Vision Workshops with elected members

The Council has a new vision framework developed through a number of engagement workshops with Elected Members and approved by the Emergency Executive. Community Engagement will now take place on this to make sure we have got this right. The results will frame our new five-year business plan and corporate plan and will help the council make decisions based on what's important to our communities and local businesses.

As well as looking forward, some reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic were noted on what the Council achieved over the three month lockdown period. These included:

  • +3,000 employees working from home
  • Greater use of digital technology
  • Focus on the vulnerable and those who need our help
  • Use of fewer buildings
  • Greater use of third sector partners
  • More volunteers supporting our communities.

Council of the Future Priority Projects

Our priority projects will be reviewed to make sure they meet the requirements of our new vision framework. There are now eight priority projects (the original ten projects have now reduced to eight after amalgamation of our Education Projects under the banner of Succeed Today, Excel Tomorrow). These priority projects have potential to achieve savings of £24m over the life of the business plan. This is expected to change once they are reviewed and will be included in our refreshed five-year business plan which is due to be presented to Council in September.

The overall status of our priority projects is 'amber’ with the Delivering Modern and Digital Services project at ‘red’ due to a refresh of the Council’s digital strategy which will be finalised over the summer months and will include new projects – to fit with our new vision framework.

Much of what needs to happen next with all our priority projects will be based on having conversations with our communities to make sure they play an active role in supporting Falkirk’s recovery and longer-term goals.

Change Fund Submissions

Our approach to digital and community conversations were the focus of two successful change fund bids approved by the COTF Board – Community Engagement and Succeed Today and Excel Tomorrow – Connected Falkirk.

In recognition of the significant importance of involving communities in what we do such as Participatory Budgeting and Community Engagement, four one-year posts will be created to support this work. This will allow us to build on the good work and relationships established during COVID-19 and before.

Four specialised ‘sprint’ teachers will be appointed to help deliver digital aspirations in learning and education on the back of the recent successful £9m capital bid in Connected Falkirk.

Capital Bids

We are looking forward to seeing what is needed in terms of future investment in areas such as education, AI opportunities; the approach to Anytime Anywhere project and provision for the new normality of working from home. More information will be presented after the summer recess.

Risk Register

Our risk register for Council of the Future Programme now includes a risk on our ability to recover from COVID-19. The Council has produced an approach to recovery, and this will be central to our five-year business plan. This means that decision around recovery will be framed against our new priorities which are focused on getting Falkirk communities and businesses moving again.