ABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL

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ABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL

COMMITTEE: COUNCIL

DATE: 24 June 2009

LEAD OFFICER: Chief Executive

TITLE: Chief Executive’s Progress Report

1. PURPOSE OF REPORT

The report provides elected members and the wider audience with up to date information on activities, which have an impact Council wide. Specific data on services and their performance is reported to the respective Committees of the Council.

At its meeting of 17 December 2003 the Council resolved

i) to instruct the Office of Chief Executive to circulate the Chief Executive’s Progress Report two weeks in advance of the Council meeting and invite elected members to submit any questions they have on the report to the Office of Chief Executive, who will arrange for answers to be submitted to the individual Councillors and all Elected Members;

ii) to note that if any of the issues raised by Elected Members cannot be resolved by the appropriate service then they can be raised under the Progress Report at the Council meeting

2. RECOMMENDATION

Elected Members are requested to note the content of this report. 3. FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

No direct implications from this report. 4. SERVICE & COMMUNITY IMPACT

The production of the regular progress report satisfies our commitment to be open and transparent and acknowledges the achievements of our Services in meeting all areas of the Single Outcome Agreement and Council policy statement.

5. OTHER IMPLICATIONS

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6. REPORT

This report has been prepared by the Corporate Directors in conjunction with members of their management teams. The sections of the report which follow have been prepared to reflect the interim service management arrangements that are currently in place.

The key priorities for the period have remained the Audit Follow Up process being undertaken by Audit Scotland, HMIe and SWIA; the delivery of the Council’s new management structure and consultation on the proposed new committee structure.

With the inspectorates now off-site, work is underway by them in drafting their reports. Update information is being regularly fed back to Audit Scotland to ensure that the final reports on their Audit Follow Up work are as up to date as possible at the point that they are published. On the management structure, by the time the Council meets the Appointment Panel will have conducted interviews for four of the five posts currently being recruited. Fred McBride, the Director of Social Care and Well-being will take up post with the Council before the end of June. The proposals for the Council’s committee structure are the subject of separate report on the Council agenda.

In addition to the above three areas of activity, the period has also seen the successful delivery of the European Election.

The Office of Chief Executive also welcomed Daniel Kleinberg, a civil servant with the Scottish Government, for a three-week secondment shadowing the Chief Executive and finding out how the Council is tackling the issues it faces with a view to seeing what lessons might be learned for application within central government. The intention is that the Head of Service, Office of Chief Executive will undertake a return secondment with the Scottish Government later in the calendar year. It is hoped that this will prove to be the beginning of an ongoing relationship between the Council and the Civil Service.

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6.1 CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT Corporate Communications

• A contractor has been appointed to develop existing and new sponsorship opportunities.

• Publication of the summer editions of the Accord newsletters.

• Development of promotional ideas for online photo sales and work begins uploading files.

• The communications team handle media interest in the ongoing process of appointing corporate directors under the new structure; internal communications and design work arising from the restructure also begins.

• Successful media conference organised to announce Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd as the successful tenderers for the Marischal College construction contract.

• Ongoing work to support the council's large programme of events including -Homecoming 09 Tartan Day, Aberdeen's Winter Festival and the 50+ Seniors in City festival.

• Economic promotions continue to deliver the council's economic development objectives preparing for All Energy and Offshore Europe 09 and through ongoing support of the international trade development team.

• Associated marketing collateral, the portal site and Aberdeen City and Shire imagery continues to be developed to support the promotional activities of the brand and to assist partner activities locally, nationally and internationally.

• Second edition of citylife was issued and work is underway for the third edition in June. The magazine is being prepared on a monthly basis and to date has received positive feedback. The second edition of the new communication channel - the monthly managers' update email - was also issued. Both citylife and the managers' update are key parts of the communication section of the corporate improvement plan.

• Continued involvement of internal communications in a number of projects - Equal Pay and Modernisation, shared trading standards service and the catering review.

Customer Relations Management

• Following a period of analysis, ‘Homecheck’ calls are now routed to the Contact Centre. Customer Service Advisers now receive calls from customers and process their requests for a home safety audit through the Customer Relationship Management System.

