GOV.UK boss Williams to become Croydon’s digital chief

Long-time civil servant to move into local government with role in his home borough

Credit: Croydon Council

The head of GOV.UK Neil Williams is to leave the civil service after 15 years and take over as chief digital officer for his home borough of Croydon.

Williams (pictured above) will lead Croydon Council’s design and delivery of digital services. The borough already enables residents to register for an online account through which they can access a range of services in areas such as rent and housing, waste and recycling, licensing, and council tax.

When he joins the council in October, Williams will also oversee the authority’s internal IT systems, with a remit to ensure they are efficient and innovative. In addition, he will lead the borough’s work in the area of smart cities.

Croydon last year won the title of Digital Council of the Year in annual awards run by the Local Government Chronicle, and Williams – who has lived in the borough for the past 10 years – said he wants to build on the good work that has already taken place.

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“I’m thrilled to accept the role of chief digital officer for Croydon. I’m passionate about public service, in particular the role digital plays in making services and support simple and intuitive, designed around users’ needs,” he said. “I’m looking forward to leading the next phase of digital transformation, harnessing the opportunities around smart cities, and making the borough an even better place for residents and businesses to thrive. I’m fiercely proud of this brilliant, diverse and creative borough – Croydon is a great place to live and work, so I’m delighted to have this opportunity to play a part in its continued growth at this exciting time.”

Williams has been with the Government Digital Service since its foundation seven years ago. He has played a key role in the development of the UK government’s online platforms, and has risen to a post as deputy director and head of GOV.UK.

Prior to joining GDS, he held digital and communications roles at Whitehall entities including the then Department of Communities and Local Government, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Sam Trendall

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