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Survey shows public favour digital for talking to councils


Mark Say Managing Editor

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A majority of the UK public want to use digital channels for engagement and reporting services to the local authority, according to the newly published results of a national survey.

It showed that 65% were in favour of giving their opinion on local matters through a computer or mobile app, and that 75% would use an app to report issues, find personalised information or express their opinion.

The survey – carried out for public sector IT association Socitm, govtech start-up Novoville and consultancy Public – was carried out through a series of chatbot interviews with 3,500 people from all age groups over September and October of last year.

It showed that only 19% of respondents had ever taken part in a public consultation, and that the readiness for using digital channels shows little variation across different levels of income and education.

It also revealed that, while only 13% described themselves as ‘very satisfied’ with council services, a a majority of 60% said they were ‘quite satisifed’.

Need to win trust

Sandra Taylor, Socitm president and head of digital and ICT services for Dudley Council, said: “It is vital that the public sector explores ways in which we can win the trust of service users.

“We need to look at demographics and develop our understanding of why different groups interact with digital delivery and how we can improve accessibility for everyone. To do this, we need to consult with our communities and discover how to design and develop fully inclusive services for all.”

Image from iStock, Mihai Simonia

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