We are very pleased to say that we have been successful in bidding for a grant from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) who have allocated almost £1.3 million for 16 council led projects to use digital technology to improve local services.
The projects include efforts to harness virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa to support people in care, improving online tools for reporting social housing repairs and using data analytics and AI to produce education plans for children with special needs.
The money has been allocated and managed by MHCLG’s Local Digital Collaboration Unit (LDCU), aimed at supporting projects in which councils collaborate and are ready to share the results with others.
It follows a selection process in which the unit received 389 expressions of interest, 77 of which were developed into full applications. The winning projects were selected by a team put together by the LDCU.
Minister for Local Government Rishi Sunak said:
“Embracing digital technology can revolutionise public services. Within local government, I firmly believe it has the potential to improve a range of services in a host of different ways.
“Ultimately, our aim is to make services better for users but it is likely to reduce costs for councils too. This could be by improving the experience of someone in care, streamlining the admin that comes with the stress of moving home, or offering a simpler way to license taxis.
“And these are just some of the successful ideas which I am delighted to announce government funding for today. I’m excited to see these projects come to fruition.”
A project, led by Ealing Council, Staffordshire County Council, and Suffolk County Council, to research how analytics and artificial intelligence can help the writing of education, care and health plans for children with special educational needs was one of the chosen projects.
In the New Year we will be working with the SEND team to develop this work further with our partners.