Thursday, 20 December 2012

Where's LocalGov Digital?

Where would you base a LocalGov Digital service or network, a practitioner group that's aligned with local government's sector-led improvement agenda?

London? Edinburgh? Manchester? Birmingham?

People often refer to Local Government but in truth they should probably say Local Governments. This is because each Local Government has a unique political make-up, voted for by the residents of the respective Parish, District or County.

Decisions about local public services and how they're delivered are made by elected representatives, locally. This means that each have a different set of services and objectives.

Local Governments also consult on thousands of issues each year, and the results can vary by area. This also affects the services that they provide and how they deliver them.

As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for digital services, given no council is alike.

I've often read things like, "I worked in Local Government for five years, I know about it.". Unless you work in a Local Government now, you don't.

Cuts to funding, redundancies and shared services have changed things radically in the past couple of years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Not a criticism, just a statement of fact.

So, getting back to the question, where's LocalGov Digital? It's in London, in Hackney and Camden, but it's also in Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Derbyshire, Kent , Kirklees, Lichfield,  Liverpool, Monmouthshire, North Yorkshire, South Cambridgeshire, Surrey, Swansea Walsall and West Berkshire

In fact it's promoting innovation in every local authority (as someone clever than I from Derbyshire once said) because that's where the decisions on local services are made and that's where the expertise to deliver them is.
This blog is written by Phil Rumens, Vice-Chair of LocalGov Digital, lead for LGMakers and who manages the digital services team at a local authority in England.

The opinions expressed in this weblog are my own personal views and in no way represent any organisation I may have worked for, currently work for, might be thinking of working for, might not be thinking of working for or have never worked for. In fact having said that they, might not even be my views any more as I might have changed my mind so I wouldn't take any of it too seriously.