New Mayors urged to think digital first

techUK has published Digital Devolution: A Guide for Mayors setting out a series of questions for the new Mayor to ask their team in their first 100 days to help them engender change, build capacity across the eco-system of the place.

The organisation says elected Mayors can put digital at the heart of their plans and put in place the leadership required to deliver real change and better outcomes. Digital is instinctively designed to assist collaboration and, by putting digital at the forefront of city region plans, Mayors can re-shape and integrate services, creating better places to live and drive regional growth.

Key recommendations to the new Mayors include:

Putting in place the right digital leadership

  • A Chief Digital and Innovation Champion (CDIC) to be appointed, reporting directly to the Mayor and senior officer of the Combined Authority.
  • An Innovation Unit is set-up to work with the CDIC across the city region to foster new partnerships and offer practical support to test new ideas and embed digital across the place.

Becoming a Data Enriched City Region

  • A clear commitment from the Mayor to open up data and make decisions based on city wide data.
  • An audit of local data assets and city wide data with the aim of creating a city region datastore.

Innovative and Inclusive

  • A citizen centric approach should be adopted to ensure policies put users at the heart. The Mayor and their team should work closely with the community to tackle digital exclusion.

A Destination for Talent

  • A Digital Skills Task Force to be convened within the first 100 days to agree a skills pipeline and put in place the necessary provisions to meet the needs and demand of the community and employers.

All the recommendations and questions to the Mayor can be found in the Guide.

Georgina Maratheftis, Programme Manager for Local Government at techUK said: “Digital devolution presents one of the biggest opportunities to do things differently, break down the traditional barriers to service delivery to drive improved outcomes for all.

“The Mayors, with their direct and convening powers, must use their new and unique position to accelerate the pace of transformation, working closely with public sector, the community and industry to deliver better outcomes for all citizens by creating truly joined-up services and places where citizens want to live and thrive. We are looking forward to working with the Mayors to redefine what a 21st century city region can be.”

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