A lunch date for debate

LocalGovCamp 2017 is on 15/16 September in Bristol and features a Friday of workshops and UK local government’s biggest unconference on the Saturday. We’ll be announcing more about these soon.

This year we’ve introduced something new, and Friday lunchtime features a question and answer session with two prominent local politicians, Labour cabinet member for Finance, Technology and Growth at London Borough of Camden, Theo Blackwell, and Conservative Leader of Sevenoakes District Council, and Deputy Chair of the Local Government Association, Peter Flemming.

You’ll get a chance to submit a question for Theo and Peter, which is yet another reason to join the waitlist for LocalGovCamp here.


LocalGovCamp 2017

LocalGovCamp is the largest and longest running unconference for UK Local Government. This September it heads to a new city, Bristol, and features a day of workshops on the 15th, and the main unconference on the 16th September.

Friday 15th September

This year LocalGovCamp Fringe Friday features a workshop format, where experts from leading councils, Government Digital Service, Department for Work and Pensions, Ministry of Justice, Public Service Transformation Academy, innovation labs and more including private sector organisations will run workshops on all aspects of the Local Government Service Standard.

Sessions will arm attendees with practical skills to realise each point in the Standard, from designing services around users, making the most of the agile toolkit in Local, to doing performance monitoring well and using open standards and platform components.

Workshops will cover service design, doing user research, adopting common standards and ‘Government as a Platform’ components, with much more to be announced in the coming weeks.

Saturday 16th September

Saturday is the main unconference, where the agenda is set on the day by those who attend. Whatever your background or interests, you could be running a session on something you’re passionate about and getting advice and support from some of the brightest minds in and around local government.


If you work in or around local government and care about creating better public services then this is event is for you. As always, tickets are free, and given the annual high demand each year we’ve decided to distribute tickets through a lottery. You can sign up for the lottery here and we’ll announce who’s got a ticket shortly after the lottery closes on Friday 9 June.

You can find out what happened last year, and if you’re interested in the many sponsorship options then please tweet @localgovcamp or email [email protected].

Be part of LocalGov Digital and get involved with the movement to create better, cheaper local services at LocalGovCamp.


London peer group launches teacamp series

Last week the London peer group launched its 2017 teacamp: a series of meetups on different aspects of the local government digital service standard. The first session focused on ‘Creating a service using the agile, iterative and user-centered methods set out in the Government Service Design Manual’.

The session kicked off with representatives from LoGov and Newham Council, who talked about how agile meant challenging hierarchy, working across teams and having better tools for collaboration and work management. It was great to hear how many benefits they have gained from being able to speak directly to users, to understand their needs and to help them.

In particular, senior people at the council now listening more to the team because they’ve spoken to users directly. They also highlighted other benefits, such as how they have shown back office staff how their decision making has a direct impact on users, and how useful an ‘alpha’ can be to test out a system and see whether it can meet your user’s needs.

As others got involved in the ‘fishbowl’ discussion, there was lots to talk about regarding capability and how you get the right staff. We discussed various tactics, such as using suppliers to upskill existing staff, the central digital team running master classes for the rest of the organisation, and how you upskill developers using open source communities for support. We also talked about the benefits of building apprenticeship schemes, training up less experienced recruits, and intern schemes.

The next teacamp is scheduled for April 27th and will focus on user research. Save the date and look out for the invite. To get on the mailing list for future events, please contact us at [email protected]


Co-Op Discovery Phase Announced

Following a consultation in December, LocalGov Digital have announced plans to create a co-operative.

The scope and structure of the co-operative have yet to be formalised, and in keeping with the collaborative ethos of the network, we’re looking for people to get involved with the discovery phase and beyond.

Whether you work for a council or are just interested in helping create better, cheaper local public services we’d love to hear from you, and you can register an interest here and help be the change to LocalGov Digital.


Case Management Discovery Workshop Announced

Last year we published details of a project to create a case management capability, or “CRM Lite” for councils. This collaborative work is supported by LocalGov Digital and the Local Digital Coalition.

As part of the discovery phase of this work 20 January Looking Local (part of Kirklees Council) will be running a workshop on 20 January at Cherwell District Council, in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Places at this workshop are very limited, so if your council is interested in moving away from the cost and complexity of a full Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System in favour of using a smaller, more versatile capability to record and manage requests for information and service from residents, then please get in touch with Lianne Viney as soon as possible.


We’re on the Case

Across the country, an increasing number of councils are considering a move away from the cost and complexity of a full Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System in favour of using a smaller, more versatile capability to record and manage requests for information and service from residents.

LocalGov Digital is working with Co-fund & Collaboration site CC2i and a number of local authorities including Leeds City Council and West Berkshire Council on the first phase to discover the user needs and requirements to create a case management capability for councils.

If you’d like to get your council involved, at this stage all we’re asking for is your time. We’ve create a new Slack channel and you can sign up to the Local Gov Digital Slack Team here with your email address.

