a weeknote every week!
  • Be less grumpy
  • Read something from my reading list then write and tweet about it

This is my second weeknote, produced one week after the first, so that is challenge 1 met so far. I have also bought “Accelerate” a book about building high performing tech organisations, recommended to me by @madebycatem, which arrived yesterday, so some progress on that too.

There is much more to…

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Ca plane pour moi!

New year, new weeknote

So here we are again with a new year stretching expectantly before us full of promise. A chance to change things up but also to double down on what has gone well over the previous year.

My challenges for the next month

Each month I am going to set myself 3 personal challenges. I will record these in my first weeknote of each month and feedback on progress. …

More thoughts about buildings and food

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1 December 2019

Highlights of the last week

I spent a lot of time over the last week talking to experts about the new GLA template leasehold agreement governing telephone mast installations on roof tops. This was hard going, involved delving into detail and isn’t the sort of thing I get up in the morning looking forward to. However, it was worth the effort. We now understand that there is a lot about the agreement that we like and we think it should be straightforward to deal with the areas where we have questions…

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Raising the Platform, new series, episode 8

Living in fear of courgette quiche

18 November 2019

Highlights of the week

This week has been a bit of a pot pourri, as is often the case. I was very pleased to hear on Monday that Registered Social Landlords in Hackney who support people with mental health and learning disabilities want to join with us to sign up to a wayleave that will deliver affordable, full fibre connectivity to homes. …

henry lewis

Head of Platform, London Borough of Hackney. @henryintheopen. Walker, poker player, dad. Struggling to keep up most of the time. Views all my own.

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