Trafford Council makes Digital Declaration to improve services and reduce exclusion

Trafford Council has signed up to the Local Digital Declaration in a commitment to make service delivery more efficient and make digital access easier for residents.

The Local Digital Declaration is a nationwide commitment by public sector organisations to make public services fit for the internet age and deliver more customer-centred, cost-effective local services.

The Council’s initial drive will be in two areas; firstly to make its Exchequer and Licensing services more efficient using digital tools and techniques and secondly to tackle digital exclusion by helping to develop skills, confidence and access for residents who are currently finding it difficult to engage with an increasingly digital world. The improvements will result in increased automation and improved online forms.

Partners from the health, education and voluntary sector will join the Council in creating a ‘social movement’ to reduce digital exclusion within Trafford, with collaborative initiatives to include targeted skills training, a device loan scheme and a digital coordinator to provide support and expertise.

Cllr Mike Freeman, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Covid 19 Recovery and Reform, said:

“Residents and businesses will see the benefits of this exciting project in two ways; firstly in an improved service from our Licensing and Exchequer teams, and secondly in a big push towards digital access across the board in our communities.

It’s really important that we get to a place where technology is an enabler rather than a barrier for people who are currently excluded. Moving some services online has become a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic – and in many ways technology came to our rescue when face-to-face contact was a challenge – but it also highlighted where the gaps were, and how a lack of digital access could allow people to fall through the cracks.

As we move more Council services online we are acutely aware that nobody should be left behind when it comes to accessing the services and help they need. We’re looking forward to working with partners to ensure people across the borough are digitally connected and have the tools they need to go online with confidence and enthusiasm.”

Sara Todd, Trafford Council Chief Executive and Digital Lead for Greater Manchester, said:

“The Local Digital Declaration is a fabulous initiative that will help bring digital excellence across a number of services. It will also be a big step towards Trafford delivering our contribution to the Greater Manchester Agenda for Change for digital inclusion which sets out a vision for GM to be a world-class digital region with a focus on ensuring everyone can benefit from the enormous opportunities that digital can bring.”

Posted on Monday 14th December 2020