Thomas Bridge 25 March 2015

Government crowns 16 councils as ‘open data champions’

A group of 16 councils have been named ‘open data champions’ by government for their work to expand digital working.

Cabinet office minister Francis Maude this week applauded the efforts of leaders from councils including, Bristol, Sunderland, Cambridgeshire and Birmingham to put data ‘back into the hands of citizens’.

Among projects highlighted by the minister was Glasgow’s smartphone app, MyGlasgow, which allows citizens to report local problems and track the progress of their complaint.

CllGordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: 'Glasgow City Council has pledged to make all its non-personal and non-sensitive information open by default and we are encouraging other city organisations to do the same. Freeing data from silos empowers citizens, increases transparency and fosters innovation.

'It also offers huge potential in terms of better informed decision making and collaborative working and service improvements. Connecting the data hub to infrastructure like sensors on our intelligent street lights and at road junctions gives us even greater insight into how our city lives and breathes.'

Energy consumption at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has fallen by 15%, after the council granted residents real time information on how much power was being used in public buildings.

Maude said: ‘Transparency is an idea whose time has come. Open data helps sharpen accountability, support economic growth, and inform choice over public services.

‘The potential rewards are enormous – smarter, more responsive and more cost-effective public services - and Britain is now consistently ranked first for openness.

‘These open data champions are another way we are placing transparency at the heart of our long-term economic plan.’

The open data champions are:

• Barnet
• Birmingham
• Bristol
• Cambridgeshire
• Devon
• Glasgow
• Hampshire
• Lambeth
• Leeds
• London
• Manchester
• Windsor & Maidenhead
• Redbridge
• Sunderland
• Surrey
• Trafford


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