Sprint Notes #59

Local Digital
Local Digital
Published in
7 min readNov 14, 2022

27 October — 9 November 2022

Welcome to Sprint Notes #59! In this issue, learn how you can partner with Local Digital, share your feedback on Sprint Notes and read the latest updates from our funded projects.

News from the team

4 days until applications close for the pilot of Future Councils

The Future Councils pilot will fund councils to make digital and cyber improvements across their organisations, reform key services, and influence organisation-wide factors that can unblock change.

To apply to be part of the pilot, you must be:

  • a local authority in England
  • a Local Digital Declaration signatory or become a signatory before the application deadline
  • supported by your Chief Executive in applying to be part of the pilot

Please read the Future Councils application guidance carefully before submitting your application.

All applications must be submitted using the online application form on our website by 5:30pm on Friday 18 November 2022.

Following the deadline, applicants may be invited to a panel interview on Wednesday 7 or Thursday 8 December so please ensure you are available on these dates.

Visit our website to learn more about the Future Councils pilot and apply to join.

10 days until applications close for the Local Digital Fund Round 6

The Local Digital Fund aims to help councils transform their digital services in line with the Local Digital Declaration.

Now open for its sixth round of funding, we’re inviting local authorities to propose Discovery, Alpha and Beta projects.

Applications must meet the following eligibility criteria to be considered for funding:

  • the lead applicant must be a local authority in England
  • the lead applicant and partner councils must be Local Digital Declaration signatories or become signatories before the deadline
  • each proposal must have a lead council and two other councils listed as partners

Please read the Prospectus carefully before submitting your application.

All applications must be submitted using the online application forms by 5.30pm on Thursday 24 November 2022.

Following the deadline, applicants may be invited to a panel interview on Tuesday 6 or Wednesday 7 December so please ensure you are available on these dates.

Learn more and apply.

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Funded Projects

Children’s Services Demand Modelling (East Sussex County Council)

The Children’s Services Demand Modelling team will mark the end of the project with a private beta Show and Tell in February/March 2023. They will present:

  • The estimated direct value per local authority per annum
  • The number of local authorities that have beta tested it and their feedback
  • The approach to language and design that encourages data sharing
  • The ‘Roadmap’ update — open source reusable code on GitHub, and activity around scaling for regional demand modelling

Housing Repairs Service (City of Lincoln Council)

Source: www.madetech.com/case-studies/building-a-housing-repairs-service-for-easy-reuse-across-the-uk/

On Tuesday 1 November, The Housing Repairs Service held a collaborative workshop with representatives from Lincoln, Newark and Sherwood, Hackney, Redbridge, Camden and Calderdale. During the workshop, councils discussed the services development roadmap, a desire to submit a continuous funding application, the governance structure that will be used to manage the codebase, the business and support model options for the service.

A follow-up session will be held later in November to discuss the specific requirements that will be delivered in the proposed next beta phase.

The project team held their Sprint 12 Show and Share session on Tuesday 8 November, sharing insights from their recent governance workshop and demonstrated a communal repairs journey.

Low Code Solutions for Housing Management (Redbridge Council)

Beta development for the project began on Monday 7 November. The team hosted a formal agile ceremony where the stakeholders and wider team were introduced, the tools and the platform agreed and the milestones for this project were set.

Greenwich Community Directory (Royal Borough of Greenwich)

The team have been working to finish the technical work on their proof of concept which will connect the Outpost backend structures with the LocalGov Drupal frontend for the directory. The team will deliver a Show and Tell later in November to share what they’ve been working on — keep an eye out for a date for this very soon!

The team have also continued positive conversations with other local authorities about adopting the Outpost tool as part of their community directories — if you’re interested, please get in touch with alex.sturtivant@royalgreenwich.gov.uk.

Family Context (Stockport Council)

Source: https://www.digitalstockport.info/?s=family+context

In a Show and Tell delivered on Monday 26 October, Project Lead Lindsey Yates presented great insights around how the product is meeting user needs. Lindsey’s recent focus has been enrolling additional Social Worker teams to start using the new version of the tool.

During the session, there was an interesting example provided by Leeds City Council on successful data sharing agreements with the West Midlands Police. John Medley-Hallam (Product Manager) talked about the role of social finance in this sector and the aim for a meeting with the Metropolitan Police to access critical data for the London project partners.

Future Work Design (East Riding of Yorkshire Council)

The technical team has continued building the tool and completed a successful demonstration.

An image presented at the demonstration.

Following the demonstration, partner councils can now provide feedback on the tool so far.

In early November, the team held a branding workshop to name the tool and decide how it will be communicated externally. The outcomes were successful and suggestions are being finalised.

LocalGov Drupal (Cumbria County Council)

Epping Forest District Council has successfully become the 32nd local authority to partner with LocalGov Drupal.

Annertech Director of Development, Mark Conroy, was recently featured in an article in Irish newspaper the Business Post discussing how “The LocalGov Drupal project has seen councils across Britain and Ireland pooling their resources to create excellent websites at a fraction of the usual cost and in a quarter of the time.”

LocalGov Drupal want to hear about your website development plans for the next 12 months. They are keen to hear from as many councils as possible to get a clear view of common needs across all local government organisations. The project team will use the data from this survey to create a new product roadmap for 2023.

Complete the survey to provide your input.

Offline Data Input Tool for Field Workers (Birmingham City Council)

Source: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/customer-service/community-forum-setup

Using Microsoft’s new Collaboration Forum, the team have been able to identify that this tool meets the needs of other councils. Being able to share across the MS community is vital to the project success.

Quality Children’s Data (Wigan Council)

The team now has 11 analysts signed up to code rules from across eight councils. There are a range of tools and guides to help people get started, as well as workshops to support the analysts with putting what they’ve learnt into practice. Feedback received from analysts who’ve taken part in the workshops was really helpful, and has highlighted that the community of analysts is very supportive.

The team have so far coded 30 rules and have 78 to go.

Revs & Bens System (Teignbridge District Council)

Additional research from Madetech has confirmed the hypothesis that it’s possible to lift and shift data out of a Civica Open revenue system.

However considerable effort will be required to complete the mapping and additional work needs to be done to understand risks associated with accessing historical data.

SEND top-up (Bristol City Council)

Source: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/bristol-local-offer

During this sprint, the team continued to complete tickets to finalise the tool for a demonstration on Thursday 17 November.

That’s it for this sprint, thanks for reading! For the daily download on all things #LocalDigital, be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and the DLUHC Digital Blog.



Local Digital
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.