By Anna Sexton, Socitm Head of Marketing and Digital Communications
I have been at Socitm for 46 days, joined two big events (the Socitm Spring Conference and Better Connected Live), connected with 100+ fascinating and passionate people, and this week seen 29 local authorities win awards for digital innovation [this link no longer exists] (some pictured above).
Most recently, at Better Connected Live, there were almost-endless gems of digital insight. Here are two that make me smile right now:
You are as likely to get hit by lightning as you are to click on a banner ad.
Those hamburger menus on websites – they’re a bit like ‘mystery meat’. Who knows what you’re going to get?
As my time at Socitm only amounts to little more than a month, this is the tip of the iceberg. And those 29 award-winning councils? They’re also the tip of the iceberg. Because I’m certain that all 433 UK local authorities are striving to make people’s lives better through the digital re-imagining of services.*
I’m excited to see this digital transformation happen.
*For newbies to the scene like me, ‘digital re-imagining of services’, as far as I can tell, means changing the seemingly little things to make a big difference to citizens – people like you and me. Things such as:
- The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham‘s development of an integrated, secure, online customer self-service portal, with a single sign-on for five high-usage services: council tax, benefits, resident and business permits, visitor permits and environmental reporting. An additional eight council services, and mobile and interactive voice recognition access, were included in the second phase. The portal has achieved £1.15 million net savings per annum, with 70 per cent of parking permit renewals completed online and 70 per cent of all households registered.
- Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council using geographical data to optimise the routes for refuse collection and street cleaning services. This resulted in a saving of £300,000 annually as well as service that was far more effective and responsive to users. Geographic mapping technology is used to analyse and assess property and to plan routes to enable more efficient collection service. All local authorities are licensed to use Ordnance Survey mapping data, and have the capability to analyse and plan routes using other data sets such as the Local Land and Property Gazetteer, demographic information and other information available from service departments.
Socitm is championing exactly this kind of digital innovation. And we’re doing so with might, by working with Solace, the LGA and the Local CIO Council.<!–Read our joint policy paper now–>.