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West Yorkshire Authority launches digital consultation


The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has launched a digital consultation with the aim of boosting the local economy and providing social and environmental benefits for the region.

It has begun an online consultation calling for public input and is working on a strategy with the local enterprise partnership (LEP), councils and industry leaders.

The consultation involves a survey and discussion forums on topics such as how they rate their digital skills, what digital innovations would benefit their lives, or how far their business has embraced digital technologies.

Participants are also being asked to nominate their "everyday digital hero" – someone who has used digital technologies to transform their life or business in positive ways

Entitled Lives Transformed by Digital Tech, the strategy sets out five key outcomes for the region as a result of the development of digital technologies:

  • Enabling everyone in the region to develop digital skills to access jobs and key services.
  • Improving business growth and productivity by encouraging every business, regardless of sector, to embrace the opportunities of digital technologies.
  • Developing the digital infrastructure to boost the region's global competitiveness.
  • Making the region the best place in the UK to start or grow a digital technology business.
  • Ensuring digital technologies provide “tech for good” – in other words, social as well as economic benefits.

Kersten England, chief executive of Bradford Council and lead chief executive for Leeds City Region on Digital, said:"The opportunities of the growth in digital technologies is hugely exciting, but as a region we need to do more to harness those opportunities to maximise economic prosperity and quality of life for the people of the region.

“To do that we need to hear from people, to understand what impact digital technologies are already having on their lives and what they feel about the future of our increasingly digital region. I really hope that people across the region join in with this consultation online and on social media, and that it captures their imagination about the enormous possibilities digital technologies offer us."

Serious opportunities

Rashik Parmar, IBM distinguished engineer and member of the Leeds City Region LEP board, said:"I've worked with cities around the world helping them to make the most of digital technologies to address key social and environmental issues. Given our region's fantastic digital strengths it's only right that we're taking seriously the opportunities that growth in technology presents.

"Whether it's creating new skilled jobs for residents, helping businesses become more competitive, developing innovative new approaches to providing healthcare, or smart-ticketing and traffic management systems to help people to travel around the region more easily – digital can change the world as we know it for the better.

“By taking part in this consultation, the people of the region can help us understand what our priorities should be, so that we invest in the right areas to develop a digital economy that works for everyone."

Image by Tim Green, CC BY 2.0 through flickr


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