Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Delivering a Digital Service at Bristol City Council - Gavin Beckett

I have been supplied with a couple of videos by Gavin Beckett who works for Bristol City Council ( link ).

The first video describes a new digital service that provides residents with parking permits and how that service was implemented:

video 1

The second video describes the experiences and processes that Bristol City have encountered on their journey to digital services:

video 2

Monday, 14 December 2015

10 principles for digital transformation skills Dave Briggs, Independent Consultant, Department of Health

Well this is very good advice in a 24 minute Video:

Dave Briggs spoke and held a workshop at Local Digital's 'Building Digital Capability', one in a series of events that focuses on key topics within local digital public service delivery. Held in Bristol earlier this month, councils' digital practitioners showcased work to upskill their workforce in front of an participative audience of local authority senior managers, heads of service, change managers, CIOs, CTOs and heads of HR. The event aimed to help participants to prioritise learning and development activities and uncover better ways to share resources and good practice.

10 principles for digital transformation-skills

Transformation will come from collaboration not IT says council CIO  Jos Creese  April 2014

transformation will come from collaboration not IT

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Should Amazon run our local services (The Council)?


Now don't get too excited.

Amazon is the internet vendor that most people, who have a device, use to buy "stuff".  Here is an explanation of how this "platform" got off the ground:
Amazon History

The company has a stupendoulsy successful business model:
Business Model

Amazon has virtually annihilated it's competition.  The old fashioned booksellers that it first set it's sights on, have long since floundered.

Now what has this got to do our beloved Aberdeen City Council (ACC).  Well there is "change afoot" as they say.  ACC are in the "digital transformation game".  In a nutshell ACC have an opportunity to emulate Amazon by deploying technology to increase openness, use less proprietary IT services and work in a way that helps the whole business ...what are the chances?

ACC staff are busy preparing a digital change strategy.  Why is this?  I can only guess at this stage.  I have asked the new man in charge link but he was "too busy" to even grant me a tele-conference.  No matter I am very, very determined to get to the bottom of this, as it is much too important to fail.

Just for info. I have been involved in geeky automation stuff for about 35 years and have seen lots of "innovation" and "hype" over the years, but this is different.  We are on the verge of a revolution that could be good or it could be awful.  I am trained as an organic chemist but thanks to the Sinclair ZX80 I am also a geek.  That wee computer saved me a half hour calculation using simultaneous equations and I still smile when I think about it.

Amazon do "Tech." brilliantly.  They may not pay their taxes as we would like, but they sure can get to the nub of what needs done to streamline a service.  ACC is just a platform for services, no more no less.

So I am guessing that the ACC transformation team will first want to change the way they do business.  At some stage they will need to use some technology.  At a later stage, we the punters, may notice that we can do "stuff" more easily.  That sounds simple, but it ain't.

So far the "lack of time" to consider the views of their customer has not inspired me but everyone deserves a second chance :-).

Just to give people a heads up here are some rules for cutting through bullshit.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Planning system must put people before profit

Original article

Planning Democracy is urging the Scottish Government to consider fundamental reforms as part of its wide-ranging ‘Review of the Scottish Planning System’. Deadlines for submissions to the review closed on 1st December. As a charity set up to tackle systemic unfairness in Scottish planning we have set out a series of progressive proposals designed to redress the democratic deficit in planning processes.

We are concerned that the Planning Review may just streamline an already unbalanced system in favour of developers. Planning Democracy contends that measures are now urgently needed to ensure communities can shape developments in their local area and protect places from short-term, non-strategic and often low-quality development.
As part of our detailed response to the recently-appointed review panel, we at Planning Democracy make a number of recommendations, including:
  1. Stronger enforcement of planning decisions: to improve public confidence in the planning system.
  2. Introduce an Equal Right of Appeal – currently only developers have a right to appeal a planning decision. Planning Democracy contends the time is now right for Scotland to have an equal right of appeal for communities to rebalance the planning system.
  3. Improve public access to planning data, for example by creating an ‘opt-in register’ for pre-application consultations, making documents transparently available to all parties during the planning process, and videoing planning committee meetings
  4. Tackle ‘siege development’ by discouraging repeat applications that are designed to circumvent decisions previously taken by planning authorities
  5. Reinvigorate local democracy by securing better involvement of community councils in the planning process, eg via ‘Neighbourhood’ or ‘Community’ Plans
Clare Symonds, chair of Planning Democracy said: “The long-term societal benefits of high quality development are all-too-often an afterthought in the short-termist pursuit of economic growth. This review must not deliver a developer’s charter. The housing industry is profiting from unsustainable increases in land values, often at the expense of build and design quality and the wider health of communities. We have some constructive suggestions about how to change this and if they are taken on board we are confident communities across Scotland can reconnect with a fairer planning system.”
In October 2015, the Scottish Government announced a Review of the Scottish Planning System, open to ‘gamechanging views and ideas’ and sought responses by 1st December. A panel is expected to report in Spring 2016.