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Local Digital Funds backs seven more projects


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Seven local authority digital projects have received up to £100,000 each from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

The money has been awarded from the MHCLG’s Local Digital Fund and are aimed at improving a collection of council processes, with a division between discovery and alpha phase work.

It is the third round of funding in the programme, with the projects chosen from 60 initial applications and a shortlist of 18. They were scrutinised by members of the Local Digital programme team in the department and an external panel.

Four discovery projects have received backing:

  • Teignbridge District Council gets £71,000 to work on processing revenues and benefits data for a user-centred, cost effective system.

  • Croydon Council has been awarded £75,000 for its effort to improve code sharing between councils, removing blockers to sharing code and encouraging collaboration between projects.

  • Croydon has also won £25,800 to look at cross-local government user research, focused on whether a council can improve a statutory service based around another council’s research.

  • Wandsworth receives £80,000 for a discovery into the data Early Help service heads need to analyse performance, aimed at helping to improve the quality of data and provide evidence of its benefits.

These are accompanied by three projects receiving support for alpha phase work:

  • Lambeth Council has been awarded £98,5000 to develop a user-centred system that reduces the number of invalid of incomplete digital planning applications.

  • Suffolk County Council gets £74,000 to complete an alpha on predictive modelling to understand future demand for children’s social care.

  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority has won £100,000 to look at improving data and evidence on children in care. This is a continuation of a project for which the discovery phase also received support from the Local Digital Fund.

In every case the lead council mentioned above will be working with other local authorities as partners.

The Local Digital Fund was launched last year with an overall pot of £7.5 million with an aim to “fix the plumbing” in local public services, supporting the development of local patterns and tools that could be widely re-used in the sector.

Local Government Minister Luke Hall commented: “Councils across the country are working to embrace digital technology to adapt, innovate and drive improvements in public services for their residents.

“I’m delighted to announce we’re investing over half a million pounds from our Local Digital Fund into seven more collaborative projects to boost public services for all.”

Image by Mike Lawrence, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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