Putting communities at the heart of our team Aberdeen approach

At the core of the new guiding principles is the importance of one team, one council, one city and we see that in action across the organisation.

The work being done in key communities is fantastic to see and is an example of the way the principles can help us to make a real difference

The development of an integrated locality model of delivering services is crucial and we have taken great strides forward.

Historically we have a number of services that are delivered through local offices – housing and community development are obvious examples, but we also need to consider the role of environmental services that are based in localities as well of schools and the presence of public sector partners including GP surgeries and police and fire stations.

Our transformation programme is designed to ensure there is a one team approach – that officers dealing with Council housing issues are as effective as they can be in sustaining tenancies and ensuring that people have warm, safe homes; or that local teachers are providing the highest level of education for children in that community to provide the best start in life. We need to understand what we can do as a team to improve outcomes for all those we serve.

Outside of that Council house is a natural and built environment. The tenant inside their new home will want to see that the environment is well cared for, that the roads are in good condition and well lit to provide a safe route to school, and that the local park their children play in provides a safe environment for play. This is a simple example of how we work as one Council to improve the lives of residents and communities.

Where there may be crime or antisocial behaviour in an area, those residents will look to the police for support and action and expect that they work with other services to remove any ongoing concerns.

Many members of that community will want to play a part in how their community looks, to participate in decision making and even take responsibility for the condition of the park or to ensure there is no dog fouling on the streets. They want to drive the provision of activities in local community centres, GP surgeries and schools for children and adults. This exemplifies the one city approach, where public agencies and communities are working together.

To ensure this approach is consolidated, we are working on new hubs in Torry and Tillydrone where services will not just be co-located but integrated, and the one city principle will be embedded.

This involves understanding the nature of demand in local communities, and ensuring the right services and approaches are working together to tackle and reduce that demand.

To support this we are developing improved mechanisms for identifying concerns sooner and sharing data across all partners. The culture around this work is critically important and I’m delighted the Chief Officers for the Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership, Early Intervention and Community Empowerment and Integrated Children’s Services have been working closely to achieve our ambitions.

With the three locality areas agreed and health, community and education services being aligned, they are developing plans to ensure that at both strategic and operational levels there are strong locality leadership teams in place to plan the effective delivery of services. Our existing locality partnerships will benefit from this approach.

I look forward to seeing how this work develops over the coming months as we develop our one team, one council, one city approach – and to the outcomes it will deliver.