Six councils get slice of £1.2m for innovative digital projects

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Six councils across the UK will receive a share of £1.2m to drive innovative digital projects to improve public services, the government has announced

Each council will receive a grant of up to £350,000 to spearhead existing projects that will benefit residents by harnessing digital technology to create smoother ways to deliver public services such as housing repairs and the planning process.

The six councils will lead the digital projects while also working in partnership with 14 other councils across the country, bringing together expertise and sharing the results.

This announcement builds on the £2.5m already invested in local authority projects through the Local Digital Fund. A total of 23 projects have been funded since the fund’s launch in 2018, all working to improve the way councils deliver services for residents.

Local government minister Simon Clarke, said: “Digital technology has enormous potential to benefit society and improve our lives in countless ways and I am determined that councils harness its potential too.

“That is why I have announced £1.2m for councils to continue their work on truly innovative projects to improve public services for people across the country.”

Councils receiving funding in this round include:

  • Southwark Council will receive an additional £350,000 to improve the planning application system by developing better ways of recording and using information. The council has developed a prototype and will now test it with a small group of users. They are working with Hackney Council, the Greater London Authority, and Surrey Heath Borough Council.
  • Lambeth Council will receive an additional £350,000 to design a system that can filter out incomplete or invalid planning applications. They have developed a prototype and will now test it with users. They are working with Wycombe District Council, Southwark Council, Lewisham Council, and Camden Council.
  • The Royal Borough of Greenwich will receive an additional £50,000 to develop a better way for residents to report housing repairs online. They have made a prototype and will now test it with users. They are working with the City of Lincoln Council, Southwark Council, and South Kesteven District Council.
  • Buckinghamshire County Council will receive an additional £250,000 to produce an online directory of support services to make them easier to find. They have developed a prototype and will now test it with users. They are working with Adur and Worthing Council, Croydon Council, and Leeds City Council.
  • Croydon Council will receive an additional £100,000 to improve how computer code is shared between councils to boost public services. They will develop a prototype and are working with Brighton and Hove City Council, Bracknell Forest Council, and Oxford City Council.
  • Barnsley Metropolitan Council will receive an additional £100,000 to produce a new digital system to manage council payments that is easier for residents to use and saves time. They will develop a prototype and are working with Dorset County Council and Huntingdonshire District Council.

The digital projects are part of a drive to improve council services for residents in the future.

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