The important role Council of the Future will play in our recovery was signalled at the first virtual meeting of the Enabled Communities Workstream Board.
During the meeting, Project Managers shared how their projects had been shaped by the crisis and highlighted how relationships with partners, the third sector and communities had been strengthened by new ways of working.
Kenny Gillespie, Senior Responsible Owner, made clear lessons learnt from lockdown would help shape how the Council will operate moving forward and told Project Managers they had to ensure projects were “still fit for purpose”.
He said: “What is shining through is how important the empowerment of our communities is. When they’ve been given the power to do so they deliver. Through Support for People they are helping us deliver critical services. We need to build on the trust and momentum that has been built up to accelerate or take our projects in a different direction. We need to listen to our communities and ensure the language and approach we’ve used in response to this crisis underpins all that we do in the future.”
Taking a bold step forward
Project Managers highlighted the immediate next steps for their projects:
- Advice Hubs & Spokes: taking on board lessons learnt from Support for People, a review of Hub services and how they are delivered is now underway. This will help pinpoint what the critical services will be.
- Closer to Communities and Locality Planning: the pandemic has highlighted the importance and the benefits of collaboration and that lessons can be learnt from the Health & Social Care Partnership’s approach to locality planning.
- Closer to Home: protecting and supporting children most at risk was the priority during lockdown. The focus now is to build capacity and align the project with the Children’s Commission. Two new subprojects (residential care and early years) will also be established.
- Exceed Today, Excel Tomorrow: Following approval for Year 1 funding, one of the six sub projects, Connected Falkirk, is to be accelerated to ensure the infrastructure and learning devices are in place for a likely blended approach to learning come the return to school in August.
David Mackay, Chair, said: “From a dark situation some green shoots have grown. Community groups have risen to the challenge and we've been 'doing' because it's the right thing to do rather than wait for permission. We’ve been shown how we should be working and that has brought a renewed energy and conviction. We cannot lose that. We cannot look back. We must build on what has been achieved to help us deliver our projects.”