Why are we Transforming?

Aberdeen City is transforming ...

And as an organisation, we are also transforming ...

It’s a period in which we face enormous challenges but equally we are embracing exciting new opportunities.

We are looking to build a Council for the Future – an organisation that will be radically different to the one that serves Aberdeen at present.

So why are we transforming?

This is the promise we have made to the people and place of Aberdeen through the Local Outcome Improvement Plan 2016-2026 (LOIP). 

Under the LOIP we and our community planning partners have signed up to deliver the following outcomes for the people of Aberdeen:

  • Prosperous Economy – Aberdeen has a flourishing, thriving and successful local economy.
  • Prosperous People – People in Aberdeen are happy and healthy and enjoy positive life outcomes.
  • Prosperous Place – People experience Aberdeen as the best place to invest, live and visit.
  • Enabling Technology – The City experiences innovative, integrated and transformed public services

Community Planning Partners, including Police, Fire, NHS and charitable organisations, all contribute to the prosperity of Aberdeen. From protecting people to providing education and healthcare to families, from providing support to the most vulnerable to improving the city’s infrastructure and cultural attractions.

In future, we will work much more closely together as one Council and as a set of key partners to deliver on our promises. This means we need to transform how we do our business.

Demand from our customers is increasing. Like many places in Britain, we have an increasing birth rate and ageing population. This puts pressures on our services and infrastructure, this means more places for children in early years’ childcare and schools, more places in care homes for older adults. In Aberdeen, economic difficulties due to the oil downturn have also led to an increase in demand for support. 

Our customers’ expectations are changing. Like you, most of our customers manage their lives online, for example banking, paying bills and ordering goods and services. These customers expect the same convenience from their local authority so that they can manage their lives how they like, when they like. 

We need to meet and manage these changing needs by offering our customers choice about how they interact with their council. To do this, we need a better understanding of our customers and how they want to deal with us as an organisation. This will help us to manage demand better and free up our resources for those who need us most. 

And it’s not just for our customers! Our staff have told us, through the employee opinion surveys in 2014 and 2016 and employee engagement events in 2017, that they recognise the need for Aberdeen City Council to improve and become more efficient.

Staff have said they are too bogged down in process and want to spend more time on our customer needs.

Staff want to feel recognised and valued, have more flexibility and opportunities to develop. In addition they want to feel trusted to do their work and be empowered to make decisions.

Traditionally, local authorities have been seen as the provider and decider of what a community needs. New legislation, for example the Community Empowerment Act, means that in future citizens will have a have greater say in the way their communities are run and the way public money is spent. In some instances this may mean they take on responsibility for services currently provided by the council.

Decreasing funding from the Scottish Government is placing pressure on our services – within five years it is estimated we will need to find £125 million to stay within our budget.

This means we will have to re-imagine what and how we deliver in future. We all have a responsibility to ensure that the money we do have is spent wisely and in service of the people and place of Aberdeen. 

While our financial situation is not the only reason for the transformation, it does dictate the pace at which we transform the Council.