By any measure, 2010 has been a hell of year. On a personal level, it saw me relocate, switch jobs and get to know a new part of the country. For the sectors in which I work and the country at large, it was a year that saw a shift towards a new ‘reality’, sometimes at a bewildering pace.
For me, it can be summed up as a tough but rewarding 12 months. I’ve met some interesting people (a few of whom are detailed below) and worked on plenty of great projects along the way.
Below, in no particular order, are the five things I will remember most about 2010 (from a professional perspective). There are others I would perhaps rather forget, but I dare not blog about them (that’s PR for you).
I’ve been working with some colleagues on the HCA’s digital communications strategy, which covers the development of the website and social media use. The HCA is already engaged in social media, which is a good thing because many of our key stakeholders are very involved in it. And, if they are using it, so should we.
After little media debate, but many questions from partners in recent weeks, Grant Shapps has unveiled the new model he wants to deliver 150,000 new affordable homes across England over the next few years.
Affordable Rent (as it is called) is intended to enable housing providers to bring vacant homes back into use and deliver new housing. This will be part-funded by allowing providers to charge up to 80% of market values on the properties, with the HCA looking to invest around £2bn in this new ‘product’.
This proposition (very different though it is) has resulted in many various expectations and questions about what it will deliver and how it will work. Hopefully, the detail revealed today will answer many of those questions that have been posed to date.
Details of Grant Shapps’ Ministerial Speech can be found here.
I have not gone to a work-related meeting or event since the Comprehensive Spending Review announcement on 20 October where one or all of these issues haven’t been raised. This is understandable, and to be welcomed, as the proposals signify a huge shift in the way the HCA does business with its partners (and they with us). But step outside this circle and the wider country seems less informed about the proposals.
Is it because they aren’t interested? This would be odd, given the impact the proposals would have on many people’s lives.