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Local groups wave digital innovation banner



Position paper urges local government leaders to focus on digital in transforming services

A group of local government bodies has pressed the case for senior leaders to champion the cause of digital innovation in their council’s transformation programmes.

The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace), public sector IT association Socitm, the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Local CIO Council have published a position paper, Local Digital Leadership, aimed at senior council leaders that calls for more sharing of best practice and collaboration with other parts of the public sector.

Martin Reeves, Solace spokesperson for digital leadership and chief executive of Coventry City Council, said: “Local digital leadership is crucial to the transformation our sector is undergoing. It is vital that all local leaders are on board with this agenda.

“That’s why we have come together with the other key membership bodies in our sector to promote and build the leadership required.”

Among the points made in the paper is that the transformation of public services, and successful devolution, need information to be shared smoothly across service areas. In particular, it will be crucial for central government to share information with local partners, and for data to be shared in real time with the NHS.

It points to the growing importance of data analytics, and suggests the creation of ‘smart bins’ in city centres that could monitor the density of people and feed data to the council for the planning of service maintenance. This could take in the use of public transport and spaces, and be combined with data such as large scale public health maps and details of buildings with a high fire risk.

It also says the rise of a place based approach to delivering outcomes – reflecting the move to devolution – presents an opportunity to break up siloed processes based on paper and rebuild them in a simplified way that could be shared.

The includes a number of case studies of local authority digital initiatives, and its publication follows the creation of the Local Digital Coalition in March to promote collaboration between organisations.

Picture by Russell James Smith (modified), CC BY 2.0 through flickr


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