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Nations and regions news November 2023

Nations and regions news map UK illustration

A supplementary edition of nations and regions news, which regularly appears in Socitm’s membership magazine In Our View, with recent stories from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and every region of England. Includes Meath joining the electronic planning applications service run by Ireland’s Local Government Management Agency, Staffordshire using windscreen-mounted smartphones to monitor roads and Luton introducing a social progress index.

Scotland

Perth and Kinross Council, the Scottish Government and Digital Office for Scottish Local Government have released a free online learning package designed to increase data literacy in public sector organisations. 

Wales

Wrexham Council and Flintshire County Council have warned about payment scams aimed at residents with telecare services, specifically users of Delta Wellbeing Telecare alarms in Wrexham and Carelink alarms in Flintshire.

Northern Ireland

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has opened a £1 million sculpture trail in Hillsborough Forest which includes augmented and virtual reality features available through a smartphone app

Republic of Ireland

Meath County Council has become the latest local authority to implement the nationally-run electronic planning applications service developed and managed by the Local Government Management Agency. 

Sunderland City Council logo

North-east England

12 local authorities in the north-east led by Sunderland City Council-owned organisation Together for Children have launched Foster with North East, a single website to support fostering children across the region. 

Yorkshire and the Humber

City of York Council is one of 10 cities globally to be shortlisted for Toyota’s Mobility Foundation Sustainable Cities Challenge, which will support three winners in running two-year programmes to make transport more sustainable.

North-west England

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council is offering grants for events designed to help get people online as part of Stockport Digifest, which will take place next February during the borough’s Town of Culture year. 

East Midlands

West Lindsey District Council has adopted a digital strategy which includes use of robotic process automation, artificial intelligence and software as a service, which the Lincolnshire local authority says avoids making bold statements or setting restrictions on its actions.  

West Midlands

Staffordshire County Council will apply artificial intelligence to video collected by highways inspectors through windscreen-mounted smartphones to analyse the condition of roads including potholes, standing water, road markings and signs. 

East of England

Luton Borough Council has published a social progress index that provides ward-level data on basic human needs, wellbeing and opportunity based on 12 measures, managed by US-based nonprofit Social Progress Imperative using Tableau data visualisation. 

South-east England

Isle of Wight Council has started to offer same-day booking for its waste and recycling centres after residents asked for this in a survey. Users can book a visit up to two hours in advance by web or phone. 

South-west England

Dorset Council has run a successful pilot using interactive digital maps to reduce waiting times for home care packages and plans to use this new approach generally from early next year. 

London

Residents in and around London can report abandoned hire bikes and e-scooters to operators Lime, Dott, Forest and Tier through MySociety’s FixMyStreet service, which has supported reporting of abandoned Santander bikes to Transport for London since 2020.