To receive an update from the Chief Digital and Information Officer on the approach outlined in the digital strategy, the digital transformation approach, and the innovation programme.
The following individuals attended for this item:
- Cllr Helen Hayden (Executive Member)
- Stephen Blackburn (Innovation Lead)
The Chair introduced the item, noting that in previous years the Scrutiny Board has received an annual update about ‘Smart Cities.’ Those reports provided updates on technology-led projects and connectivity roll out (e.g. full fibre) and have previously been received alongside a report from the 100% Digital team. However, the Board has received separate reports due to ongoing changes in IDS.
Stephen Blackburn set out recent changes to the way in which IDS operates and confirmed that in line with recent restructuring the update to the Board will in future focus on broader digital updates, including strategy and innovation.
Stephen outlined the key elements of the report, introducing the new digital strategy which aims to transform how services are delivered and consumed. He also highlighted three digital priorities that have been identified as requiring immediate attention - Core Business Transformation, System Flow and Security Operations Centre.
Stephen underlined the links to the Best City Ambition, including the life stage approach within the Digital Strategy, and the aspiration that the service adopts a ‘city’ approach to digital rather than just an internally focused approach.
Members considered the detail of the new digital strategy and sought clarification about the timeline for implementation. The Board discussed progress with the Shared Care Record and requested clarification about which providers would be able to access patient health records.
It was noted that Digital Inclusion remains a significant area of focus and the involvement of neighbourhood networks was discussed. The Chair asked the Principal Scrutiny Advisor to circulate the most recent update from the 100% Digital team for the benefit of new board members.
Members considered the extent of the Council’s influence over providers of broadband infrastructure. It was noted that the Council-led Full Fibre programme supports the delivery of this infrastructure by enabling the connection of around 1,400 council buildings, schools and healthcare buildings and will provide the backbone to deliver superfast broadband to around 90% of homes and businesses across the city.
Cllr Hayden committed to updating the Board on the outcome of a meeting with digitals providers and WYCA about mapping the coverage of full fibre across the region.
The Board sought reassurance about the metrics that will be used to evaluate the successful delivery of the Council’s digital ambitions. Stephen Blackburn committed to update members at a future.
Members considered how the Council currently manages, analyses and interprets data it collects. It was agreed that more efficient data analysis could assist with the planning and delivery of public services.
Clarification was sought about the proposal to establish a Digital Academy which will focus on improving the digital skills of council staff, and members discussed the importance of ensuring that young people understand the opportunities the digital sector can offer them.
Stephen confirmed that the Council would be pursuing a ‘digital first’ but not a digital only approach to transformation and traditional methods of interaction with the Council will remain accessible to citizens.
The Scrutiny Board resolved that –
- The report be noted.
- The Scrutiny Board supports the approach being outlined in the digital strategy.
- The Scrutiny Board continues to provide oversight through an annual update in relation to digital infrastructure.
- The PSA circulates the most recent update from the 100% Digital Team
- Cllr Hayden will update members on discussions with broadband providers and WYCA on mapping regional coverage.