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Nearly£50m of funding for 64 partnership projects aimed at helping ...
Nearly£50m of funding for 64 partnership projects aimed at helping

deliver better services online was announced today by local

government minister Nick Raynsford.

The projects build on the work councils are currently undertaking to

make the most of new technology in providing better quality and more

accessible services to people. This is part of the government's

target to e-enable all public services by 2005.

They include:

- providing people in London and in the North East with smartcards

which can be used to access and pay for a range of council


- setting up region-wide contact and customer relations centres in

Northumberland, West Sussex and Herefordshire;

- enabling people in Devon, Northamptonshire and Derbyshire to access

information on all local services through one website within their


Mr Raynsford said:

'These are exciting and innovative projects which will benefit local

communities and improve the day-to-day running of councils across the


'This is an important step in our ongoing programme of taking forward

the local e-government agenda. These partnerships will be crucial in

joining up the different tiers of government, as well as linking

authorities within the major conurbations and local services across

the public sector.

'By doing so, we begin to build services and the access to those

services around the needs of customers while at the same time raising

standards and cost-effectiveness.'

Today's announcement - some£47m over two years to 64 partnerships

and£2m for practical support and a dissemination programme - is part

of the hovernment's£350m commitment over three years to support

local government online. A total of£75m has been earmarked for local

and regional partnerships. Details of the remaining£26m will be

announced later this year.


1. A full list of partnerships is attached at annex A. It can be

found as an Excel document here . The list includes:


LondonConnect - #910k over two years.

A London-wide partnership to foster collaborative working on e-

government. Projects include developing a single web-site

accessing all local government in London and a London-wide


North West

Warrington eProcurement Partnership Initiative - #300k this year

The project will help provide an electronic one-stop-shop

procurement solution to Warrington, Vale Royal and Macclesfield

Borough Councils. This will allow the whole procurement process to

be carried out on-line, (i.e. on-line purchasing, on-line catalogue,

electronic invoices and payments). It will also interface with the

councils' financial and back office systems.

South West

Devon eGovernment Partnership- #300k this year

The eight district and two unitary authorities with Devon County

Council and the Devon Fire & Rescue Service are working together

to develop a single web-site, tailored to customer needs, accessing

all local services.

West Midlands

Warwickshire Association of I.T. Officers - #2m over two years

This partnership comprises the five-borough/district authorities and

the county authority in Warwickshire. They will help introduce a

countywide contact centre which will be fully e-enabled to provide

local people better access to services from all tiers of local

government and other public sector organisations in a joined-up


The partnership is also been funded to assist in the implementation

of a Warwickshire-wide broadband network to ensure that all local

authorities, schools, fire stations, libraries, community groups and

local businesses have access to a fast, reliable, extensive network


East Midlands

Derbyshire Partnership - #2m over two years

This partnership being led by the county council involves nine other

authorities, numerous other public sector and community groups. They

will help improve access to services through a community internet

portal and a shared call centre, which will be supported by a

countywide shared customer relationship management system.

South East

Regional Community Smartcard Partnership Project - #300k this


Led by Bracknell Forest in partnership with 12 other local

authorities this project is looking at developing the introduction of

citizen smartcards for leisure and transport facilities.



North Yorkshire ICT Partnership - #1.05m over two years.

A partnership of nine North Yorkshire Councils. The partnership will

help establish an integrated 'front office' across the nine

authorities which will enable the six transactions (giving

information, receiving information, applying for a service, booking a

service, making and receiving payments) to be delivered over the

telephone, through the internet and one-stop shops. These will be

supported by integrated back office functions and information

management system.

North East

Northumberland Online - #2m over two years.

Seven local authorities in Northumberland and four private sector

companies form this partnership. Their aim is to establish three new

one stop shops, a new countywide call centre and internet portal.

This will be supported by an Electronic Document Management

System across the member authorities.


Suffolk Accessible Government Partnership - #300k this year

This partnership includes the county council and seven

borough/district councils, the Police and local health authority. The

partnership will help improve access to services by developing a

web-based portal across the eight local authority partner

organisations. The funding will also help other projects being

developed through this partnership such as the extension of the

broadband network around Suffolk.

2. Today's announcement was made by Nick Raynsford in answer to a

Parliamentary Question. The full answer is below:

We are keen to promote and support local authorities in developing

local partnerships with each other, and across the public sector.

Such partnerships will be crucial in building services around the

needs of citizens and customers, and in realising the economies of

scale in terms of the investment requirement to see the objectives of

e- government realised.

As part of our commitment to spend #350m over three years to support

local government online, we have made provision for #75m over the

next two years to support the development of e-government

partnerships. From this amount we intend to provide some #47m over

the next two years to 64 local partnerships that submitted proposals

to my Department. Details of the individual allocations will be

placed in the Library.

We will also provide a #2m programme of practical support over the

next 2 years, to ensure that these partnerships are successful in

achieving their aims and that the lesson learnt from them are


It is our intention to make available the remaining funds (#26m) for

further partnership proposals later in the year.

We will accordingly lay a Special Grant report before the House

setting out this intention, in the near future.

3. Today's announcement builds upon the draft National Strategy on

local e-government (E-gov@local: towards a national strategy for

local e-government) which, was published on 8 April. The Strategy

provides for a common and ambitious vision of local e- government. It

also sets out how we propose to use the Local Government Online #350m

funding. Copies of the strategy can be found here .

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