Local Digital
Published in

Local Digital

Sprint Notes #34

Covering 16–29 September 2021

Issue 34 of sprint notes from the LDCU team. This issue covers 16–29 September 2021

Welcome back to our sprint notes! Read on to find out about a new member of our team and what talks, blogs and showcases you might have missed.

An update on the Local Digital Fund

Thank you to everyone who applied to Round 5 of the Local Digital Fund, which closed on 26 September. We’re busy sifting and scoring your applications, and selected projects will be invited to attend a panel interview on 13–14 October.

Meet our new team member

We have a new member of staff, so please welcome Leon Ackie to the team!

Leon Ackie’s headshot

Job title: Collaboration Manager

What do you do? I work with local government stakeholders to adopt the Local Digital Declaration principles into their service delivery. I also support councils in their delivery of collaborative projects and products that solve common digital challenges.

Contact email: Leon@localdigital.gov.uk

Currently based: London

From: London

Background: I have spent 18 years working for a Local Authority in a variety of roles. The last decade has been spent in the digital sphere, most recently as a Digital Product Owner.

Favourite meal: Macaroni pie with black belly lamb chops.

Things I do to relax: I keep active by playing football and squash. In my spare time, I sketch and buy musical equipment!

Ideal retirement plan: I’m not a fan of cold weather, so I’d split my time between the UK and the Caribbean. That way I’d get to spend a lot of time with family and friends in both hemispheres over the course of the entire year.

Funded Projects


SAVVI have been very busy since the last sprint! In Product Owner Paul Davidson’s words, ‘it has been a hectic week of outreach for the SAVVI project’.

The team have presented at the iNetwork programme board, the Cabinet Office, two DataConnect 21 sessions, and the SAVVI Tech Working Group.

The SAVVI Tech Working Group was attended by technical suppliers including Capita, Civica and Liquid Logic. This working group was a great opportunity for the team to explain SAVVI to these newly engaged suppliers.

Following on from the deep dive sessions that Paul Davidson conducted with individual suppliers, ForgeRock and Xantura presented proposed cases of applying the standards in products.

Mike Thacker (SAVVI coach who works directly with councils) updated the group on work done so far regarding the NHS Terminology server. Currently, a model is being explored where SAVVI can make the terminology public, and therefore allow collaborative work. The aim is to create a joint understanding between councils of agreed lists for identifying vulnerable people, whilst allowing for local differences.

The NHS Digital Terminology Server flow diagram containing taxonomies 1, 2 and 3

As part of DataConnect21, @istanduk’s SAVVI project also spoke at ‘Data Standards and Data Sharing’ with @Paul_Davidson and @phil_swan from Greater Manchester Combined Authority. Feedback was very positive, and one attendee commented that they had ‘already downloaded the SAVVI Framework’.

The presenters of the ‘Data Standards and Data Sharing’ session, Paul Davidson (left) and Phil Swan

Digital Inclusion Toolkit

The team are currently looking at insights from their recently conducted user research, and are agreeing next steps and goals.

They have also welcomed a new content designer to the team, who will use the research to help them to review and change the site content and page layouts, which will improve user experience.

LocalGov Drupal

The project beta is about to enter its final sprint. Their product website has been updated and improved — you can now easily find out more about the project, access developer resources such as Github, and have a look at their demo site.

The team is now focusing on the structure of their business model and what options there are to manage the code base and contributors going forwards.


The RIPA and BOPS teams ran their second Planning Software Showcase. It allowed interested councils to see their first end to end demo and have a conversation about how they can get involved.

@BoPs_Digital tweet about their first end to end demo of RIPA/BOPS

Their third and final Planning Software Showcase was on Tuesday 28 September. The showcases have resulted in 17 councils signing up to be in the next cohort to develop and implement the tool.

Missed their show and tell? You can watch it on their YouTube channel where you’ll also find all their other show and tells and demos.

Additionally, the open source boundary drawing tool is now in use in both RIPA and BOPS, and has code contributions from the two different delivery partners.

Quality Data for Children in Care

The team has successfully coded 68 errors in Python in total, with two new advanced rules coded this week. Wigan will be on board with the team from 27 September. This will increase the number of participating analysts and bolster the number of rules coded per week.

The team highlighted their progress so far during an update meeting: 12 advanced rules, 68 rules written or in review, an average of 30 video views, and 32% simple rules written

Children’s Social Care Demand

The team has successfully completed the Excel models which are based on Python. These have been passed to local government data analysts for feedback.

The tool is on schedule to be released for the wider community at the beginning of October, and the team will run some webinars demonstrating the tool so that they can get feedback.

Income Management System

The team will be running a show and tell on Wednesday 6 October at 2:00pm. They will be explaining the product and inviting councils to be part of their private Beta.

To sign up, contact Isobel Croot.

@LocalGovIMS tweet about their #IMSbeta:Show and Tell on 6 October #LocalDigital #LDgovUK

Future Work Design

The team has published a blog post which details a recent research participant’s feedback.

The participant details how using Microsoft My Analytics (an application designed to help employees gain insight into how workers spend their time) has made their working habits clearer.

Have a read of their blog post ‘Finding the right balance for me’ to find out what else the research participant learned.

On another note, Eddie Niblett (East Riding of Yorkshire Council) and Fiona Earle (University of Hull) presented at the LGC awards finalist panel, and are awaiting the results. Fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading! For the daily download on all things #LocalDigital, be sure to follow us on Twitter.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Local Digital

The Local Digital team is part of the UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. Read more about our work: https://www.localdigital.gov.uk.