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Redesign Board set to agree a range of council functions for review

29th August 2016

Photograph of Redesign Board set to agree a range of council functions for review

The Redesign Board of The Highland Council is preparing to agree a list of functions identified for review.

The Redesign Board, which is a partnership between Members and staff, was set up on 18 April 2016 to make proposals on redesigning The Highland Council, in the context of our new duties to involve communities more in local decisions and services affecting them.

The Board identified five Outcomes for the Council which were agreed by Council in June. Some 270 functions were listed and grouped under each of the outcomes. The Board are now set to agree a review of around 120 of these functions which will be taken to full Council in September for approval.

Convener Isobel McCallum, Chair of the Redesign Board said:"It is good practice for any organisation or business to regularly review its activities to look for opportunities for improvements and income growth, and to identify where there can be efficiencies and cost reductions.

"Our aim is to streamline how our services are delivered through more efficient ways of working.

"This is a careful and managed approach to exploring how we deliver our services, involving our staff, our communities and the public."

Vice Convener Councillor Bill Lobban and Vice Chair of the Redesign Board explained:"The Redesign Board has taken an overview of individual council services and has come to the conclusion that 120 functions are worthy of review. These were selected on the basis that there could be an opportunity to deliver them differently or more efficiently.

"The board is open to a range of options and we welcome input from the public, partners and our staff whilst also taking into consideration the impact of any future national reviews and programmes."

"Once Council has approved the areas for review and how they will be prioritised, the Board will consider which reviews should take place first."

Councillor McCallum went on to say:“What is really important is that staff are fully engaged in the process as they are the people who know most about the services they provide. Our value is that we believe everyone can have new ideas for doing things better. We want to hear them, especially when they challenge us."

Wick councillor Bill Fernie one of the Redesign Board members, who is also Chairman of the Resources committee and Budget Leader of Highland Council said,"It is essential that the work of the board carries on and even though the reviews take up to two years I will with my budget team take account of the early work when considering our next budget later this year. We are under no illusions that things will get any easier as it looks likely that further reductions in our grant allocation from Scottish government will continue. Likely council tax rises will not help as that money is to be ring fenced by Scottish Government to help attainment in schools. Despite al of the restrictions we are going to try and make many changes and preserve as many services as we can while making them more efficient."

The Board's recommendations will be taken to Council on 8 September 2016 for approval.

Redesign Board agenda and papers:
http://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/3734/re-design_of_the_highland_council_board/attachment/70772

 

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