Councils ‘share digital’ insights captured in Socitm briefing

31 Jul 2015 12:56 PM

Council managers who missed the ‘ShareDigital 2015’ event in July have another opportunity to benefit from peer experience in Socitm’s latest briefing Catch-up on ShareDigital 2015: too useful to have missed?

The ShareDigital 2015 event (run in London on 9 July) featured 50 ‘share sessions’ – informal presentations and roundtables on topics submitted by delegates that provided multiple opportunities for other delegates to hear about their digital successes, issues and experiences.

Five of the 50 stepped forward to present ‘quickfire’ insights at the end of the day, and these have been gathered in a briefing which also points readers to links to further reading and materials on the topics covered.

For example Geoff Connell, Chief Information Officer at the London borough of Newham delivered ‘five hot tips for channel shift’. The council is an acknowledged leader in this area and supported by a highly successful My Newham citizen account, channel shift is now recorded as over 70%.

Newham works in a shared service arrangement with Havering and messages from the experiences of two very different areas were distilled into into five key points:

Others sharing experiences were:

Nickki Hughes, Online Services Manager, Cheshire East on managing content and in particular the critical need for clarity and consistency.

James Petersen, Corporate Web Manager, Wandsworth on the importance of getting customer feedback from as many sources as possible and using this for decision-making.

Rahna Riley, Digital Services Lead, Rochdale BC on the rise of mobile and building a customer-focused mobile responsive website, from a usability and accessibility perspective rather than a technical one.

Richard Auty, Assistant Director of Corporate Services, Uttlesford DC on modernising the costly business of publishing statutory notices. This costs a small district council like Uttlesford £56,000 a year, with all councils in England, according to DCLG, spending £26m.

In other plenary sessions delegates heard from Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council and spokesman for SOLACE

on digital leadership. He spoke passionately about today’s digital opportunity and the necessity for local public services to grasp it, providing a checklist of five important issues that require digital leadership. This should not, he said be seen as just a way of responding to public austerity but also as a way of fixing a form of government that had been largely broken before the cutbacks.

Eddie Copeland, author of two 2015 reports highlighting how councils could save millions of pounds by making smarter use of technology and data conveyed a key messages about choosing digital leaders.

The date for next year’s ShareDigital event has already been fixed for Wednesday 6 July 2016, again at Church House, Westminster, London SW1.

Catch-up on ShareDigital 2015: too useful to have missed? is available free of charge to Socitm corporate members and Insight subscribers from the Socitm Insight library.

Further information

Vicky Sargent, Socitm Press Office
Tel: 07726 601 139 email:

Martin Greenwood, Programme Manager, Socitm Insight
Tel: 01926 498703 e-mail: