Six projects selected for continued backing
The government’s Local Digital Fund has invested a further £750,000 into technology and data projects run by local authorities.
The £7.5m investment pot was launched last year by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. In its first round of funding, a total of £1.25m was awarded to 16 projects, each of which received up to £100,000.
Six of those programmes have now been chosen to receive further backing.
A project aimed at equipping social workers with better-quality data was the biggest winner, receiving an additional £350,000. The scheme is led by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, working alongside Leeds City Council and Manchester City Council.
Leeds is also involved in a project helmed by Buckinghamshire County Council to develop an open directory of community support services. This initiative, which also involves councils from Croydon and Adur and Worthing, received an extra £50,000.
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The London boroughs of Southwark and Hackney are working with the city-wide Greater London Authority and Surrey Heath Borough Council on a project designed to improve the transparency and efficiency of digital systems for planning applications. MHCLG is to support this work with £100,000.
Southwark is also participating in a scheme to develop an improved system for reporting and managing repairs for social housing. Local authorities in Greenwich, Lincoln, and South Kesteven are also involved in the programme, which has been backed with a new cash injection of £100,000.
Some £80,000 has been awarded to a project exploring how local government can modernise payment systems. Authorities from Barnsley, Allerdale, Cherwell, Huntingdon, North East Lincolnshire, Sheffield, and South Northamptonshire are working together on this programme.
The final scheme chosen for additional funding is being run by Worcestershire County Council, supported by authorities from Suffolk and Redditch and Bromsgrove. The government is to put £73,000 into supporting the councils’ work to use death-registration data to improve how housing lists are managed.
Minister for local government Luke Hall said: “Councils up and down the country are working together to embrace digital technology and improve public services. They are truly looking ahead and adapting their work to make things better for residents. I’m delighted to invest over £750,000 from our Local Digital Fund into six more collaborative projects aimed at improving local services.”
Bidding is currently open for projects wishing to secure a slice of the second round of initial funding. Winning submissions could receive up to £350,000.