Croydon Council has been listed among the top 10 local authorities in the UK for the way it has used technology to improve access to services, and relieve financial pressures on its front-line operations.
Every year, the Digital Leaders 100 list is published to recognise organisations and individuals that have embraced the digital revolution across the public, private and charity sectors.
The council has been working for several years to find the best ways of putting much of its work online. It provides over 300 different services to its 380,000 residents and 22,000 businesses.
Its MyAccount registration system now has well over 140,000 registered users who are able to make a wide range of payments or applications without the need for a phone call or a visit to council offices. The MyCroydon smartphone app is also used by thousands of people to report environmental problems in their neighbourhoods and to catch up on local news and information items.
The authority has worked recently to help residents and businesses take advantage of digital opportunities through its ‘Go ON Croydon’ initiative. This is a year-long programme led by the council to make sure that everyone in our borough has basic digital skills. Croydon is the first London borough to partner with Go ON UK and, alongside a number of partners including major private sector organisations, SMEs, housing associations, charities and local residents groups, some 300 volunteers give their time to help people make more use of technology in their everyday lives.
“It’s fantastic to be recognised by Digital Leaders for our work as a digital council. However, this award is really about our residents, because ultimately, they are why we do what we do – we wouldn’t be where we are without their feedback or their preparedness to ‘go digital’ It is so important than none of our residents or local business are left behind with so much opportunity both financially and socially through digital services.
“This approach has saved the organisation very significant money whilst enabling our community to live more independently and benefit from wider opportunities.”
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
Following the announcement of this list each year a public vote is used to put the 100 names into a final order. These votes are combined with the views of a panel of 10 eminent judges who are all leading digital experts.
Voting is open until 27 May at www.digileaders100.com/vote.
A spokeperson for the awards said: “The DL100 Awards honour the highest achievements from the past year, celebrating teams and individuals who are blazing a trail within the digital space.”