Hang on in there, friends

It’s been another hugely challenging year for everyone.

But it’s not been an entirely hopeless year. We have vaccines now, for a start. We’ve worked hard to protect the most vulnerable in society. We’ve kept the wheels turning. And we’ve all finally figured out how to use Microsoft Teams (sort of).

Here at Sockmonkey HQ, I’ve celebrated my first ten years in business (yay!). And as the year draws to a close, I’m thankful that I’ve had – and continue to have – so many interesting projects to work on and so many lovely clients to work with.

Over the last twelve months, I’ve Teams’d and Zoomed my way through countless meetings. I’ve facilitated some surprisingly productive (if I may say so myself) virtual workshops. And I’ve delivered (successfully!) the first course using my new online learning platform.

I also, finally, got around to redesigning my website. I’ve rebranded my newsletter slightly, too. New business cards are next, though I suspect there’s little need for hurry there.

And while I don’t want to jinx things, I’ve started putting together some tentative ideas and plans for the coming twelve months, too.

I’d like to do more work in the local government sector. I’d also like to develop some open online courses (suggestions very welcome). And I’d be keen to team up with other independent professionals or small businesses, to improve the breadth and depth of services that I can provide to my clients.

For the moment, though, it looks like we have another tough few months ahead of us. So hang on in there. Look after those around you. And stay safe.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, something else or nothing at all, I wish you peace, joy and happiness.

Thank you for being part of the Sockmonkey community.

Simon Perks

Director, Sockmonkey Consulting

My first academic paper. And it’s perhaps not what you’d expect.

Overcoming the Regulatory Hurdles for the Production of Hand Sanitizer for Public Health Protection: The UK and US Academic Perspective explores the issues faced by researchers at the University of Bristol as they sought to manufacture hand sanitiser for use by public services during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes a perspective from those doing the same in the United States

The Bristol academics making the hand sanitiser, who are colleagues of my wife, kindly provided me with a massive supply of hand sanitiser for the school where I’m a governor, which allowed the school to remain open to its most vulnerable young people. I helped to write this paper as a ‘thank you’ for their efforts. It’s published in the American Chemical Society’s journal Chemical Health and Safety. Read the paper online or get the PDF here.

It’s that time again…

Image of emails being sent

The latest issue of the Sockmonthly, my monthly newsletter, is hot off the press.

There’s talk of strategic planning in times of uncertainty, what makes local government tick and the importance of financial scrutiny.

We also discover why the best way to get more done is to spend some quality time doing nothing. There’s a round-up of interesting things I’ve come across. And the now-obligatory Labrador photo of the month.

Read this month’s Sockmonthly now. And if you like what you see, sign up here to get the next issue direct to your inbox.

Improving financial management in local authorities

CIPFA FM Code GN

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has just published the guidance notes to accompany its new Financial Management Code. The guidance notes will help local authorities to improve further the robustness and resilience of their financial management arrangements. And I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to work with CIPFA to prepare them. Continue reading “Improving financial management in local authorities”