In this day and age any leader of public services must de facto be a digital leader. Whether
with arms open wide, or kicking and screaming, councils have entered the digital age- and
the many of our residents are way ahead of us. Digital innovation is a key pillar of the
transformation the sector is currently undergoing. The ability to build shared services and
deliver whole place-based policy depends on it. Above all, moving with the digital world
ensures the best possible experience and outcomes for local citizens. That’s why I’m
particularly happy to be co-publishing the Local-Digital Declaration on behalf of both Solace
and the Shadow Dorset Council.
There is so much more we should be doing together on digital and this declaration offers the
opportunity to be part of a cross sector shared mission, designed to help us identify some
top priorities to collaborate on and lay the right foundations for the future of local digital
public services. With the MHCLG Digital Collaboration Unit we have some resource and
momentum to really scale up change and better use our collective purchasing power to
ensure the sector is getting the right infrastructure. This will also mean trying to bridge the
gaps between authorities as we are all at different places on the digital journey and need to
help each other along wherever possible
At the Shadow Dorset Councilwe are committed to ensuring our services will be meeting the
needs of our citizens, and in doing so keeping the cost of delivering those services down as
much as possible and we know digital is key to achieving this. We have already done a lot of
work on this and I hope that by committing to the 5 principles set out in the digital declaration
(see below), we’ll push change forward and reach our goals quicker.
At Solace we know it is senior local leaders who will need to be investing in the
transformation of our sector. We want to engage, inform and inspire them about the
potential of digital technology. This is an important opportunity for leaders and future
leaders to help themselves and their authorities, by gaining access to project
resource and a network of peers and digital experts. The more councils and partners
that sign up, the stronger our ability to create effective cross-cutting solutions will be.
Solace will be working with partners including MHCLG, GDS and SOCITM to
promote the digital declaration and ensure as many of our members and their
authorities as possible sign-up and benefit.
The 5 principles of the declaration are:
We will go further to redesign our services around the needs of the people using
We will ‘fix our plumbing’ to break our dependence on inflexible and expensive
technology that doesn’t join up effectively.
We will design safe, secure and useful ways of sharing information
We will demonstrate digital leadership, creating the conditions for genuine
organisational transformation to happen.
We will embed an open culture that values, incentivises and expects digital ways of
working from every member of our workforce.
You can read the declaration full on the Local Digital website [link to be shared nearer time],
which gives more detail on the principles and the commitments we’ve made in order to lay
the foundations for the public services of the future.