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Greater Manchester refreshes Digital Blueprint


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Skyscape of central Manchester
Image source: Ltd

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has said it plans to reduce the carbon footprint of the city’s public sector technology infrastructure.

It is also planning to adopt standards and information governance for data sharing and build up the digital and data skills of the public service workforce as part of the refreshed Digital Blueprint for the city for 2023-26.

One of the sections covers the building of responsible, data driven public services, with a mission to link innovative business, academic and public sector thinking with the needs of local people, and the statement of a number of broad intentions.

These include the effort to bring the technology infrastructure into line with the GMCA’s net zero ambitions, with so far unspecified measures to reduce the carbon footprint.

Other features cover: responsible data sharing; using data effectively to support decision making; engaging with digital, data and technology best practice to encourage innovation; developing the relevant skills of public sector workers; and ensuring digital services are co-designed with residents, are inclusive and meet community and environmental needs.

Existing projects

The document highlights significant projects already underway in the form of the Greater Manchester Care Record for health and social care and the Early Years Application for the assessment of children’s development.

Another of the missions covers the creation of connected, inclusive and sustainable places, with measures that include: using data and analytics to drive decarbonisation; improving travel in the city through technology and data; and maximising the value of the Local Full Fibre Network across the public sector.

The other priorities in the blueprint are to: ensure everyone can access opportunities from digital; enable businesses to use technology better and support the creation and scaling of digital organisations; and to make Greater Manchester a global centre of digital innovation.

Continued growth

Cllr Eamonn O’Brien, GMCA lead for education, skills, work, apprenticeships and digital, said: "We continue to grow as a world leading digital city region and remain committed to being open, innovative and connected, empowering our people and communities to thrive. We’re building responsible, data driven public services and creating connected, inclusive and sustainable places.

"Together, we want to better the lives our people and for everyone to feel empowered by the opportunities being a world leading digital city region can bring. By putting people, the environment and places at the heart of our plans, we are taking an inclusive and sustainable approach to being an international digital powerhouse.”

The first GMCA Digital Blueprint was published in 2020.

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