Digital Inclusion - no one is to be left behind
The Council's original Digital Strategy laid the foundation for several identified critical changes which needed to be made within the organisation to enable us to begin the process of delivering recognised digital transformation. That strategy highlighted the importance of ensuring that people are at the centre of delivering on any digital strategy initiative, as it is essential that we make sure we empower our officers and our customers through providing opportunities to;
- gain new digital skills
- access improvements we make in service delivery
- access all of our services online.
To ensure a focus on this requirement, the Council developed a digital inclusion policy.
A policy that represents a Council-wide response to the issue of any of our customers potentially being digitally isolated. The policy lists outcomes the Council will strive to deliver by developing or supporting a number of different initiatives to the benefit of all our customers.
This policy is underpinned by our Digital Inclusion Strategy and the ambition to improve digital connectivity, accessibility and skills across the borough to ensure that residents can contribute and benefit from existing and emerging digital technologies.
The policy clearly sets out targeted outcomes the Council wishes to achieve, these are as follows:
- Recognised improved connectivity within the Borough through encouraging Internet Service Providers to expand their network and offer ultra-fast access to all our residents.
- Improving connectivity and increasing competition will provide residents with greater access to an ultra-fast internet connection. They will have access to the 'internet of things' where they will be empowered to live more independently - helping us to tackle the challenges of getting older.
- All residents will have access to a device.
- Residents will be fully aware of the importance of having what are recognised as the essential digital skills and the opportunities of how to acquire these skills.
- Accessibility for all.
The outcomes generally represent three themes, all of equal importance, which we must deliver on if the Council are to achieve its objectives and empower its customers to access the identified benefits of going online and using modern technology:
Connectivity, getting connected and improving our network creating greater competition to reduce the cost of getting connected
Skills, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to acquire the required essential digital skills
Accessibility, accessing a device as well as ensuring all identified and developed opportunities are made available to all our customers where applicable
The key outcome is to ensure that the benefits and opportunities we will provide are available to all our customers.
To deliver the objectives of the Council's Digital Inclusion Policy, the Council has developed a strategy, which sets out how we plan to achieve the targeted outcomes of the Policy.