In the Budget yesterday, Chancellor George Osborne offers a further commitment to the digital transformation of local government. The Red Book – the details of the budget – says:
“HM Treasury, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Government Digital Service will collaborate with partners in local government, as the sector develops a set of proposals that will enable more customer-focussed, digitally-enabled and efficient local services in time to inform future budget allocations.”
NLGN have been calling for this for some time – not least in our report Smart People, Smart Places: Realising digital local government, in which we called for a local government digital programme to enable more sector wide collaboration on a range of areas including skills development, engaging the civic tech community, facilitation of sharing good practice and open source coding and policy development.
Author of that report, NLGN researcher Maia Beresford said:
“We are pleased the government is looking at a stronger and more coherent collaboration between national and local government to enhance local digital capability. While solutions must always work locally, standardisation and collaboration will be essential to making digital local government work for everyone. We urge Government to ensure that this collaboration is enabled by central support.”