Wigan Council's digital masterplan celebrates first anniversary

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Wigan Council is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its ambitious Digital Strategy.

The 12-month landmark comes as organisations across the UK take part in Digital Leaders Week, which runs from June 20-24.

Launched in 2021, the strategy sets out a five-year plan to innovate and explore the full potential of rapidly evolving technology while bridging the digital divide.

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It is already making a significant impact across the borough.

Wigan Council's TechMates serviceWigan Council's TechMates service
Wigan Council's TechMates service

Coun Nazia Rehman, cabinet member for resources, finance and transformation, said: “This week provides an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of the last 12 months and look ahead with excitement to the next phase of our plans for a digitally enabled borough.

“Digital continues to play an increasingly vital role in our everyday lives, whether it is accessing services, education or career opportunities, or simply staying in touch with family and friends.

“Through initiatives such as our tablet lending library and TechMates, we are committed to making sure our residents and businesses have the digital skills and confidence to thrive.”

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Coun Nazia RehmanCoun Nazia Rehman
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Four key principles sit at the centre of strategy: remodelling the way the council work, transforming how services work for residents, being fully digitally enabled, reshaping the places we live and work and promoting community health and wealth.

Successful initiatives include the borough’s tablet lending library, giving residents access to free devices and data, tech enabling council teams offering live updates on waste collections, and the rollout of video calling devices to foster carers connecting them to a local support network.

The growing TechMates service, launched at the height of the pandemic, has over 80 digitally skilled volunteers providing friendly assistance for residents needing help online.

Coun Rehman, added: “As a council we have embraced a new, post-pandemic way of working that provides greater flexibility for our staff and helps them deliver the best possible service for our residents.

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“We have also made innovative use of technology to enhance service delivery and make it easier for residents to communicate and interact with us.

“As we look ahead to the next four years, we will continue to explore ways in which we can maximise the opportunities presented by digital technology to improve the health and happiness of local people, boost growth, empower our communities, reduce our carbon footprint and achieve our ambitions set out in The Deal.”

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