Government unveils £7.5m funding and training scheme to boost local authority digital work

Written by Sam Trendall on 6 July 2018 in News
News

MHCLG and GDS also publish ‘digital declaration’ for councils to sign up to

The government has created a £7.5m fund to help local authorities embrace digital and “develop common solutions to their shared challenges”.

Councils will shortly be able to bid for a slice of the innovation fund, which was launched this week in Birmingham by local government minister Rishi Sunak at the annual conference of the Local Government Association.

“Whether it’s an app to report fly-tipping, or slick online services to pay your council tax, many local authorities are at the forefront of digital innovation,” he said. “But there’s much more to do. Digital doesn’t belong in the basement, it belongs in the boardroom.”

Alongside the funding pot, the government will also develop a new digital leadership skills training course for local authority senior managers.

The money and training initiatives will be backed up by The Local Digital Declaration, which councils can now sign up to. The declaration, which was published this week, was developed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, working alongside the Government Digital Service. 


Related content


The document contains two sets of commitments: one for local-authority senior managers, service managers, board members, and councillors; and another for IT, digital, and transformation teams.

This includes pledges for leaders to “make sure that digital expertise is central to our decision-making”, as well as ensuring that senior staff and politicians openly and visibly champion transformation and working in the open.

Digital professionals, meanwhile, will commit to driving reuse of code and common components, and testing services currently being developed against a specialised local government service standard to be launched by GDS in September.

“I want councils and partners across the country to sign up to this declaration,” said Surak. “By supporting each other and building on each other’s work, we can revolutionise services for our residents.” 

The declaration is built around five key principles for councils to abide by: “we will go even further to redesign our services around the needs of the people using them”; “we will ‘fix our plumbing’ to break our dependence on inflexible and expensive technology”; “we will design safe, secure and useful ways of sharing information”; “we will demonstrate digital leadership, creating the conditions for genuine organisational transformation to happen”; and “we will embed an open culture that values, incentivises and expects digital ways of working from every member of our workforce”.

Alongside GDS and MHCLG, a number of other central government agencies and industry bodies are already signed up to the declaration, as are a range of local authorities, including councils in Camden, Essex, Milton Keynes, Leeds, and Cambridgeshire.

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

The three public sector technology trends that will define 2019
27 December 2018

PublicTechnology editor Sam Trendall picks out the topics and trends that will dominate the year ahead, and revisits the predictions of a year ago to see any of them came to pass

Consumer group calls for regulator to address ‘serious concerns’ on impact of digital payments
13 February 2019

MP lends support for Which? Campaign to protect access to cash and highlight the dangers of the move towards a cashless society

Related Sponsored Articles

Why BT UniCORN Framework – Join the partnership to cut costs and create opportunities
11 February 2019

Whether you need mobile devices or fibre optics, cloud services or switchboard systems, with UniCORN you'll have more purchasing power and unlock benefits you wouldn't get alone

Why BT London ICT Framework – sole provider for a pan-London procurement framework for ICT services
4 February 2019

BT understand the public sector in the capital. Frameworks offer a single, simplified way to get the ICT products and services you need