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Kenneth Lawrie used the Make it Happen Board to drive home a clear message – we must deliver on the Council of the Future change programme because it’s critical to the future of our organisation.

Speaking at the first meeting of the board since the launch of the corporate and business plans, the Chief Executive highlighted the need for “openness, transparency and accountability”.

“If we get that right we maximise our chances of delivering. And we need to deliver on this because it is critical to our future, not just in terms of financial savings but in terms of how we move forward as a council together.”

“We’re taking things forward on a lot of different fronts, through the Council of the Future and other council programmes. What we need to do is understand the interrelationships between these. We cannot keep spinning plates and not get things over the line. If we all have the same projects in six to 12 months’ time we will find ourselves in a very difficult position.”

The crème de la crème

With new Senior Responsible Owners of the Council’s Communities, Enterprise and Innovation workstream boards sitting around the virtual table, Kenneth took the opportunity to remind them they had not been chosen by accident.

“You have been chosen because you are capable, energetic people that we trust to do a good job – you are the crème de la crème. That might seem daunting for good reason, because this programme has such fundamental importance to the future of the Council, but you need to know support is available, use it as you need to.”

Members agreed the board had to be a place for open and frank debate where people could exchange ideas and sort out problems to ensure everyone was on the same page. They also recognised the important role communication plays in getting key messages to the right audiences.  

Funding projects

With the likelihood that a Change Fund will not be available come next February’s budget, a new approach to funding Council of the Future projects has been identified.

Moving forward, if projects need to additional monies, Services will need to find the resources or money will be taken from council reserves and paid back when savings are generated.  

Stuart Ritchie, Senior Responsible Owner, Council of the Future change programme, said: “This approach increases visibility and transparency, as we will see upfront the savings that are expected to be delivered by the project and the costs of delivering those savings. We should then be able to net one off against the other.”

It was highlighted that several priority projects would require funding which would need to be costed out in advance of the first meetings of the three new workstream boards at the end of November.

Community engagement

In his presentation to the board, Kenny Gillespie, Senior Responsible Owner of the Communities workstream board, spoke about the engagement process that begins this month (November) which aims to start Community Conversations around:

  • the future challenges facing the local area. These discussions will help identify local priorities that will underpin The Falkirk Plan, which aims to reduce the impact of inequalities on local communities over the next 10 years.
  • the council estate. The outcome of these discussions will shape the next steps of two priority projects - the Strategic Property Review and Succeed Today, Excel Tomorrow.

Kenny said: “Developing positive relationships with communities and other partners is paramount if we are to fulfil our Corporate Plan ambitions. To help us build trust and become more transparent, we’re working with Third Sector partners to ensure as wide range of voices will be heard.”

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