pre-analytic vision - blog 10

Joe Salmon, 19 August 2023, Tags:

Morning Morning.

 As ever this blog shouldn’t be taken as anything other than a brain dump of my thoughts on Saturday morning before the rest of the family get out of bed. It is not representative of the views of the Green Group on BCP, or anybody other than myself at this moment in time yada yada yada.

 Here is a quick update on my actions list. I’m going to flip it this week just so items at the bottom get as much love as those at the top.

 Before we get to that though if you haven’t already you really should read this before you read anything else Uh-Oh. Now What? Are We Acquiring the Data to Understand the Situation? (mailchi.mp)

11. Adult Health and social Care OS

I’ve been chasing the Chair (Patrick Canavan) on this, apparently, I’m the only person to have hassled him so far for the informal meeting in lieu of our forward planning session. I’ve emailed Patrick today asking if maybe we could just put our heads together next week one evening.

I’ve finally ended up at the DiiS with my request for info which is kind of what I expected, but I was hoping I was simply being cynical and wrong in my assumption the council or the bodies attached to it didn’t have a decent overview of the KPIs related to healthcare. This I think feeds into a bigger issue with the councils lack of a sufficient pre-analytic vision when it comes to decision making which I’m going to waffle on about later in this blog, but I think means I can close down this as an action for now, and instead create a few different separate actions on that topic

10. Planters Saga

Kate is plodding on with this one. She’ll update me when she has something concrete to update. Moordown in Bloom apparently have some funds, which hopefully can be put to use brightening up our area.

9. Labour Candidate Complaint

Still waiting on a response here. It’s probably worth looking up to see if there is any code of conduct Labour require of their members. That said I’m fairly resigned to the fact that Labour just aren’t that fussed about the standard of their candidates moral conduct and that we’ll need to take this to the police if we want any kind of response.

8. Explore the possibility of walk to school litter picks with local schools

No change here, just need to chase the schools once we’re back after the summer break.

7. Get some more litter picks in the diary

Dates are below, also thanks to some amazing work by Kate and other volunteers the leaflet has finally gone to press. I should even have a sneak preview I can link to from here, but I can’t access my green party emails on this machine (too many passwords!!) so might have to wait until next week for that.

Sunday 10 September, 11am-12pm - Meeting point: outside the United Reformed Church on Sutton Road

Saturday 11 November, 10-11am - Meeting point: outside Moordown Coop on Wimborne Road

6. Traffic Calming

So the commitment from Vikki as council leader to 20mph limits for residential streets is fantastic. However like most of the problems BCP face finding sufficient political will is only part of the problem. Our public services have been transformed into totally ineffective dysfunctional talking shops by Labour and the Tories over the past 30 years. Undoing that is going to take time, and illustrated by the councils total paralysis when faced with trying to implement something like this.

At the moment there isn’t the money to carry out the work (or anything, just a £45 million pound black hole)

Also institutionally we have no idea how to effectively assess that many roads for a 20mph limit in a cost effective and sensible way.

Again I would argue this feeds into a bigger problem of the council lacking the necessary pre-analytic vision to sort anything out.

I don’t think I can fold this point into any other new actions however, given the specific need for 20mph on some specific streets in the ward, so I’ll keep this action open for now and set a deadline linked to the next round of CIL funding in case we are going to need to dip into that.

5. Licensing Data Collection

This can I think be folded into whatever new actions I come up with to sort out our lack of a pre-analytic vision.

4. Proactive Licensing

Again I think really this is something to fold into the problem of the council lacking a sufficient pre-analytic vision.

3. Anti Social Behaviour on Wimborne Road

Unless something gets thrown up by resident contact, the Neighbourhood Policing Team meetings, BH9 business forum or just myself strolling down Wimborne road with the kids I’ll be closing this action down.

2. Moordown Rec

I’m still waiting for a response from the officer involved re the replacement of vandalised equipment, I’ve chased but nothing yet.

1. Neighbourhood plan for Moordown

Depending on the response from the leaflet I’ll get a meeting sorted. I’m thinking Moordown Community Centre and I’ve reached out already to a few of the people who approached me and no one has vetoed that as a venue yet. 

