North Ayrshire Council has published a digital strategy with an emphasis that it will continue to ensure access to services in a way that suits people’s needs, even if they do not have internet access.
It announced the strategy earlier this month following its approval by the cabinet, saying it will involve further developments in its online offerings.
While saying this reflects an increasing use of the internet – with its people’s panel survey of last year showing 95% of respondents had access – it has insisted that it wants to support people who are digitally excluded.
Cllr Christina Larsen, North Ayrshire’s cabinet member for finance and procurement, said: “The overwhelming majority of people now enjoy internet access at home and are comfortable in using online services.
“But we do know there will be people who, for a variety of reasons, want to speak to us using more traditional methods and this will remain a priority for us as the strategy is embedded.”
The council said the strategy took shape as a result of the changing way people accessed services during the Covid-19 restrictions and was developed after wide engagement.
It major elements cover: providing training and support with investment for the business community in improving digital processes; investing in in-school and home devices for school pupils; ensuring staff have the tools to help drive innovation and develop their digital skills; and promoting North Ayrshire as a visitor destination through digital marketing and communication.
The council will also work with partners on removing barriers to digital inclusion and improving the local 4G and 5G infrastructure, and plans to launch an online My Account service as a single point of contact for residents.