Massive investment fund agreed for communities

Communities across North Lanarkshire will share in an investment fund of half a billion pounds following decisions made by North Lanarkshire Council today (Thursday 27 September 2018).

Ambition we have it

The programme, which will target new resources over and above existing investments, was agreed by the Policy and Resources Committee based on a report by new chief executive Des Murray.

The report set out a new management structure for the council and outlined how North Lanarkshire's strong economic growth would give the opportunity to create a series of new hubs for services based within communities and designed with people in those communities.

The integrated services will include nursery and education, culture and leisure, business facilities and sharing options with other public sector bodies and community groups.

The ambitious programme will bring together all housing and regeneration activity in a new Enterprise and Communities service, the first time that the council has had all services delivered to communities in one place in the organisation.

Mr Murray said: "I am looking to build on the council's previous work to ensure we deliver for all the communities in North Lanarkshire in a rounded and consistent way. A big part of that is to encourage a strong, vibrant and inclusive economy that works for everyone.

"It's essential that people in communities are themselves part of what we are trying to achieve. We believe there is a real opportunity here to establish facilities for communities that are linked to other investments such as housing and new schools and where those decisions are taken in a joined-up way."

The changes to the management structure approved by the committee will save £315,000 a year, with one assistant chief executive post and one head of service post removed from the structure.

Mr Murray also outlined his philosophy about how the council should operate. He said: "I want to build on the work that has happened before. That's partly why this approach is called We Aspire, which will replace our previous Aspire programme. But We Aspire is also about working together in a seamless way for people.

"For example, the committee agreed to move children and families social work services to be aligned with education subject to a review and agreement with NHS Lanarkshire and permission from Scottish Ministers. This is the best place for it to be given that so much of this work is with the same people in communities. By bringing these services together we can make sure every child can fulfil their potential, no matter their background or circumstances.

"In overall terms I believe that the decisions today are a huge step forward for our ambition to make North Lanarkshire the place to live, learn, work, invest and visit."

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