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Newsletter: Do we need a new focus on local digital services?

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Your events, training and resources

Here’s a few (general) things you might have missed:

The LGA recently launched their Transformation Capability Framework
The framework looks to establish what works well and ‘what good looks like’ in relation to transformation activity across different types of councils.
Please email them at with your feedback or any suggestions for changes and additions.

Do we need a new focus on local digital services?
Our colleague (and Digital Trends co-author) Jos Creese wrote:

Central government has for 20 years failed to provide the ingredients required to make local public service successful. That is partly starvation of resources, justified wrongly on the basis that it will drive innovation and efficiency. But it is also partly a lack of understanding or focus nationally about how ‘local works’

Read the rest of Jos’s blog. Professor Mark Thompson, whose article in UKAuthority is referenced by Jos, was a guest at this week’s LocalGovDigital Live meeting. You can watch that back and browse through a list of articles about a Local GDS on GitHub.

Scotland is to become the first part of the UK to make it mandatory to register any use of AI in the public sector.
The Scottish Government has announced that every relevant project will have to be logged on the Scottish AI Register, a publicly accessible database on the use of the technology in public sector projects.

Post-Easter training schedule resumes next Tuesday

Ahead of next week’s equality, diversity and inclusion workshop on Tuesday, 9 April, here are 5 things to remember when considering EDI:

  1. Understand the concepts
  2. Legal frameworks matter
  3. Go beyond compliance
  4. Inclusion is active
  5. Continuous learning

EDI training won’t run again till November. Be sure to join Aidan next week for practical insights to the real value diversity brings to a team or organisation. You will look at the many ways diversity can show up within a team and how to harness that diversity to become more effective in achieving success.

It will also include examining the difference between equality and inclusion, recognising certain types of unconscious bias and how to avoid them.

Socitm Mentoring Programme 2024
Join the group of people volunteering to take part in 2024’s free mentoring programme. Both people in a mentoring relationship can impact the other in such a direct way. Exactly how, will only become clear once you’re doing it.
Register your interest. The training team here are ready to match up mentors and mentees right now.

Keep sending in those award nominations for your chance to be part of an evening of inspiration and celebration at June’s President’s gala dinner on Wednesday 19 June.

For all the details about categories and how to nominate, visit our awards page.

Take care. I hope you can have a great weekend.

Best wishes,


Your Resource Hub

From Digital Trends 2024: Local and national leadership

The real challenge with digital strategies, ‘roadmaps’, ‘playbooks’, and ‘blueprints’ lies in their implementation. That is the task for public services in all countries in 2024, balancing: the needs and interests of citizens; hyper-local services; regional development; and national government interests.

From AI@Socitm: Opportunities and threats

Delve into the complexities of ethical considerations, security challenges and transformative potential. Access research papers, expert insights and impact cases to equip yourself with knowledge to harness AI’s benefits while mitigating associated risks.
Want to add your own content? Let us know on or use the contact us [choose Research as your area of interest] form.

Let’s help each other connect the dots.

You might have missed…

Watch the webinar hosted by Cantarus: Your future-proof blueprint to sustainable growth and digital evolution.
For ease of viewing, the recording is divided into easy to navigate chapters, with subtitles and transcript available via the video player toolbar.

Website accessibility

Log in to check your Silktide Score and to complete your Digital Accessibility Maturity Assessment.

Accessibility Week returns in May. Details of the daily sessions will be shared as soon as they’re confirmed.

You will need a user account on to access member-only resources. Let us know if need any support.


Leadership Advocate Irene Docherty has recently completed the Empowering Women course:

I was able to take time to reflect on my values and biases and to challenge my own thinking. The realisation that we all shared many views, issues and aspirations was eye-opening.”

Read all about it her new Q&A. How was your course? Tell us about it 🙂
Irene is our guest for the next alumni coffee hour on Friday 10 May. She’s going to talk about the Importance of development even in austere times.

Virtual workshops

In-person programmes

Training places are included in your organisational membership – subject to availability and membership level. If you have any questions or would like further information, please email the training team.


Member-only meetings

Meet people for catching-up, problem sharing (and solving) and great networking.

Free webinars and events from Socitm and our partners

Missed a webinar? Past recordings are available to watch in the resource hub.

Webinars are open to anyone in the public sector, membership is not necessary, so please do share them with your network.

Come and say hello

  • Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 May: DigiGov Expo [London]
    Join Nadira Hussain, Mark Lumley and Sam Smith on Wednesday
  • Tuesday 21 May: LGPN North [Manchester]
    Join President Mark Lumley for the roundtable discussion Empowering communities: technology for public good
  • Tuesday 21 May: PublicTechnology Live 2024 [London]
    Incoming President Carol Williams is a panellist for Are times too tough for local government transformation?

President’s Conference

Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 June in Birmingham

Socitm Awards 2024 are live
Awards celebrating local and regional government success are handed out to winners at the gala dinner on the evening of the first day of President’s Conference. This year that will be on Wednesday 12 June.
Log in to your account on to see what is included in your organisation’s membership for the annual conference.

Thank you for reading (or scrolling) this far! Just one more thing…

How Leaders Miscommunicate When Tensions Are High
When tensions run high, miscommunication is far more likely to occur. And tensions are likely high: In a recent global survey, 44% of employees reported they had experienced a lot of stress the previous day. To avoid creating unnecessary anxiety during times of uncertainty, leaders need to be especially thoughtful about how they communicate with their teams. This article presents five common errors even the most well-intentioned leaders make — and what to do instead.

Photo by Brett Sayles.