Lancashire County Council has set out five priorities as part of its new Digital First Strategy for the next five years.
The plan was approved by its cabinet last week, and sets out how it is aiming to deliver sustainable digital services to the public.
It says the council is aiming make digital and online solutions the preferred method of engagement with the public, delivering to end to end transactions; but this is not about replacing its services with ‘digital only’ options.
This involves five priorities it says have been identified through discussions and workshops with key stakeholders.
First is to be become data driven, ensuring that all of the council’s data is captured accurately, kept up to date and accessible. This will support its decision making and shape the direction of its services.
Second is to embed a digital culture across the organisation, building up the skills of its workforce and aiming to encourage innovation.
Third is to work with its partners digitally to deliver integrated solutions where possible and join up systems and processes.
Next comes the intent to explore new digital technologies. The document does not specify any particular technology but says some new ones are now reaching a level of maturity at which they can be used with more confidence by local authorities.
Finally it aims to support the local economy, working with the Lancashire Economic Partnership, encouraging inward investment by digital businesses, and placing approximately 500 students and pupils per year into the companies. It is also aiming to place a digital advisor in every school in the county.
Right way forward
Speaking during the cabinet meeting, Councillor Michael Green, member for economic development, environment and planning, said: “This is the right way to move forward as a county council. So many of our residents, and indeed ourselves, use digital as a preferred means of accessing services and buying products.
“It’s a way that people are used to communicating and contacting the council, and I think we should encourage that as much as possible. And I really welcome the safeguard that it should not become digital only.”
Image by Alexander P Kapp, Lancashire County Hall