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You said, we’re doing

‘How will the change programme help me?’ ‘Is it about budget cuts?’ ‘When will we know what budget cuts will be made this year?’

These are some of the questions coming up about the change programme – thanks to everyone who is getting in touch with questions, ideas and suggestions.

There’s no getting away from the fact that things are set to be tough for councils’ finances for the foreseeable future. The change programme is about finding ways of working together that make it easier for you to do what you have to do, in these difficult circumstances.

Your feedback is helping us develop some of the detail of that thanks – please see below for some examples.

At the same time, we are working, as always at this time of year, on options for setting the council’s budget next year. Councillors will make decisions in February 2023. Between now and then, another progress report will go to the Policy and Resources Committee on 8 December, and I will update you again then.

You said, we’re doing

Here are just a few examples of feedback I’ve received recently and action being taken in response.

Suggestion, comment, questionAction
ELT (Executive Leadership Team) – we want to know more about what you doI set up the ELT (me and our two Executive Directors) as part of cutting down the number of meetings people have to attend – officers now only come if they have a report or issue to raise.   In future I will provide a brief update on areas of work ELT is progressing and I’ve asked the Communications Team to find the easiest way of involving your views, if you wish, in key topics.  
Reduce emailsI know it can be difficult to find time to get used to new systems so please look out for help coming in using Microsoft 365 Teams as one way to reduce emails.  
Getting information – it can be difficult to find information we needAs a start, we are putting together a ‘Just Ask’ list of contact details for commonly-asked questions; and a list of council documents, policies, and strategies that are often referred to. I’ll get those to you when ready.  
Public expectations – need to match more what the council can doI have asked the Communications Team to develop a public information campaign, raising awareness of what the council does and what we cannot do. I will tell you more about that as it develops.

This week’s podcast

This week I speak with Mandy Sheridan, Service Improvement Officer for Children and Families, and Fiona Davies, Chief Officer of the HSCP (Health and Social Care Partnership) about work to alleviate child poverty in Argyll and Bute.

If of use, information on coping with the cost of living is available on the council’s Worried about money? webpage.

Wishing you all a good weekend,

Pippa

Pippa Milne
Chief Executive