• Work is ongoing on the NOSLA Revenues and Benefits Project. Planned work includes - reviewing the business case and production of application seeking funding from the Scottish Government.

• Customer Services Strategy is undergoing review and will be issued for consultation when review is completed.

• Preparation is ongoing for the Housing Benefit Audit Self Assessment (we may be audited later this year).

• Day to day operations continue to be closely monitored, in terms of an increased benefit caseload. Additional fixed term support is being created using the additional funding available from the department for Work and Pensions in order to increase the benefits processing capacity.

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Performance Management and Quality Assurance

• The final 2009/10 Single Outcome Agreement (SOA) was submitted to the Scottish Government on 16th May 2009. Work is now ongoing with partners to publish performance against the 2008/09 SOA.

• The roll out of Covalent continues with the recently approved 2009/10 performance measures being added. The Housing Improvement Plan has now also been reported to committee via Covalent. The 2009/10 budget savings will be reported to the Budget Monitoring Board shortly via Covalent. The Corporate and Service Risk Registers will be reported using this system going forward. • The Corporate Management Team (CMT) has considered a review of

self-assessment process with a view to implementing a single corporate model for self-assessment. This is in line with the conclusions of the “Crerar” review and the Concordat and is a prerequisite of a reduced audit and inspection burden on local authorities. The CMT agreed that a single model be adopted and have invited The Improvement Service to a future meeting to present details of the Public Service Improvement Framework.

• The Corporate Management Team has also agreed a process for the development of a single Corporate Plan. The Head of Performance Management & Quality Assurance is leading on the process which will involve elected members in both the development and approval of the Plan.

• Feedback is expected June/July on our follow up Best Value Audit visit Service Design and Development

• Change Managers are actively working with each Service's Senior Management Team to develop and implement Service Improvement Plans aimed at delivering better and more efficient services. This work has included activities to secure investment funding (a total of £1,049,650) for improvement projects; developing Business Cases for initiatives identified as part of the national Diagnostic Pathway Programme; and working directly with Officers to support people, process and technology change.

• The e-Government team have completed the website development which allows the details of planning applications, and associated documents, to be retrieved from the back office systems and displayed for public access.

The City Council website has risen to 13th place in a league table of all 460 UK Local Authority web sites which measures the performance and technical standards of the site. A major factor in this improvement is in the enforcement of more rigorous accessibility standards on all web pages.

• The major development work for EP&M implementation has now been completed by staff within Information Systems. All planned pay runs have been successful. The team has worked extremely hard on this along with staff from HR & Payroll and their commitment to this project has been exceptional.

• Data Centre pre tender questionnaires have now been returned for the modular data centre with 5 bidders being selected to progress to the next stage. The invitation to tender document is now being checked by Legal services and we hope to issue on 15 June with a 2 week turn around.

• The focus for the team over this period continues to be the delivery of projects funded from the Non Housing Capital Programme, and approved by Council in May. Articles for CityLife are planned, to highlight the positive impact of delivery of projects on the way Services deliver their services, along with the development of 'road maps' of key systems and how they interact, i.e. the 'helicopter view'.

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6.2 CULTURE & LEARNING

Early Years Conference - 16th May 2009 - Thinking, Learning, Playing! - 200 delegates attended the Early Years Thinking Learning Playing! Conference in Aberdeen on the 16th May 2009. The speakers were Claire Warden –

Mindstretchers, Juliet Robertson - Creative STAR Learning Company and Jenny Lindon – Author, Chartered Psychologist and Early Childhood Specialist.

Conference delegates described the conference as’ excellent’ ‘inspiring and energising’ “The best conference I have attended in over 30 years”.

A detailed Phase 2 GIRFEC Implementation Plan is being developed and will be reported to July SMT's and September Policy and Strategy Committee. An evaluation of Phase 1 Operation Training is being reported to the C&YP Strategic Planning Group in May 2009. A further 15 Elected Members and 67 Managers have signed up for the June 2009 Training Sessions. The additional sessions for Front Line Staff have been agreed and will be issued shortly, they include 5 sessions between August and November 2009 and some dates are school in-service days to make the dates accessible to teaching staff.

