Bryony Houlden, Chief Executive, South West Councils

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Yours, Bryony

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Survey Finds Local Councillors Are Not ‘Digital Dinosaurs’

Release Date: May 02, 2017

A survey of over 800 elected Councillors investigates the attitudes and perceptions of Councillors towards digital technology and leadership.
Councillor Theo Blackwell, Cabinet Member for Finance, Technology and Growth, Camden Council in collaboration with the LGIU surveyed a total of 809 councillors from 279 councils in England, to understand the views of local government political leadership towards the impact of digital transformation on public services, which forms the basis of the ‘Start of the Possible’ report.
Among the respondents, 373 were identified as “digital enthusiasts” - councillors who saw the benefits of big data, automation and technology - and 118 “digital sceptics” who had more negative views on these or remained to be convinced.
The survey identifies a number of areas of concerns for a ‘small and vociferous cohort’, with digital exclusion and the fear if the digital divide being a major issues that could impede “impede progress or the pace of change so therefore remains a major digital leadership issue, not just a practical ‘channel-shift’ concern.”
The report concludes that local councillors are not ‘digital dinosaur,’ and hold strong and positive views about technology, automation and data and how public services can benefit from them.