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West Berkshire Council launches digital strategy to help improve way it delivers services

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Strategy will 'make it easier for residents to access services online and keep them better informed'

WEST Berkshire Council has launched a new three-year digital strategy to improve the way it delivers services.

The strategy, which runs from 2020 to 2023, will also pave the way for 5G ultrafast broadband and full fibre connectivity across the district.

Under the plan, the council will implement new digital technologies and processes to make it easier for residents to access services online and keep them better informed.

It will also allow council staff to work more efficiently.

In addition, it will enable the council to achieve its aim of a ‘Digital District’ that features 5G mobile phone coverage, ultrafast broadband, more public Wi-Fi spots and electric vehicle charging points.

As part of the strategy, the council will play an active role in ensuring those who live and work in West Berkshire are able to improve their digital skills.

These actions include making digital transactions simpler and easier to understand, commissioning training opportunities and providing IT equipment to public facilities.

The council’s executive member for internal governance Joanne Stewart formally approved the new strategy last Thursday.

She said: “The digital strategy sets out how the council intends to embrace new technologies, working practices and digital techniques to ensure it can operate as efficiently as possible and provide the best possible digital services for residents.

“I am also excited by the role the council will take with our partners in creating a digital district.

“This will provide the technological infrastructure available to citizens, businesses and visitors, such as ultrafast broadband, 5G and full fibre connectivity.”

The council’s chief executive, Nick Carter, said: “This new strategy sets out our information and communications technology ambitions for the next three years.

“Some activities are a continuation of our earlier strategy while other elements are new.

“It reflects on our experiences of Covid-19, and as such signals a new commitment to accelerating our digital delivery within both the council and the wider district.

“The delivery plan that accompanies this strategy contains strong governance, and details the allocation of new resources as well as internal cost efficiencies such as reduced maintenance and licensing costs, to ensure that the ambitions are realised.”

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