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Good progress being made by Highland Council on recovery from COVID-19

3rd August 2020

Members were today asked to note the good progress being made in relation to the local authority's Recovery Action Plan despite the significant challenges faced because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report highlighted that important work on the 11 key priorities continues at pace. One such priority "Lockdown Agility" includes a focus on the Council's arrangements for managing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) supplies which is particularly important as plans are being made for pupils and staff return to schools and other workplaces. The report confirms that the Council meets Scottish Government’s PPE directions by deploying a stepped protection process.

The significant amount and scope of work that has been carried out during Phase 1 of the Plan, to the end of June 2020, was warmly welcomed at today’s meeting. Members were advised that, of the 11 Phase 1 key priorities, 50 actions have been completed or are ongoing, and 8 show some signs of slippage.

Completed actions during this initial Phase are wide and varied. These include work in significant areas such as running virtual committee meetings and making these available online for public access, supporting the recovery of the Highland economy, and developing a financial recovery strategy for the Council. Transforming the Council’s IT provision for staff and Elected Members; redesigning the way in which services are delivered for, and accessed by, customers; and ensuring the Council’s workforce has the appropriate skills and agility are also being progressed and demonstrate the significance of the work involved.

Actions which are ongoing and on track include lockdown agility (incl. schools re-opening); empowering communities; and digital transformation including working with partners to deliver a digitally capable region. Also leadership, culture and performance within the Council are being progressed as is the management of the Council’s property estate.

Depute Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Alasdair Christie who chairs the Council’s Recovery Board said: "Work on all aspects of Recovery is continuing, despite significant ongoing challenges to adapt our plans to keep pace with emerging guidance and new parameters. We also need to maintain the ability and the agility to respond to any new outbreaks of the virus and the related uncertainties ahead."

He added: “This is the perfect time to build on the very valuable contribution communities continue to make across the Highlands as a result of Covid-19, and to strengthen collaboration with our business leaders and other Highland agencies to rebuild confidence and grow the Highland economy.”

 

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