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
The public is being asked for its views on proposals by The Highland Council to review the maximum level of charges for the hire of taxis or private hire cars fitted with taxi meters operating under licence of The Highland Council. The Council has a statutory duty in terms of Section 17 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 to review its scales for the fares and other taxi related charges every 18 months.
A report published today by the local authority spending watchdog looks at how councils are using the estimated 130 ALEOs (arms-length external organisations) in Scotland, which have an annual spend of more than £1.3 billion, and the impact they are making. ALEOs can take many forms - such as companies, community organisations or charities.
Members of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee have given their backing to new shop front guidance aimed at ensuring high quality designs for traditional, replacement and new shopfronts throughout the Highlands. The Guidance sets out general principles for repair, reinstatement and replacement of shopfronts, as well as general principles for new shopfronts in new development.
Councillor Matthew Reiss, who represents the Thurso and Northwest Caithness Ward, has been elected as Chairman of The Highland Council's Caithness Committee. He takes over from Councillor Donnie Mackay who has held the role since June 2017.
Members of the Caithness Committee have on Wednesday 16th May 2018 approved the Council's 2018/19 structural maintenance programmes for roads in the area for the coming year which reflects both the strategic network and the importance attached to local roads by rural communities. The revenue budget for road maintenance activities in Caithness for 18/19 is £1.214M of which £0.539M is allocated for winter maintenance with a further capital budget of £0.785M The Highland Council's allocation to areas for structural road maintenance is based on the results of the annual Scottish Road Maintenance Condition Survey, safety inspections, service inspections and input from local members.
The Highland Council remains on track to deliver much-needed affordable homes across the Highlands as recent figures produced show all new home completions in Highland are on the up. In its Strategic Housing Plan 2018-2023 the Council has a pledge to approve a minimum of 500 units each year of which 70% will be for affordable rent and 30% for low cost home ownership.
AVIEMORE 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 has considered Audit Scotland's report on Local Government in Scotland, Challenges & Performance 2018. Audit Scotland recognises that councils will continue to face difficult decisions with limited resources.
The annual Local Scrutiny Plan (LSP) 2018/19 for Highland Council was considered by Council today (10 May 2018). The plan is based on a shared risk assessment undertaken by representatives of all the scrutiny bodies who engage with the council and shows no additional scrutiny is required of the Council during 2018/19.
The Highland Council has today agreed to lead the way in reducing the impact of plastic on our vast coastline. Highland Council has a coastline of almost 4,500 km and is the local authority area with the longest coastline in the UK.
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