Thursday, February 07, 2008

Communication, every which way

I had a meeting this morning with Paul Mannings, the City Council's project liaison manager, charged with getting the fragmented operations which make the city hold together during this time of redevelopment to communicate with each other, and work together to improve services and enhance the appearance of the city. Under the fancy umbrella title of Countdown 2009, he is working on putting task oriented focus groups together on communication, transport, signage and other related matters, in the run up to the opening of the new shopping centre.

He's asked me to be part of the Communications group, and to chair a faith communities group of city centre churches, temples, mosques, gurdwaras etc. I've asked for terms of reference. I'd like it to be clear what representatives are invited to come together to do. It has to be clear there's something worth meeting for, some palpable desired result. Well, if his bosses think religious communities should be included in consultations, then four years of nagging on my part won't have been wasted.

The switch-over to the new security radio system in the city centre seems to have passed without crisis, and now it looks as if the firm of accountants who have taken charge of the audit will be more successful at delivering what Companies' House want than the lawyers we last resorted to. Cardiff Business Safe operations are now moving out, and taking up residence in the site office of Bovis Construction, a little closer to the action in the city centre. It's a move that will diminish the tensions that have grown up around an organisation which the mandarins would prefer to take over for their own purposes rather than help to flourish on its own feet. Cardiff needs a key element in the public security plan to be secure, independent and business-like, not subject to the whims and misfortunes of politicians and bureaucrats. Getting there is not proving to be easy, but I'm confident that it will happen, with a few more steady and experienced business hands at the helm.

After the noon Eucharist, I spent the afternoon on the last podcast. I had a phone call from BBC Radio Wales to be interviewed for the tea time news programme today, and another from the University's student radio channel to be interviewed tomorrow morning, all on the basis of the Echo news item published today. ITV were chasing me too, but the reported only had the church phone number, so I found an email much later, too late to respond to. Anyway, editing finished, I started to last sound file upload, jumped in the car and weaved through the rush hour traffic to get to the BBC studio in Llandaff, just in time. That's the second day running I've been out in peak traffic. I'm grateful that I'm spared this ordeal , by being able to bike to work most of the time.

It's obvious that the media are mainly interested in my wanting to use broadcasting media. I wonder if any will download and read or listen? The person who rang from student radio said that she'd been reading this blog. She said she wished her Vicar would do something similar that she could read, to keep in touch with life back in her Parish. More than anything, I was touched that she'd so freely owned up to being a Christian. Something that made my day.

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