Croydon Council has signed a pledge to transform digital services for residents, putting their needs first and radically improving their experiences of interacting with the council online.
The council is among the first 10 London boroughs, and one of the biggest councils so far, to sign the Local Digital Declaration (LDD) – a set of principles and commitments that all authorities are being encouraged to sign up to, about working together and in the right way on digital transformation.
The LDD has five main principles, which can be read here. The overarching aim is to ensure that services are designed and built with residents’ needs at the forefront, and with their close involvement.
Signing the LDD will also help Croydon to learn from, and potentially share technology with other local authorities, which will help the council to transform our services better and more efficiently.
The move comes a month after Croydon Council appointed its first chief digital officer, local resident Neil Williams, former head of GOV.UK.
Mr Williams said: “Signing the LDD is entirely consistent with my and the leadership team’s vision for a more digital, user-centred Croydon Council. By adopting these principles in common with other local authorities, it connects us as a community so we can learn from each other, and go faster together.
“While central government has made great strides forward in digital transformation in the past decade, local government has been held back by lack of coordination across authorities. The LDD is a major step forward in the digital revolution in local government – and, as a council with a reputation for digital and a borough that is home to a thriving tech sector, it’s important Croydon is part of this movement.
The LDD is an initiative from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Government Digital Service. Signing the LDD will also open up opportunities for the council to bid for the MHCLG’s £7.5m overall fund for digital transformation.
“We’re signing the Local Digital Declaration because we want to make it easier, quicker and more satisfying for all our residents, every time they interact with the council online – whether that’s to make a payment, report a fly-tip, or find their local library.
“Ultimately we want to transform our relationship with residents, so that we are providing intuitive digital services and engaging people online. These principles go right to the heart of that.”
Councillor Simon Hall, cabinet member for finance and resources