Learning Strategy - 20 public consultation events have taken place on the Learning Strategy with a focus on the School Estate. This includes events for the 13 Associated School Groups, 1 for Roman Catholic schools, 1 for additional support needs, 1 city-wide, 1 partner agency and 2 Community Learning Centres. 122 people attended the first 6 consultation events.

Airyhall School - received a 3rd ECO Green Flag on Friday, 15th May. On Monday, 18th May, Airyhall School became the first Aberdeen City Primary to be awarded status as a Fairtrade School.

Harlaw Academy - Under 13 Football Team have won the double. On Saturday, March 28th, they defeated Banff Academy in the Shell Trophy Final and on

Wednesday, 29th April they defeated Bankhead Academy in the League Championship Play-off.

On Saturday, 28th March, Nihad Abdulla, who is a First Year pupil in Harlaw Academy, to become the Aberdeen Secondary School’s Chess Champion. He was competing against pupils of up to 18 years of age.

Kirkhill Nursery / Primary - Kirkhill Pupil Council has planned and organised a business Networking lunch for 16th June in the Hilton DoubleTree. The lunch will provide opportunities to network with other schools and businesses and forge new partnerships. The theme will be The Homecoming with a traditional Scottish lunch, keynote speakers from business and a team building activity for guests. A CD of Scottish traditional songs compiled and sung by all the pupils in co-operation with Northsound will also be on sale to celebrate Homecoming.

Primary 7 pupils from the Pupil Council after the success of their Business Partnership Masked Ball in September invited P7 Pupil Council members from schools who had been at the ball to organise a joint P7 prom at the Beach Ballroom in June. Other schools in attendance at the meeting were Seaton, Sunnybank, Kittybrewster and Greenbrae. The meeting was really successful and everyone was given tasks to undertake prior to the next meeting for the final preparations.

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Northfield Academy Action Plan measures to deal with unacceptable and disruptive pupil behaviour have had a positive effect on the climate of the school and staff and pupils report feeling safer and that the school is calmer. School staffing has been stabilised and morale has improved.

Sustrans (the sustainable transport charity) have released details of the 2008 National Hands-Up Survey, the first national data set to look at mode of travel to school across Scotland: 29 Local Authorities participated and Aberdeen City came out on top for walking to school, with 62.4% of pupils walking all of the way to school. Throughout May, Go for Gold 2009 will be taking place in primary schools in the St Machar Academy ASG, along with Gilcomstoun School, who are taking part for the first time. The project is a walking initiative that sees S3 pupils work with P7 pupils to encourage active travel and culminates in an award ceremony (19th June) and road safety conference (22nd June).

Draft Report Following Hmie Visit To The Educational Psychology Service In March 2009

• Highlights very good progress

• Areas of good practice, collaborative planning, training and development of assessment tools with Speech and Language Therapy Services

• Strong recommendation this work should be shared at the Annual Conference for Educational Psychologists in Scotland. This has been put in place for October. Culture, Heritage & Communities

The Tartan Lens is a multi-faceted partnership venture between the Art Gallery and Aberdeen University, and includes a display of works at the Art Gallery by pioneer Aberdeen-based photographer George Washington Wilson.

Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums has been awarded £26,550 by the Art Fund to purchase a 10ct gold & enamel neckpiece by Jacqueline Ryan. Assistant Keeper Kate Gillespie was one of ten curators selected to take part in the Art Fund Collect initiative in London and submit a proposal for purchase.

• There will be a small display throughout June at the Kincorth CAP about the Nigg area. This work has been done in conjunction with June Wemyss of Nigg Community Council.

Airyhall & Cove Libraries have hosted a Europe Direct roadshow to promote the upcoming European elections.

• The preferred Design Team and Project Management Services tenderers have now been selected for the 50m swimming pool. This will allow detailed work on the design of the pool to be developed over the next few months.

• The construction of Aberdeen Sports Village is now complete and Barr will hand over the building on 12th June. The facility opens to the public in mid August.

• The city of Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10K run took place on 24th May with over 8,000 participants. The event was hailed as a great success by both runners and organisers, with a new course record set for the women’s race.

