Agenda item

100% Digital Leeds

To receive an update on the progress of the 100% Digital Leeds programme since the last report to this Board in April 2023.



The Chair introduced the item, noting that the accompanying report provides an update on the 100% Digital programme since April 2023.


Those in attendance for this item were:


·  Jason Tutin (Head of 100% Digital Leeds)

·  Amy Hearn (Digital Inclusion Manager)


Amy Hearn delivered a presentation setting out the development of the 100% Digital Leeds team and its approach to digital inclusion. The presentation covered the following issues:


-  The potential of digital inclusion to deliver personal benefits for those who might be the least confident in the use of digital technology.

-  The estimated scale of digital exclusion in Leeds.

-  The community-based approach of the 100% Digital Leeds team.

-  The scale and location of the team’s community engagement across the city.

-  Quantitative indicators that illustrate the scale of activity of the 100% Digital Leeds team over the last 12 months.


Jason Tutin highlighted the importance of digital inclusion as an enabler in the context of the cost-of-living crisis. He provided illustrative examples of some of successes of the last 12 months including securing funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to support 3rd sector interventions, delivering support regarding online safety for Leeds Older People’s Forum, facilitating interventions to improve the functional numeracy skills of adults through the Multiply scheme and enabling the gifting of data to people identified as being in need.


Jason highlighted the importance of the convening role of 100% Digital Leeds in bringing partners and stakeholders together to identify funding, reduce duplication of resources and maximise the impact of available funding. He also outlined the way in which 100% Digital Leeds works with Leeds community Foundation and Leeds Digital Charity Ball to increase the funding available to third sector organisations to support digital inclusion.


Reflecting on the financial challenges facing citizens, public sector bodies and third sector partners, members queried whether this had impacted on how the team prioritises its work. In response, Jason advised the Board that the focus of the team has increasingly been on developing relationships with organisations that can provide more specific insights about where interventions could make the biggest difference to local people. He cited the Multiply programme as an example of where support can deliver immediate benefits for people but can also provide longevity of learning by enabling people to access digital devices on an ongoing basis.


Members queried how other organisations might be able to contact the team, particularly where they are based in communities where English may be a second language for many residents. Jason confirmed how organisations can contact the team and reiterated that introductory discussions are always welcomed.


Members sought clarity about the installation of the infrastructure required for superfast broadband and the rates of take up amongst residents. Jason noted the difficulty in accessing data about take up rates due to commercial sensitivity.


The Scrutiny Board explored links between digital access and employment and health inequalities. Jason advised the Scrutiny Board about ongoing research that is being led by University College London and which aims to assess the impact of digital health hubs on health inequalities in deprived communities. Draft recommendations suggest that the approach of 100% Digital Leeds to cross sector partnerships will be identified as an example of best practice, which should be shared and strengthened.


Amy Hearn provided an overview of the development of digital health hubs and work to support digital inclusion in primary care. She referenced ongoing work with Leeds Community Healthcare and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. She informed the Scrutiny Board that enabling patients to engage with health care systems via digital routes can provide significant personal benefits for service users including those with mobility issues or mental health conditions.


Members welcomed the inclusion of testimonies from partners and stakeholders in the accompanying report. They sought clarification about how the academic research discussed was capturing the views of service users as well as service providers.


The Scrutiny Board considered the way in which volunteers can be recruited to support digital inclusion programmes. Jason outlined the ways in which t tech businesses can better connect with community organisations through Leeds Digital Volunteering Partnership. Amy provided an overview of work with organisations including Voluntary Action Leeds and Forum Central.


The Chair shared her positive experience of the gifting of SIM cards to people using a community food pantry in her ward and highlighted the impact that had had on the lives of her constituents.


Members were asked to contact the team if they could suggest organisations or communities that may benefit from engagement with the 100% Digital Leeds team. 


The Scrutiny Board thanked Jason, Amy and their colleagues for their work.


Members recommended that a further update is considered by the 2024/25 Scrutiny Board.




a)  Members reaffirmed their approval of the 100% Digital Leeds community-based approach to increasing digital inclusion across the city.


b)  Noted the achievements of the 100% Digital Leeds programme over the last year and endorsed the plans for the continued development of the programme under the leadership of the 100% Digital Leeds team in IDS.


c)  It was recommended that a further update is considered by the 2024/25 successor Scrutiny Board.







Supporting documents: