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."
THROUGHOUT the month of November, The Highland Council's Chief Executive and members of the budget team have met with staff, groups and communities across the length and breadth of the Highlands. These sessions were part of a budget engagement exercise which also included facebook chats, survey, leaflet, video, and a budget challenge to raise awareness of budget challenges and gather views and priorities.
The Highland Council is to carry out a public consultation on the implementation of a transient visitor levy in the New Year. During the Council's public engagement activity during November, a strong theme was support for raising income from tourism, including a tourist levy, which could support local infrastructure, as well as the tourism sector itself.
Members have agreed six priority commitments in a revised Council Programme at today's council meeting. The six themes within the Programme are: A Council that Champions the Highlands; A Place to Live; A place to Thrive; A place to Prosper; A Welcoming Place; and Your Highland Council These themes and the actions which the council has agreed to, reflect priorities which have emerged through the round of public engagement during November.
The Highland Council has today (Tuesday 11 December 2018) announced significant progress in the quality of collection and reporting on the performance of it's town centres through the release of new Town Centre Health Check "Story Maps". The maps contain a huge amount of data on many aspects.
A Highland Council employee, nominated by the tenants she works with, has scooped a national award. Lorna Simpson from Wick has been a Tenant Participation Officer with The Highland Council for the past ten years, covering Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross.
Highland Council's work to continuously improve Tenant Participation in the region has been recognised by the Scottish Housing Regulator and the Tenant Participation Advisory Service. Members of the Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee have welcomed the recognition received by Housing Staff and commended their ongoing engagement activities.
Members of The Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee have approved the first draft ‘Highland Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan' for 2019 - 2024 which will be submitted to the Scottish Government by the end of this year. The plan provides an analysis of homelessness in the region and the capacity to deliver rapid rehousing within the current patterns of housing need and demand.
Welfare staff within Highland Council's UK Award winning Benefits and Welfare Reform Team have decided to forego their office Secret Santa tradition and instead donate to Blythswood's Highland Foodbank this Christmas. Sheila McKandie, Highland Council's Benefits and Welfare Manager explained:"On a daily basis we work with the dedicated team at Blythswood Highland Foodbank directing people to them who are in urgent need.
The latest outlook for future housing delivery and school roll forecasts across Highland has been announced by the Highland Council today (Tuesday 4 December 2018). The joint publication of the Housing Land Audit and School Roll Forecast provides up to date forecasts for housing delivery and school rolls across the Highland Council area and will be used to monitor, implement and share details of the actions needed to support future housing growth.
Since the referendum decision to leave the European Union, The Highland Council has considered and made representations on a number of issues which have potential implications for the Highland economy and Highland communities. EU funding has brought hundreds of millions of pounds of assistance to the region over the past 40 years which has been critical to the region's growth.
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