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6.3 ENVIRONMENT & INFRASTRUCTURE

Council Worker of the Year Awards - The uniformed staff within the Facilities Team provide a high quality and customer focused service within the Town House and St Nicholas House (customer service, reception, building assistant, mailroom and courier staff) and as with all staff, suitable recognition was sought. An application was made as part of the Council Worker of the Year Awards within the team category.

The application was successful and the teams were short listed for the award. A visit was undertaken by the awarding body to meet the team and discuss their roles and conduct interviews. A short film about the team, which is featured on the local government channel, was made to promote them as potential recipients of the award.

The award is presented at the Council Worker of the Year Awards Gala Dinner being held on Thursday, 2 July 2009 at the Harrogate International Centre and the Council is in a strong position to win given the level of support from within the city.

Environmental Walkabouts - The Environmental Services team was joined by Housing, Community Safety and Building Services staff, Community representatives, the Police and Elected Members on successful walkabouts around the George Street, Cults, Bieldside & Milltimber and Hanover Neighbourhoods. Environmental issues such as litter, graffiti, fly-tipping, poor street signs and pot holes etc were all reported for remedial action. Details of the walkabout and actions taken have been passed to the Ward Councillors, local residents and community groups who are delighted with the proactive work undertaken.

Seaside Award - Awarding body Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) announced that Aberdeen Ballroom beach will once again fly the Resort Seaside Award flag. The Seaside Award programme has been recognising Scotland's beaches for their litter management, information provision, risk assessment and safety procedures, and water quality and Aberdeen Ballroom beach has been an award winner since 2007. RB - The pace of change continues for Environmental Services with the movement of staff into the Exhibition and Conference Centre at the Bridge of Don. This compliments the services move towards a citywide seamless service provision. It is envisaged that the majority of office based staff will be co-located there by the end of June.

PE - Blue – Green Algae Monitoring - Monitoring of waters in the Aberdeen city area for the presence of blue green algae commenced in June. Blue-green algae give rise to potential public health concerns in waters where they occur as they can produce a range of toxins which can be harmful when they are ingested or come into contact with skin.

Aberdeen Beach Bathing Water Quality - Posters depicting the results of weekly water sampling by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) have been placed at three locations on the beach front and in the Beach Leisure Centre, as in previous years, as part of the EU Bathing Water Directive. The bathing water failed to achieve good water quality in 2008 due to mandatory exceedences on two

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occasions, both following very heavy rainfall. Electronic signage is also provided near to the Beach Ballroom to advise bathers of predicted beach water quality.

Responsible Dog Ownership Campaign 2009 - Each year presentations on responsible dog ownership are given to Primary 5 school children across the city by the Dog Wardens and Environmental Health Staff. This year, 34 Schools took up the offer of a presentation which was received by 1352 school children.

The presentations were followed up by a competition, designed to encourage entrants to put across a message about responsible dog ownership. This year’s competition entitled “5 Steps to Responsible Dog Walking” attracted 623 entries from 26 participating schools.

A presentation by Lord Provost Peter Stephen to the four prize winners took place at the Town House on Tuesday, 16 June 2009.

The Environmental Health Service is participating in the Food Standards Agency coordinated Food Safety Week (15 to 19 June 2009). This year the focus is on people over 60 and the need for correct storage and handling of food in the home. This is because there has been a sharp rise in cases of listeria specifically within this age group. The team will have a Stall in the Bon Accord Shopping Centre where they will be giving advice on good hygiene, and distributing information leaflets and trolley tokens with contact numbers for further advice.

The Trading Standards Team have substantially improved their performance on inspection of Trading premises over the last two years and this years performance of visiting 94.8% of premises on or before their due date is nothing short of outstanding. This has been achieved through a combination of employing agency Trading Standards Officers to carry out some of the inspection work, improved management of workload by individual officers in order to meet inspection deadlines and better management overall of the inspection programme.

Aberdeen EcoCity returned to the City of Aberdeen Highland Games on 21 June 2009 with their environmental marquee and Fair-trade Café, featuring stalls from a wide range of local environmental organisations and businesses.

The 2009 Aberdeen EcoCity Awards were presented at a special ceremony at Aberdeen’s Highland Games. These awards recognise and reward local community groups and educational bodies for their projects to protect and enhance our environment.

