Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

Highland Council New approach in budget setting

18th January 2019

The council is taking a new approach in preparing the budget from 2019-22.

In recent weeks, the Chief Executive, Donna Manson, Budget Leader Cllr Alister Mackinnon and other senior councillors and officers have been out talking with staff, groups and communities across the Highlands in over 50 engagement sessions.

The engagement feedback was presented to Members as part of a two day cross-party seminar this week which was considering both budget and governance of the Council.

Councillor Mackinnon said:"The seminar was very good and generated excellent discussion between members of all political groups. There is a positive feeling of change and members have really shown the will to work together to tackle what are huge challenges for the Council.

"We need to remember that we still have some £575m to spend on services in the Highlands and our aim is to target resources towards the things which will produce the best possible outcomes for communities.

"We have identified a number of key themes which have emerged from our public and staff engagement and these will form the basis of real change in how the council works, how the council prioritises and how we spend the budget.

“A strong message also came through about the importance of building trust with communities and involving local people in decisions which affect them. This tells me that we need to be better connected and visible at a local level."

Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: “As Councillors, we have been listening to what the public and staff are telling us and we will act on this as we develop our future structure and governance arrangements as well as our budget plans.

“We have had a very positive few days and the level of collaboration has been terrific. We have a huge challenge ahead of us and we need to work together to find a way forward which is best for our communities."

Donna Manson added: “Members have a wealth of talents and experience between them and it has been heartening to see everyone working together in cross-party groups, sharing ideas and problem solving.

She added: “It has been very important to me to get out and meet with staff and communities and listen to what people have to say about the Council. I have heard about where we can do things better and what needs to change, but equally important I have heard about lots of good practice and really dedicated hard working staff who care about the communities they serve and the people they work with."

Four key themes emerged from the council's engagement process.

The first theme is making the Council more efficient - A loud and clear message is that we need to be far more efficient, streamline our processes and cut out waste. People want us to focus our resources on getting the best outcomes and the best value for money.

A second theme demonstrates a huge amount of support in developing a more commercial Council and increasing income generation. People want us to be more commercially minded and many people we have spoken to have said they are prepared to pay a bit more to protect essential services and jobs.

The third theme focuses on redesign and continuous improvement. People want us to be outward looking, to be more productive and make better use of digital tools and learning from best practice elsewhere.

A flexible well managed workforce is the final theme. Both communities and our staff told us that we need a more flexible and agile workforce, with appropriate training and skills and levels of autonomy, delivering services locally.

The budget will be set at the Highland Council meeting on 14 February.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

27/2/2020
Highland Council Announces Biggest Ever Single Investment In RoadsThumbnail for article : Highland Council Announces Biggest Ever Single Investment In Roads
Highland Council today announced its biggest ever single investment in roads with an extra £20million capital announced in its budget proposals for the year 2020/21.   The budget proposals were announced by Budget Leader Alister MacKinnon at a press conference at Highland Council headquarters.  
27/2/2020
Community Council elections nominations closed
Following the close of nominations at 12 noon on Wednesday 26 February 2020, the outcome is as follows.   2 Community Councils received more nominations than their maximum membership, which means that postal ballots will now be held for Rogart Community Council and Strathnairn Community Council.  
26/2/2020
Additional Support Needs (ASN) Interim Update
An interim update on the development of a new model to assess needs and allocate resource for Additional Support Needs will be reported to the Council's Education Committee on Thursday.   The work being carried out is to ensure the Council has a delivery model in place which is agile and flexible to meeting the needs of young people and provides stability for staff.  
19/2/2020
Scottish Government Budget In Current Form Will Devastate CommunitiesThumbnail for article : Scottish Government Budget In Current Form Will Devastate Communities
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has warned that the Scottish Government's Budget will hit vulnerable communities the hardest.   COSLA has warned the Government that it has not considered successive years of cuts, or rising inflation and demand and have therefore put council services at risk.  
18/2/2020
Taxi Fares Held Level For Another 18 Months In Highland And Tuk Tuk Licence For Wick RefusedThumbnail for article : Taxi Fares Held Level For Another 18 Months In Highland And Tuk Tuk Licence For Wick Refused
Following a review taxi fares in Highland have been held at the same level by the Highland Council Licensing Committee held on 18 February 2019.   The papers and the debate on this issue can be seen at items six on the webcast - https://highland.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/469655 There is a 14 Day period for appeal.  
18/2/2020
Study Into Corran Narrows Fixed Link OptionsThumbnail for article : Study Into Corran Narrows Fixed Link Options
A study is underway into the feasibility of replacing Scotland's second busiest ferry service with a fixed link bridge or tunnel.   The Highland Council, HITRANS and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are joint funding the study at the Corran Narrows in Lochaber.  
18/2/2020
Trades Services Framework Standstill Period Extended In Highland Council Area
The standstill period under the Council's Trades Services Framework agreement was due to close with effect from Monday 17th February 2020, with the intention of a proposed go live date with the new arrangements and contracts of 24th February.   The standstill period is a defined period of time between the notice of the contract award decision and the award of the contract.  
15/2/2020
Spaceport Planning ApplicationThumbnail for article : Spaceport Planning Application
On 14th February 2020 the Highland council place an advert in the Northern times newspaper regarding the Spaceport planning application as follows.  - THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1997 TOWN and COUNTRY PLANNING (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2017.  
13/2/2020
Highland councillors approve small rise in council home rents
Members today approved a modest 3% rent increase for residential rents and service charges following detailed consultation with tenants.   The increase will result in a rise in the average weekly council house rent from £75.38 to £77.74 (£2.26), which means that Highland rents are still 8th lowest of the 26 councils which retain housing.  
12/2/2020
Chief Social Work Officer's first annual report highlights successes and challenges
Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer's first annual report highlights successes and challenges.` Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer for Highland Council, Karen Ralston, has enjoyed a successful first year in her role.   Members today noted the 2018/19 annual report at the meeting of the Health, Wellbeing and Social Care committee.  

[Printer Friendly Version]