Experts to discuss single council website platform

Written by Colin Marrs on 9 June 2014 in News

Momentum towards creating a single platform for local government websites is growing, with two events being held to discuss ways of tackling the issue.

Last week, think tank Policy Exchange threw its weight behind the idea, after the concept was mooted last year in a blog posting by Richard Copley, head of ICT at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.

And two events being held in the next two weeks will see local government digital experts gather to discuss and attempt to find workable solutions to the issue.

The first event, taking place next week is being run by the Department of Communities and Local Government in partnership with the Government Digital Services.

A statement from DCLG said: “This Local Digital Campaign event will identify the assets that have been created by Government Digital Service (GDS) which could be re-used by local authorities.”

The event will showcase Socitm and GDS work in progress, showcase open APIs, code and platform assets, and discuss how they could be used locally.

It will also highlight content local authorities can re-use or link to, as well as providing a platform to debate the question “should there be a local GDS?”.

The second event, a “Hackathon”, is being held the next week in Birmingham, and is being organised by council digital network LocalGov Digital, with innovation charity Nesta.

Programmers will be challenged to come up with technical solutions to creating a single platform for local government websites.

Last week, Policy Exchange said a single digital platform, similar to central government’s, could help councils deal with budgetary pressures and improve services.

It said: “Though they must be free to determine their own course, local authorities will fail to achieve the benefits of digital government if they try to undergo the transformation completely independently of one another."

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