I’ve mentioned LocalGov Digital in a couple of posts now and as things have now been formalised it seems only right to say a little more about it, especially as I’ve just been elected Communications Lead for the steering group.

What is LocalGov Digital?

LocalGov Digital is a practitioner network created and functioning in the spirit of local government’s sector-led improvement agenda.

Our overarching purpose is to raise standards in web provision and the use of digital by councils across the country, and to create a digital framework that is flexible enough to respond to local needs.

We exist to support improvement strategies in the delivery of services so that local government can be efficient, productive and serve local needs.

Our belief is that an overarching and fundamental principle is that local government is and should be ‘open by default and digital by design’.

At the centre is a steering group which connects the wider network with national bodies such as the Local Government Association (LGA – the voice of local government), government departments and other partners involved in improving how services are delivered to citizens.

What’s your involvement?

The group has so far been self-selecting and I’m honoured that the work I’ve done at Derbyshire, collaboratively as part of my MA (in eCommunications) and the thoughts published on this blog and elsewhere online have led to me being a part of LocalGov Digital.

The steering group has met a couple of times to discuss terms of reference, what we are, what projects we feel are key and how we’ll achieve that. This week the group voted on a few positions to give the work some shape. The results were:

  • Chair – Carl Haggerty, Devon County Council. Carl and his work on digital content strategy for a transforming organisation has been key in the creation of this group.
  • Vice Chair (South) – Phil Rumens, West Berkshire District Council. Phil has a great mix of technical and communications skills and has been a driving force in getting the group started.
  • Vice Chair (North) – Carl Whistlecraft, Kirklees Council. Carl is a driving force in transforming democratic services through digital and this experience, and the areas of work he represents, are an essential part of the group.
  • Communications Lead (South) – Alastair Smith, Hackney Council. One of the best communicators in local government right now I’m very happy to be sharing the comms lead responsibilities with Al.
  • Communications Lead (North) – Sarah Lay, Derbyshire County Council. Yep, that’s me. A grown-up position on a grown-up committee, providing communications support for work I really believe is not only vital but achievable.

Where can I find out more?

We’re working on this at the moment. The website is under-development and should be available very soon. In the meantime you can follow us on twitter or take a look at #localgovdigital.