Councils could save £5 billion with digital switchover

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published its ‘Local Digital Today 2014’ report which has urged local government to adopt more digital services to deliver a saving of £500 million per year for the next ten years.

Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins said that councils should learn from town hall, who the report says have adapted quicker to the digital age and are already making increased savings by moving services online.

Councils who are making savings through digital changeovers are saving on average 25% more than last year, but over a third of council are described by the report as “clinging to the analogue age”.

The report clarified that “such estimates [of £5 billion savings] must, of course, be treated with caution but they generate some useful rough figures for debate in these austere times.”

Local Government Minister Kris Hopkins said that councils with digital services are “proving that hundreds of millions of pounds can be saved every single year just by waking up to the digital dawn. It is high time the rest of local government follows suit.

If every council which hasn’t already done so was to learn from those leading authorities they too would be able to make such sensible savings and deliver a better deal for local taxpayers.”

Hampshire County Council is set to be one of the highest saving council as it reduces expenditure by up to £7.5 million with the digital switchover.

Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “Digital public services offer a significant opportunity to reduce costs and make services more personal, accessible and joined-up around the needs of their users.

Digital gives us another opportunity to reduce our asset base, providing the potential to significantly increase the savings.”

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