Message from the Chief Executive

    Trust - the foundation of almost everything we do in life; from the brands we buy to the services we use. Without it, not much can be achieved. If you want to build it, you need to empower those around you and ask, listen, and act in good faith on what they tell you.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic we trusted our communities to do more for themselves. In return, they trusted us to provide support when they needed it. As a result, partnerships have been strengthened and new ones formed that continue to help those most in need.

    As we look to our recovery, we cannot lose the ground made, nor revert to old habits of 'doing to'. We must continue to build trust with those around us so the right decisions can be made to help the Falkirk Council area become ‘The Place to Be'.

    The proposal

    To make that happen, our Corporate Plan sets out our commitment to ask the right questions, to the right people, at the right time, and, wherever possible, act on what we have been told or honestly explain why we are unable to do so. Only by doing this, can we gain the trust needed to underpin positive and lasting change.

    But we cannot do this alone. We need our communities, businesses, partners, and employees to continue working with us to create innovative solutions that will help our area thrive against an increasingly difficult financial backdrop.

    The budgetary challenges of the next few years also mean hard choices and difficult decisions will need to be made, and we need to be honest about that too.

    We will not always get it right first time. There will be bumps in the road. But, by working in partnership, we will have the best opportunity to overcome them and make our communities safer, our town centres more vibrant, our environment cleaner, and our local economy stronger.

    Our promise

    Our new priorities are the bedrock of this plan. These have been shaped following consultation with communities. The views from our communities not only gave us helpful insight into what is important to them, they made clear the amount of work that needs to be done to achieve our ambitions for the area.

    This plan is more than just words on a page, it is our new way forward. It is our promise to all that we will ask, listen and act on what we are told, wherever we can, to build the trust needed to help our communities and economy recover.

    Kenneth Lawrie
    Chief Executive


    The Area

    The Falkirk Council area has an estimated population of 160,890. This is an increase of 550 (0.3%) from 2018 and Falkirk's highest ever population (2020). 13,257 of the population are 75+ and 52,103 are 25-49 (2020).

    Households are projected to rise each year to 2041, with single person households the largest type (36%) (2018).

    The total number of jobs in Falkirk can be rounded to 66,000 (2016). Enterprise total turnover was £7,051.6m (2016).

    In 2016, tourism was worth £110.2m to the local economy employing almost 2,000 people. The Falkirk area attracted over 930,000 visitors - evidence of continued significant growth.

    Around a third of all chemical sector activity in Scotland takes place in the Falkirk area.

    COVID-19 – Economic Position

    18,800 employees (29.5% of total employees in Falkirk) have been furloughed

    • Accommodation and Food Services 73%
    • Arts and Entertainment 73%,
    • Construction 59%
    • Manufacturing 40%

    Since the start of COVID-19, the area has seen Universal Credit claimants rise to more than 11,000 with a rise of 66.6% in unemployment claimants between March and April 2020. Youth unemployment figures increased in the Falkirk Council area from 655 (5.35%) in March 2020 to 1,250 in June 2020 (10.1%).


    Our Strategic Plans

    Plan Timescale

    The Falkirk Plan: Due 2021

    Will provide a vision and focus, based on agreed local priorities, for communities and partners to work collaboratively to meet the needs and aspirations of people in Falkirk.

    10 Years

    Falkirk Council Corporate Plan 2020 - 2022

    Is our vision framework. It focuses on our Council priorities and future engagement with communities.

    2 Years

    Falkirk Council Business Plan 2021 - 2023

    How we will deliver our Council priorities through our Council of the Future change programme, Medium Term Financial Plan and Workforce Plan.

    3 Years

    Falkirk Council Economic Recovery Plan August 2020

    Presents information on the economic impact and outcome of consultation concerning the COVID-19 situation and how we will address this.

    2 Years

    Digital Falkirk 2020 - 2025

    Framework for digital to improve services, engage more effectively with our communities, and reduce operational costs.

    5 Years

    Our Communities

    In our COVID-19 Recovery: Community Engagement Survey, people were asked what's important to them. They said:

    • Enable everyone to fulfil their potential
      95.3% of respondents said this was very important or important to them.
    • People in our communities are supported to live their lives well
      94.6% of respondents said this was very important or important to them.
    • Enable and empower our communities to live healthier, safer, and more sustainable lives
      93.7% of respondents said this was very important or important to them.
    • Help businesses to thrive and make the area more prosperous
      93.6% of respondents said this was very important or important to them.
    • Become an innovative and entrepreneurial council, providing effective leadership to help transform outcomes
      84.4% of respondents said this was very important or important to them.

