Councils given £1.2 million for innovative digital projects

Six councils across England will receive a share of £1.2 million of government funding to spearhead innovative digital projects to improve public services

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• Councils to receive a further £1.2 million for digital technology projects
• Work aims to improve public services and value for money
• Builds on £2.5 million already invested in local authority projects through the Local Digital Fund

Six councils across England will receive a share of £1.2 million of government funding to spearhead innovative digital projects to improve public services.

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

These 6 councils will lead the projects while also working in partnership with 14 other councils across the country, bringing together expertise and sharing the results.

This builds on £2.5 million 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 MP 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 £1.2 million 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 are:

• 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.

These projects are part of a drive to improve council services for residents in the future. Work is focused on bringing local authorities together in their research, improving the way they work together to develop tools to benefit everyone.

Further information

More information about the Local Digital Fund can be found at: https://localdigital.gov.uk/fund/

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