Jetpatcher Operations - Pot holes continue to be a major problem within the city but the ongoing operations of the Velocity Jetpatcher continues to provide huge media interest.

The work of the men and machine providing the service has continued to provide positive feedback from both the media and the general public, but it should be noted that it is only part of the solution and cannot be everywhere within the City.

Due to the success of the operation, we are now extending its workload going into areas of crazed and deformed road surface sealing or building up the surface in order to prolong the life of the road.

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6.4 HOUSING AND COMMUNITY SAFETY HOUSING

Closure Order

Grampian Police working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council have been successful in obtaining a Closure Order under the Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act against a property in Murray Court, Aberdeen.

The Closure Order was granted by Aberdeen Sheriff Court and is the result of effective partnership working between Grampian Police and Aberdeen City Council in dealing with the serious and persistent drug related activity and antisocial behaviour at this particular address.

This action sends a clear message to residents of the city that Aberdeen City Council and Grampian Police remain committed to working together in tackling antisocial behaviour and dealing with the detrimental effects it has on the local community. In this particular case, the tenant’s antisocial behaviour, and that of his visitors, caused misery and distress to many people who lived in the same building. Homelessness Update

The Homelessness Section, based in St Nicholas House, has begun streamlining processes and paperwork in order to provide a better and more customer focused response. There has been a reduction in the number of forms customers are asked to complete, whilst at the same time providing a quicker reception and interview service. For example, the average time for interview during January – March was 2.8 days; our target is three days. Again, there is a commitment to maintain and better this outcome.

With the appointment of two additional Homeless Accommodation and Support Workers, the void rate for temporary furnished flats has fallen below 10%. Also new processes to improve the turn around time and void time of these properties have been introduced. The additional staff are self funding and will improve the overall efficiency of the service. Further improvements will be made by the end of June. Opti-time booking system for Housing Repairs

A Pilot project is now running within the housing repairs teams. The Opti-time system integrates client, contractors and mobile data systems to improve efficiency in dealing with housing repairs. The system allocates a job to the nearest operative in geographical terms as long as they can respond within the 'planning window' (4 hour emergency response time). Beginning with 4 plumbers from the emergency team in the Central area, this has quickly expanded to finally encompass all response Plumbing work on a citywide basis. The work is being co-ordinated by the Works Planners from the Central area, with the operatives in the field remaining in regular contact with the Planner using mobile phones at present. This will be replaced, over the next period, with the operatives using their PDA’s to request and complete jobs, including recording material usage and their timesheets.

In addition to the introduction of Opti-time, changes were also made to the Supply Chain. No longer are staff returning to the main Stores to collect material not held in their van stock, but are phoning the Stores, who are delivering the material to the site, thus allowing the Plumber to continue working, either at the same job, or if necessary, moving on to the next repair, before doubling back to complete the

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original repair. Further, if the material is not held in stock at the main store but is available locally, Stores will arrange for a driver to collect the material and forward it on to the operative. On an ongoing basis, we are monitoring what materials we are having to source in this manner, and will adjust the vans stocks accordingly.

The trial of using Opti-time has already proved effective with the average jobs being completed per week increasing from 21.5 to 25.8. And, the average end to end time for non emergency plumbing jobs has been reduced from 6.2 calendar days to 3.6. We are now set for the next phase which will roll out the system and the new ways of working to all trades staff, external contractors and inspectorate functions with a view to increasing value for money for our tenants.

COMMUNITY SAFETY City Wardens

18 new City Wardens have been recruited bringing the total number of City Wardens employed to 68. Feedback from communities and partner services is generally very positive. Parking enforcement has increased by 12% compared with the same period last year. Their work has also contributed to the improved environmental LEAMS Street Cleanliness rating compared with the same period last year. City Wardens have been participating in regular high visibility patrols with Grampian Police targeted at antisocial behaviour hot spots.

Safety Day

A multi-agency Safety Day was held on Thursday 28 May within the Bon Accord Centre to encourage individuals and local businesses to be more safety conscious. Safer Aberdeen along with Aberdeen City Wardens, Crimestoppers, Grampian Police and Grampian Fire & Rescue Service were involved to promote different safety initiatives and to provide advice and safety tips. The aim of the event was to highlight that partners continuously work towards making Aberdeen a safe and secure environment where people can work, live and socialise day and night without the fear of becoming a victim of crime. The day was a great success attracting lots of people who took full advantage of the range of experts available.

