A Connected Highland - Council Agrees 22 strategic improvement priorities
7th March 2019
Council has agreed 22 strategic improvement priorities and a Highland Improving Performance Programme for the Council which aims to make the connections across services and communities and drive the improvement.
The proposed strategic improvement priorities are identified from the Council's knowledge of where performance needs to improve and where the Council has already set ambition for improvement. Feedback from staff, communities and members, performance data, and learning from major change and redesign projects has helped to identify where change and improvement is needed.
The improvement priorities align with the Council's Programme and partnership outcomes. A set of improvement targets will be developed for Council in May 2019 and thereafter monitored through new governance processes.
Chief Executive Donna Manson said: "To deliver the Council's ambition, the Council will need to be far more connected and create new corporate ways of working together, being open to challenge and finding more imaginative solutions for local services.
"We need to adopt a systematic and structured approach to self-evaluation that enables critical reflection and is supported by performance evidence from a range of sources. We will aim to build reliable data on which we can draw, covering quality, cost and efficiency and provided in a way that is timely and enables meaningful comparisons across local areas, with other local authorities and with national/international standards.
"We also need to be able to draw on feedback from service users, professional opinion and peer review in order to shape sustainable, efficient and high-performing services."
She added: “Leadership and management development is fundamental, but all staff and members have a role to play in performance improvement."
Leader of the Council Margaret Davidson welcomed the report. She said: “Striving for an ambitious and high-performing Council will impact positively on Highland communities. Our Programme aims to make the Highlands a stronger, healthier and more resilient region in which people choose to live, work, do business and visit. Investing in improvement across the Council will help us achieve and maintain our ambitions for Highland."
The report can be found here https://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/4093/highland_council
Members have, at a special council meeting today, agreed a top priority for the Scottish Government New Schools Investment Programme bid. Members agreed that the proposed Tain 3-18 Campus project is nominated as The Highland Council's priority for consideration by the Scottish Government for inclusion in the initial phase of the New Schools Investment Programme with a delivery timescale by the end of 2021.
At this time of year many householders are thinking of their gardens, keeping them tidy or seeing to those jobs that need done before the weather turns. This is also the same time of year for criminals to take advantage of this and prey on the unsuspecting.
The Council has successfully distributed more than 20,000 Chromebook devices to all its schools to support learners to acquire key technology and life skills in facilitating a digitally enabled generation. Based on the ICT in Learning Strategic Action Plan 2015, The Highland Council started the Chromebook Project in November 2017 where every pupil in P6-S6 will be allocated a Chromebook for their use in school and at home for educational purposes and P1-P5 pupils will have access to Chromebooks at school on a 1:5 ratio.
Considerable effort has been focussed on returning young people to Highland. Since the Councils enhanced Placement Programme began in June 2018, 34 young people have returned to Highland or circumvented OOA (Out of Authority) avoiding costs of over £5M as compared with these young people remaining out of area for a year.
In excess of 22,000 customers were assisted by the Council's Welfare Support Team and Citizens Advice during 2018/19 for support with welfare, debt and housing issues. 3,372 customers were helped by the Welfare Support Team and 18,777 clients were assisted by Citizens Advice.
One hundred and seventeen (117) probationer teachers were recently welcomed to Highland at an Induction course held at Millburn Academy in Inverness. The probationer teachers' induction day is the first of a number of professional learning events throughout the year specifically arranged to support probationer teacher induction and their ongoing professional learning.
Measures to be put in place to cut down amount of construction and demolition waste collected at Household Waste Recycling Centres. The Highland Council will be putting measures in place to restrict the amount of construction and demolition waste bought to its network of 21 Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Highland Council today (15 August 2019) launched a consultation on a potential Highland Transient Visitor Levy. The Council has not yet made a decision on whether to implement a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL), also known as a Tourist Tax.
The Highland Council is warning the public of the presence of an algal bloom at Loch Watten, Caithness, following an examination of sample water on Monday (12/08/19). As a precautionary measure, environmental health have posted notices next to the water body, warning that contact with the algal scum or material should be avoided.
An officer in the Highland Council's Trading Standards team has won a UK award for her work on anti-counterfeiting and protecting consumers. Lynn Foster was presented with the Dave Hankinson Memorial Award for Individual Excellence by Phil Lewis, Director General of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG).
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