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 Highland Council has invited people in Thurso to attend a public exhibition highlighting proposals for flood prevention measures along the River Thurso. The Council is currently developing a Flood Protection Study (FPS) for the River to identify solutions that will alleviate the risk of flooding.
Following a Highland Council Trading Standards investigation, Wick Sheriff Court has imposed a court order on a 42 year old local woman who was found to be selling counterfeit goods. The Order places stringent restrictions on her future conduct and any breach of it can lead to a hefty fine or imprisonment.
On 22nd January 2019 the Moray West wind Farm planning application returns to the North Planning committee but merely for some slight changes to the location of some turbines to lessen the impact on certain views. The original permission and this one is not within the power of the committee but they have the ability to enter an objection.
Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William. It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.
DETAILED analysis of the Scottish Government's funding settlement, which makes up the vast proportion of the Council's budget, has been carried out and the net result is that the Highland Council will see a reduction in its grant funding to provide the current level of services. This, together with the additional pressures equates to a £31.2M budget gap for 2019-20.
Highland Council Trading Standards have produced guidance on how to spot the signs of scams that target businesses and also remind businesses to inform their employees on what to look out for when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and texts. All businesses as well as non-profit organisations (such as charitable organisations) may spend a lot of time dealing with potential scammers.
The Highland Council has written to parents and carers of school transport pupils to inform them that D&E Coaches have recently transferred a number of Highland Council contracts to Stagecoach and some school transport routes are included. These changes are to take effect from the first day back after the school holidays, Monday 7th January 2019 and timetables have been supplied for the routes affected.
Twenty nine members of The Highland Council's Care and Learning team have celebrated their success in completing the Council's 15 month ‘Lead On’ programme. ‘Lead On’, is a programme designed to develop practitioners’ understanding of change leadership and apply this through a change initiative in their place of work.
Highland Councillors are looking forward beyond the current Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and asking: "What next and where?". Following publication of the Deal's annual report, Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "A meeting will be convened in the New Year with Councillors who have a particular interest in the City-Region Deal to talk about where we can go next and what we can do.".
Work underway to determine Highland's Budget allocation. Commenting after the news received last night of Councils' individual allocations, from the Scottish Government’s draft Budget, Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "Having received the details of our allocation just last night, it will take some time to work through the proposed settlement and do a detailed analysis.
[Printer Friendly Version]