Doing things because they tick boxes is no longer an option for the Council, especially when it comes to working with communities.
At the last Council of the Future Board held in August, Kenny Gillespie, Senior Responsible Owner of the Enabled Communities Workstream, provided an overview of the workstream he overseas, and made it clear the Council could no longer dictate to communities.
He said: “We have to recognise our communities have different requirements – one solution does not fit all – and that means the projects within the workstream cannot be tick box exercises. We have to really listen to our communities, get their buy-in, and provide them with an easy way to tell us what they want so we can provide the help and support they need to make the right choices. That will be a culture shock for us as we now have to ask ourselves, do we continue to provide the services and support what we currently do or do we do things differently?”
Kenny, who is also Head of Housing Services, went on to explain that a workshop was being organised to evaluate the support and services currently being provided to communities to provide a baseline to work from.
He said: “We have to challenge what we are doing and not be defensive. Things will jar against each other within our own services but we need to be 100% focused on providing the right support to communities and no longer dictate to them. We also need to build trust and be honest and upfront about what we will and will not do moving forward. This workshop aims to make us all aware of the task ahead of us and ensure our services not only work collaboratively with our communities but with each other and the voluntary sector to get the best possible outcomes.”
The next meeting of the Council of the Future Board takes place on October 3rd.