National and Devolved Politics

05.07.18

New £7.5m council fund to take digital innovation from ‘basement to boardroom’

The government has announced a £7.5m digital innovation fund to help councils transform their online services.

The fund was announced at the LGA Conference in Birmingham yesterday by local government minister Rishi Sunak.

“Locally, we have to empower local authorities to make decisions for their own area,” Sunak stated.

More than 50 councils, government departments and partner organisations are signed up to the pledge, the ‘Local Digital Declaration.’ The declaration will allow those involved to share their digital innovations across the public sector.

Sunak continued: “Whether it’s an app to report fly-tipping, or slick online services to pay your council tax, many local authorities are at the forefront of digital innovation – but there’s much more to do. Digital doesn’t belong in the basement, it belongs in the boardroom.

“I want councils and partners across the country to sign up to this declaration. By supporting each other and building on each other’s work we can revolutionise services for our residents.”

One example of such digital innovation is Chat Health, a service which gives health advice via text to young people from the school nursing service in Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland.

Local authorities will also be able bid for a share of the cash sum to fund digital solutions to common and shared challenges.

A new course will also be developed to train senior local authority staff in digital leadership, and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will work with councils to help them deliver their commitments.

The announcement comes in light of the Public Accounts Committee report, published yesterday, which accused the MHCLG of being “complacent” and blasted central government for its lack of funding for local authorities.

 

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Council controversially begins first monthly bin collection in England and Wales

25/09/2018Council controversially begins first monthly bin collection in England and Wales

Monthly bin collections have been introduced for the first time in England and Wales by Conwy County Council, despite major complaints from resid... more >
Nottinghamshire leader hits back: ‘We’re the most transparent and open council there is’

25/09/2018Nottinghamshire leader hits back: ‘We’re the most transparent and open council there is’

The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has hit back against claims that the authority lacks transparency, claiming that the council is &ldq... more >
Exclusive: Notts leader rejects calls for council merger referendum, public decision due in May

25/09/2018Exclusive: Notts leader rejects calls for council merger referendum, public decision due in May

The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has rejected calls from opposing councillors to put potential merger plans to a referendum, arguing ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Northamptonshire CC members vote in favour of unitary proposals

28/08/2018Northamptonshire CC members vote in favour of unitary proposals

Councillors at Northamptonshire County Council have voted in favour of proposals to create a unitary authority at its full council meeting today. The financially-struggling authority has had... more >
Northamptonshire report to propose splitting region into two unitaries

17/08/2018Northamptonshire report to propose splitting region into two unitaries

A report on the future of the debt-ridden Northamptonshire region due to be published this afternoon will likely recommend replacing all eight local authorities with two unitary councils. Pu... more >

the raven's daily blog

Social value: what is it and why?

14/09/2018Social value: what is it and why?

Ben Carpenter, chief executive of Social Value UK, discusses the worth of social value, and argues that, before we start measuring social value, we should ask clearly: what is it, and why? Social value is so much more than a value for money exercise. If you see social value as simply a new catchphrase for ‘efficiency savings’... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Crown Commercial Service: Travel solutions on track

10/09/2018Crown Commercial Service: Travel solutions on track

Katrina Williams, head of travel at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), explains how they are helping government organisations to get the best de... more >
LEPs need to do more for England's countryside

10/09/2018LEPs need to do more for England's countryside

Paul Miner, head of strategic plans and devolution at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), highlights the findings of a recent survey wh... more >
What about social care?

10/09/2018What about social care?

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, looks at the exclusion of social care from the government’s rece... more >
Re-evaluating public service reforms

10/09/2018Re-evaluating public service reforms

Chris Painter, professor emeritus at Birmingham City University, explores the paradox of reform principles persisting despite mounting evidence a... more >

interviews

Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 2004 as deputy ombudsman. At the start of 2017, he was appointed as the ... more >
Helping a city understand itself

06/08/2018Helping a city understand itself

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The urban landscape is changing. How can local authorities keep up with citizen behaviour? Stephen Leece, managing directo... more >
Modern policing: the future is bright

06/08/2018Modern policing: the future is bright

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The public sector, and policing in particular, has often been criticised as being slow to adapt to change. But now, says L... more >
Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >

public sector focus

View all News