Weeknote 10


Early weeknotes coming at you from Spain, where I am sat outside, drinking a cortado.

It’s been a week of travel, a week of perimenopause hell, and several in person workshops. Not the best combination in the world.

I seem to have unlocked a new level of perimenopause, despite the HRT. I’m now having night sweats and night panics. It’s...delightful. And I’m so very very tired.

The weekend was a 50/50 washout - Saturday was spent mostly dozing and resting after a 2 day migraine wiped me out last week. Recovered on enough on Sunday to get some urgent gardening in. And a long dog walk in the sunshine.

What I’ve been doing



I was part of an afternoon session between the local plans team, the policy team and the PropTech team. It was really a massive show and tell to talk about what we all do and what’s coming up next.

PropTech is basically tech and software providers to the planning sector. It’s a big market. The team run funding rounds and link up Local Planning authorities prop tech providers to take on specific challenges. They’ve just released funding round 4. There’s some really good opportunities for us to work better and closer together as we move into our next Statement of Work and they start working with Round 4 councils. Excited about this.

We talked to them about where we are in local plans work which was eye opening for them to see the progress we are making and our future direction of travel. Our team is less mature than the other teams in Digital Planning, this often gets overlooked.

We’re already planning our next session next week to work through how we bring our teams closer together to keep in the loop with work, join up on talking to local authorities and help each other meet shared goals for the coming year.

In the morning I managed to squeeze in more meetings with lovely TPXers - my standout of the week was Jas, our head of Service Design. Looking forward to more chats with her in the near future.


The afternoon was a workshop for the local plans team and policy, with a special guest appearance from Paul Downey (so lovely to see him again). We’re trying to work through what we’re going to focus on in 2024/25 with a specific emphasis on identifying value and releasing that value quickly. It was a good session, expertly facilitated by L. We didn’t quite get to where we wanted in the 2 hours we had. But often the value (sorry) is in the conversations on the way. More work planned in this space soon.


Mostly in Miro, trying to make a diagram for the structure of the team for next FY less crap. And then starting to line up some conversations with folks inside TPX to fill in detail, start talking names and generally stress test my thinking a bit. I’m excited about it. Will share a bit more when I can.

It was also show and tell for the Local Plans home team. Now better known as Create or update your local plan. We’ve hit that lovely point in alpha where things are coming together and they start to properly look more real. The team are deep in research. Prototypes are rapidly evolving. We’re getting proper juicy comments and feedback from users. Love it.

Off to Bristol after work to try to get some sleep before getting up at 4.30 to catch a flight.

Thursday and Friday...and the weekend

Sharon and I finally sorted our shit out and booked a trip. We’ve not travelled together since before Covid and I’ve barely done much travel at all since then.

We’re in sunny Malaga for a long weekend of sunshine (hopefully), relaxing, eating and exploring.

What I’ve been thinking about

Not a lot this week, thanks extreme tiredness and brain fog.

The main work related thing is the structure for how we want to deliver the next statement of work. We don’t know the detail of the what we’ll be doing (we know at a high level) but I think I’ve got a structure that will work regardless of the detail. And moves towards a much more blended team between DLUHC civil servants and TPX staff.

And I think/hope we can do it in 1 statement of work. Running 4 part time teams on 4 SoWs is not a thing anyone wants to repeat

What I’ve been reading

I managed to properly get into Naomi Alderman’s The Future. And it’s here with me on holiday.

Yeah, I’m the person who drags hardbacks on holiday. I can’t do ebooks anymore. Part of my love of reading is the tactileness of touching and turning pages, holding the book in my hands. I had a Kindle for years and when I lost my ability to read, it was going back to physical books that helped to reignite things.

And I’m also the person who still uses pen and paper to make notes. There is something in the process that solidifies things in my head that an iPad/digital note taking doesn’t.

Maybe I’m just old.

I’ve also got the second Jackson Brodie novel with me.

What I’ve been watching

Nothing this week. Been in too many hotels, fallen asleep far too early most nights.

What’s blooming

Crocus are still going strong.

Blooming crocus