 

So with that out the way I’m going to talk about pre-analytic vision a bit (eventually). If you haven’t already read the latest report on global temperature and the kind of warming we’re potentially likely to see within the next two years then read that first, or instead of even.

Understandably in light of the fact we could potentially see 1.5 warming by next year I think we need to seriously start thinking about mitigation and preparation as well as prevention of climate change.

At the moment we can barely cope with the relatively small number of international refugees who come to this country. We’ve intentionally run down the system for processing applications, and either have to house them in hotels at great expense, or in hotels at great expense but also with a massive boat floating off Portland for reasons that are beyond any comprehension at great expense.

Last year people in Manchester had to be evacuated due to flooding (South Manchester severe flood warning prompts home evacuations - BBC News). This was the first time something like this had ever happened while I was alive (I think), but was almost certainly not the last. In fact if we see 1.5 degrees of warming next year, or the year after it’s almost certain we’ll see events like this happen at a far greater scale and far more frequently. 

Given that I think it’s reasonable that we scope out how prepared we are. Could Bournemouth house more people in an emergency? How quickly could we respond to a natural disaster in the BCP area? What’s the capacity within the UK to handle this kind of emergency. However I’m not sure those are questions we can even begin to answer, given the state of our public institutions.

 One thing that you might have picked up on from reading this blog is that I am frustrated at the lack of action and slow pace of change within the council and across UK politics in general.

To avoid this constant frustration I keep bumping into I’ve decided to try and look at things from a different point of view. My mindset initially on becoming a councillor was identify what needs to be done and start doing it while removing or ignoring any barriers in the way as required. I’ve always been the sort to think it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission, and that as long as what you’re doing is the right thing it’ll be fine and the rules will catch up by the time it matters if you have to break them to get things done.

If I carry on with this mindset as a councillor I’ll go insane, as this just isn’t the accepted way of doing things in the council. Ultimately problems aren’t solved by figuring out where the council needs to be and then putting in a place to get there, but instead by figuring out where the council is and then putting in place a plan to move to a slightly better place by changing something fairly minor then repeating the process. So that’s what I’ve tried to have a go at doing this week. Problem is the council is not very good at knowing even where it is.

The thing that annoys me most about the forward planning meeting for Health and Adult Social Care O&S being delayed is that currently we’re so poor at scrutinising those services. I’ve been trying to get hold of what I’d consider a fairly easy access bit of information, specifically what data submissions are made to NHS England / NHS Digital by the organisations that make up the ICB (Integrated Care Board), including those specifically made by BCP, and how to access the most up to date figures so we at least have a general idea how health services are functioning.

Now granted the second part of that request could be really tricky to figure out, but the first part, what are the KPIs of these organisations should be really easy to grasp.

Each one of these organisations must know what it’s KPIs are, and the ICB should know what organisations make it up. I’m sure they’ll be some grey areas, but this is the kind of thing that should just be known for the most part. I’ve been pointed towards this for now as the closest thing we’ve got to my request

ICB-Board-Part-1-Agenda-Pack-060723.pdf (nhsdorset.nhs.uk) 

I only received the pre agenda pack this week and I’ve not fully gone through it yet, so maybe the info is nestled in there somewhere in an appendix.

This problem isn’t restricted to Health Care. If you have a look at the best value notice one thing it talks about is Corporate Strategy. A new one has yet to be published, but last years can be read here.

BCP_Best_Value_Notice (bcpcouncil.gov.uk) 

Corporate Strategy (contensis.com)

Corporate Strategy - April 2022 (contensis.com)

I think it’s really great that some KPIs have been set, but ugh they aren’t very good, and they clearly show the organisation is starved of data, and that the previous administration was lead by people with very little interest in data and the insights it can bring. For example, the first KPI you’ll see in the document is around our beaches, specifically the number of blue flag status.

Now I’m not saying blue flag status isn’t important, but we’re getting raw sewage poured into our beaches far too frequently. This is a problem we all want fixed. However this KPI doesn’t reflect that. We could increase the number of beaches with blue flag status and the state of our beaches overall could decline. 

While blue flag status is linked to water quality, the requirement is only that this is checked during times of use. This means you could potentially only test your water for part of the year, and in fact your water could be utterly filthy outside of testing times and still get your blue flag..

In fact it looks like the council does just this.

