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."
A Corporate Parenting Board is to be established which will have a duty of care for currently around 500 ‘Looked After' children and young people in Highland. Members of the Highland Community Planning Partnership’s, Community Planning Board have this week (21 March 2018) agreed to establish a Corporate Parenting Board the purpose of which will be to: • promote the corporate parenting role of statutory agencies and awareness of the duties towards care experienced young people in Highland.
The Highland Child Protection Committee has launched a Toolkit to assist individuals, volunteers and community groups working with children and young people understand their roles and responsibilities in relation to child protection. Over 60 people providing activities for children, young people and families in a paid and voluntary capacity came along to the launch event in Inverness yesterday.
Bill Alexander, Director of Care and Learning, has announced his intention to retire from The Highland Council. Bill commenced with the Council in 2000, in a joint post with NHS Highland as Head of Children's Services.
Beware of calls from scammers pretending to be the Telephone Preference Service warns Highland Council Trading Standards. Highland Council Trading Standards wish to warn consumers not to fall for a new telephone call scam in which fraudsters pretend to be calling from the Telephone Preference Service (or TPS).
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House. Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years. The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling. A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands. We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather. Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting. The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.
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