· 2008/2009 was a year of further change, the most significant of which was that South Tyneside Council entered into a strategic partnership with BT for services including ICT, which saw Gordon Ditchburn replace Paul Moore as TWICT representative. Neil Lee replaced David Morton as Nexus representative.
· Finances remain secure - 2008/9 was the second year of an agreed 5 year plan including reduced partner contributions, and a healthy balance remained available to support new collaborative work.
· Significant progress was made with many areas of the work programme, whilst a small number of initiatives stumbled due to factors outside our control.
· 9 Partnership meetings were held, along with meetings of our sub groups, enabling heads of IT and middle managers to share good practice, explore joint working and mutual support, and keep track of developments in policy and technology. We also undertook Executive Briefings with Microsoft and Cisco.
· Through the Partnership meetings we jointly considered a wide range of subjects relating to our Partnership aims, including:
To grow, share and develop knowledge, experience, skills and professionalism within the ICT community
· Job Evaluation, Recruitment and retention
· Mentoring for councillors
· Data Centres and interconnecting Councils
· Hardware e-auctions
· Pooling training requirements
To develop new, and exploit existing, ICT infrastructure, applications and developments to progress the modernising government agenda.
· Awareness of WiFi Touchdown Points, Public Access PCs and hotdesk facilities
· Lone worker and Home Worker Support
· Wireless strategies and progress
To help shape the use of ICT in the North East for the benefit of the residents, people who work here and those who visit the region.
· Digital Inclusion
· Widened sub-group participation
· Working with local universities
· National CLG and EPRSC policy and research forums
· SOCITM NE and Codeworks within the Region
· Representation at Conferences and events
Thanks were expressed to colleagues for their continued enthusiasm and support, in particular Paul Moore who had been a long-standing advocate of the Partnership and to colleagues in Gateshead Finance and ICT Services for helping with the smooth running of the partnership, Chris Foreman of Sunderland for supporting the website and to Graham Jordan