Highland Council Seek More Savings From Redesign of Services
14th February 2018
Redesign is about the Council being more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to support services and jobs across the region and being more community-minded, listening locally and supporting more community-run services.
The Highland Council is seeking to release over £2.2 million in savings this year through redesign projects. These projects challenge whether there is a different business model, whether the service can be provided at a more affordable level in-house, by others and whether there are commercial opportunities or scope for communities to be more involved. Where services are run directly by the Council they will be redesigned to streamline processes and improve efficiency. The Council has already reviewed a number of services including all waste services, street lighting, some services for children and music tuition. Our Lean reviews of processes have shown that it is possible to improve services for Highland residents and make savings at the same time.
Further redesign reviews are already underway. They include the provision of legal services and grey fleet. Grey fleet means the arrangements for staff using their own vehicles to do their jobs and the review is finding out if there are better ways of doing this, for example, the use of pool cars and car clubs. This week the Redesign Board of Members and Trade Union representatives considered the approach to reviewing the Council's building trade services. As well as the in-house service of 150 maintenance staff, including around 6 apprentices, last year we procured around £22m of building trade services including specialist services from other suppliers. This review will examine whether there is a better and more affordable model.
Chair of the Redesign Board, Convener Bill Lobban said: "We have already had some very real successes with Redesign so far. The success of this Redesign process can be directly attributed to Staff, Trade Unions and Members working together to deliver better outcomes for the Highlands. We will continue to identify areas which could benefit from being reviewed and we will be tackling these in an ambitious and challenging programme over the next year."
Council Leader Margaret Davidson added: "Redesign is working really well and it is a very positive way for members across the chamber to work together with staff to deliver positive outcomes. Redesign is a good way of doing business into the future and we will also involve communities in future reviews.
"£2.2 million is an ambitious target to achieve, but I am confident that Redesign is the right way to do this."
For more details and information on the redesign process of Highland Council see - https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/20003/committee_information/696/redesign_of_the_highland_council_board
The public is being asked for its views on proposals by The Highland Council to review the maximum level of charges for the hire of taxis or private hire cars fitted with taxi meters operating under licence of The Highland Council. The Council has a statutory duty in terms of Section 17 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to review its scales for the fares and other taxi related charges every 18 months.
A report published today by the local authority spending watchdog looks at how councils are using the estimated 130 ALEOs (arms-length external organisations) in Scotland, which have an annual spend of more than £1.3 billion, and the impact they are making. ALEOs can take many forms - such as companies, community organisations or charities.
Members of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee have given their backing to new shop front guidance aimed at ensuring high quality designs for traditional, replacement and new shopfronts throughout the Highlands. The Guidance sets out general principles for repair, reinstatement and replacement of shopfronts, as well as general principles for new shopfronts in new development.
Councillor Matthew Reiss, who represents the Thurso and Northwest Caithness Ward, has been elected as Chairman of The Highland Council's Caithness Committee. He takes over from Councillor Donnie Mackay who has held the role since June 2017.
Members of the Caithness Committee have on Wednesday 16th May 2018 approved the Council's 2018/19 structural maintenance programmes for roads in the area for the coming year which reflects both the strategic network and the importance attached to local roads by rural communities. The revenue budget for road maintenance activities in Caithness for 18/19 is £1.214M of which £0.539M is allocated for winter maintenance with a further capital budget of £0.785M The Highland Council's allocation to areas for structural road maintenance is based on the results of the annual Scottish Road Maintenance Condition Survey, safety inspections, service inspections and input from local members.
The Highland Council remains on track to deliver much-needed affordable homes across the Highlands as recent figures produced show all new home completions in Highland are on the up. In its Strategic Housing Plan 2018-2023 the Council has a pledge to approve a minimum of 500 units each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership.
AVIEMORE now has access to free WIFI in and around the centre of the town thanks to a project led by the Highland Council and funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal. The free WiFi, called "High-Fi", is aimed at stimulating economic growth and will increase digital inclusion across the Highlands.
The Highland Council has considered Audit Scotland's report on Local Government in Scotland, Challenges & Performance 2018. Audit Scotland recognises that councils will continue to face difficult decisions with limited resources.
The work of the Redesign Board has been considered by Council today. The Redesign Board is fundamentally changing the way the council does things.
The annual Local Scrutiny Plan (LSP) 2018/19 for Highland Council was considered by Council today (10 May 2018). The plan is based on a shared risk assessment undertaken by representatives of all the scrutiny bodies who engage with the council and shows no additional scrutiny is required of the Council during 2018/19.
[Printer Friendly Version]