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Newsletter: What’s left to do this year?

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After a week packed with things, it really is starting to slow down now. Well, there’s still planning for January going on. But hopefully your calendar’s a little lighter now.

To everyone who’s been on this week’s Change Agent programme, enjoy your weekend. You’ve had a serious amount of information and conversation to take in and think on. You’ve got a lot to process. Let your subconscious do some of that this weekend.

Your colleagues at Microsoft and Socitm are here to support you. Join the Teams community that Andrew has shared and tell EVERYONE about the programme! It is back in 2024 and once all the people and things are confirmed and in place the dates will be published and shared with you.

Thank you again to everyone for a really enjoyable Alumni Day. You. Were. Brilliant. It really was just the perfect blend of cheerful and serious.

I hope you can have a lovely weekend,


Simply Readable

Cath-up with the video we shared last week How to use generative AI to improve inclusivity

Swindon’s Sarah Pena (you might remember her from such webinars as March’s working together to bring open source solutions to local government) shared more detail on LinkedIn this week about this project:

Part 1: Simply Readable, their new GenAI solution that creates easier to read information (co-created with their Experts by Experience of a Learning Disability)

Part 2: AWS services they used and estimates of cost

The Power of Digital: Understanding new technology in local government

Funding and digital skills shortage identified as the most common barriers to technological adoption in new APSE and Socitm report.

Investing in The Power of Digital shouldn’t be viewed as a drain but a means to future-proof services.

From the Forward:

…The current financial position of many councils places them at risk of missing invest-to-save opportunities in the digital sphere.

Therefore, this research makes a number of recommendations which we hope will inform local council frontline services as to how to benefit from the better adoption and use of digital, data and technological capabilities to help improve outcomes for people and communities in places.

Crucially, we call upon councils to ensure that any advances in the digitalisation of service is inclusive of all within our communities.

This should go beyond the public sector equalities duty with a recognition that digitalisation can in fact improve access to public services if done in the right way.

Mo Baines (Chief Executive of APSE) and Nadira Hussain (Chief Executive of Socitm)

Navigating cyber security challenges and building cyber resilience in 2024 

Our partners at Phoenix shared an in-depth look into cyber security and resilience with us this week. The real phishing attack they share is shocking and sobering. We need these reminders regularly because as users it’s easy to get complacent.

  • 03:54 Governance, risk and compliance (GRC) as a cornerstone
  • 07:25 GRC: common challenges
  • 11:47 Cyber security incident response plan
  • 13:20 Proactive benchmarking
  • 19:39 Certifications and risk management
  • 25:32 The crucial role of a Security Operations Centre
  • 35:37 Example of a phishing attack
  • 41:58 The rise of cryptomining fraud

Watch this week’s webinar

The final webinar of the year covers website accessibility:
Friday 15 December: An introduction to manual accessibility auditing

Enabling local digital outcomes

New member-only research and getting ready for the 2024 version of Digital Trends

Who’s using which tech to do what? If they can, so can you.
See how other local public service providers are using IoT, local data, digital twins, and intelligent automation to get the best and most from people and resources. And at the same time improve place-based outcomes.

Log in to read


How was your course? Tell us 🙂

Unless you’re part of this month’s Managing and Motivating Remote Teams cohort 2023’s training schedule has concluded. There have been 30 workshops/programmes this year!

January’s CPD certified workshops

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 Sara Razon.

On completion of training, don’t forget to claim your CPD points.

Browse all training

Government Business

Another bumper issue for you to browse. There’s not just an excellent article featuring President Mark Lumley, but that is the best place to start 😉

How digital services can best meet citizen’s needs in times of economic pressure (page 88)
You might also like: County Durham Care Partnership: what’s the secret sauce that makes hospital discharge work?

Browse issue 30.6

Events from Socitm and our partners

Meet up with your Socitm colleagues for great networking opportunities.

December 2023 (and February 2024)

Missed a webinar? Past recordings are available to watch in the resource hub. Also, make sure to check out our regional events. There’s a mix of online and in-person meetings, so please feel free to join any that are outside your area.

Browse all events

The Public Sector 2024 Challenge

Come along with us on Friday 6 September for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Let us come together as a sector, push ourselves, support and motivate each other to reach these three peaks together and raise as much money for Cancer Research UK as possible.

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

It’s been a while since the Squiggly Careers podcast featured down here, so this is a welcome return. Is there some guilt about not sharing more of these excellent and useful episodes?! Well, this one is perfect: How to let go of guilt at work 😀