Projects aimed at improving online housing repair services, making websites for planning applications easier to use, and giving residents smoother methods of online payment are among six schemes which have been awarded funding of more than £750,000 from the Local Digital Fund.
All six have emerged as projects for further development from the first round of funding, which included 16 schemes, managed by the Local Digital team within the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, Leeds City Council and Manchester City Council have been handed the lion’s share of funding, with a £350,000 award to provide children’s social workers with better family context information to speed up their decision making.
Southwark, Hackney and Surrey Heath Councils, along with the Greater London Authority, will have £100,000 to study user-centred digital planning application systems with the aim of making the process more efficient and transparent.
City of Lincoln, Southwark, Greenwich and South Kesteven Councils will also receive £100,000 to develop an online housing repairs system and prototype common service patterns.
Meanwhile Barnsley, Allerdale, Cherwell, Huntingdon, North East Lincolnshire, Sheffield and South Northamptonshire have been awarded £80,000 to explore income management and e-payments. This is aimed at supporting a move away from legacy systems.
Worcestershire and Suffolk County Councils, along with Redditch and Bromsgrove Council have secured £73,000 to work on using death registration data for better management of local authority housing.
And finally Buckinghamshire County Council, Adur & Worthing Council, the London Borough of Croydon and Leeds City Council will receive £50,00 to develop an open community directory of support services. This is aimed at helping residents and council officers discover which support services are available locally.
Minister for Local Government Luke Hall said: “These projects cover a range of council services, from providing social workers with better information to speed up child referrals, and making the planning application process more efficient and transparent.
“All of this is helping local government improve service delivery and providing better value for money for taxpayers.”