Alternatively, get in touch with CC2i by emailing [email protected] or phoning 07932 742 661 .




Co-Operative Consultation

LocalGov Digital are considering plans to become a community co-operative, and have launched a consultation to understand your views about how we can make this happen and work for you.

Currently an informal volunteer network, LocalGov Digital would seek to change to a model that incorporated formal membership of a co-operative, asking for a financial donation from individual members with membership also being available for organisations and supporters too.

Why does LocalGov Digital need to change?

We have achieved so much already, and now it’s time to think about the next iteration.

LocalGov Digital wants to:

  • keep growing our network and welcoming new members

  • find new ways to work together

  • work more effectively with partner organisations

  • keep developing the network as a real driver for change in local public services.

Moving to a co-operative membership model will give us the framework to be clear about who were are and what we want to achieve. It also provides opportunities for the network to potentially seek funding. The most important thing for us is that we are essentially asking people to sign up to the principles and values of the cooperative as part of joining and becoming a part of LocalGov Digital


  1. We seek to create a community cooperative to provide a vehicle for LocalGov Digital during the first quarter of 2017

  2. We seek to introduce a membership offer for individuals

  3. We seek to introduce an individual membership fee in the form of a financial donation – the current thinking is £1 to ensure everyone has an equal stake as a member

    Additional considerations:

    1. The membership fee would be a one off payment, or

    2. The membership fee would be an annual recurring payment

  4. We seek to develop and introduce an offer for organisations building on the LocalGov Digital Service Standard sign up process

  5. We seek to apply criteria for accepting sponsorship to align with the Values and principles of the cooperative and the LocalGov Digital Service Standard.

Tell us what you think

We need to know what you think about these proposals.

Please let us know by tweeting @localgovdigital or emailing [email protected], before Friday 16 December.

You can read individual views from Network members on this proposed changes here and if you’d like to blog about your views, we’ll link to it.



Notwestminster 2017

Notwestminster 2017

10th & 11th February

The Media Centre, Huddersfield


Notwestminster is a free event for everyone who has something positive to say about local democracy and anyone who is up for the challenge of making it better.

This is an important moment for our democracy. It’s impossible to ignore recent events, which have left many people feeling uncertain about the future. Our response is to say that local democracy starts where we are. There are practical things that all of us can do to be part of the debate, to have a voice in local decisions and to create the relationships that will help us to get things done in our communities.

We think that a stronger local democracy is here for the making. Will you be part of it?

Main event – Saturday 11th February
Our main event includes participant-led workshops, lightning talks, creative activities and lots of opportunities for making contact with others who are interested in local democracy and digital.

Fringe events – Friday 10th February
Fringe events include our Democracy Experiments Day, a practical day of designing and trying out experiments around local democracy. We also have a special PechaKucha Night, featuring a series of fun, quick-fire presentations from members of the Notwestminster network and our friends. 

Who is it for? Everyone…

Notwestminster participants include active citizens, local government officers, councillors, digital makers, academics, young people and community organisations. If you’re interested in local democracy, citizen engagement, open data or civic tech, Notwestminster is for you.

Tickets and more info

To find out more and book your free tickets please visit: Notwestminster 2017


South Peer Group Takes Off

Hot on the heels of the initial meetings of the London Peer Group and the Midlands Peer Group, the South finally has its own group which launched today.

Aimed at bringing together the 33 local councils in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Hampshire, the South Peer Group is looking to see how councils can use the Local Government Digital Service Standard (LGDSS) to create better, cheaper services.

For some this will be their first involvement with the LGDSS, while others will be further ahead in its implementation. We’re hoping that the Peer Group will be a great opportunity to learn from good practice, support each other and create a strong network of digital local authorities to take the LGDSS forward.

Facilitating the event will be Neil Lawrence from Oxford City Council, which is planning to incorporate the LGDSS into its first Digital Strategy, and Matthew Cain from Buckinghamshire County Council, who’s “It’s GDS until it’s not” approach was outlined at the Local Government Digital Service Standard Summit in September.

If you work for a council or local government partner organisation in the South and would like to come along on 25 November 2016, 10am to 1.30pm please register your free attendance


Making a Stand for Local Services

iStandUK are a public sector organisation who’s mission is to promote eStandards that support efficiency, transformation, and transparency of local public services in the UK. Like LocalGov Digital, they’re a member of the Local Digital Coalition and are part of the effort to create better, cheaper, public services through thinking, doing and sharing.

The Local Government Association has commissioned iStandUK to propose a data format to describe local services, built upon existing standards and good practice from local councils, and other local service providers.

Understanding which local services are provided in each area and by whom is fundamental to transforming service delivery at a local level and iStandUK’s work to catalogue what the public sector provides is vital in this.

LocalGov Digital urge those involved with our network to take a few minutes complete their simple questionnaire to help them with their work.

To find out more please read Paul Davidson’s blog, or email Paul who is the CIO Sedgemoor District Council at [email protected].