Wigan Council has set its sights on using artificial intelligence and the internet of things in delivering services, with an early emphasis on social care.
Chief executive Alison McKenzie-Folan referred to the plans in a follow-up of the launch earlier this year of the Deal 2030, which sets out making the borough more digitally friendly as one of its key priorities.
She said in a blogpost that Wigan is currently exploring ways in which it can use the technology for adult social care, health and wellbeing. This is part of its effort to embed digital in everything it does and transform its delivery of services.
One project involving the IoT covers the development of smart homes, using data to reduce energy consumption in social housing.
McKenzie-Folan also placed an emphasis on Wi-Fi and the potential of 5G. It is involved in a procurement programme alongside the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to improve penetration of full fibre and improve Wi-Fi connectivity.
“We are also following the progress of 5G with a very keen eye as this is an exciting development which will further support our aspirations for the borough,” McKenzie-Folan said.
She pointed three strands in implementing the council’s Digital Strategy: Digital Council, Digital People and Digital Place. The latter reflects the aim of making the metropolitan borough an attractive spot for digital businesses.
The Digital People strand involves working with schools to help teachers provide effective learning tools to improve digital skills, and aiming to raise the skills in the wider community.
“Working with libraries and our digital taskforce partners we will aim to unite people, organisations and communities with a shared vision of digital inclusion for all,” McKenzie-Folan said.
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