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Nations and regions news, September 2023

Authors and contributors: SA Mathieson
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 Edinburgh asking residents to donate computer hardware to those in digital poverty, Hull installing ‘intelligent road studs’ to help cyclists and Norfolk adopting low code sofware as a service for customer-facing systems.

City of Edinburgh logo

Scotland

City of Edinburgh Council is encouraging residents to donate unwanted hardware including laptops, tablets and smartphones to those in digital poverty by taking kit to selected libraries for refurbishment by social enterprise Edinburgh Remakery. 

Newport City Council logo

Wales

Newport City Council has published a digital strategy that aims to support wellbeing among residents and employees, including through a recently-opened city centre hub showcasing assistive technology for independent home living. 

Belfast City Council logo

Northern Ireland

Belfast City Council says its Civic Dollars app, which offers rewards for people who visit local parks, has signed up more than 700 users and led to more than 6,100 hours of additional time spent in the city’s parks. 

Dublin City Council logo

Republic of Ireland

Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and South Dublin County Council are asking Dublin residents to register online to vote or update their details at online portal Voter.ie. 

Gateshead Council logo

North-east England

Gateshead Council has launched an online service allowing local organisations to request support from council suppliers, which the latter can accept to demonstrate that they are providing social value in the area. 

Hull City Council

Yorkshire and the Humber

Hull City Council has installed ‘intelligent road studs’ at five intersections on Stoneferry Road which light up when they detect approaching cyclists, as part of a programme to improve road safety, reduce congestion and encourage cycling and walking. 

Wirral Council logo

North-west England

Wirral Council is working to introduce machine learning in strategic planning and targeting of resources, initially through a test project on synthetic data with data analytics consultancy Simpson Associates. 

Lincolnshire County Council

East Midlands

Lincolnshire County Council has provisionally chosen Serco to continue managing its customer service centre, through a contract worth around £17 million for five years starting in April 2024. 

Birmingham City Council

West Midlands

Birmingham City Council undertook a “flawed implementation of a new financial ledger system” from Oracle leading to costs rising from £19 million to £100 million, levelling up secretary Michael Gove wrote in a letter about the council’s section 114 notice. 

Norfolk County Council logo

East of England

Norfolk County Council hopes to improve customer experience, save money and become more agile by using low code software as a service to replace existing customer-facing systems after awarding a £1.47 million five year contract to Goss. 

Kent County Council logo

South-east England

Kent County Council has added its 100th organisation to its online referral system ReferKent, which has so far processed around 1,000 referrals from the county and its district councils to third sector providers.

Essex City Council logo

South-west England

Exeter City Council has run a survey online, through libraries, offices and community groups including Wellbeing Exeter to consult on its planned digital customer service strategy that aims to boost digital inclusion. 

Sutton Council logo

London

Sutton Council has transferred its care technology service work to supplier Medequip Connect, supporting more than 1,600 residents in their homes and managing the borough’s mobile responder service.