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Council adopts innovative new Digital Strategy to underpin the transformation of service delivery

Neath Port Talbot

Neath Port Talbot Council has approved a new Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) Strategy to ensure services are delivered to residents using the very latest digital approaches and technologies

The new DDaT strategy – approved by council members at their meeting on Wednesday, July 12th, 2023 – will build on the foundations laid by the council’s previous digital strategy known as Smart and Connected.

An officers’ report on the strategy said: “It sets out our strategic vision demonstrating how we will embrace new approaches and emerging technologies to provide our users with the best value, user-centred products and services.

“Digital, Data and Technology is fundamental to the successful delivery of council services and Neath Port Talbot Council is committed to adopting the best DDaT to transform the services provided to our residents, businesses, elected members, staff and visitors.

“Building on the foundations put in place by our previous digital strategy (Smart and Connected 2018 – 2022), this new strategy sets out ambitious strategic aims and four overarching Strategic Delivery themes.”

Cllr Simon Knoyle, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Social Justice, said: “We recognise that DDaT is now integrated into residents’ lives whether they directly engage and consume digital services themselves or not.

“From engaging with your GP, to keeping in touch with friends and family, having your shopping delivered or booking a bulky waste collection, these are all examples of the range of digital services many of our residents now take for granted.

“The extreme pressures that public sector budgets are now under is well documented and this strategy recognises the key opportunities that DDaT offers to help meet this challenge. Through the effective use of DDaT, we will continue to drive value and service improvement across service areas while at the same time delivering efficiencies and savings.”

Councillors were told that while council will keep up with the constantly evolving digital landscape – it remained fully committed to helping digitally excluded residents get access the benefits of being online.

The officers’ report said: “We understand there are a wide range of reasons why people may find it hard or impossible to stay connected with family and friends (including skills, affordability, availability of broadband connectivity, personal choice etc) and we recognise this also prevents them from being able to benefit from accessing key services from government channels to online shopping.”

The council plans, through one of the well-being objectives in its Corporate Plan – to do all it can to ensure people are connected within their community and that communities are connected to each other and the wider world through good quality digital services and transport networks.

The council has also committed to the Digital Inclusion Charter, which aims to promote basic digital skills and helping people get online.