Major projects in Highland take a step forward through redesign

Major projects in Highland take a step forward through redesign

Four major redesign projects are making progress as set out in a report to the Highland Council late last week.

The four projects which are priority areas for change and improvement are as follows:

The Asset Management Project aims to reduce the council’s office estate, making operational cost savings, modernising the working environment, while reducing the Council’s energy use and carbon footprint. The project will also seek opportunities to co-locate with partners and develop affordable housing.

As part of an overall target of £1 million savings, £370,000 savings proposals were approved, by relocating office-based staff from the Inverness Town House. The historic building is an important cultural site for Inverness and a venue for civic functions and events and tours, which provide income opportunities for the Common Good as well as increasing access to the public.

The Roads improvement project aims to redesign the service where necessary and deliver improvements for the effective, efficient, and sustainable delivery of all engineering and roads operations and improve road condition across the Highlands.

The Connected Customer & Digitisation Project is to review, improve and create a joined-up customer contact experience at the Highland Council, including the opportunities to further utilise digital approaches to support improved outcomes for our citizens, our staff and the Council. Redesign will put the citizen at the centre of customer engagement at the Highland Council, to improve our process and approach for all contact methods (digital, telephony, face to face) and to provide a seamless customer experience.

A new Bus Company Project will develop an in-house Bus Company to deliver passenger and school transport services at a lower cost to that offered by commercial contractors. The project will pilot the inhouse delivery of 7 contracts from

January 2023, in accordance with the regulations of the Traffic Commissioner.

The project aims to mitigate some of the significant cost increases from the recent re-tendering of passenger and School Transport contracts and seeks to provide an improved and more inclusive service.

Councillor Bill Lobban, convener and redesign board chair, said: “These are important redesign projects which will deliver significant service improvement and savings. The Redesign Board will continue to be responsive to the key opportunities, priorities and challenges for the Council, as well as supporting our key strategies to address the ongoing financial crisis and the impact on our communities.”

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