Agenda item

Digital Flintshire


As detailed in the recommendations.


Councillor Mullin introduced the report and explained that, in the four years since the Digital Strategy was approved, there had been many changes, not least because the Council had completed objectives within the document.  There had also been changes in the wider strategic context such as Welsh Governments digital that helped to define common minimum standards across the whole of Wales.  Most significantly were the changes needed to adapt to lockdown which had accelerated demand for, and the delivery of, digital services.


It was now appropriate to review and revise the strategy to reflect those factors and the revised draft incorporated learning, experiences, growth and ambition.  It also featured as a separate theme objective to help reduce the exclusion that could be suffered without access to the skills, devices or connectivity needed to take advantage of digital services.


The IT Infrastructure Manager commented on the successful Member workshops on Digital Strategy that had recently taken place, and explained that the report had been considered at Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee where it was supported.


Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of people able to work from home had increased from 800 to over 1500 within 10 days.  Examples were given of where the Council had responded to the pandemic by delivering work in different ways, with two examples being enabling remote learning by providing remote access solutions to schools and supplying devices and mobile Wifi units to digitally disadvantaged learners throughout Flintshire.  Other examples were outlined in the report.


The Customer Contact Service Manager explained that as part of refreshing the objectives within the Council’s Strategy following a review by Audit Wales, work was undertaken to identify:


·         Demands and expectations of service users;

·         Areas for development; and

·         Changes to working practices and procedures


They were reflected in the revised Strategy, along with the changes outlined in the report.


Work was currently underway to ensure that the projects and ambitions within the Strategy also had accurate costings assigned.  That would create a funding plan and ensure that any potential funding gaps were identified as early as possible.


Consultation would take place with user groups and residents throughout the summer.


            All Members commented on the importance of digital, particularly since the pandemic, which had seen reductions in travel time for meetings which were no held virtually and the support given to residents, particularly those who were vulnerable.  


In response to a question from Councillor Bithell, the Customer Contact Service Manager explained that the Flintshire Connects Centres offered access to PC’s and iPads and were still operating within the social distances rules.


Councillor Banks asked a question on the North Wales Councils Regional Emergency Planning Service under ‘Digital Partnership’.  The IT Infrastructure Manager explained that this related to a piece of work that had been completed where Flintshire County Council provided IT infrastructure and reconfigured devices for the Emergency Planning Team to support their co-location to Welsh Government (WG) offices in Llandudno junction.




(a)       That the progress made in delivering Digital Flintshire 2017/2022 is welcomed;


(b)       That the refreshed Digital Strategy for 2021/2026 be approved pending consultation with user groups; and


(c)        That the Chief Officer (Governance) be granted authority to finalise the policy in consultation with the Deputy Leader of the Council (Governance) and Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Assets.

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