Introducing: The Local Digital Coalition

3 May 2016, 2:40 pm

There have been some questions about what the Local Digital Coalition is and how it differs from the DCLG’s Local Digital Programme, particularly following the first newsletter. This blog post is intended as a quick primer that should hopefully cover the most frequently asked questions.

On 31st March 2016 the Local Digital Programme at the DCLG was closed down. During its lifetime the programme had gathered and produced a huge number of assets – among them a website complete with well-read news and blog pages, social media accounts, a backlog of completed projects, a number of in-flight projects, a mailing list – all of which were far too useful to just disappear into the ether. So in the weeks before the programme’s finish the DCLG team put in a huge amount of work to pull together all those assets, to encourage the organisations involved with their programme into a partnership that could take ownership of those assets, and to agree with those partners an action plan that would give a framework for future collaboration independent of the DCLG.

That partnership is the Local Digital Coalition.

One very understandable question was around what this means for all the contact email addresses and other information that was previously under control of the DCLG. As of this moment all that information is under the guardianship of the London Borough of Camden, who have volunteered to provide a starter secretariat which would cover the first 12 months and would safeguard the assets associated with communication and administration, such as the website and mailing list etc. The same applies for all the existing project documentation, which is being transferred to Camden ownership over the course of this week.

The in-flight projects were divided by the DCLG between those organisations that were best placed to lead on them. We’ll update the website to give some further guidance on this, but examples would be the Local Waste Service Standards project which has been placed under guardianship of Luton Borough Council, or the Integrated Care Record Standards project which will sit with the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Right now we’re still in the early stages of ramping up activity under the new governance. The initial handover is complete, but the sheer breadth and volume of what the DCLG were facilitating means picking up the reins is a complex job that will take a bit of time. The first formal Coalition meeting is booked in before the end of Q2 this year, and following that we should be much clearer on where the Coalition will sit in the big web of Local Government interests.

Hopefully this has helped to address any immediate concerns, but if you have any further questions please do get in touch at admin@localdigitalcoalition.uk and we’ll do our best to get back to you.