Councils invited to apply for Local Digital Fund

Public Sector Executive

Councils are now open to apply for the next round of digital funding to improve public services, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced.

Utilising the Local Digital Fund, councils can look to secure funding from today (19 August) for projects which seek to boost the quality and/or frequency of public services offered through innovative uses of digital technology.

The announcement was made by local government minister Luke Hall MP.

Grants of up to £350,000 will be invested into projects from the Fund.

Councils looking to bid for the money will be expected to work together to explore how digital technology can improve public services for residents in new and innovative ways.

Ideas could range from making people’s lives easier with more efficient, online ways to pay for services or get help, to embracing tech to support vulnerable people or making bin collections, social housing repairs and taxi licensing services more efficient.

The Government Want Your Views On Digital Identity

Today’s Conveyancer

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMC) has launched a consultation on digital identity, and is seeking your views on how the Government can support the development and secure use of digital identities fit for the UK’s growing digital economy.

The consultation states:

“We welcome written responses to this call for evidence from all interested parties, including citizens and businesses, as well as organisations who anticipate being a consumer or creator of digital identity tools or services, and those focused on protecting civil liberties.

We also encourage responses from individuals or organisations who represent the interests of citizens, vulnerable or otherwise, who are susceptible to being digitally excluded, as well as individuals or organisations who represent citizens with a particular protected characteristic.”


Scottish Government runs Civtech Challenge 4.0

UK Authority

The Scottish Government has focused on 11 public service issues including tracking council assets and improving its own pre-employment checks in the fourth round of its Civtech Challenge programme.

It has announced the individual challenges and gone through the engagement process with potential suppliers, aiming to begin the exploration phase in mid-September. The programme is aimed at matching digital tech innovators with the public sector organisations leading the challenges.

CivTech was launched in 2016 as a new procurement route that focuses on asking open questions rather than providing technical specifications in traditional tenders.

Funding comes from the Government’s Small Business Research Initiative.

Building Bolton’s NHS workforce

Public Sector Executive

Mark O’Reilly, project director at Bolton College of Medical Sciences (BCMS), discusses how the local partnership is setting out to train the next generation with the use of a new £30m vocational training centre.

A recent report, published by The Nuffield Trust, Health Foundation and King’s Fund, suggests that current trends in workforce recruitment and development will widen the staffing crisis in the NHS, predicting significant shortages of both doctors and nurses. It states that significant changes are needed in the way the NHS is funded if the situation is to be improved. 

NHS trusts in England are forced to use agency staff to plug the gap. Many of these staff are recruited from outside the UK, which also means the situation could be exacerbated by Brexit. 

Health care careers can often be difficult to access, with challenging entry requirements and working conditions. The proposed BCMS has been designed specifically to address these issues. 

Workplace collaboration, secure systems, privacy regulations obeyed – pick two? Nope, it’s possible to pick all three

The Register

Your biz needs a flow of information… just not flowing out the door

Giving employees fast, convenient access to mission critical data from wherever they happen to be, and from whatever device they are using, is a fundamental principle of digital transformation, which in most cases cannot be compromised. And the parallel, explosive growth in the use of online content sharing and collaboration services by teams within and between companies has been sufficiently pronounced for Gartner to declare the enterprise content management (ECM) market “dead (kaput, finite and ex market name)”.

In its place, Gartner analyst Michael Woodbridge has predicted, ECM would be displaced by “content services” that use multiple on- and off-premises repositories to store and manage information and to improve productivity by allowing employees to access data and applications from any device and any physical location.

Naturally, doing this over different types of network (Wi-Fi, broadband, leased line, cellular and so on) can pose a risk to data security. And while the cloud hosting infrastructure and web platforms used by online sharing services are not inherently more or less secure than on-premises equivalents, they do pose a unique set of problems. Many IT and security professionals, therefore, remain uncomfortable about having little or no control over the information being stored and processed in these services beyond the protective limits and reach of their own firewalls and security management tools.


Why are telecoms feeling the pain?

Hargreaves Lansdown

There are only two big UK-listed telecom companies, but they’re a major slice of the UK market.

The sector has had a tough time of late, with both Vodafone and BT underperforming the wider market.

Here we take a look at why, and evaluate their future prospects


Is London Smart City Initiative as smart as it could be?

Workplace Insight

It’s been a year since the launch of the Mayor of London’s smart city roadmap, designed to transform the capital into the smartest city in the world. But twelve months later, is the city any smarter? The Mayor of London’s smart city roadmap is proposing to transform the capital into the smartest city in the world, and as part of the initiative, Sadiq Khan appointed his first Chief Digital Officer to help steer the plan to focus on knowledge and technical advancements that will make life easier for London’s citizens.

It’s not just the Mayor of London who is pushing ‘smart’ further in new ways. The Greater London Authority has introduced The City Data Strategy and is sharing expertise through our European ‘Sharing Cities’ project. By collaborating with other jurisdictions, it is easier to share best practice and learn from others.

There is also The Smart London Board which includes leading academics, businesses and entrepreneurs. They advise the Mayor on how digital technology can help make London an even better place in which to live, work and invest.

£250,000 boost for broadband in conference centres

Tourism Minister Rebecca Pow has launched a competition for conference centres across the UK to apply for funding to improve broadband infrastructure

  • The competition is part of the UK Government’s Tourism Sector Deal
  • Investment will help to boost the £32 billion business events sector

Tourism Minister Rebecca Pow has launched a competition for conference centres across the UK to apply for funding to improve broadband infrastructure with the aim of hosting more international conferences at UK venues. 

The £250,000 funding will be awarded to venues across the UK to support the improvement of on-site broadband facilities and help them attract more international business events. 

Applications for funding will be open to event venues with conference facilities, including hotels and event centres, that bid for – or plan to bid for – events which attract international delegates.

Realities and myths for 5G’s impact on logistics


Here’s a look at some of the myths and realities surrounding 5G connectivity and what it means for logistics.

Of all the technologies coming of age and promising disruption, 5G is probably one of the most exciting. As a communication and connectivity solution, it’s leaps ahead of where we are today, it’s impact on logistics will be immense.

Like any other technology, 5G has picked up its share of hype and hyperbole. It promises change and competitive advantages in logistics. However, the degree to which companies benefit won’t be uniform, and it won’t impact each type of business in the same way.

Here’s a look at some of the myths and realities surrounding 5G connectivity and what it means for logistics.

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