Renfrewshire Council

Video message from Chief Executive, Alan Russell - Friday 9 December 2022

Welcome to my latest video message - a short update about developments across the council as well as my priorities and ambitions for Renfrewshire.

I was reminded the other day when doing an interview with the Local Government information Unit that it has been just over a year since I took up the role of Chief Executive, and what a first year it has been!

I was only four weeks into the role when the Omicron variant meant we had to dial back up our response to the pandemic. That was followed by the local government elections in May, and then the quickly unfolding impact of the Ukraine conflict and the demand to support those forced to flee their home country, and more recently the cost of living crisis, and the prospect of another recession.

It's been a year of constant change, but the one constant has been your commitment and dedication to each other and those who rely on our services, it truly is inspiring. In my first message to you as your Chief Executive, in November 2021 I told you how lucky I was to be working with the best in local government, and in the past 12 months I've realised, just how fortunate I am!

You can read more on my reflections of my first year in the role as well as the challenges and opportunities facing the council, in the interview I did with the LGiU.

Much like household costs, the cost of services we provide are increasing significantly due to inflation, increased cost of materials, energy and fuel costs and support for households. In the current climate, it's clear there will be difficult choices ahead and some things will have to change. However, we have an opportunity to do things differently and take advantage of some of our learnings from the pandemic. By reducing our costs and making the required savings, we will help protect, as far as we can, essential services and support our most vulnerable residents.

The CMT has agreed a number of workstreams that will be delivered over the next three years, to help us make the necessary savings. Each of the workstreams will be led by a member of the Council Management Team and we'll have more information about the progress of the workstreams in the New Year.

One of the savings workstreams includes a review of all council properties and making the necessary changes and improvements to our buildings to facilitate the different types of hybrid-working that you agreed with your teams over the summer. I hope you read this week's update from the group who have been tasked to develop the new working environments in support of hybrid working. The group is made up of colleagues from across the council and is making good progress to ensure you are provided with the appropriate tools and support to do your roles effectively, regardless of location.

And finally, we've received some great stories of colleagues going the extra mile and making a real difference to the lives of others since we opened nominations for examples of our values in action. We want to hear stories of colleagues or teams who regularly show what it means to be fair, helpful, collaborative, or that they value learning, and we'll send you a card to send to your colleagues as part of their recognition. You can find out more, nominate and read some great examples of our colleagues living our values here.