A Connected Highland - Council Agrees 22 strategic improvement priorities
7th March 2019
Council has agreed 22 strategic improvement priorities and a Highland Improving Performance Programme for the Council which aims to make the connections across services and communities and drive the improvement.
The proposed strategic improvement priorities are identified from the Council's knowledge of where performance needs to improve and where the Council has already set ambition for improvement. Feedback from staff, communities and members, performance data, and learning from major change and redesign projects has helped to identify where change and improvement is needed.
The improvement priorities align with the Council's Programme and partnership outcomes. A set of improvement targets will be developed for Council in May 2019 and thereafter monitored through new governance processes.
Chief Executive Donna Manson said: "To deliver the Council's ambition, the Council will need to be far more connected and create new corporate ways of working together, being open to challenge and finding more imaginative solutions for local services.
"We need to adopt a systematic and structured approach to self-evaluation that enables critical reflection and is supported by performance evidence from a range of sources. We will aim to build reliable data on which we can draw, covering quality, cost and efficiency and provided in a way that is timely and enables meaningful comparisons across local areas, with other local authorities and with national/international standards.
"We also need to be able to draw on feedback from service users, professional opinion and peer review in order to shape sustainable, efficient and high-performing services."
She added: “Leadership and management development is fundamental, but all staff and members have a role to play in performance improvement."
Leader of the Council Margaret Davidson welcomed the report. She said: “Striving for an ambitious and high-performing Council will impact positively on Highland communities. Our Programme aims to make the Highlands a stronger, healthier and more resilient region in which people choose to live, work, do business and visit. Investing in improvement across the Council will help us achieve and maintain our ambitions for Highland."
The report can be found here https://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/4093/highland_council
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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.
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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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