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Local Digital Coalition to advance local government digital projects

Organisation takes over from Department for Communities and Local Government’s local digital programme with the aim of delivering joined-up local services

The Local Digital Coalition, which comprises 11 councils and national organisations, has set out to “unlock the benefits of digital collaboration”.

The coalition has taken over from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) local digital programme, which closed last month, and has formulated an action plan to realise a “joined-up local digital service”.

The plan sets out five exemplar projects for this year, including the development of Gov.uk Verify for local authorities and an integrated care records standards scheme.

Other projects include a blue badge eligibility checker, a local waste service standards scheme and working with the DVLA to develop APIs (application program interfaces) for use by local government.

“Having identified some national and local projects that could help the sector make significant savings and improve services, councils need an agreed and authoritative mechanism to plan and deliver this collaborative work, and to monitor and evaluate its success,” the action plan said.

The coalition aims to help the public sector understand its vision and use accessibility and transparency to gain buy-in from councils “and to help councils plan the integration” of common standards and services.

The coalition’s members are: LocalGov Digital, iNetwork, Socitm, iStandUK, Solace, the Local CIO Council, Warwickshire County Council, Bristol City Council, Leeds City Council, Luton Borough Council and the London Borough of Camden.

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Camden is providing a “starter secretariat” for the first year, supporting members to meet regularly and “work on activities already defined, to develop further plans and to secure funding and resources”.

Martin Ferguson, director of policy and research at Socitm, said the coalition “breaks new ground in collaboration between its partners to drive the shared development and adoption by councils of five digitally transformed joined-up service designs for the future”.

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