A better KPI, or set of KPIs would be ones that show if genuine progress has been made. I’m not saying totally ignore the number of blue flags for beaches in the area, but to only monitor this and only this and think you’ve somehow got a good view of how successfully the situation is ludicrous. 

There is a similar commitment to ensure the environmental standards of some 1990 act. In 1990 climate change was even accepted scientific fact. Aiming so slow isn’t just unambitious, it’s irresponsible, we have to maintain environmental standards that the science tells us we must. I cannot imagine having so little intellect that you imagine legislators from 33 years ago somehow wrote up environmental legislation that was appropriate for our current situation of facing down a rapidly approaching climate apocalypse. 1990’s environmental standards are what’s got us into this mess, they’re hardly likely to get us out.

I’m going through the document at the moment, and I’m coming up with alternative more sensible KPIs. A big requirement though is that the council gets it’s house in order in terms of data. None of decisions made by the councils elected members or it’s paid staff are going to be sensible if they’re not based on accurate data which gives them a full picture of the situation. Ultimately the council needs to have proper oversight over the local economy and total awareness of the national economy. 

I think it’s worth nailing down what we mean by economy, because a lot of people make the mistake of thinking the economy is just money and should be thought of as such. When we talk about the economy we are talking about more than the flow of money, but of goods and services, and that flow takes place in reality. I think one of the best ways you can get your head round what we really mean when we talk about economies is by playing the game widelands. It’s free to play, you can download it and install it fairly quickly.

Anyhow in this game you manage a society made up of different buildings, workers and their tools which they use to harvest resources from the world around them, things like wood, crops and iron. There is no money in this game, but there is definitely an economy. You can (and must if you want to do well) reduce or increase the targets / limits for different goods. the amount of different good the society produces. You might need to reduce your target for the production of bread as more grain needs to be available for beer production, or halt the production of weapons while there is a shortage of iron for tools. 

When we talk about problems with our economy, we’re only partially talking about problems with the flow of money, we’re really talking about problems with the flow of good and services. I think it’s also important to keep in mind that the money part of the economy is the easiest bit to change and fix. At the moment affordable houses aren’t being built because it isn’t profitable enough. The fix to this isn’t going to be changing the way we build houses, it’s going to be to change the market around them.

Anyhow I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent, but my point is that to manage your economy well you need to know what is going on within it. BCP Council doesn’t seem to know anything really about what the economic situation we’re in is. Our national government doesn’t seem to know either, or at least ignores that reality. 

So, rather than be so focused on what we need to do and how we get there which has felt like banging my head on a brick wall for the post 3 months I’m going to focus on how we build up a picture of where we are. In my mind the local authority has 10 areas that it needs to be aware of as a minimum to make good decisions.

 

  1. Land
  2. Population
  3. Employment
  4. Crime
  5. Health
  6. Industry
  7. Power
  8. Water
  9. Travel
  10. Organisational budget

 

I have a much clearer idea of how BCP can have a decent pre-analytic view when it comes to Health than say Industry, having worked with datasets within the NHS for a fair whack of crime. As I dig into the corporate strategy, think on what the KPIs should be and poke around and request datasets I’ll hopefully build up a decent plan for each of these. Ultimately I think it’ll be worth revisiting this list in a while, seeing if the council finally has these areas well understood in it’s pre-analytic vision.

One of the big things going on at the moment is the local plan. I have already requested some of the evidence base this is being drawn up with, as I think it’s important to check this is solid. I’m going to chase on this as we’ve got a new head of planning and think my request has been lost. 

Righty, kids are awake.

Over the next week I really need to nail down what the councils pre-analytic vision & KPIs should be in the new corporate strategy (and meet with Chris R to find out about how we can feed into this). Aside from this I need to look at how we can examine how prepared for the oncoming climate crisis the council. Finally I need to work on how we can get some drastic action taken on the topic.

We’re away in Devon with family this weekend so I better get started, no time to proof read this morning, so apologies for the constant use of ‘Again’, ‘However’ and ‘Anyhow’, words which I know I use far to often.

 If you're still hungry for content my colleague Julia appeared on this podcast on the topic of data in the NHS, it's well worth a listen Evo NHS #107 - The Importance of Data in the NHS - Evolution Recruitment Solutions (evolutionjobs.com)

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