North Ayrshire Council: Benefits Investigation Team

Benefit fraud is a crime and costs the UK taxpayer around £1.5 billion per annum.  North Ayrshire Council’s Benefits Investigation Team of six officers is responsible for the identification and eradication of housing benefit and council tax benefit fraud.  Using an Elected Member approved annual business plan including eighteen performance targets the team has since 2003 identified in excess of  £1.7m in fraudulent overpayments and in 2009 achieved leading performance of 120 sanctions against fraudsters through quality training, investigations and a further 640% increase in joint working through innovative partnerships initiatives.  The team has demonstrated value for money by reducing benefit fraud in the community and by contributing towards four targets of the Council’s single outcome agreement including (9b) levels of crime and anti-social behaviour have reduced and crimes being detected have increased and (15a) public perceptions of public services has improved and (15b) public services are more efficient and effective and (15c) partnership working has improved.  In 2010 the team was awarded the IRRV Scottish Performance Awards and short-listed for the UK National Awards under the anti-fraud category.

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Renfrewshire Council: Renfrewshire Body Worn Video

Body worn video cameras have been worn by Renfrewshire Wardens and Community Police Officers throughout Renfrewshire since July 2009, as a direct measure aimed at tackling violence and anti social behaviour in all of its forms.  This innovative initiative is a partnership ‘first’ in Scotland and the cameras have already been used to capture more than 800 evidence files in relation to a wide variety of incidents including breaches of the peace, drugs and offensive weapons, vandalism, graffiti, littering, dog fouling and licensing offences.  This evidence is available for use by the Procurator Fiscal Service, Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, Renfrewshire Anti Social Behaviour Investigations Team and Licensing Board and has also been shown to parents and guardians of offending youths as an early intervention measure – all with positive early results.  The launch of the initiative attracted STV news coverage and an associated marketing campaign has been successfully utilised to maximise public reassurance messages throughout Renfrewshire.   The initiative has since been presented to Strathclyde Police Constabulary and, as a result of the positive outcomes achieved so far, body cameras are now being rolled out across the police force.

Download more information: SII040 Renfrewshire Body Worn Video

West Lothian Council: Pensioner Income Maximisation Service

West Lothian Council Pensioner Income Maximisation Service started in October 2009.   We work in partnership with other parts of the Council and other statutory, private and voluntary agencies to make sure that entitlement to disability and means tested benefits are taken up.  The income maximisation service allows older people to become more secure financially, making it easier for them to live independently, saving local and national government significant costs. Estimates by the national charity, Age Concern, are that £8 billion of these benefits are unclaimed each year by older people in Britain. This equates to approximately £20 million that is not claimed in West Lothian.

In the 11 months the service has been running the service has managed to raise £2.4 million in extra income for pensioners living in West Lothian.   The financial gain to customers is important, but more so, is the exceptional improvement to the quality of their day-to-day lives which is evident in the feedback and comments we receive from customers. 

Download more information: SII025 The Pensioner Income Maximisation Service

South Ayrshire Council: Problem Solving with Communities

South Ayrshire Council Community Safety Partnership has developed it’s use of the IDPARTNERS model of problem solving to support engagement with local communities to address antisocial behaviour and community safety issues.  The problem solving framework is designed to encourage creativity in achieving solutions, by supporting participants to use both lateral and linear thinking.  The model has been used successfully to develop a range of initiatives to tackle issues such as vandalism, graffiti, youth disorder and a range of environmental issues.

Download more information: SII006 Problem Solving with Communities

Fife Council, Clackmannanshire Council & Stirling Council: Joint Corporate Performance Management System Procurement

This submission provides an overview of the innovative approach to procurement adopted by Fife, Clackmannanshire and Stirling Councils for the collaborative purchase of a new corporate performance management system.  This initiative has successfully applied the principles of Shared Services and Efficient Government at project level to share good practice and realise significant savings at a particularly challenging time for local government. The approach can be readily replicated by other Councils and their public sector partners. It is applicable to the procurement of many different types of product. In addition, it sets out an innovative and practical governance mechanism which could be used as a basis for many other forms of joint working project.

