Aylesbury Vale DC
Data is involved in all the council’s transactions and its digital strategy aims to make interacting with it simpler and faster. It will make data instantly accessible from devices, and customers will be able to see their own information from a single source while staff will use this to provide integrated services. The digital strategy has a goal of 100% of council software being cloud-based and available directly from a browser window, allowing staff to work from anywhere. A secure platform, ‘Connected Knowledge’, will pull together data, enabling service integration and automation and will offer forecasts of the council’s position.
Faced with the need to find savings, Enfield partnered with consultant PwC to assess enabling its service functions through digital technology. Using Agile for delivery, the council explored how facilities such as cloud technologies and artificial intelligence could automate and streamline delivery. It also implemented process simplification and customer-focused design. Staff constantly pushed the boundaries of where the council embraced digital technology, standardisation and process automation in service functions. The success of this approach has been shown through £36m of savings realised, channel shift to self-service online, reducing demand for the contact centre and improved understanding of demand from detailed customer profile data.
Milton Keynes Council
Digital Transformation and Smart City
Milton Keynes’ population is expected to grow to 400,000 people by 2050 and the town plans to provide a live demonstration of how to deal with the challenges of congestion, pollution and designing human spaces for 21st century living. Its projects so far include a new digital platform for transactions and customer accounts, including innovations such as real-time missed bin reporting. User testing, mystery shopping exercises and customer feedback have been used to refine services. Other examples are the adult social care hub, which provides information and advice with real-time embedded information from service partners and a housing options self-help tool.
North East Lincolnshire Council
The council admits that three years ago its digital ambition was run-of-the-mill. But a customer services transformation programme has since saved £1.2m proving it was right to shift the whole organisation’s thinking. In 2017, consultancy Futuregov assessed North East Lincolnshire’s digital maturity as “pioneering” and “in a very strong position to take forward an ambitious programme of digital transformation”. The customer transformation programme has made residents’ payments easier and faster, replaced 191 council customer services phone numbers with 15 and developed a website based on open source software costing just £30 and saving £13,000 on licensing costs. A new online system will prepare residents for universal credit.
Rochdale uses digital technology to increase opportunities for residents and reduce waste, driven by the priorities of people, place, prosperity and performance. Achievements include a dramatic fall in face-to-face appointments – from 3,200 a year to just 48 – and walk-in enquiries down from 200,000 a year to 50,000. Call handling times have been reduced by 10,000 minutes per month, while customer satisfaction rates now exceed 98%.
The council has saved all 17 of its libraries but doubled its digital offer and almost one million visitors have spent more than 90,000 hours on its 293 computers and tablets accessing the services, information and entertainment.
Digital by Design
The Digital by Design programme is at the heart of all that Stockport does. It is redesigning service delivery and has radically transformed its IT department into a sustainable, scalable Agile and DevOps environment.
This transformation is already making a difference. In children’s social care and early help problems are caught rapidly by resolving their root cause, and seamless transition between service providers is facilitated by improved self-referral and information through a website and directory. There is also rapid triage of calls about children at risk using ‘signposts’, which pulls together data displaying a single view of all contacts with the family.
Public Service Digital Infrastructure
An alliance with the local NHS, Tameside College and New Charter (the borough’s main social landlord) has seen public service digital infrastructure installed. Each partner contributes assets, for example ducting, and charge a market rate to the co-operative to make use of these. Opportunities are seized to install new infrastructure at low cost, for example where there is a new road scheme. To date, some 12km of ducting has been installed and a further 23km is under construction. The council is preparing construction of data centre facilities with the hospital with a digital exchange hub for digital businesses, carriers and service providers.
A word from the award’s sponsor
Agilisys is proud to sponsor the prestigious LGC Digital Council of the Year 2018 award. The award recognises the innovative ways in which many councils are incorporating digital technology and new ways of working, to meet the dual challenge of unprecedented economic challenges and increased expectations of their citizens. The award celebrates innovation, collaborative working between local agencies and partners, and the effective use of technology and data to enhance and improve outcomes for local residents. Agilisys is an employee-owned organisation, which has been working with local authorities for more than 15 years to deliver successful outcomes through innovative solutions and transformation expertise. Find out more at www.agilisys.co.uk
Melbourne Barrett, chief executive, Basingstoke & Deane BC
Richard Simpson, executive director of resources, Croydon LBC
Richard Hanrahan, director, Agilisys
Matt Prosser, chief executive, Dorset Councils Partnership
Alison McKenzie-Folan, deputy chief executive, Wigan MBC