The Highland Council Post 2007

Highland Councillors have given Chief Executive Arthur McCourt the go ahead to progress plans to restructure the council. This includes reducing management by 20% (40 posts) and staffing by 5% (500 jobs) before March 2009; reducing the number of Council departments from nine to six, and delivering services in future at multi-member ward level.

More detailed proposals on management and staffing changes will be presented to the Resources Committee meeting on Wednesday 23 August.

Mr McCourt  will also present proposals to a special council meeting being held in Gairloch on Thursday 22 September on future committee and political arrangements.

Mr McCourt’s report to the full council today was in response to the challenges created by the introduction of 22 multi-member wards from May, next year, together with budget restraints, potential housing stock transfer and job evaluation.

The Council agreed: -

• Services should be delivered in future at ward level, facilitated by the appointment of ward managers to manage one or two wards.

• Three operational management areas should be created, with services re-organised to reflect this.

• Three posts of Corporate Manager should be created to co-ordinate services and line manage the ward managers;

• The Chief Executive’s Office and  Corporate Services should merge, with the Director of Corporate Service/Depute Chief Executive’s post being redesignated as Depute Chief Executive.

• Housing Service functions should transfer to the new not-for profit Highland Housing Association.

• The retained housing functions should be consolidated in the Planning and Development and Social Work Services.

• Housing strategy, grants and development should transfer to Planning and Development, while supporting people and homelessness should transfer to Social Work.

• Property and Architectural Service functions should transfer to Planning and Development if housing  transfer proceeds;

• The council should consider the business case for procuring a private sector partner for the delivery of its property functions if housing stock transfer proceeded.


30 Jun 2006