LocaGov Digital has announced the creation of the latest regional peer to help councils implement the local digital standard.
The South peer group is the third to be launched, after the London and Midlands groups, and will meet for the first time on 25 November.
The aim of the peer groups is to help councils make better use of the standard, which was first published in February and aims to provide a common approach to deliver user-centred digital services.
It is based on one used by central government and comprises 15 requirements for local government when providing digital services. These include considering users first, developing services in an iterative way and reusing existing data.
The south peer group covers 33 councils across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Hampshire. Its first meeting will be led by Neil Lawrence from Oxford City Council, which is planning to use the standard in its first digital strategy, and Matthew Cain from Buckinghamshire County Council.
Speaking at the Local Government Digital Standard Summit last month, Cain urged councils to work together to create the market forces that will convince the big suppliers to make changes to the way they supply to local government.
“The more we can stand together, and say, ‘This isn’t working for us and we expect change’, the better,” he said. “Could we as Buckinghamshire do this [on our own]? Not a chance, but I think that together we could.”