A FIVE-YEAR plan has been drafted to set out Fife Council’s priorities – with the emphasis being to create a more pro-active than reactive organisation.
The Council Plan 2012-17 focuses on issues ranging from employment, health, wellbeing and social care, to safer, cleaner streets, carbon footprints and adapting to climate change.
And it sets out five key aims for the next five years:
• Improving the quality of life in local communities
• Increasing opportunities and reducing poverty and inequality
• Growing a vibrant economy
• Promoting a sustainable society
• Delivering excellent services
Council leader Alex Rowley said: “We are living in very challenging times and as a result the Council needs to make fundamental changes to the way it plans and delivers services. We have to be more pro-active and prevent problems arising rather than always being reactive after the event.
“We must have a clearer focus on the underlying social and economic issues and have government at all levels working to tackle these.
“We have to build stronger links between schools, colleges and employers to build a highly skilled workforce and a thriving economy that offers opportunity and prosperity for all Fife communities and, in turn, reduces the pressure on the public purse.”
Changes are already taking place within the Council – a reduction in the number of staff and offices, fewer managers, more online services, investment in new IT systems for easier, faster and more personalised services, and a push for better value from the procurement of goods and services.
But with its current budget of around £800m expected to reduce in the coming years, the Council is proposing spending should be targeted at preventing problems arising in the first place or dealing with them at an earlier stage.
This includes more support for vulnerable families with children under three years and helping families make the most of their incomes through money advice.
Ronnie Hinds, chief executive, said: “The Council faces major challenges as our funding reduces while demand for our services continues to grow.
“The draft Council Plan recognises this and sets out our proposed priorities, the outcomes we are trying to achieve and the way we are going to do this.”
The Council Plan 2012-17 will go out for public consultation next month, with a revised version going before councillors on February 21 for final approval.