Redesign continues to deliver improvements
9th March 2018
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting.
In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.
Recent projects included improving the process for billing and receiving income for wrap around care for early years, streamlining the process from 80 to 28 steps with a possibility of this reducing to 15 steps. The new process will automate data entry, reduce the backlog, and save £12k per year in postage costs.
In 2017 over 900 cases of fly-tipping had been reported but under-reporting was estimated at 50%. The improvements made by the Lean team include a new e-form to make it easier to report fly-tipping and a new mapping tool to identify hot spots where preventative action can be targeted and enforcement activity can be coordinated. In addition to avoiding future budget pressures, annual savings of £0.080m will delivered next year.
Grey fleet (staff using their own cars to do their job) accounts for about 82% of all travel costs, costs £2.2m, and results in 2000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and considerable losses in productivity from time spent travelling.
The review aims to reduce the need to travel, and where travel is necessary, to reduce the spend and carbon emissions associated with it by greater use of pool cars, car clubs and for shorter journeys to use active travel.
Changes are estimated to provide around £500,000 in savings annually from next year (2018/19).
Another outcome of redesign will be that the music tuition service will transfer to Highlife Highland from 1 April 2018 to enable the service to be affordable, sustainable and with scope to grow, reaching other people and places. The Council has also agreed to the redesign proposal of generating energy through solar PV on its estate.
Chair of the Redesign Board and Convener, Bill Lobban said:
"The Redesign work is continuing to produce some exciting and innovative improvements with tangible benefits. We now have a number of examples of highly successful redesign projects and some 20 ideas from staff are currently being considered for future projects.
“Investment in solar PV on the Council's estate is just one stunning example of innovation, which will not only save the council money, but will actually achieve income.
“The methodology being used in the Peer Reviews helps to constructively and sensitively challenge current service delivery models and rightly involves staff in redesigning new and efficient ways of doing things."
The issue of parcel surcharging has long been a bone of contention for many internet shoppers. However, consumers across the United Kingdom, and especially those living in Northern Ireland and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland are now set to benefit from the launch of a new website which provides a one stop shop to acknowledge these concerns, which include:.
Councillor Struan Mackie (Thurso and Caithness West - Ward 2) has stepped down from the North Planning review body citing pressure of work as the reason. No replacement has yet been announced.
The process of carrying out a review of public toilet provision in The Highland Council area is underway and is due for completion by the end of October this year. Meanwhile, during the summer tourist season Highland Council toilets will remain open until the end of October.
After listening to feedback from communities across the Highlands, Highland Council's Administration have decided to take more time to rationalise toilet provision in the Highlands. Budget Leader and Chair of Corporate Resources Cllr Alister MacKinnon and Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of Environment, Development and Infrastructure report: "In view of serious community proposals coming forward and being assessed, by groups such as North Coast 500 and others across the Highlands, through the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, it is prudent to allow extra time for the review.
The results of a recent car parking review requested by The Highland Council's Redesign Board have created a vision for car parking and a shift towards localism in the region. Members of the Redesign Board have agreed a common ground on recommendations for a new car parking policy and improvements to car parking processes in the local authority area.
FORT WILLIAM 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, in partnership with Enterprise Car Club an E-Car Club, have recently launched car clubs at multiple Council offices throughout the region. The scheme's newest location, Fort William, is being launched on 4th June 2018 and will form part of a 6-month pilot.
The work of Highland Council's Care and Learning Service to provide sustainable quality education in Highland communities was further endorsed today by members of the Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee. Members gave their approval to the reframing of the previous "Management in Schools Programme" to an updated and revised “Sustainable Education in Highlands” programme.
The trial expansion of early learning and childcare in 6 centres in Highland was welcomed by Members of Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee today (30 May 2018). The aim of the expansion is to provide high quality, flexible early learning and childcare that is accessible and affordable for families.
Speaking at Highland Council's Corporate Resources Committee today (24 May 2018), Budget Leader Cllr Alister Mackinnon said that the Council's reported overspend showed the extent to which successive budget reductions and council tax freezes meant the authority had no wriggle room to manage significant pressures in demand-led services like supporting children with additional support needs. He said:"We have done everything we can to protect front line services and particularly services to children and young people.
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