Technology and transformation in town halls

LGiU and HP today publish a new report arguing that to realise the potential of the tech revolution, councils must adopt a people-centred approach.

The report, launched at the All Party Parliamentary Local Government Group Summer Reception, claims that we need to stop thinking about technology as a solution in itself.

Rather, we need to think about how we can use technology to support and shape the neighbourhoods we want to live in.

With local authorities less than halfway through the total spending reductions they need to make, councils cannot continue simply salami-slicing public services. Rather whole-scale transformation of how we deliver local services is required.

Technology will be integral to achieving this, providing we adopt a people-centred approach. The report sets out a framework highlighting how we can do this.

(1) Efficiency – emerging technologies can help local government deliver better services to citizens more cheaply, generating services and improved outcomes

(2) Engagement – emerging technologies can help forge a new collaborative relationship between citizens and the state, enabling co-production and citizen-driven accountability

(3) Empowerment – technology can be used to enhance citizens’ capacity to achieve greater autonomy and thus help manage demand for public services

Local authorities increasingly understand the first two opportunities, but we are only starting to understand how best to take advantage of the third. Harnessing technology to build more resilient communities, however, will be critical to the future model of local government.

You can read the full report here