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Councils awarded £500,000 for digital technology innovations

Find out the latest collaborative projects to be funded through the Local Digital Fund.

Last summer the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government launched the Local Digital Declaration which provides a collective ambition for local public services in the internet age, as well as a driver for improved collaboration. Following the launch of the Declaration the Local Digital Fund was also announced, which aims to help local authorities implement the Local Digital Declaration by funding digital skills training and projects that address common local service challenges in common, reusable ways. As well as fund projects exploring the use of digital technology to improve local public services.

There have been three rounds of funding, with the latest seeing the following projects being awarded grants of up to £100,000 from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Local Digital Fund.

Projects funded and the local authorities involved:

  1. Improving data and evidence on children in care; Greater Manchester Combined Authority - £100,000. A project to eliminate errors in statutory data returns to provide better, evidence-based decision making.
  2. Reducing invalid planning applications; led by Lambeth Council, with Wycombe District Council, Southwark Council, Lewisham Council, and Camden Council - £98,500. Developing a system to limit the number of incomplete or invalid digital planning applications.
  3. Researching what data early help children’s services heads need to analyse performance; led by Richmond and Wandsworth Councils, with West Berkshire Council, and Croydon Council - £80,000. A project to explore how data can be used to improve the quality of early help children’s services.
  4. Improving code sharing between councils; led by Croydon Council, and Brighton & Hove City Council, Bracknell Forest Council, and Oxford City Council - £75,000. The project is will improve how computer code is shared between councils, making it easier for them to collaborate.
  5. Predictive modelling to understand future demand for children’s social care; led by Suffolk County Council, with Cambridgeshire County Council, Norfolk County Council - £74,000. The project will help councils to anticipate demands on their services.
  6. A new system for processing revenue and benefits data; led by Teignbridge District Council, with East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council, Basildon Council, and Brentwood Council - £71,000. The project will explore the development of a cost-effective system focused on residents’ needs.
  7. Cross-local government user research; led by Croydon Council, with Hackney Council, Kent County Council, and Hertfordshire County Council - £25,800. The project will look at how one council can use another council’s user research to improve statutory services.

techUK was proud to be a co-publisher of the Local Digital Declaration, and hosted an unconference and workshops on the market’s response to the Declaration. One of the outcomes was to conduct a discovery to better understand the procurement process when councils purchase a digital service/technology. We have recently launched a survey on this, and welcome hearing from all those involved in the procurement process – from digital leads to commissioning to procurement to complete it. Survey can be found here.


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