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Six projects win in new round of Local Digital Fund


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Six local authorities in England have won shares of £1.2 million in the fourth round of awards from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) Local Digital Fund.

Southwark, Lambeth, Greenwich, Buckinghamshire, Croydon and Barnsley have won backing for the further development of projects, on which they are working partner councils, that have received previous support in the programme.

It follows the allocation of £2.5 million in the previous three rounds, aimed at projects to build digital services that can be replicated by other councils.

The Local Digital Collaboration Unit in MHCLG said that some of the project teams are concluding their previous stage and the new funding will help them to maintain their momentum.

The six projects are as follows:

  • Southwark has won £350,000 for its work in making the planning process more efficient and transparent for users. It will lead the beta phase in collaboration with Hackney, Surrey Heath and the Greater London Authority.

  • Lambeth has also been awarded £350,000 to design a system that can filter out incomplete or invalid planning applications. It is working on the project with Southwark, Lewisham, Camden and Wycombe Councils.

  • Greenwich will receive £50,000 to test the prototype system it has developed for residents to report the need for housing repairs online. Its partners are City of Lincoln, Southwark and South Kesteven.

  • Buckinghamshire has won £250,000 to test a prototype of an online directory of support services to make them easy to find. It is working with Adur and Worthing, Croydon and Leeds City Councils.

  • Croydon has been allocated £100,000 to develop a prototype to share computer code between local authorities, in collaboration with Brighton and Hove, Bracknell Forest and Oxford.

  • Barnsley will also receive £100,000 to produce a prototype digital system to manage council payments, with the aim of making it easier for residents to use. Its partners are Dorset and Huntingdonshire Councils.

Local Government Minister Simon Clarke (pictured) said: “Digital technology has enormous potential to benefit society and improve our lives in countless ways and I am determined that councils harness its potential too.

“That is why I have announced £1.2 million for councils to continue their work on truly innovative projects to improve public services for people across the country.”

A total of 23 projects have received support from the fund so far.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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