A Redesigned Council - Redesign projects produce positive results
26th October 2017
Redesign of the Council means it will be more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to sustain services and jobs across the region and more community-minded to involve more people in Council decisions and community-run services.
One way of being more open-minded is to undertake reviews of services to identify where blockages and delays occur, to cut out waste and improve services for people using them. As part of the Redesign programme, a number of projects were selected for review using an approach which involves "Lean" principles.
"Lean" is a recognised methodology which means improving services by creating more value for customers with fewer resources. Training in “Lean” processes has been given to staff across Council services in order to develop in-house expertise in this approach to problem solving.
Two projects have already delivered savings of £120k and significant wider benefits through the redesign and improvement of the HR Occupational Health referral process and a redesign of the Bulky uplift service.
The HR Occupational Health project reduced the referral process from 57 steps to 7, has freed up resource in Human Resources to better support services, has reduced the time taken from initiating referral through to the employee being assessed and advice being provided to the manager. This has reduced costs by £62k.
The Bulky Uplift project has reduced time taken to process requests, improved the bulky uplift service for customers, extending the service over Christmas and New Year, including reducing the notice required for an uplift from 48 to 24 hours and making the whole service more direct and responsive. The changes have resulted in £57k savings being delivered.
The Programme comprises projects across a broad range of service delivery, and currently includes: the billing for commercial waste collected, recruiting fostering and adoptive parents; booking rooms and facilities for community groups and others to use; street cleansing; booking staff training courses; allocating resources for additional support needs in schools; and administration for wrap around care in schools. New areas to review are being identified by staff and Councillors.
Convener of the Council and Chair of the Redesign Board, Bill Lobban said: “A focus for the Redesign Board has been to learn from recognised best practice and successful processes elsewhere. The Lean reviews are starting to deliver some exciting results, producing some substantial savings and improvements to services. This has been helped by using tried and tested methodology, together with fresh eyes on problem solving, with staff themselves at the centre of redesign. I am looking forward to seeing benefits from further project reviews.”
Pilot gives access to more than 120 libraries - and 1.6 million books. A pilot for a single card that can be used in any library has been launched in the north east.
The Highland Council received two awards at last week's Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning. One Award was in the "Process" Category for the Highland eDevelopment project and the second was in the "Place" category for the Nucleus Building in Wick.
The Highland Council is pleased to announce that the main phase of the work to construct the Kingussie Flood Alleviation Channel is now underway. The project is a joint venture between the Council and Pitmain Estate and is located on the Estate's land above the village of Kingussie.
The Highland Council achieved a 6% reduction in its year-on-year carbon emissions in 2016/17, equivalent to a saving of over 4,000 tonnes of CO2. In addition, thanks to a variety of energy efficiency measures implemented throughout the organisation, the Council saved almost £180k compared to the previous year, despite increasing energy costs.
Communities and developers will be invited to have their say in shaping a refreshed approach to dealing with developer contributions for developments across Highland. At today's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, members gave the go ahead for a six week public consultation on the Draft Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance which will begin in early 2018.
Parent representatives from 206 Parent Councils across the Highland region have been invited to attend the Highland Parent Council Partnership conference which will be held on Saturday 18 Nov 2017 from 9:30am to 3:30pm. Guest speaker at the conference - to be held at Highland Council, Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness - will be John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills.
The Highland Council have reviewed and updated the administrative procedures around miscellaneous and animal establishment licensing making it easier for people to access information and provide feedback. An online register of all applications is now published on the Council's website and the procedures are clear on how individuals or groups can raise concerns or object to applications for these types of licence.
The Highland Council remains on track to provide much-needed affordable homes for a growing population with a pledge in its Strategic Housing Plan 2018-2023 to approve 500 units each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership. Members of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee today (Wednesday 8 November) had the opportunity to discuss the Housing Investment Plan for 2018-2023 and to reaffirm the council's commitment to deliver new homes in the Highlands.
Following the collapse of a 15 metre section of road at Soldiers Rock on the Knoydart peninsula late on Tuesday 24 October, work is progressing on repairing the landslip on the single track road. A full inspection of the affected road has been carried out and a Highland Council engineer will be on site on Wednesday this week to carry out preliminary work before detailed survey work is carried out on Friday.
Resident's from across the Highlands have provided positive feedback to the council's latest Citizen's Panel survey. Each year the panel of just over 2300 adults are asked for their views on the performance of the council and to provide information on their attitudes to a range of issues affecting them, their families and their neighbourhoods.
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