Redesign Board set to agree a range of council functions for review
29th August 2016
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:
Highland Council's Environmental Health team have identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Glencoul, Kylesku area. Eating shellfish such as cockles, mussels, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
Highland Council's Environmental Health team has identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Eishort. Eating shellfish such as mussels, cockles, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
Funding for food and activities during the summer break. More children and young people will benefit from a nutritious meal and a place to play this summer holiday.
At a meeting of The Highland Council on Thursday 27 June 2019, Councillors decided to discontinue the provision of education at Altnaharra Primary School, dividing its catchment area between Tongue Primary, Farr Primary and Lairg Primary schools. A copy of the consultation report, together with the original proposal paper and all relevant appendices can be viewed on the Council's website at: www.highland.gov.uk/schoolconsultations The Council is satisfied that implementation of closure is the most appropriate response to the reasons for formulating the original proposal identified by the authority.
"Highland Council as agreed to allow a question time for members of the public at future Council meetings. The motion was presented by Depute Leader Cllr Alasdair Christie and means that from December 2019, Highland Council meetings will include a time allocation for questions from members of the public.
Highland Councillors have unanimously agreed that the Council will support the continuation of the exemption from UK Air Passenger Duty for flights departing from airports in the Highlands & Islands; and Members also agreed that the Council will continue working with HiTRANS to present the case of the need for, and benefit arising from an exemption from the current UK Air Passenger Duty and any successor duty. The Council's stance comes this week as calls have been made by Aberdeen Airport for greater parity with Highlands & Islands.
Suicide prevention is a key priority for The Highland Council. Members have agreed today, to take forward a piece of research with partners including NHS Highland and Police Scotland, to better understand the current evidence base and experience of suicide in Highland.
The introduction of a service to support the mental health and wellbeing of Highland Council staff and councillors has been approved by the Council as part of a range of measures to improve wellbeing. An Employee Assistance Programme for staff and Members will be put in place to offer telephone and internet-based counselling 24 hours a day.
Councillor Mackie had a written question at today's meeting of Highland council. Item 12 - Question Time To the Chair of the Environment, Development & Infrastructure Committee "Official Highland Council guidance indicates that, unless extended, successful Community Asset Transfer requests should be completed by the Local Authority within a nine months' timeframe.
From highland council Meting today 27 June 2019. Item 12 - Question Time To the Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee "What are the current best estimates for present total Highland Council debt and the annual financial commitment required to service this debt?".
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