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Solace blog

4th July 2018

The Digital Declaration and why you should sign-up

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 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 Council, we 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:

  1. We will go further to redesign our services around the needs of the people using them.
  2. We will ‘fix our plumbing’ to break our dependence on inflexible and expensive technology that doesn’t join up effectively.
  3. We will design safe, secure and useful ways of sharing information
  4. We will demonstrate digital leadership, creating the conditions for genuine organisational transformation to happen.
  5. We will embed an open culture that values, incentivises and expects digital ways of working from every member of our workforce.

Matt Prosser – lead spokesperson for Digital at Solace and Interim Head of Paid Service at Shadow Dorset Council