People and place approach to deliver better results for South Ayrshire communities

 14 December 2017  |  


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People and places will be at the heart of everything South Ayrshire Council does. That's the message from the Council today (14 December) as a new outline Council Plan and Chief Officer management structure were agreed by Councillors.

The outline Council Plan – which sets out the difference the Council wants to make for people and communities across South Ayrshire – is based on six strategic objectives and outcomes that focus on people and places:

 1. Effective leadership that promotes fairness

 2. Reduce poverty and disadvantage

 3. Health and care systems that meet people's needs

 4. Make the most of the local economy

 5. Increase the profile and reputation of South Ayrshire and the Council

 6. Enhanced environment through social, cultural and economic activities.

That has been reflected in the new management structure, which is centred around the formation of two new directorates: People and Place.

The People Directorate will deliver a range of services that:

  • Place schools at the heart of our communities.
  • Build on the attributes and success of our educational services to strengthen our relationships and the shared objectives and outcomes of other sectors.
  • Promote community asset transfer, locality planning, community engagement and community participation to help build strong, confident communities.
  • Promote the use of schools for community and local use to build strong community networks and provide social, educational and learning opportunities for children and families, particularly those most in need that help reduce poverty and disadvantage and close the attainment gap.
  • Empower Council employees to work with communities, particularly those experiencing deprivation, to design and deliver local solutions that communities want and need.
  • Contribute to the development of local community based plans to help keep older people active.
  • Support the community planning partnership and, through a co-ordinated and targeted approach, reduce poor health statistics directly attributed to disadvantage in South Ayrshire.
  • Ensure carers, and, in particular, young carers, are supported appropriately and able to access services to improve their life experiences.
  • Invest in enhanced, meaningful and continuous communication, engagement and participation processes.
  • Support our village communities to be vibrant commercial and social centres.

The Place Directorate will deliver a range of services that:

  • Place schools at the heart of our communities
  • Develop a South Ayrshire and 5 Towns Brand which establishes the Council area as a world-class tourist, business and life-choice destination
  • Ayr Renaissance staff will be brought in-house to ensure expertise can be used to develop the local economy, improve place making and progress regeneration activities across Ayr and the 5 towns.
  • Promote the use of the Council procurement process to invest in and support the local economy
  • Improve place making across South Ayrshire in relation to public realm streetscape, redundant buildings, signage and litter processes
  • Rationalise and reduce the number of Council-owned properties and assets through investment, disposal and community asset transfer
  • Develop local economic relationships with businesses, promote inward investment and encourage regeneration activities
  • Improve the road and other infrastructure across South Ayrshire
  • Develop and deliver strategies to enable development of quality affordable housing and business investment
  • Improve local assets and develop an environment that is attractive, welcoming and sustainable
  • Maximise the potential of community benefits.

People and Place will replace the existing directorates and services – with the exception of services in the Health and Social Care Partnership, while Employee and Customer Services, Finance and ICT, and the newly created post of Head of Regulatory Services will report to the Chief Executive.

This means there will be three broad Directorates:

  • People
  • Place
  • Health and Social Care

New Directors for People and Place will be appointed, with the Director for People also taking on the role of Depute Chief Executive. Each Director will be supported by two Executive Managers (at current Head of Service level).

To facilitate these changes, a number of posts will be removed from the existing structure:

 •  Executive Director of Economy, Neighbourhood and Environment

 •  Executive Director of Resources, Governance and Organisation

 •  Director of Educational Services

 •  Head of Communities

 •  Head of Enterprise, Development and Leisure

 •  Head of Housing and Facilities

 •  Head of Legal and Democratic Services

 •  Head of Neighbourhood Services

 •  Head of Policy and Performance

 •  Head of Property and Risk.

This will mean an overall reduction of three Chief Officer posts across the Council.

The new roles will be open to those in the posts to be deleted and appointments will be made by the Council's Appointments Panel, which is chaired by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Douglas Campbell.

Chief Executive Eileen Howat welcomed the move, "The new structure is a significant departure from what is currently in place and was driven by three overriding considerations: making the best possible use of our people; developing an innovative approach that will ensure our people and places have the opportunity to reach their full potential; and simplifying the management structure.

"By doing this, we can focus on what we need to do to deliver on the Council's ambitions for the people and communities of South Ayrshire and get to work to make that happen."

Councillor Campbell said, "Our people are our best assets who know their jobs and the residents in South Ayrshire that use them. They need to use their skills and experience to make the decisions that will improve the lives of local people. By changing how we work, we can make sure we get it right for both our employees, who do a great job day in and day out, and the people we're here to serve.

"This is a new approach which, more importantly, will deliver services in a way that maximises the impact for those who need it most. By breaking down the operational barriers of individual services and bringing people and services together in a holistic and meaningful way, we really can make a difference and create a lasting legacy.

"This is the start of a truly transformational journey that will change lives and I'm very proud to be part of that."

Work to review the management structures that sit below Chief Officers and a finalised Council Plan will be presented to Councillors for consideration in March 2018.

The detailed reports on the outline Council Plan and Chief Officer management structure are available online.