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Welsh Government takes step to strengthen digital in community and town councils


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Welsh flag on digital grid
Image source: Ginting

The Welsh Government has developed an action plan to improve the digital capabilities of community and town councils in the country.

Minister for Finance and Local Government Rebecca Evans MS announced the move, which derives from an earlier report on the issue by the local government chief digital officer.

The plan involves eight broad recommendations on issues including training and support, infrastructure, hardware, capacity and expertise and culture change. There is also an emphasis on the importance of the Welsh language.

Each recommendation comes with a number of more specific actions. On the language issue they include researching digital translation tools and exploring opportunities for principal councils to share translation resources with community councils.

Training, procurement and support

Other steps include identifying the extent and type of digital training needed in the sector, developing guidance on procuring IT equipment, exploring opportunities for sharing IT support between councils, and conducting digital skills audits to identify councillors who do not currently use online methods.

There are 732 community and town councils in Wales, and in the autumn of last year the local government chief digital officer commissioned a project to analyse their digital capabilities. It showed that, although most councils believed there had been an improvement, there were wide variations and inconsistencies across the sector. 

Evans said the Digital Health Working Group in the Welsh Government will have oversight of the actions.

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