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LGA announces nine Digital Pathfinders councils

24/11/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Local Government Association has announced funding for nine council led projects under its Digital Pathfinders programme.

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It said the winners have been chosen from 75 applications with the projects aimed at providing positive examples of how to make progress in digital inclusion, digital connectivity and cyber security in local government.

According to the programme prospectus the projects will receive up to £20,000 each.

The three awards to promote digital inclusion go to:

  • Leeds City Council to create a community based model to increase digital inclusion;
  • the London Borough of Havering to develop a triage and signposting system/tool to help the most at-risk residents get the support they need and enable and more joined up approach between the council and other organisations;
  • Norwich City Council to build a community model for the safe refurbishment and distribution of digital devices.

Under the connectivity category, the chosen councils are:

  • Dorset Council, to develop a pilot training programme for fibre engineers;
  • Nottinghamshire County Council to benchmark and identify gaps in mobile coverage through connectivity mapping;
  • Rochdale Borough Council to provide large scale internet access in deprived neighbourhoods through a mesh network.

The three cyber security projects are:

  • Copeland Borough Council’s effort to create a re-usable cyber security supplier assessment tool;
  • the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s exploration of a risk based approach to vulnerability and asset management processes;
  • and a project run by the London Borough of Redbridge, details of which have not yet been made public.

The LGA has published further details on the chosen projects.

Place shapers

Councillor Peter Fleming, chair of the LGA’s improvement and innovation board, said: “As place shapers, councils have a fundamental role to play in helping enhance and improve the digital connectivity of their local areas. The pandemic has bought to light the growing importance of digital technology and connectivity in the day to day lives of people in our communities.

“Many councils have been taking great strides in digital transformation, improving their service delivery and bringing the vital work that councils do on a day-to-day basis closer to their residents. 

“We want this important programme to help efforts to improve digital connectivity, accelerate digital inclusion and keep services and residents safe from the threats surrounding cyber security.”

Image from iStock, Ruslan Khismatov

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