ICT and information in local government

SOCITM East Spring 2012
ICT and information in local government, playing
our part as enablers for economic growth
David Wilde, Chief Information Officer
Essex County Council
Essex: delivering the best quality of life
Essex County
1.4 million residents
368,000 hectares
596,500 homes
60,000 businesses
4,642 miles of road
£20 billion local economy
Essex County Council:
• £2.13 billion gross budget – but shrinking rapidly
• 48,000 employees (34,000 in schools)
• 210,000 pupils across 571 state and 52 private
• Partners include 5 PCTs, 12 district and borough
councils, two unitary authorities, 270 parish
The Essex economy – some key issues
• GVA in Essex is £16.4k per head, compared with £18.5k in the Eastern
Region and £20.5k in England (2009)
• Most growth in Essex (business units) over the period 1999 – 2008 was
in construction, financial services and the public sector; most contraction
was in manufacturing
• Across Essex 73.1% of the working age population are employed,
compared to the national average of 70.4%.
• Unemployment doubled since 2008. Hotspots in Basildon, Tendring and
• NEET figures as % of 16-19 cohort largely stable 2009-11 - Essex
NEET figures are higher than statistical neighbours and than East of
England average
• Largest employment sectors are: Health; Education; Retail;
Manufacturing and Business Support
• Largest fall in employment 2009-11 has been in the construction
The Essex economy – some key issues
• Births of new enterprises has slowed down – from c6,900 new
enterprises created in 2007 to 5,900 created in 2010
• Enterprise failures have increased – c5,900 ended in 2008; nearly 7,000
died in 2009 and 2010
• Total number of enterprises fallen from around 59,000 to below 58,000
• Behind national average at GCSE, Early Years and Adult Skills levels 2,
3 and 4
• Boys falling behind girls
• A less skilled workforce - higher skills levels lower than national average
• Resident population earnings higher in 2011 than 2009; working
population earnings slightly lower in 2011 than 2009 (but did recover
• Working population average earnings (c£21k pa) lower than resident
population average earnings (c£24k pa)
Essex Integrated County Strategy
& skills
& innovation
& utilities
To help Essex businesses to be more productive, innovate and grow and
create jobs for local people by securing the infrastructure and environment that
they need to attract investment and unlock sustainable growth opportunities.
To help Essex businesses to compete and trade internationally, thereby
expanding the county’s international connections and market opportunities.
To help individuals to prepare for and access work opportunities and better
paid jobs through an education and skills offer that meets the needs of
To improve the life chances of people in our most deprived areas by
recognising and investing in social capital.
To support and create vibrant communities, helping to ensure that citizens
can access jobs and public services in an efficient and sustainable way.
IS Strategy for Essex County Council
End User Computing
Includes data, voice, video & conferencing
Reduced cost per user per annum for device, file storage, security, connectivity & support
Information Governance
Supports Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act,
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act & compliance e.g. Munro Review of Child Protection
Social Networking, SharePoint, Collaboration, Etc.
IT Skills & Capacity
Professionalism, Capacity & Capability
Customer Centric Services
Business Applications, Cloud Services,
Business Intelligence, Application Programming Interfaces
Convergence via the
Next Generation Network
and PSN
BI and GIS are the growth areas for public sector ICT over the next few years:
Politicians need much more detailed, dynamic information to make
harder decisions about deploying fewer resources
Organisations need to be able to better manage diminishing resources
around workforce, property and delivery
The public are already becoming very demanding about knowing where
the money is going
Our information is still spread all over the place
So, politicians, business and the public all want it and we can deliver it as a
key enabler for helping to better manage resources and change
Unemployment and the impact on
health and well being
ICT Delivery
ICT Shared service initiatives have been focussed on organisations, not
services. This is changing:
Other shared services are already quite mature in HR and a number of
front line operations
ICT as a service now growing in library services, elements of core social
care and BI
There is a renewed interest in education ICT support and schools
broadband is holding up well
Converged networks looking really good and is unlocking wider
opportunities on shared accommodation and mobility
So, a different slant on ICT as a shared service and a real opportunity to grow
beyond local government into new markets. We can help with skills growth too
Economic Growth
This is where corporate ICT can really start to add value to our localities:
Converged networks combined with infrastructure investment offers huge
potential now and for the future, with communications infrastructure
playing into local planning frameworks
Our combined buying power and reach based on location will help us
unlock hard to reach areas. We don’t just operate in the BDUK silo
Job creation and skills development, the Council ICT function and
apprenticeships, partnering and buying from local tech SMEs
Inward investment opportunities by bringing our knowledge to the EDO
So, we should be in there with the FE and HE community to help on skills and
looking beyond our internal customer base to exploit our assets
Digital divide and the Voluntary Sector
We can use our assets and commercial links to support both:
Community computer schemes, re-using spent ICT end user devices for
charities to reach the digitally excluded, working with not for profits and
large ICT commercial outfits through social capital
Unlocking our infrastructure and estates (physical and technology) for
controlled use by third sector. PSN based converged networks should
enable that provided we don’t all start wiring in IL3 infrastructure!
Our knowledge and skills to help the voluntary sector?
Collaboration environments to help community groups and low cost/no
cost wifi
Local government is a long standing supporter of voluntary sector through
grants. As they reduce we can replace some of that with services in kind.
ICT at the heart of community and economic growth
Excellent public access to services beyond just web, libraries of the future as
gateways to facilitated service provision? Hubs? Collaboration space?
Improving basic access – training, equipment, bandwidth, location
Partners – voluntary sector play a major role in all this, technology must
enable joint working – collaborative solutions with communities
Transparency – data stores available to all and information governance that
spans all service delivery partners and information owners (citizens)
People able to operate across organisations through role based access
control in a virtual end user computing world
Tech infrastructure as an integral part of local development planning
No longer just about local government, it’s about public service delivery
Skills and education, right skills for a future workforce
Community Budgets
Four Economic Opportunities pilots:
Skills - an Essex skills system to underpin economic growth
Transportation - an Integrated Essex Transport system – improving the
cost, availability and reliability of transport
Infrastructure - infrastructure investment to underpin economic growth
Business Support - Business Support infrastructure
Picking up issues that will enable the successful delivery of the
Economic Growth Strategy – focussing on unblocking blockages
Questions, comments?

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