UK councils awarded £800,000 to develop innovative services

The fund will help 11 councils build on apps and tools they've developed during the pandemic

Councils across the UK are set to receive a share of £800,000 to help accelerate the development of digital services used during the coronavirus pandemic

The fund is to help ensure the councils continue to modernise and find innovative ways to serve their respective communities. 

So far, 11 councils have been given a share of the pot. £67,500 is going to Newcastle City Council to help it a tool which predicts whether parts of the city are overcrowded, while Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council will receive £34,000 to help them add extra functionality to a smartphone app that will prevent overcrowding on beaches by telling people how busy sections are.

"Councils have made huge efforts to support their residents at this testing time - by housing rough sleepers quickly, supporting vulnerable people and ensuring services such as bin collections continue," said local government minister Simon Clarke.

"They have had to adapt their services from in-person to online, using technology to do so and I am determined we capitalise on this and use everything we have learned to improve efficiency and make services better for residents and communities.

"That's why we're giving them £800,000 to build on the rapid digital innovation of recent months so that local communities continue to feel the benefits of more efficient public services."

Other examples include Camden Council's £80,000 share to develop a service to help local residents and businesses have their say on major planning projects and town centre changes.

Central Bedfordshire Council will also receive £80,000 to develop a data-sharing programme it has used between councils and voluntary community services. This has been used to help support vulnerable people during the pandemic. 

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