Greater Manchester’s new Digital City Region lead, Cllr Andrew Western, has hit the ground running today by adding his voice to a call to arms to re-energise the local digital agenda.
Working closely with the Government Digital Service (GDS) and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Greater Manchester Combined Authority is supporting the launch of a new programme that will help local authorities to secure improved services and better value from the IT market.
Cllr Western, said: “Through devolution and public service reform, we’re making massive strides in public services – doing more with less and reshaping the way we work to provide public services that are fit for the future. It’s vital that we have the IT capabilities to match – we need systems that are flexible, secure, and capable of delivering the advanced online services local people want and need. This programme will help us achieve that.”
The programme will help develop best practice building blocks for IT services, and provide a collaborative communications function to help local authorities find out about priority projects that support the move towards more joined-up ‘interoperable’ digital services.
To launch the programme, MHCLG, GDS and digital leaders from across the UK, including Greater Manchester, have issued a declaration that sets out their collective ambition for local public services in the internet age and their commitments to realising it.
The declaration commits signatories to: designing services that best meet the needs of citizens; challenging the technology market to offer the flexible tools and services people need; protecting citizens’ privacy and security; and delivering better value for money.
In signing up to the declaration, Greater Manchester will be eligible to bid for funds and support from the new MHCLG programme, will be able to take advantage of collective bargaining power and more flexibility from IT suppliers, and will further cement its position as one of Europe’s leading digital city regions.
The full declaration can be found here: www.localdigital.gov.uk/declaration.
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As well as local authorities and combined authorities, other supporters of the declaration include:
- Local Gov Digital
- Local CIO Council