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Budget Consultation 2018 - 2021

Outcome 3: Economy and Environment

Consultation proposals for outcome 3.

Rouken Glen Park

Our environment is central to ensuring a good quality of life, so we aim to make sure that East Renfrewshire is a thriving, attractive and sustainable place for residents and businesses to grow.

To support this we are spending £31.6million in this area in 2017/18.

Our core objectives are to ensure:

  • The economy is stronger through increased business growth, targeted support and investment.
  • Our natural and built environment is enhanced.
  • Our environmental impact is minimised.
  • Residents live in communities that are strong, self-sufficient, resilient and supportive.
  • Residents live in warm, dry and energy efficient homes.
  • Residents have access to a range of services via travel choices, based on an integrated and sustainable transport network.

To achieve this, our work under Economy and Environment includes:

  • Roads - East Renfrewshire now has the best condition rating for A roads in Scotland, 10 per cent better than the national average. For 2017/18, an additional £1.6million has been made available which will help to deliver a significant number of carriageway and footway projects and will be concentrated on residential/unclassified roads.
  • Parks and outdoor attractions - including Rouken Glen Park which was voted the best park in the UK this year.
  • Cleansing and waste management - retaining our position as the top recycling authority in Scotland with 60.5 per cent of all waste being recycled or composted.
  • Housing - supporting, on average, 300 residents who present as homelessness each year.

Fast facts

  • 480km of roads maintained miles of roads repaired
  • Over 1 million visitors to our parks every year
  • 153,472 bins emptied since April 2017
  • Streets have been mechanically swept 6400 times since April 2017
  • 441 planning applications received since April 2017
     

Economy and Environment Savings Proposals

As we modernise, streamline services and identify more and more efficient ways to run our services, we anticipate that the number of staff within the Environment department will reduce by around 100 full time equivalent posts by 2021. Savings proposals for services within this area of our business include:

New digital processes and ways of working in Cleansing, Parks, Waste and Fleet

Context

Nearly £10million a year is spent by the council delivering cleansing, waste management and parks and fleet services. These services are high volume and traditionally have been supported by very paper based systems. By re-designing both support and frontline services to be re-enabled by the latest digital technology, the efficiency of the services can be significantly improved. Administration costs and staffing numbers would be reduced as a result of implementing new technology. Frontline staff will become more efficient as their processes continuously improve by using digital technology to maximise efficiency and in turn a reduction in rework and service complaints.

Proposal

New digital processes and ways of working in Cleansing, Parks, Waste, Fleet.

What this will mean

There will be a reduction in the numbers of management and administration staff as well as a reduction in the number of frontline staff. Customers will be encouraged to use a range of online self-service tools when requesting a new service or reporting a problem and our recently introduced three weekly bin collection service will continue. We will also vigorously pursue best value for money and seek out new ways of working, including the potential of procuring services externally. While this may result in some changes to services, we are confident that our customers will continue to enjoy a high standard of service.

Estimated saving

£1.667million

Digital and new ways of working for roads and transportation

Context

By harnessing the latest digital technology we have a unique opportunity to significantly modernise and improve the way in which we deliver our roads and transportation services. This will enable a range of more efficient ways of working and will allow us to deliver services in the future with a reduced number of management and administration staff. Frontline staff will become more efficient as their processes continuously improve thanks to the introduction of digital technology.

Proposal

Identify digital and new ways of working for roads and transportation services.

What this will mean

We will digitise these services and also explore the range of options available to deliver and procure services differently in future to continue to ensure best value. This will include scoping the possibility of external delivery of some services, with options including a shared service with another local authority, other partners or contractor. There could be some minor changes to services but we are confident that our customers will continue to enjoy a high standard of service.

Estimated saving

£770,000

Reduction in roads maintenance budget

Context

ERC is already Scotland's top performing local authority for A classed roads, although performs less well for local roads. We have a rolling programme of maintenance and investment. During 2017/18 we are investing significantly in our road network. Capital investment for new and resurfaced roads for 2017/18 amounts to around £5.7 million, including £4.15million for a new road between our communities of Barrhead and Newton Mearns and the M77. The budget for roads maintenance amounts to £5.7million, including an extra £1.6million specifically ring-fenced for local roads and pavements. This additional investment was made to help future proof our roads and pavement network in the knowledge that the opportunity for investment in future years would reduce as budgets get ever tighter.  

Proposal

To reduce our roads maintenance budget by £400,000.

What this will mean

Regrettably we will not be able to invest in our roads network at the current levels. We will however continue to prioritise and use our available resources as effectively as possible.

Estimated saving

£400,000

Review of non-landlord housing services

Context

We currently spend £1.951million annually on delivering a range of housing services and providing temporary accommodation to those who are homeless. Our Housing team also provides a range of other services including the provision of home aids and adaptations for those with reduced mobility, as well as house improvement grants to home owners.

Proposal

We plan to carry out a full review of these services to identify more cost effective ways of delivering these services.

What this will mean

This may result in a reduced ability to provide current levels of services to homeless customers, reduced housing repair grants and a reduction in the aids and adaptations budget. However, as always we will prioritise and target resources to the most vulnerable in our communities.

Estimated saving

£312,000

Review of support services provided at Connor Road and Overlee House

Context

Our Housing team provides a range of accommodation and support services to those homeless or threatened by homelessness. In particular, we have two facilities - Overlee House and Connor Road  - which are used to provide accommodation to those who are homeless.

Proposal

Review of support services provided at Connor Road and Overlee House.

What this will mean

We will review the support services we provide to our customers at these facilities with a view to identifying efficiencies. We will also explore other ways of providing the necessary levels of support. It is possible that current levels of support could be reduced in future. This could mean a reduction in the number of hours where on-site support is provided. 

Estimated saving

£200,000

Review of Prevention Services

Context

Our Prevention team provide Environment Health and Trading Standards services, alongside a wide range of other supports, which help to protect residents from personal and financial harm. For example, this includes giving advice on how to block nuisance calls.

Proposal

We propose to review the way these teams currently operate to identify more efficient ways of delivering this wide range of services to our residents.

What this will mean

While this will mean modernising the way the team works, it could also mean a reduction to the number of prevention projects delivered and possibly increase the time taken to undertake regulatory activity.

Estimated saving

£170,000

Increase income

Context

There are a number of ways in which our Environment teams can generate income for the Council to help off-set the amount of savings we need to make.

Proposal

To develop further opportunities for income generation within the Environment department.  

What will this mean

A range of opportunities to generate income to the Environment department are being explored, including delivering enhanced commercial services, e.g. trade waste; a review of current fees and charges; and income from roadside and livery advertising opportunities.

Estimated saving

£253,000

Efficiencies in Environment services

Over and above the proposals outlined in this consultation, we have also identified a number of efficiencies in Environment services which will allow us to maintain the same high level of delivery but with less money. These include reviewing every single budget line throughout all our teams and budgets that we hold as contingencies. Where budgets are underspent - thanks to better ways of working or changes in demand - we are reducing or removing these. 

Estimated saving

£120,000

Have your say

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