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6.5 RESOURCES MANAGEMENT SERVICE OFFICE OF THE CITY CHAMBERLAIN

Accounting

• The first iteration of the medium term financial strategy was approved by Council on 21 May and services have been set a target of 5% savings for 2010/11.

• The Accounting Team have continuing heavy involvement in the year-end work for completion of the 2008/09 financial statements for audit. These will be presented to and subject of a separate report to Council.

• A range of projects within the Non-Housing capital programme are subject to further business case considerations.

• Significant work is continuing with regard to the development of processes and information, through system called Collaborative Planning, for budget monitoring and forecasting in 2009/10. Social Work and Education have been targeted as priority service areas for implementation.

• Significant work has been completed for bank reconciliations to 31 March 2009 and continues with further development for reconciliations in 2009/10.

Financial Services

• Creditors Team continuing to target current suppliers who are regularly paid by cheque to increase our payment method by automated bank transfer (BACS).

• We continue to work on the 2009/10 National Fraud Initiative.

• The Risk Management Strategy and Corporate Risk Register were approved by Continuous Improvement Committee on 2 June 2009. Work is now well underway in the preparation of Service based risk registers.

Payroll and Pensions

• A key element of work is continuing liaison with pension scheme employers regarding the implementation of the new scheme

Enhancements to the pensions website continues, although this has to be balanced against ensuring the new scheme is properly embedded.

• Significant work was undertaken to ensure implementation of EP&M Job evaluation outcomes in May salaries along with incentivisation and transitional payments. This was successfully completed

HUMAN RESOURCES Successful recruitment

The Policy and Strategy Committee on 28th April 2009 approved a document entitled "Successful Recruitment." This is now being rolled out across Services. • Diversity and Equality Policy

Our equal opportunities policy has been reviewed to ensure that it continues to meet our legal obligations and is consistent with, and contributes to, the Council's vision, values and aims. The new policy - agreed by Policy and Strategy Committee on 28th April 2009 - takes equality forward by taking a diversity and equality approach to the way we recruit and manage our workforce, deliver services and engage with the community.

Health and Safety

• Aberdeen City Council’s scaffold protocol, developed in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive and construction professionals, was launched at the Building Interest Group Annual Seminar on 29 May 2009. The protocol does not replace any national HSE Information Sheet or HSE Guidance nor does it

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constitute a risk assessment or safety method statement. The protocol is

available on the Council’s website at: :http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/Roads/ns_roa/roa_scaffolding.asp

Developments in Customer Service

The Council has recently agreed to participate in the Customer Service Professional qualification being offered by the Improvement Service. This qualification has been developed for Councils by Councils and is designed for all front line employees. The qualification is being jointly administered by the Employee Development and CRM teams. At the same time the Council is participating in the Scottish Customer Service Forum which aims to promote best practice in customer service across the Scottish public sector. All Scottish Councils have been invited to be part of this forum, the inaugural meeting for which takes place on 8 June.

DEMOCRATIC SERVICES

Preparatory work on the European elections to be held on 4th June continues; at the time of writing, the processing and verification of postal votes has begun and the final arrangements are being made for the day itself.

As a result of temporary staffing shortages in Social Care and Well Being, one senior committee officer and the WPO team supported a Council priority by minuting Child Protection Case Conferences for five months with an average of two hearings a week; this prevented conferences being cancelled which would have had an impact on some of the most vulnerable families in the city.

The Service continues to support the recruitment process for Directors.

OFFICE OF THE CITY SOLICITOR

Court Team

The Team has prepared and presented a series of workshops between 13 May and 17 June to social work colleagues on Legal Options - training in the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and other legislation.

A series of training sessions on Short Scottish Secure Tenancies procedures was presented to housing colleagues.

Arising from the re-arrangement of services/transfer to other bodies as the Council looks at new ways of working, there has been considerable support to HR colleagues and other services across the Council in the provision of employment law advice.

