Croydon Council’s digital service has successfully secured over £100k of government funding to trial two innovative ways of working with other local authorities to save cash-strapped councils money.
Croydon Digital Service bid for funding to support two investigative projects, one of which will look at whether councils can learn from and improve the same statutory services based on shared user research conducted at another council, such as applying for housing.
The first project will see Croydon Digital Service build on work already under way with Brighton & Hove City Council to share code between the councils’ websites. The £75,000 funding awarded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will finance research into the current challenges that exist in shared coding and explore practical solutions that can then be upscaled to the wider local government digital community.
Croydon Digital were also awarded £25,800 from the MHCLG Local Digital Fund, which they will use to conduct joint research in adult social care alongside Hackney Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Kent County Council.
As part of the research, both councils will conduct exactly the same piece of research before reporting back their findings in the same way with the aim of creating work that could be picked up and used by others. A public report on the project findings will be produced and the results will be used to create a set of tools and shape templates and process guidance that other councils could then apply internally.
With councils facing increasing demand and reduced budget, if both collaborations prove successful it will deliver better value for money and save on duplication across councils whilst continuing to meet residents’ needs.
“Securing this funding is fantastic news for Croydon. It will enable Croydon Digital Service to accelerate its work to improve online services for residents, whilst enabling the council to save time and to deliver value for money services our residents deserve.”
Councillor Simon Hall, cabinet member for finance and resources