William Eichler 16 March 2020

Six councils receive over £1m to ‘spearhead’ digital projects

Six councils across England will receive a share of £1.2m of funding to spearhead innovative digital projects to improve public services, the Government has announced.

Each council will receive up to £350,000 to push forward existing projects aimed at harnessing digital technology to create smarter ways to deliver public services such as housing repairs and the planning process.

The six councils – Southwark, Lambeth, Greenwich, Buckinghamshire, Croydon, and Barnsley - will lead the projects while also working in partnership with 14 other councils, bringing together expertise and sharing the results.

‘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,’ said local government minister Simon Clarke.

‘That is why I have announced £1.2m for councils to continue their work on truly innovative projects to improve public services for people across the country.’

Southwark Council will receive an additional £350,000 to improve the planning application system by developing better ways of recording and using information.

Similarly, Lambeth Council will use its £350,000 to design a system that can filter out incomplete or invalid planning applications.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich will get £50,000 to develop a better way for residents to report housing repairs online and Buckinghamshire County Council will receive £250,000 to produce an online directory of support services to make them easier to find.

Croydon Council and Barnsley Metropolitan Council will receive £100,000 each to improve how computer code is shared between councils and produce a new digital system to manage council payments, respectively.

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