Image promoting Public Sector Executive's Digital Services for the Digital Age Webinar in partnership with Oracle

Public services for the digital age

The level of quality that citizens require of public services is constantly increasing, with people wanting to benefit from the ease of access and convenience that delivering services digitally brings.

In order to explore the ways that technology and digital innovation can help support the most vulnerable in communities Public Sector Executive, in partnership with Oracle UK, brought together a number of sector experts to take part in a webinar discussion. Participants Dan Westley, Director of Cloud at Oracle UK), Penny Syddall (Programme Manager Transformation for Innovation and Digital at Dorset Council), Ali Mehmet (Turning Point’s Head of Applications), Mark Hawthorne (Digital Champion for the Local Government Association), and Helen Coomb (Cabinet Member for Transformation and Digital at the London Borough of Redbridge) joined host Davina White for a very insightful conversation.

Whilst the progression of digital is helping the majority of citizens, there are people who risk becoming increasingly digitally excluded. Touching on this and how it can impact digital development, Mark Hawthorne said:

“The do have to remember, though, that some of our most vulnerable users, some of our most heavy users, are the most digitally excluded. So, as we progress down this journey of digital by default, which I think is where we’re heading towards, we need to make sure that we are tackling those areas that aren’t at the same level as everyone else. Whether that’s because of their rurality, certainly there are certain pockets of the country that are still struggling with digital connectivity, or it is because they don’t have digital skills necessary to feel confident about engaging with local authorities through a digital platform.

“But that’s not to say that we shouldn’t be pursuing some of these really exciting innovations…”

Host Davina then went on to ask Ali Mehmet about how organisations within the public sector go about investing in the right technology and getting the processes right, to which he answered:

“The trick is where you put your investment, picking the particular use cases that are going to provide your organisation and the people your organisations services with the biggest bang for its buck.

“…The key thing, I think, is reach. Technology gives you the ability to reach far more people far more regularly and far more quickly and, having reached them, you need to be able to interact with them in the most appropriate way.”

To watch the full Webinar on-demand and gain expert insight into how public services can be enhanced by digital transformation, head to

PSE December/January 2024

PSE December/January 2024

Northumberland’s climate change resource is empowering the next generation

Dive into our latest edition for December/January. Discover insightful articles on climate change, innovation in nuclear decommissioning, fostering collaboration, and more.



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Public Sector Executive Podcast

Ep 48. Achieving Net Zero - Cllr Abdul Jabbar - Oldham Council

As central government aims for the UK to be net zero by 2050, councils around the country make plans for how to reduce emissions. This episode’s guest, Oldham’s Councillor Abdul Jabbar outlines the importance of coming together to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, the benefits of achieving net zero, and how Oldham Council are working to do just that.

Touching on the role that the public sector can play in sustainability, Cllr Jabbar said:

“I think it’s really important that the public sector gives true leadership in this space. I think something like one third of the carbon emissions in the country come from the public sector, so obviously we’re a big polluter in terms of the emissions.”

Councillor Jabbar also spoke about challenges being faced by organisations:

“I think the biggest one has been finance. Clearly the local government sector in particular has had its grants cut from central government by a huge amount and that’s had a very big impact in terms of our plans to take forward projects in relation to climate change, so that’s a major issue.”

To hear what Cllr Jabbar has to say about the mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions, listen to the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.

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