Your Council is changing

Your Council is changing

The way we make decisions is becoming more open, transparent and accountable.

In Autumn 2017, we asked the Centre for Public Scrutiny to undertake an independent review of our governance arrangements. They reported in March 2018 and we are now in the process of implementing their recommendations. Work to date has included:

  • A series of public meetings to discuss both borough-wide and area governance.
  • A series of public meetings of a 'Listening Forum', enabling members of the Leadership Team to hear directly from residents in an open format.
  • An internal review of our processes for Forward Planning and Key Decisions.
  • The consultation and engagement on residents’ priorities that has informed this plan.

Ultimately, we aspire to rebuilding trust with our communities and reconnecting with our residents by being open, transparent and engaging, and putting local people at the heart of the decision making process. We aim to be ready to propose a first set of significant changes to our governance arrangements at the Annual Meeting of the Council in May 2019.

We have adopted new values to underpin our new approach to public service. Following the Grenfell tragedy, we have listened to residents, engaged with communities and looked at how the world has changed around us, to understand what we need to do differently. Staff from across the Council have worked together to develop new values to underpin our new approach to public service and drive change through the organisation.

Our new People Strategy will include proposals to target recruitment of local residents, expand our apprenticeship programme, employ more people from backgrounds that represent the community throughout the organisation, including at a senior level. We will also deliver training in equality, disabilities and cultural sensitivity for all staff.

Our new values

Putting communities first

  • We put local people at the heart of decision making in everything we do.
  • We seek to include and involve: all voices matter.
  • We provide quality services that are responsive, effective and efficient.

Integrity

  • We listen to everyone and value the personal experiences of people in our communities and of each other.
  • We adopt a fair and involving approach regardless of any way in which an individual is different to us.

Respect

  • We act with openness, honesty, compassion, responsibility and humility.
  • We let people know what we are doing and communicate why and how decisions have been made.

Working together

  • We work together and in partnership with everyone that has an impact on the lives of our residents.
  • We want to understand, learn from each other and continually adapt.

We are responding to the changing expectations of the modern, digital age

London is changing, society is changing. People want more flexibility and convenience in the services they use. They get it in the private sector and they expect it from public services. People want to be able to pay, apply and report anything online, seamlessly, and receive the same high standard of service no matter the issue.

To support the modernisation of Council services, we will develop a Customer Access Strategy with the twin aims of improving the quality of customer experience and reducing the cost of service provision. At a minimum, this will include making improvements to our website and increasing the availability of digital channels for resident self service, for example to renew a parking permit or pay council tax.

We are cutting costs to meet the deepening financial challenge we face

All councils are facing economic and financial uncertainty. Nationally, there is a shift in local authority funding with less reliance on Government support and greater reliance on income generated locally, including council tax. There will be a new funding formula for local government from 2020/21 and there are concerns that London, especially central London, may lose out.

Due to these changes, the Council will be more financially challenged over the medium term. It is likely that the Council will have to make savings of £40m over the next three years, equating to a reduction of 25 per cent of our net revenue budget.