A Closure Order was obtained for the police in connection with drug related activities at a city centre property. This is part of the increasing legal support required for colleagues in other services, and the police, in tackling antisocial behavior.

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6.6 STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP

Report from the Director of Strategic Leadership 20 May – 24 June 2009 Planning & Infrastructure

• An event was held towards the end of June to highlight the partnership-funded projects carried out in 2008-09 in constructing, upgrading and promoting paths for recreation and active travel. Examples with particularly positive feedback so far include a new path installed linking Seaton with the beach across King's Links golf course, two new paths to schools (Dyce and Glashieburn) and upgraded paths around Kingswells.

• A cross service working group has been set up to take forward a Greenspace Audit for the City. Existing and previous audit data has been collated and analysed, and will be followed by survey work and community involvement. • A grant application to the Scottish Government for £50,000 towards

implementing the Air Quality Action Plan was successful.

• A bid by the Council, with the Cities of Bremen, Malmö and Göteborg, METRO, RGU and the Province of Fryslân, to the Interreg IV North Sea Region Programme for carbon responsible transport strategies has attained the first stage of approval by passing the eligibility check and was formally considered by the NSR Secretariat Steering Group on 9th June. The bid focused on the delivery of Local Transport Strategy lighthouse projects and consideration of a Low Emission Zone for the City Centre.

• As part of the early engagement on the Aberdeen Local Development Plan, we carried out a number of open evenings in locations throughout the City in early June. The events gave the public, Community Councils and other key agencies the opportunity to drop in and speak with developers who have submitted Development Options.

• Full Council, on 20th May noted the results of the Arena Community Stadium feasibility study, which identified the site at Loirston Loch as being the optimum location in Aberdeen City.

• The Council also resolved to terminate the Invitation to Tender process and transfer Hazlehead Golf Courses and associated facilities to Aberdeen Sport. • Public consultation on proposals for the Access From The North infrastructure

projects took place between 18 May to 5 June.

• Scottish Enterprise published the findings of the Technical Feasibility Study on Union Terrace Gardens / Denburn Valley on 4th June, and the findings were considered by Policy and Strategy Committee on 9th June.

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Community Planning & Regeneration

• Heads of Services and Elected Members with a particular equalities remit joined a workshop on 18th June on the Council’s Single Equality Scheme (SES). Action points were proposed to address the issues raised from the community consultation. These will be included within the SES to be launched in November.

• The Annual General Meeting of Aberdeen Women’s Alliance (AWA) was held on 8th June, with guest speaker Sue Bruce. From the evening’s discussion, AWA now has a clear vision of its future role and its relationship with the Council.

• The Locality Planning Forum's working group on the Re-design of Neighbourhood Planning has started with the aim of developing a simpler and more effective approach that learns from past experience and fits our new management structure.

Environmental & Economic Sustainability

• The EU Policy and External Funding Unit submitted bids to the Scottish Government's Town Centre Regeneration Fund and the Intelligent Energy Europe Fund. The team are also working with AREG on their bid to the EU Recovery package for the 40 Million Euros.

• Aberdeen City Council and Scottish Development International hosted a visit to Aberdeen on 3rd and 4th June from executive MBA students from the CRPM Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland.

• The Song Og Spelkorlaget choir from Stavanger visited Aberdeen to perform at the Aberdeen Highland Games on 21st June.

• A youth street theatre group from Aberdeen performed to large audiences at the Regensburg Bürgerfest Citizens' Festival in late June.

• The Carbon Trust Carbon Management Programme was launched on 27th May. The Council, along with the University of Aberdeen and the Robert Gordon University, are amongst the Class of 2009. This is a major review for the Council to revise our actions to achieve new carbon reduction and fiscal savings targets.

• The third annual Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Summit was held on 11th June at the AECC.

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6.7 REPORT FROM THE PROGRAMME DIRECTOR FOR SOCIAL CARE

• Head of Children’s Services (Interim) Susan Devlin appointed 1st June as replacement for Dave Tumelty

• The restructure of Children’s Services progresses with a detailed action plan with timescales which ensure a move towards the new structure while maintaining safe operational practice.

