Agenda item

The Council's Transformation and Business Change Programme


The Lead Officer for Transformation and Business Change, Chief Digital and Information Officer, Corporate Director for Central Services and Corporate Director for Finance  presented the item on The Council’s Transformation and Business Change Programme.


The presentation provided an overview on the Council’s transformation programme, the programme to date, current projects, the Council Strategy 2022 – 2026, change projects and delivering financial effectiveness. Officers discussed the ambition, resources, and governance structure for the transformation, highlighting the mission to create a sustainable, efficient, and resident-friendly council. The Council’s history of transformation and the recent focus on technology to enhance service delivery was emphasised.


In March 2023, a new transformation program was initiated, involving the recruitment of a skilled business change team and a £10 million capital investment in technology, digital, and data. A digital roadmap for the next three years was established. The governance process for project monitoring was explained, featuring a lifecycle approach and regular service development meetings for oversight and accountability.


The presentation covered 27 live projects aligned with the Council’s strategy, including projects for housing and homelessness, which aimed to improve customer experience and data use. A review of fostering services sought to address recruitment and retention challenges, aiming for cost savings and better outcomes for foster children.


The UK Shared Prosperity Fund project was allocated £1.7 million, including capital, for community, business growth and how the Council could improve communities and place. An employability project in the concept stage aimed to maximise employment opportunities for residents, and updates on the digital project focused on enhancing the Council’s digital capabilities.


The employability project’s goal to link residents with meaningful work and the digital project’s focus on customer experience and digital inclusion were discussed. The financial case for service transformation was emphasised, with a need for efficiency and value for money despite financial challenges.


The Committee welcomed the transformation programme’s focus on Council operation efficiency and improved resident services. Officers detailed their resident engagement approach, using the fostering project as an example of feedback collection. The importance of tracking project benefits, the outcomes and ensuring delivery in accordance with the business plan and exploring why desired outcomes had not been delivered was highlighted.


The conversation shifted to the broader benefits of the transformation programme, such as the positive impact on children in foster care. The need to communicate these benefits to residents was discussed. Officers reported on a fostering event and ongoing evaluations of initiatives. They also discussed the financial aspects of transformation, including potential efficiency gains through digital transformation.

Specific examples included establishing children’s residential homes and integrating technology to support independent living were highlighted to the Committee.


Some concerns were raised regarding project feasibility and resilience. Officers outlined their strategic planning process, emphasising best practices and strong governance. it was explained in the past, the Council embarked on transformative projects, initially driven by data demands and opportunities in areas like housing and fostering. However, moving forward, the Zero Based budgeting collaboration with Grant Thornton provided an additional layer of assurance. Officers were mapping out initiatives, assessing costs, and considering lead times to create a structured roadmap. There was a focus on identifying the right projects that provided maximum returns.


It was reported that in May 2024, the Corporate Management Team would review the draft strategy and over the next few months, these initiatives would be rolled using channels such as social media. Trend analysis was being conducted on the Members enquiries system as there was a high volume of enquiries and how to signpost queries was being explored.


Some Members raised concerns about quality and sustainability in transformation projects. The response highlighted the importance of quality and innovative solutions like cameras on refuse trucks for issue detection.


The committee discussed the need for effective communication and engagement with residents, the consolidation of projects to avoid duplication, and the Council’s focus on prevention and process streamlining. A comprehensive communications plan was acknowledged as necessary to educate residents and encourage self-service.


Members thanked officers for their presentation and attendance. The Committee invited officers to attend Committee in the new municipal year to provide an update on work. 

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