Highland Council Redesign: Service Income Review
7th March 2019
As part of The Highland Council's Redesign Programme, a comprehensive review of Service Income was undertaken by Deloitte and The Highland Council. The Highland Council received no charge following agreement with Deloitte that this would be very useful work experience for their Assistant Manager.
The joint report identified opportunities for the Council to improve collection levels and deliver process efficiencies by becoming more commercial in its approach to Service income.
As part of these improvements The Highland Council today (7th March 2019) approved the following recommendations:
1. To increase the de minimus (minimum) value of invoices issued from £10 to £12.50 (service charges less than this sum will require to be paid by up front or by Direct Debit)
2. Where alternate payment methods exist, to introduce an invoicing surcharge of £15 (including VAT).
3. To apply statutory interest and a late payment fee where an invoice is not paid within agreed terms and conditions (applicable to commercial customers only).
These changes will be implemented with effect from April 2019.
Councillor Bill Lobban, Convener of the Highland Council and Chair of the Council's Redesign Board explained: "Between April and December 2018, the Council paid 96.3% of its suppliers within 30 days, yet only 53% of our customers paid us on time. These changes move the Council more in line with how commercial organisations operate; allowing us to become more efficient by changing how our customers pay us, recouping the actual costs associated with administering invoices and being more aware of how and when we provide credit."
See the council paper at https://www.highland.gov.uk/download/meetings/id/74986/item_9_redesign_of_highland_council
The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team is advising users of private water supplies to take preventative steps to preserve their drinking water. Following a mild Winter and Spring, there is increasing pressures on water supplies.
There will be minimal impact on PSA posts due to extensive work done to protect staff through the holding back over 50 vacant posts and identifying other opportunities within the council. We have committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies.
The Highland Council, in partnership with Under One Roof Scotland, are inviting all private landlords to a special seminar specifically to look at issues surrounding common repairs and building maintenance in flats and how to deal with any problems that may arise. Under One Roof Scotland www.underoneroof.scot is an impartial online information site for flat owners and their advisers.
A greatly improved financial position is to be reported to the council's Corporate Resources Committee meeting next week for the financial year 2018/19. The position reflects the overspend reducing by £3M due to management actions in recent months.
Already leading the way when it comes to providing nutritional school meals, The Highland Council has reaffirmed its commitment to put more local fresh seasonal food on school dinner plates. Catherine Pendreigh, Food for Life Partnerships Manager at the Soil Association gave a presentation at today's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee on the accreditation already awarded to Highland Council's school meals and how this could be further developed in the future.
Members of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee have welcomed new funding to stimulate economic investments in Highland town centres to help them diversify and flourish. In partnership with COSLA The Scottish Government have provided £50m capital to set up the Town Centre Fund 2019-2020.
The Highland Council is warning anyone considering buying a puppy to ensure they buy from reputable sources. Concerns have been raised that people are illegally importing dogs from Europe to sell without the correct health checks or paperwork.
Parking Enforcement is coming to a street near you. With the Decriminalisation of Parking Enforcement, and establishment of the Highland Council Parking Services in 2016, the local authority has committed to the roll-out of enforcement activities across all population centres in Highland.
Progress in the transformation of Inverness Castle to become a new visitor attraction for the city was marked today with the announcement of contracts awarded to the architect and the creative director for the project. The Inverness Castle project forms part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region deal.
The Chief Executive and Budget Leader are meeting with all budget holders this week to set out the need for tight budget controls to continue throughout the year. The Council approved the Council's change programme "A Sustainable Highland" in February, which is set to deliver £37.456m savings over the next three years.
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