Your council is changing
Over the next few years we’re going on a journey to become a very different council – a New Council, which:
- supports communities to do more for themselves and each other
- keeps vulnerable people safe and helps them to stay in control of their lives
- provides services – but focuses on the things that only the council can do
Our vision is to create a district with a strong, sustainable economy that offers a great quality of life to its residents - leading to thriving communities, growing businesses, high prosperity and low inequality where people enjoy better health throughout their lives.
To achieve our vision to become a New Council within significantly reduced budget we have to completely change what we do and how we do it: Kirklees Council - Our budget challenges
Our Corporate Plan 2016/17 sets out our New Council vision and how we will work to achieve it.
This short video explains how we will do that: New Council - the way we do things around here
This presentation explains in more detail how we want all parts of the Council to change the way that they do things: Making New Council the way we do things around here
Our New Council priorities
Our new council priorities, set out in the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Kirklees Economic Strategy, focus on two key themes:
Early Intervention and Prevention (EIP)
This priority is all about supporting people to remain independent for as long as possible, and delaying their need for expensive social care support now, or in the future. It’s also about identifying early when families have problems and need extra support, and building resilient communities who are able to do more for themselves and each other. This is not just about adults and children’s social care – it’s about public health, housing, schools and our communities’ teams. We’re aiming to bring together, strengthen and enhance a range of existing services under a single plan with shared outcomes.
Examples of the work that we’re doing include:
- The development of an all age disability service, which will improve continuity for people living with a disability and their families, regardless of age.
- Developing a new relationship with schools, and working together to deliver our shared ambitions for communities, and better outcomes for children and their families.
- Adopting a key worker approach, and more localised teams.
Economic Resilience (ER)
Our Economic Resilience priority concentrates on 3 main areas:
- supporting local businesses to thrive and develop in Kirklees
- supporting residents to have the skills needed to secure well paid employment locally, and
- developing Kirklees as a quality place where people want to live, work and visit.
Examples of the work we’re doing include:
- Attracting investment and development into Kirklees. For example, developments like The HD1 complex at the John Smith’s Stadium create jobs and employment in the area, support local business and help to make the area a place where people want to visit – all of these bring investment and are a boost to the local economy.
- We’re developing the Kirklees Business Hub – an online business portal which supports and promotes commerce in Kirklees. We want to support local businesses to be sustainable and to grow to be able to offer the best opportunities and bring investment into Kirklees.
- We’re also working with colleagues in training and education to link up educational attainment in the district to the job opportunities we have here through things like the development of the Apprenticeship Hub.
Redesigning our services, and building a different relationship with the community.
In addition to our two main themes, we are also redesigning all council services, with a focus on how we can enable people to do more for themselves, make the best use of our resources and work in partnership with our public, private and voluntary sector partners.
Working with communities to help them do more things for themselves.
We've stopped thinking about ‘the council's resources’ and started to think about how we can use all of the skills and talents in our community to make the most of what we have. For example:
- Our Cities of Service programme – I’m In - is looking at how volunteers can play a role in helping to solve local issues.
- Our award-winning Comoodle project is helping the Council to share its own assets with groups who want to do something for the benefit of their community. The website also supports community groups who have stuff, skills and space with others who need it.
- The It’s Up to You project works by asking local people to suggest their ideas for activities or projects that bring people together and benefit the community. People then vote for the ideas and the most popular receives a small amount of money to make the idea a reality.
Changing the way we do things to make our resources go further.
Faced with significant budget challenges, it’s really important that the Council focuses its resources on things that only the council can do, and finds new ways of doing things. For example:
- we're making things easier for people by providing more services online, so that people can self-serve and support themselves. To help people do that, we’ve re-designed the Kirklees council website, which can be used on smartphones and tablet computers, and helps people to things at their own convenience, 24/7.
- we’ve recently launched Better Off Kirklees , an online service which shows residents the benefits they are entitled to and how to apply online. It also provides information on how to find and apply for jobs.
- We’re reducing our costs right across the council by doing things more efficiently. We’re proud that we have saved £103 million so far, with minimum impact on the community.
Work more closely with community groups, other public sector organisations, businesses and the voluntary sector in Kirklees.
We know that collaboration with our partners is key to ensuring we maximise the breadth and quality of services we provide for the people of Kirklees. We’re working with different groups in a range of new and innovative ways in order to deliver services differently. For example:
- we’re working closely with colleagues in the NHS to make best use of our collective resources and joining up services across health and social care.
- we’re working differently in our libraries, working with volunteers which support the running of our community libraries and installing self-issue machines to enable people to do more for themselves and reduce running costs: Working differently in libraries
- we have recently announced that the council's Building Services Team will be merging with Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing. Bringing these two successful organisations together will help give the best opportunities for the future. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we expect the new organisation to be operating by April 2017 at the latest.
These are just a few examples of how we're doing things differently. We'll be sharing more examples as we continue to change.