Redesign Board makes recommendations on the redesign of the Council
The Redesign Board met on 28 February to agree its recommendations on the redesign of the Council.
The Board proposes a significant shift to localism. More council business would be decided locally, with closer connections between the Local Committees and the communities they serve. The Board recommends changes to governance, with fewer strategic committees and more decision making at local level.
The Board also endorses a more commercial approach for the Council, raising income to help sustain jobs and services across the region. It recommends a new Commercial Board is established for the Council and new practice is put in place to increase commercial opportunities and a more business-like approach.
Having listened to the views of community bodies, the Board is keen to work with partners to find a way of supporting community groups. It recommends that the council should explore with them the development of a Community Gateway as a one-stop shop for advice and support to encourage further community involvement.
The Board proposes that the Chief Executive should make restructuring proposals to the new Council to support the recommended governance arrangements. Restructure involves significant change, but this should be incremental and sustainable as well as affordable.
It is proposed that redesign will continue as part of the Council’s business and staff will be central to and involved in the ongoing redesign process, utilising the methods tested by the Board. This will include in peer reviews, which has proven a very successful approach, demonstrating the talent and openness of staff to identify change.
Chair of the Redesign Board, Convener Isobel McCallum said: “I would like to give my thanks staff and members for their participation in the extensive redesign work which has been carried out to date. Their experience and views are central to a successful redesign process.
“Our vision for the future of the Council is for decisions to be made more locally with the involvement of communities and we have responded to communities with our recommendations for a community gateway.”
Vice Chair of the Redesign Board, Vice Convener Bill Lobban said: “We have been innovative in our desire to create a commercial board, which can provide a positive vision for the council and maximise the opportunities that this approach can bring to the council into the future.”
The Board’s recommendations will be made to Council on 9 March. Papers will be available on line on Friday 3 March. If Council agrees the recommendations, these will be taken to the new Council to consider.
The paper discussed at Redesign Board is on our website at http://www.highland.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/3824/re-design_of_the_highland_council_board