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Adur and Worthing picked for national digital project

Released: Friday, 07 December 2018

Adur and Worthing's national reputation as a place of digital innovation has been underlined after it was awarded nearly £80,000 from the government to create a data toolkit to roll out across the UK.

While many Councils across the country are just starting the journey to use technology, Adur & Worthing Councils has developed a range of apps to deliver better, more efficient services to residents and visitors.

Now, this knowledge is set to be shared even further after the Councils was one of just 16 authorities across the country to receive funding in the first round of the Local Digital Fund from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The £78,400 grant will develop a project called 'Open Community: data standards for local community-based services' with the aim of creating a national standard for the way that authorities hold details of community and voluntary groups in their areas.

Teams from Adur & Worthing will now work with colleagues from Buckinghamshire and Devon Councils in developing the scheme.

Councillor Angus Dunn, Adur District Council's Executive Member for Resources, said:

“I'm delighted we have received this money to lead a project which has the potential of creating a national standard for others to adopt.”

“Not only could the toolkit save money by reducing duplication and improving the speed of access, but it also can help promote the benefits of community and third sector groups who have an integral role to play in society.”

Councillor Edward Crouch, Worthing Borough Council's Executive Member for Digital & Environmental Services, said:

“From housing to health, the impact of the work by our talented digital team is already having a positive impact on our residents.”

“In addition to making our own services more effective and efficient we also want to openly share what we do widely so it benefits the greater good. This project has collaboration at its heart which is vital for councils moving forward.”

The funding for the new project comes out of the £7.5 million Local Digital Fund (LDF) which was launched by ministers earlier this year.

At the time, digital minister Rishi Sunak praised Adur & Worthing Councils for its Going Local social prescribing scheme which has seen more than 500 residents referred by GPs to trained council staff for further advice and support. This, in turn, has freed up the NHS to focus on those with clinical needs.

The new toolkit will feed into the Going Local project, collating services and groups provided by the community and third sector into one easily-accessible online directory which can be used by authorities across the region.

Once developed, the model will then be rolled out as a national standard for others to adopt - bringing an end to the current system of many, often incomplete, registers which are costly to maintain and hard to access.

Minister for Local Government, Rishi Sunak MP, 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.”

For more details on the fund see:

To read a blog on the selection process see:

(PR18-224)

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