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Tuesday, 17 September

Councils Can Apply For Digital Funding To Boost Services

Local Digital Fund

Councils looking to improve public services through innovative uses of digital technology can apply for funding, Local Government Minister Luke Hall MP has announced.

Grants of up to £350,000 will be invested in projects from the government’s Local Digital Fund.

Projects bidding for the Fund of up to £7.5 million must be shared by councils working together to explore how digital technology can improve public services for residents in innovative ways.

Ideas could range from making bin collections better, organising school, public buildings or social housing repairs to embracing tech to support vulnerable people.

Hall said: "Digital technology is transforming our lives. From smart tech at home to apps on our phones, it’s helping us to stay connected and making things easier. Councils are on the front line of exploring how we can harness technology to improve services while saving taxpayers’ money.

"We’re opening up the next round of applications for the Local Digital Fund. I would encourage all councils with innovative ideas that focus on residents’ needs to apply."

 

Winners

Sixteen projects were awarded grants of up to £100,000 last year, with 57 councils working in teams to shape new digital services and explore the potential of modern technology. Projects improving online tools for reporting social home repairs and improving software used by council planning departments.

Other areas of research included exploring how virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa can improve the lives of people in need of care and giving frontline social workers better access to information to make crucial decisions.

 

How it works

For the projects, lead councils across the country partner with at least two other councils to share knowledge and ideas. This collaborative approach is a key pillar of the government’s Local Digital Declaration, launched last year, to coordinate public bodies seeking digital solutions.

The Fund is also being invested in digital skills and digital leadership training for council staff.

Only councils in England are eligible to lead on applications; councils in other parts of the UK are still eligible to partner on applications.

Applications to the Local Digital Fund close on 16 September 2019.

Picture: Councils looking to improve public services through digital technology can apply for funding. For further information - Click Here

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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