Latest Public Sector News


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!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

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 open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

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 feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >