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Highland Council Budget - Delivery Plan Sets Out Roadmap To Deliver Savings And Investment

10th March 2024

A draft Delivery Plan sets out a roadmap which will ensure the delivery of £54.6m savings and over £100m investment agreed by Council over the next 3 years.

The report is a difficult to follow series looing at areas but does not specify where the cuts to jobs will come over the next three years. In the past council budgets went through each department and showed clearly where job losses were coming. The report to be debated next week seems to hide behind nice phrases and talk of saving over one to three years.

As the saving target is the biggest for many many years clarity on job losses would have been more helpful but the ruling administration seems to want to avoid the whole facts being made clear.

The draft plan supports the delivery of the Budget Strategy for 2024-27, the commitments with the Council Programme "Our Future Highland" and the vision of the revised Highland Outcome Improvement Plan (HOIP).

The six Portfolios contained in the Draft Delivery Plan are designed to drive forward the changes required to deliver the Council's budget, particularly in relation to managing complex, cross cutting or innovative approaches; and to manage any associated risks and impacts.

The Portfolios incorporate a range of workstreams and change projects which will deliver improvement and transformation and ensure that budget savings are delivered and investment achieves the desired outcomes.

Pending Member agreement, a final version will be brought to the Council in May and progress will be reported to the Council, Committees and Boards to ensure appropriate governance and scrutiny of the work.

Convener Bill Lobban said: "To be successful, the delivery of our Programme, and the substantial savings and investment plans it will deliver, requires strong leadership and collaboration. The Best Value audit work carried out during 2022 highlighted the need for councils to radically change how they operate, and in particular how they collaborate with partners, if they are to improve and maintain services.

"I am confident that this Delivery Plan is a very firm foundation for setting out the processes and the detail required to bring about real transformation which will benefit all of our communities."

Council Leader Raymond Bremner said: "We have agreed ambitious savings in February and we have identified ambitious investment plans. We are ambitious in our plans for the future of the Highlands and we are going to continue to be ambitious in bringing forward, not only the vision for a future Highland, but the means through which to deliver it."

Chair of Resources, Cllr Derek Louden added: "Clear measures of success are needed to ensure that we are focused on very real and tangible outcomes. Good performance measures and progress reporting as set out should give Members confidence in the ongoing delivery of this substantial piece of work."

The full report can be found at
https://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/4950/highland_council
Read it and think do you really get an understanding of what is happening from this report.

 

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