LGA picks councils for digital inclusion funding
Authorities will each receive a slice of £200,000
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The Local Government Association has chosen 11 councils to receive a share of £200,000 funding to support digital inclusion initiatives.
The LGA claimed that as much as a fifth of the UK population lacks “the basic digital skills and capabilities required to benefit from using the internet”. The money being handed out by the sector organisation is intended to help the chosen councils improve citizens’ access to technological support.
The funding could also allow authorities to “help those who require more support or may have specific needs that cannot be met through the standard online service offer”, the LGA said.
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The £200,000 will be split between councils representing Huntingdonshire, North Yorkshire, Colchester, Kent, Shropshire, Middlesbrough, and the London boroughs Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, and Croydon. Two other London councils – Richmond and Kingston – have received funding on a joint basis.
Activities undertaken by the authorities to support digital inclusion could include finding ways to help lower the cost of broadband connectivity, offering more one-on-one support for citizens, and creating tailored programmes targeting certain cohorts of the local population.
Cllr Peter Fleming, chairman of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said: “Councils are improving the lives and employment prospects of their residents through digital inclusion programmes. The latest cohort of councils included in the programme will give residents 24/7 online access.”
He added: “As part of the LGA’s wider sector-led improvement offer, the digital inclusion programme is helping councils to reach out and provide a vital service for residents who don’t have access or confidence to use digital platforms. Despite facing significant funding pressures over the past decade, councils have shown willingness to innovate to improve the lives of their residents.”
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