The Shadow Dorset Council has joined other councils across the UK in signing the Government’s Local Digital Declaration. The declaration demonstrates a collective commitment to use the power of digital technology to improve services, benefiting people and communities.
Cllr Rebecca Knox, Leader of Dorset Shadow Council, said:
‘In Dorset, we are committed to making a difference for our residents and communities, designing services to meet their needs. It’s an exciting time, with lots of opportunity to connect and empower people and deliver services in innovative ways. We want to make the most of technology so people can find information or deal with us in the way and at a time that suits them.
‘The impact can be simple – getting travel updates on your mobile phone, applying for a school place online or reporting a missed bin on a tablet. But it can also be life-changing. ‘Assistive technology’ can help give people with severely reduced mobility more independence at home, using voice-activated tools such as Amazon Alexa to dictate a shopping list, switch on lights and the heating, or turn up the volume on their television – tasks that they hadn’t previously been able to do.’
Dorset is delivering real digital change in a variety of ways. A network of digital champions in the community – part of the Routes to Inclusion Partnership – is helping people who lack basic digital skills. SmartSole slippers worn by dementia patients carry a non-invasive tracking tool to alert a carer if the person wearing them wanders too far from home. And the new Dorsetforyou website has been redesigned to meet Government Digital Services standards and focus on what customers really want to find on the site.
The Local Digital Declaration embodies five principles of local public services in the internet age. These are:
- Going further to redesign services around the needs of the people using them.
- ‘Fixing the plumbing’ to break the dependence on inflexible and expensive technology that doesn’t join up effectively.
- Designing safe, secure and useful ways of sharing information
- Demonstrating digital leadership, creating the conditions for genuine organisational transformation to happen.
- Embedding an open culture that values, incentivises and expects digital ways of working from every member of our workforce.