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Guest blog: Council of the Future - Efficient, Effective and Engaged

Guest Blog: Ricky Morton, Director - 12 Pillars, currently advising the London Borough of Newham, muses on the #CounciloftheFuture

The council of the future will be efficient, effective and engaged. It will be innovative, insightful and inclusive. And it will be open, smart and all about commitment, community and collaboration.

It will have to be.

We face rising demand with limited resources. People expect the same quality of service from their council as they do in other areas of life. Services are increasingly migrating online to be constantly available and accessible from anywhere, anytime, on any device.

To transform the relationship between our communities and the council, to put more power in the hands of citizens, to be more responsive to their needs and to work with them to define and achieve the outcomes they want, we must change our organisations to reflect our society and our times.

Local authorities on the front-line of delivering public services will use digital, data and technology innovation coupled with smart city approaches to make their boroughs safer, their organisations more responsive and approachable, and to help healthier and happier residents live in more sustainable and attractive environments.

Being Digital will inform the entre service landscape, from policy, through process and people, to the platform for delivery, and help us achieve better outcomes. We will deliver our A to Z of services - from Abandoned Shopping Trolleys to Zoo Licences – smarter, faster, better, and at reduced cost. We will reach beyond our traditional boundaries, embrace innovation and harness new opportunities. And the techniques and technologies of the Internet age offer us greater opportunities than ever before to bring government to the people and people into the process of government.

Our communities

We will listen to our residents, businesses and partners, and put people at the heart of everything we do. We will focus on improving outcomes, on using our wealth of data to design predictive and preventative services, on helping people help themselves, on improving the customer experience, and on increasing visibility and accountability through digital democracy and participatory approaches. And we will make digital the channel of choice through collaborative design, while always providing mediated access to our services for those who need support.

Our Place

We will listen to our landscape, by equipping our environment to take part in the civic conversation through intelligent use of the Internet of Things. We will focus on building Place as a Platform for ambition and aspiration, embedding Digital innovation, connectivity infrastructure and data into the fabric of our boroughs as engines of change to drive economic growth, enable public service reform, deliver sustainable solutions and engage and empower our communities. And we will embed smart city approaches to planning, transport, housing, waste, energy to better manage and sustain our environment.

Our council

We will listen to our staff, and reimagine our councils to make them efficient, effective and engaged. We will be digitally mature, equipping and empowering our workforces with the right tools and

information to do their jobs, with smarter ways of working freeing staff to work from anywhere. We will embrace emerging technologies such as blockchain, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to remove inefficiencies from the system and let staff focus on adding value. And we will share our information with partners across Health, Housing, Justice, Education and the not-for-profit sector to help us deliver outcomes for the community rather than simply delivering services.

The council of the future

The council of the future will be lean, agile and evidence-driven, and it will put people firmly at the heart of everything it does.

See the rest of this weeks' #CounciloftheFuture campaign week blogs here


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