    Conversations with our Communities

    When we launched our COVID-19 Recovery: Community Engagement survey, we made a pledge to our communities that we would ask, listen and act on what they say to ensure services better meet their needs. What they told us over the summer months helped to shape our priorities.

    Now we need to continue those conversations to ensure the projects laid down in our Business Plan help deliver on our priorities and the ambitions we all have for the area. Why? Because what our communities tell us is vitally important. Their input will help keep projects moving in the right direction and ensure we make the right decisions.

    We'll keep talking in a number of different ways and we'll work with our Third Sector partners and other community groups to gather the views of our citizens.

    Here's what we will talk about:

    Projects Timescale
    Engaging Communities to Plan for Falkirk Q4 2020
    Employability Q4 2020
    Strategic Property Review Q4 2020
    Investing for Inclusive Growth & Economic Recovery Q4 2020
    Succeed Today, Excel Tomorrow Q2 2021
    Community Choices Q3 2021 & Beyond

    Our Priorities

    Our ambition for the Falkirk Council area may seem bold, but we believe it is achievable if everyone works together to make it happen.

    Communities 

    Everyone has an equal chance to be healthier, happier, safer and build sustainable communities.

    This is about:

    • Enabled communities
    • Poverty & Equalities
    • Education
    • Social Care
    • Where we live

    We will:

    • Work to protect and improve the health & wellbeing of all
    • Ask, listen, and act on what our communities tell us
    • Cut red tape to make it easier for communities to make decisions for themselves
    • Build on new strengths created within our communities
    • Work in partnership with communities to ensure decisions and services are right for them
    • Form stronger ties with our communities and partners to improve the lives of our most vulnerable
    • Raise aspirations and help everyone live independent and fulfilling lives
    • Ensure children and young people thrive in their education/training
    • Safeguard our green spaces and maintain a transport infrastructure that is sustainable, and fit for purpose
    • Ensure people feel safe within their community and live in high-quality housing

    Enterprise 

    Help businesses to thrive and make Falkirk more prosperous.

    This is about:

    • Growth Deal
    • Economic Recovery
    • Employability
    • Inclusive Growth
    • Climate Change

    We will:

    • Support sustainable economic recovery that benefits everyone
    • Use our procurement power to help rebuild the local economy and support sustainable local supply chains
    • Create strong partnerships that will help drive growth and regeneration
    • Seek external sources of investment to support a diverse economy
    • Reimagine our town centres, making them vibrant places to live, meet, eat, shop, and do business
    • Support the growth of the low carbon economy to deliver new employment and create a greener environment
    • Encourage the use of electric vehicles and green transport as well as sources of renewable power for new developments
    • Look to capitalise on the environmental and green benefits that arose during lockdown to ensure we meet our carbon reduction targets
    • Help people retrain so they can move quickly from one job to another or from a declining sector to an emerging one
    • Ensure our most vulnerable can gain skills needed to secure work in an uncertain job market
    • Work with young people to develop training that helps them gain the skills needed for jobs of the future

    Innovation 

    Innovative and entrepreneurial Council that is forward-thinking and unafraid of change.

    This is about:

    • Using resources for transformation
    • Culture
    • Digital
    • Financials
    • Data

    We will:

    • Identify new ways of working and service delivery models to help meet the Council's financial challenges and retain new and better ways of working
    • Work with employees to build on new working practices (including working from home) to meet their needs and those of our customers
    • Encourage and enable collaborative working by providing our workforce with the right tools to make it happen
    • Create a 'can-do', supportive working culture that encourages creativity and innovation
    • Enable a more digitally focused economy with better digital infrastructure
    • Pick up the pace and move more services online, making it easier for customers to access them 24/7, 365 days a year
    • Automate services to make it easier to do business with us
    • Look at our portfolio of buildings in light of new working practices and engage with the communities, partners and customers on how we use them

    Our Culture

    We are Responsive

    By embracing technology and modern working practices we will enhance people's lives and use our own data to create services that meet the needs of our customers 24/7, 365 days a year.

    We are Innovative

    By celebrating collaboration, creativity, and learning we will inspire employees to solve shared problems and create unique services that make Falkirk the place to live, learn, work and visit.

    We are Trusted

    By removing bureaucracy and red tape, we will enable people to develop new skills and live rewarding lives as independently as possible within their own community.

    We are Ambitious

    By never limiting our employees or community aspirations we will create sustainable services that have a positive impact on people's lives.