Redesign Fundamentally Changing The Way The Council Does Things
10th May 2018
The work of the Redesign Board has been considered by Council today.
The Redesign Board is fundamentally changing the way the council does things. We are continuing with a programme of reviews which focus on providing the best possible service in the most efficient way.
In recent months we have carried out a substantial piece of work looking at ways to save money and become more energy efficient and arrangements have been put in place to provide staff with access to car clubs through a pilot at selected sites from May as an alternative to using their own cars for work journeys. Additionally we are progressing with a Solar Energy Project which when completed will produce substantial income for the Council.
The music tuition service transferred to High Life Highland on 1 April, following a recommendation by the Redesign Board this should substantially improve the provision of music tuition throughout the Highlands.
Recruitment of a new solicitor post and a para-legal apprenticeship will be underway this month. These new posts will reduce the need for external consultancy in particular areas of advice.
Chair of Redesign Board, Convener Bill Lobban said: "These projects are proof that a Redesign approach is an excellent way of transforming the Highland Council. Being open-minded and innovative stands us in very good stead to help manage the huge financial challenges we increasingly face. Our future success is fundamentally a result of staff involvement, leadership, and cross-party working."
Ongoing reviews include Preventative Childrens' Services, Car Parking and Building Trade Services, as well as looking at how communities can be involved further in redesign.
Information on Redesign workshops and Board meetings is available on the website https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/20003/committee_information/696/redesign_of_the_highland_council_board/2
Following a pre-planning drop-in session at the end of September 2018, The Highland Council has given the public a further 28 days to share their views and comment on the proposal for a new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Longman landfill site in Inverness. The public can now visit the Council's website to find out more about the MRF and to share their views on the proposal.
Dr James Vance, Head Teacher at Culloden Academy has been appointed as interim Head of Education Services with The Highland Council's Care and Learning Service. Dr Vance, who starts his new employment in January 2019, will be based at the Council's headquarters on Glenurquhart Road, Inverness.
The Highland Council has submitted a planning application for a low head hydroelectric development at the Torvean Weir on the River Ness at land 430m south west of Highland Rugby Club, on Bught Road, Inverness Using an Archimedes screw the hydroelectric scheme will have a generating capacity of up to 100kW and an average annual renewable energy output of approximately 600,000 kWh per annum. The renewable energy generated will return an income to the Council through the Feed in Tariff mechanism and be connected to the local Archive Centre and leisure centre.
The Highland Council is carrying out the formal review of its Polling Districts and Places. This review is required in terms of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 as all polling districts and polling places should be reviewed at least every four years.
Joint operation identifies poor standards of food safety and staff living accommodation. Highland Council Environmental Health Officers were required to take formal enforcement action regarding poor standards of food safety during a recent multi-agency operation led by Immigration Enforcement.
The Scottish Government's announcement of a consultation on the introduction of a visitor levy ("tourist tax") has been welcomed by The Highland Council. Convener Bill Lobban recently gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, where he emphasised the importance of tourism to the Highlands.
The Highland Council has appointed a new Chief Executive. The successful candidate is Donna Manson, currently Service Director for Children and Young People in the Scottish Borders.
Local services throughout Scotland could be plunged into crisis after - UNISON, Unite and the GMB - wrote to COSLA to say they will recommend their members reject their revised pay offer when they consult them in the coming weeks. The revised pay offer, made by COSLA on 6th September 2018, was a 3% increase for all local government workers earning up to £80,000, but the trade unions are angry that this is below inflation and does not improve low pay.
Members have discussed the consultation and proposed response to a review of the structure of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme. The Highland Council Pension Fund is one of eleven constituent funds of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme.
The Highland Council has agreed to plan for a potential budget gap of £66.7 million over the next three years. It was agreed by Members in June to develop plans for a multi-year budget for the next 3 financial years (2019-22) to meet the challenge of a potential funding gap dependent on a wide range of variables.
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