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Elected Members will be given a stark reminder tomorrow (Tuesday, 24 August) that the Council of the Future change (COTF) programme needs to deliver to help avoid reductions to service delivery.

In the latest COTF update report to be presented to the Executive, Rebecca Mcdonald, Change Manager, makes clear cuts can only be avoided - and council priorities delivered - if we have a "robust and effective" programme.

To ensure success, a lot of work has been undertaken over the past six months to strengthen COTF, including the launch of the Powering Our Priorities action plan designed to keep projects on track.

Powering up change

The plan has put in place several new tools, including a project gateway system and workbooks, to ensure each project has a clear path to follow that will help transform the Council and make savings.

To help speed up decision making a 'smart' dashboard has also been developed, which catapults how we report project progress into the 21st Century.

The dashboard uses information from each workbook to automatically generate accessible graphs and charts that provide COTF programme boards with:

  • an overview of the whole programme
  • the latest information on savings made, barriers, and milestones 

Time to reflect

The report to Executive also takes time to reflect on the past 12 months.

Although the global pandemic put all our lives in a tailspin, it didn’t put a stop to the change programme. Thanks to the hard work of each project team, progress was still made.

Success stories have already been reported to the Scrutiny Committee and case studies created for Best Value auditors. These case studies help highlight change can happen even in the most challenging of circumstances.

Read more about our Best Value audit and the COTF case studies online.

Adding up change

Over the summer, a zero-based budgeting (ZBB) project was added to the change programme, taking the number of projects now sitting within COTF to 31.

ZBB aims to help the Council balance its budget by challenging services to analyse where and what they spend money on, starting with a clean slate – zero base – each year.

Find out more about ZBB on our employee news page.

Planning for the future

Work is now underway to identify additional projects that could help the Council tackle the financial challenges it faces.

Being mindful that all projects - new and current - should engage with communities to ensure any proposed change to services meet need.

Already Community Conversations have been held with residents living in each Falkirk Council’s ward to help get a better understanding of what is important to them.

These focus groups have not only been critical to the progress of several COTF projects, but also The Falkirk Plan. The plan aims to make the area a better place to live over the next 10 years and goes to Council later this year.

Watch Stuart Ritchie, Senior Responsible Owner of the Council of the Future Programme, present the COTF update at the Executive on YouTube. The live meeting starts at 10am tomorrow (Tuesday, 24 August).

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