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 continued focus on this requirement, the Council have refreshed their digital inclusion policy.
The policy like the Council's previous policy 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. The refreshed policy aligns with and supports the delivery of the Council's Corporate Plan ambitions.
This policy is underpinned by our Digital Inclusion Strategy (currently under review) and the ambition to improve digital connectivity, skills and to ensure accessibility for all. To ensure that residents can participate in and contribute to the digital world to benefit from existing and emerging digital technologies.
The policy clearly sets out targeted outcomes the Council wishes to achieve, these are as follows:
- Improved connectivity through removing barriers and encouraging greater investment within the borough.
- Residents have greater access to digital devices through removal of financial barriers.
- Ensure all residents can benefit from the opportunities of existing and emerging technology through providing a greater understanding of the benefits of modern technology.
- Improved digital skills across the borough through providing greater opportunities to acquire new skills at home and in the workplace.
- The identified benefits of digital technology will be accessible by all with no resident being excluded.
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 being connected to the digital world.
Skills, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to gain the required essential digital skills to safely participate and contribute to the digital world.
Accessibility, accessing a device as well as ensuring all identified and developed opportunities are made available to all our customers where applicable. No one is to be left behind in terms of accessing the benefits of the digital world.
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 (currently under review), which sets out how we plan to achieve the targeted outcomes of the Policy: