(Julia Veall, Gateshead Council)
Ø Introduction to the areas being looked at in the Council
The Steering Group received a presentation on the Council’s Change Programme. The Council has recognised the need to be bolder and faster with change in order to be sustainable going forward. It is anticipated that there will be a £92M financial gap over the next few years, therefore there is a need to ensure everyone is working together so there is a whole system joined up approach.
This approach is to ensure sustainability by 2020. It was noted that there are unique qualities in Gateshead and there is a need to work with all partners to maximise assets and avoid duplication.
The purpose of the Change Programme is to support change required in order to deliver Vision 2030 outcomes. There is a five year timescale and a Target Operating Model of what the organisation will look like after 2020.
The programme of activity was provided, the Change Programme is split into four projects; People, Place, Ways of Working and Trading and Commercialisation. In terms of people, there is a vision that there will continue to be a focus on the customer, as well as early help and integrated services both internally and with partners. It is also expected that there will be a shift to self-reliant supportive communities and maximising independence.
In terms of place the vision is to promote the wellbeing of people in safe, attractive, cohesive and integrated communities, to enable greater prosperity for all through engaging communities and partners. It is hoped that this enhances public trust and satisfaction with Gateshead as a place. In relation to Ways of Working the vision is to improve outcomes through strategic commissioning, increased efficiency of working practices and support services will be driven by the needs of customers. There will be more data sharing with partners to plan and deliver services to ensure more efficiency and more effective working.
In terms of trading and commercialisation the vision is to generate income to support priority Council services. The Council will support and deliver more business like behaviour and promote local economic growth and business prosperity.
It was questioned whether there will be engagement or consultation with the wider community. It was acknowledged that this is an enormous programme involving everyone and engagement would depend on the project. It was noted that there is a need to ensure constant discussion, however this would be at a project level. It was also pointed out that the speed of change cannot be underestimated and therefore consultations could not be carried out all the time otherwise change would not be achievable.
The point was made that there is a public lack of understanding of the scale of what is going on and that message needs to get out to the public. It was recognised that this is difficult to get across unless the public feel it directly and that conversations need to be held collectively as a public sector. It was noted that the Residents Survey has shown that people are starting to feel the cuts. Future messages to the public needs to be more relative to people explaining how potentially the cuts could impact on them personally.
That the information be noted.