Digital masterplan celebrates first birthday

Digital masterplan celebrates first birthday

Wigan Council Digital Team

Wigan Council Digital Team TechMates service

Wigan Council is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its ambitious Digital Strategy, which is already making a significant impact across the borough.

The 12-month landmark comes as organisations across the UK are taking part in Digital Leaders Week (June 20-24).

Launched in 2021 at a time when communities were beginning to look ahead to a post-pandemic future, the strategy sets out a five-year plan to innovate and explore the full potential of rapidly evolving technology while bridging the digital divide.

Councillor Nazia Rehman, cabinet member for resources, finance and transformation, said: “This week provides an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the last 12 months and look ahead with excitement to the next phase of our plans for a digitally enabled borough.

“Digital continues to play an increasingly vital role in our everyday lives, whether it is accessing services, education or career opportunities, or simply staying in touch with family and friends.

“Through initiatives such as our tablet lending library and TechMates, we are committed to making sure our residents and businesses have the digital skills and confidence to thrive.”

Four key principles sit at the centre of strategy: transforming the way we work as a council; transforming how our services work for residents; being fully digitally enabled; and transforming the places we live and work and promoting community wealth and health.

Successful flagship initiatives include the borough’s tablet lending library giving residents access to free devices and data; tech enabling council teams to offer live updates on waste collections; and the rollout of video calling devices to foster carers to connect them to a local support network.

The growing TechMates service, launched at the height of the pandemic to promote digital inclusion, now has more than 80 digitally skilled volunteers providing friendly assistance for residents needing help online.

Council office spaces have also been adapted to reflect new ways of working, with innovations such as special hybrid meeting rooms to keep staff connected and operating efficiently for customers and clients.

Coun Rehman, who is also the chairperson of Wigan Council’s Digital Board, added: “As a council we have embraced a new, post-pandemic way of working that provides greater flexibility for our staff and helps them deliver the best possible service for our residents.

“We have also made innovative use of technology to enhance service delivery and make it easier for residents to communicate and interact with us.

“As we look ahead to the next four years, we will continue to explore ways in which we can maximise the opportunities presented by digital technology to improve the health and happiness of local people, boost growth, empower our communities, reduce our carbon footprint and achieve our ambitions set out in The Deal.”

Posted on Monday 20th June 2022

© Wigan Council