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Local digital funding goes to Newcastle and Buckinghamshire

Newcastle and Buckinghamshire councils have won the latest funding from O2’s Local Government Digital Fund, to help them tackle social challenges with technology.

Newcastle City Council will share £200,000 worth of digital expertise and technology to help young people with special educational needs and adults with learning disabilities become independent travellers; and Buckinghamshire County Council will develop a universal benefit calculator app to help citizens understand the impact of welfare reforms.

Over 120 local authorities applied for the funding, with six going through to a Dragons’ Den-style pitch. Of these, two winners were chosen to receive support.

The fund is aimed to help councils to develop services in mobile working, connecting and communicating with citizens, and collaborating information in the workplace.

Julia Woollard, team manager for architecture and programme management in ICT at Newcastle City Council said: “We’re really excited to be working with O2, and looking forward to seeing how our project progresses with the team. We hope that this will become a flagship idea for the north east. We have already tested out the idea with some kids whose lives will be transformed by the app, and they will be so pleased that we are able to make this happen for them.”

Matilda Moss, policy and partnerships officer at Buckinghamshire County Council said:

“The whole process of the Local Government Digital Fund has really helped us crystalize our thoughts on what this project could like in reality. We’re really pleased that we are now in a position to help residents in our local area through this app.”

Mark Adams-Wright, head of local government, O2, commented: “Technology holds the key to helping the public sector make crucial savings – whether through policies and devices to empower staff to work more flexibly, or a mobile app to make it easier for local authorities to engage with communities. We are passionate about ensuring services in the public sector are of high quality for UK citizens, and serve them in the easiest and most cost effective way.

“All of the judges were impressed with the range of creative and innovation solutions submitted this year. We look forward to helping authorities across the UK tackle the challenges in their local area by engaging staff, citizens and communities through technology, and hope that all those involved will continue to connect with us through the Local Government Digital Forum over the coming year.”

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Image c. Glenn Bowman


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