THE LARGEST AND farthest reaching transformational programme in the history of Moray Council has come to an end.
This week council members were updated on the progress of Designing Better Services (DBS), marking the closure of a programme than has been running for over seven years.
They were told that savings of over £10million were achieved – with further ongoing savings of almost £3million. The programme included the conversion of the HQ Annexe from a former supermarket, allowing 16 smaller offices in Elgin to be closed down.
DBS also saw the introduction of pool cars, a new contact centre, staff work patterns that saw the introduction of ‘hot desks’ and opti-time work scheduling for council house repairs.
Launched in the spring of 2008 with the formation of an eight-strong team, DBS was headed by David Morris who guided the initiative from start to finish. In his final report this week, Mr Morris said: “The council is a considerably different place from when the small DBS team was created in March 2008.”
Council Leader Stewart Cree said that at the outset of the programme, elected members were asked to “take a leap of faith”, committing considerable resources to the modernisation of services within the council.
He added: “As this extensive programme draws to a close, I believe that our trust has been rewarded and that the programme has demonstrated the immense value of having sufficient courage to look at how things can be done differently and to empower officers to implement such changes.
“The programme set ambitious targets and while it is true that not all of these have been attained, there is no doubt that the savings of £3million, which will accrue annually, more than justify the efforts that have been taken.
“I am immensely grateful to all those who took part in DBS, either directly or through the DBS teams or by changing their work practices to reflect the new processes that arose following the new ways of working which have been introduced.
“I can only hope that the council will continue in this way to develop a culture of continual appraisal and assessment.”