WLGA has welcomed Welsh Government’s announcement of funding which will help support councils to harness digital technology to overhaul how local services are delivered.
At a meeting of the Executive Board in Flintshire last week, the Minister for Housing and Local Government confirmed that funding of over £1m will be made available in the next financial year to support councils’ work in introducing digital technology to transform services.
An extra £500,000 will also be provided annually for the next three years to help fund a new Chief Digital Officer post and a supporting Delivery Unit to be hosted by WLGA and overseen by the Digital Advisory Group, comprised of WLGA Members, representatives from SOLACE, SOCITM, other professionals and stakeholders.
Welcoming the announcement, WLGA Spokesperson for Digital and Innovation Councillor Peter Fox OBE (Monmouthshire) said:
“We welcome this commitment from Welsh Government which will help to co-ordinate WLGA and councils’ efforts to use digital technology to transform local services.
“Digital change is all about harnessing technology to solve problems, and to design resident-centred services. Our residents are making increasing use of digital technology which not only has changed the way people interact with each other, but also the way they expect to interact with businesses and public services.
“Local authorities have taken big steps in recent years in the development and deployment of digital solutions within their services, including several collaborative projects involving chatbots, webcasting, remote working, apps and virtual reality. However, there is still more to do to ensure greater consistency and coordination of digital technology to ensure public services continue to transform and meet the expectations and needs of citizens now and into the future.
“I look forward to seeing how this investment, along with a commitment from all councils, will help to deliver a more ambitious and consistent approach to digital transformation and to promote better engagement with residents.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Minister’s Written Statement can be seen here: https://gov.wales/written-statement-chief-digital-officer-local-government