By Robin Barber, BE Product Owner at Arcus Global
In 2018, the Local Digital Declaration was launched by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. It set out an ambition to digitise local government and improve services in response to the changing digital needs and expectations of the demographics they serve. From planning and building to recycling and waste, transformation is needed to bring the services into the digital age.
Since then, the Local Digital Fund has been set up to finance the projects needed to make this ambition a reality. Certain councils grasped this opportunity with both hands and 16 projects recently received funds of more than £100,000 to implement digital projects across the country. With the second round of applications now closed (as of 16th September) with six more projects about to receive a cash injection, it has become increasingly important for councils to be aware of opportunities like this, to transform their services and improve the lives of their citizens.
As an example, the built environment is one area where councils can make a huge positive impact on the lives of their citizens and the area they live in. By applying for funding schemes, procurers can source the technology needed to digitise the way Planning, Building Control, Land Charges, Enforcements and Appeals services are delivered. Your projects can receive a new lease of life.
By allowing citizens to engage with the local authority earlier in the development process using an online portal, for example, the paper chase is hugely reduced and the planning process is far more efficiently speeded up with a higher quality of applications. Developers will better understand what is needed of them, with the schemes having already been discussed with stakeholders prior to their submission. This removes the need for pre-commencement conditions, amended schemes and addressing consultee comments.
These ways of transforming customer engagement are particularly useful for the rise in demographics who favour online channels over telephone conversations, while also meeting and exceeding the expectations of citizens who prefer hard copy and other methods of communication. In the digital age, there are many ways in which people communicate. Isn’t it only right that councils answer that by adapting services to respond to that change?
When the next chance to apply for funding lands, do not hesitate. Tackle your service delivery challenges. Improve the lives of your citizens now by funding much needed projects. For a quick chat about this, please get in touch with us.
About Arcus Global
Arcus Global, formed in 2009 and based in Cambridge UK, is a market leading GovTech cloud company, delivering mission critical technology solutions that enable local authorities and other public sector organisations to transform their service delivery to citizens.
The Software as a Service division of Arcus has developed a platform based suite of Applications for Local Government. Addressing the challenge of legacy technology in Citizen Digital interaction, Planning, Building Control, Licensing, Environmental Health. Arcus has grown to over 30 customers including Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Eastleigh Borough Council and the London Borough of Southwark.
The Cloud Infrastructure Division of Arcus provides Consultancy, Managed Services and Cloud Storage to a large number of Public Sector bodies across Central Government, Local Government, the NHS and the Education sector.
Kate Warboys, Marketing Manager at Arcus Global – firstname.lastname@example.org