• 5 young people have returned from residential school in the last week of May / first week of June. 5 young people are returning by the end of June 2 are returning in the Jul/Aug period. A.R.T. is providing transitional support to the young people and their families to improve outcomes for them and ensure a safe return to the local community.

• The 11th – 22nd May was the annual Fostering Fortnight campaign aimed at raising the profile of fostering on a national level. Like all local authorities Aberdeen City Council benefits hugely from the support and dedication of its many foster carers however there continues to be a national shortage of foster carers for children of all ages. To coincide with the national campaign a number of local events were held to which generated a positive response. These responses are now being followed up and will hopefully contribute to the continuing growth of the service.

• On the 20th May a further Rapid Improvement Event for Children with Disability was held. The draft Transitions Protocol was shared with participants, who were positive about the progress made in this area. The Revised Eligibility Criteria for Children with Disability was also discussed at this event. A Project Board is to be established to monitor progress against the outstanding Actions and a further recall day is planned for later in the summer.

• Research is to take place in the RHWI (Return Home Welfare Interviews) pilot project (based in Aberdeen City) led by Grampian Police. The research will focus on good practice in re-establishing young people (who have been runaways) in the communities. The Project will launch on June 1st.

• The draft support for carers strategy 2009 - 2012 will be out for consultation during National Carers Week 8th - 14th June.

• Aberdon House Residential Care Home Service closed on 31st May 2009. The residents moved and staff transferred to Rosewell House.

• Adult Protection Coordinator appointed, took up post 1st June 2009

• Revised version of Grampian Interagency Policy for the Support and Protection of Adults at Risk of Harm launched 28th May 2009

• Adult Protection Operational Group established and meeting on a regular basis, involving representatives of all adult services, plus housing, police and health

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• Links made with Grampian Fire and Rescue Service in respect of adult support and protection, programme to be agreed of fire safety checks in sheltered housing and training for home care staff

• Criminal Justice Social Work new structure agreed for Probation Service, for implementation June 09

• Allotment Project at Kaim Ct. Tatties now in with help of Council who prepared the ground. Funding Award to the project by Hammersons (Union Centre Mall) of £1000 for equipment, shed etc. Good example of joint working with other internal services eg CL&D, Waste Aware and Britain in Bloom.

• Negotiations taking place with RGU re "Buddying" scheme with students for people with learning disability.

• Day Care panel for Older People is proving very successful in allocating resources and has re-invigorated day services as an integral and valued process in relation to changing the balance of care.

• Plans underway with other LA services to develop a "one stop shop" for citizens, with regard to the advice services we provide as a council in anticipation of the move to Marischal College.

• A Mental Health Carers and Professionals Partnership has been established. This is a chance for carers of people with a mental health problem to discuss and influence health and social care services in Aberdeen. The first two meetings have been well attended by both carers and professionals and a prioritisation exercise has been carried out to guide the agendas of future meetings. Key professionals will be invited depending on the topic of the meeting.

• A Forum of Carers Voices event is to be held on Friday the 12th of June as part of Carers Week. This will be a chance for carers to have their say about the carer priorities and outcomes that have been developed by Social Work in conjunction with carers and partner agencies. Also, Occupational Therapists, the NHS Grampian Carer Awareness Trainer and VSA representatives will be available to speak to carers. Morning rolls and afternoon tea will be available to allow carers to relax and mingle and health checks will also be on offer so that carers can get some information about their basic health.

• Carers Week 8th June - a series of events have been planned to support this.

These include a Forum of Carers Voices led by Gordon Edgar and a Young Carers Fun Day at Pittodrie led by Julie Thomson.

• A fun day for Young Carers is being held at Pittodrie Stadium 2.30 - 5.30pm on Saturday 13th June. A Young Carer is anyone under the age of 18 years whose life is in some way restricted because of the need to take responsibility for the care of a person who is ill, has a disability, is experiencing mental distress or is affected by substance misuse.

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7. AUTHORISED SIGNATURE

8. REPORT AUTHOR DETAILS Ciaran Monaghan

Head of Service, Office of Chief Executive

cmonaghan@aberdeencity.gov,uk

(01224) 522293

9. BACKGROUND PAPERS

Figure

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References

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