They have explored different methods of improving local people’s access to services including telecare, online applications for school places, cashless parking payments and apps to inform or alert service users.’
The other, overriding priority for all councils has been to save money as financial cuts drive deeper, and this is where digital technology and collaboration has been shown to be both innovative and effective.
Initial success stories include Hammersmith and Fulham’s online self-service portal that saved £1.15 million annually, with 70% of households  registered. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham achieved a digital shift of 100% for benefit claims, reducing processing time and saving £617,000 annually, while the London Borough of Harrow saved £1.55 million over four years through a wide range of online services. Savings are accumulative and sustainable, too, ensuring that once a system is in place, it continues to be cost effective.
The G-Cloud Framework was set up by the UK government to support and promote cloud computing in the public sector. Designed to make it easier to review and select from a range of suitable, technology service solutions that are already government approved suppliers – of which MeetingZone is one – it was hoped this would encourage and facilitate the adoption of more cloud-based services by shortening the procurement process.
The G-Cloud Framework provides access to the Digital Marketplace [developed by UK company and Microsoft Azure partner Solidsoft Reply Ltd and previously called CloudStore it originally launched in 2012. This online marketplace for the purchase of cloud services by public sector organisations operates either as pay-as-you-go or annual contracts.
Councils are continuing to show progress in using technology and to improve services and overcome the challenges they face and, as an approved supplier, MeetingZone’s combination of sector expertise plus smart use of digital tools like Cisco WebEx and Skype for Business, we help clients extend their communications potential securely, reliably and affordably. And, as local government’s roles and responsibilities continue to develop, with increased emphasis on community facilitation and support, commissioning and market making, communications, branding and quality assurance, such tools and their effective application are likely to become ever more important.