Projects to improve the efficiency of the planning system, predicting demand in children’s social care and improving code sharing between local councils are among seven digital technology schemes to have received grants of up to £100,000 from the Government.
The funding, which has been dished out by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government’s Local Digital Fund, is designed to help councils across the country to embrace digital technology to adapt, innovate and drive improvements in public services for their residents.
For the projects, lead councils partner with at least two others to share knowledge and ideas. It is claimed that this collaborative approach is an important part of the Government’s Local Digital Declaration to coordinate public bodies seeking digital solutions.
The fund is also paying for digital skills and leadership training for council staff.
For instance, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority has received £100,000 for a project to eliminate errors in statutory data returns to provide better, evidence-based decision making for on children in care.
Meanwhile, a project led by Richmond and Wandsworth Councils, supported by West Berkshire Council and Croydon Council, has been given £80,000 to explore how data can be used to improve the quality of "early help" children’s services.
And a further project, led by Suffolk County Council, with Cambridgeshire County Council, Norfolk County Council, has received £74,000 to use predictive modelling to understand future demand for children’s social care.
Local Government Minister Luke Hall said: "Councils across the country are working to embrace digital technology to adapt, innovate and drive improvements in public services for their residents.
I’m delighted to announce we’re investing over £500,000 from our Local Digital Fund into seven more collaborative projects to boost public services for all."