Download more information: SII022 Joint Corporate Performance Management System Procurement

Glasgow City Council: Environmental Community Action Team

The Environmental Community Action Team (ECAT) supports the work of Glasgow City Council’s Clean Glasgow initiative at a strategic and operational level.  ECAT directly engage with individuals, residents’ groups, faith organisations, schools and businesses and encourage them to take an active role in addressing local neighbourhood environmental issues. This is achieved by supporting environmental enhancement activities to tackle “grime crime”, which often indicates levels of antisocial behaviour.  ECAT take the lead on organising and supporting activities such as community clean-ups, graffiti removal, tackling fly-tipping, fly posting, dog fouling and community gardening on derelict or disused land.  In the period 2009-2010 ECAT engaged with 12,174 members of Glasgow’s community and got them actively involved in clean ups.  This resulted in 20, 659 hours of clean up activity, which is the equivalent of 2,500 working days of enhancement work.

Download more information: SII031 Environmental Community Action Team

South Ayrshire Council: Curriculum for Excellence Festival

In 2009 a Curriculum for Excellence Festival was delivered by staff in South Ayrshire Council to staff across the authority. This was a first of its kind for the council and it was hailed as a success by all who participated. The event was celebrated at both local and national level. This year building on the strengths of the previous event the festival is now embedded into the continuing professional development programme for staff across all establishments. Practitioners are invited to volunteer to showcase work going on in their schools and nurseries around Curriculum for Excellence. The emphasis is on learning and teaching and the festival provides a powerful continuing professional development opportunity allowing teachers to learn from teachers and engage in rich and thought provoking professional dialogue. With teachers engaging in activities that develop them as leaders of learning it should be possible to achieve the transformational change that a Curriculum for Excellence requires to ensure our young people are inspired to learn, live and work  in  a 21st century globalised world. The enthusiasm and commitment of staff to ensure this event is a success is astounding with staff across all sectors willing to buy into the vision of learning better from colleagues.   The festival has Curriculum for Excellence as its central theme and embraces creativity at all levels.  Presenters will deliver two seminars of 45 minutes and participants are invited to attend two seminars which are selected from an overall choice of 80 seminars running at Belmont Academy on 19th October 2010. They then book themselves on via an online booking system which was designed specifically for this event. On the day staff will also view a specially commissioned DVD in which the Minister for Education, our Executive Director, our Head of Service   and District Inspector from HMIe, will provide insight into how Curriculum for Excellence fits in with both the council’s vision statement and its aspirations for South Ayrshire citizens and across Scotland. In addition pupils from across all sectors demonstrate Curriculum for Excellence in action. The event demonstrates the strength behind collaborative working and the enthusiasm and dedication of staff to strive for continuous improvement for the young people of South Ayrshire.

Download more information:SII005 Curriculum for Excellence Festival

Dumfries and Galloway Council: Operation Resolve

Operation Resolve is a multi-agency approach with the aim and intention to work collaboratively to address the health and welfare risks associated with the excessive consumption of alcohol by children and young people to reduce and prevent the associated issues and concerns within the Dumfries area.

On targeted evenings Youth Workers, Social Education Workers and Doctors work together with the Police bringing any child or young person under 16 under the influence of alcohol back to the Oasis Youth Centre where they engage with trained Youth Workers and get information on a range of health topics and diversionary youth activities. The young person is then given an Alcohol Brief Intervention by Social Education Workers and any females are asked about sexual activity and offered emergency contraception. Parents then have to collect their child from the Youth Centre and parents are spoken to by Youth Workers and Social Education Workers and given a range of information on health topics and diversionary activities.

While the Project has not completely eradicated the consumption of alcohol by young people it has made a significant difference to addressing the problem particularly in the reduction of young people found in the possession of or having consumed alcohol, the reduction of alcohol related admissions involving young people to accident and emergency and an increase in the number and range of youth activities available

Download more information: SII004 Operation Resolve