Council performance meets with approval
Good progress has been made in the delivery of the Council’s Programme, Highland First, for the period 01 April 2016 to end 31 March 2017.
Of the 72 commitments, 64 (89%) are either complete, progressing well or performance is being maintained. These also reflect a number of areas of work which are also longer term commitments for the Council.
Leader of the Council Margaret Davidson said:
“I am extremely pleased with the progress which has been made, particularly in the work of devolving power to local committees and setting up the Commission on Highland Democracy, protecting the road and winter maintenance budgets and making additional capital available for roads projects. The range of services available online have also substantially increased and this has delivered real savings.
“There has been tremendous progress in achieving the City-Region Deal and we are reaping the fruits of success in a number of projects including free wifi for Inverness and 14 other towns in the Highlands, and the West Link nearing completion of phase one, together with the delivery of affordable housing and housing infrastructure bringing benefits across the region.
“I think we can be proud of our continued success in growing our early year’s workforce and training uptake and our influence on national policy on welfare reform, being recognised as a centre of expertise. We are working well with partners to bring forward policy to focus on reducing poverty.
She continued: “Performance in some areas is affected by economic circumstances and constraints on funding. Whilst there is much to be very proud of, we know that there are a small number of areas where we have had a mixed performance including sickness absence within the Council’s workforce. On-going work to target reduction has included a dedicated member of staff to support managers in dealing with long term absence, a review of occupational health and compulsory training on attendance management for senior managers.
“She added: “We also recognise that we need to do much better for those children we have in the care system and those living in deprivation to help them achieve the very best possible outcomes in life and we will put renewed effort into this.”