Local Councils recognised for outstanding digital transformation achievements in the public sector

Leading the charge on digital transformation, last month South Hams District Council, West Devon Borough Council, Cumbria County Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council were recognised for their achievements via two gold awards and a bronze award in the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards 2022. By harnessing the power of Netcall’s suite of low-code tools, these councils have transformed outdated legacy systems to deliver cost efficiencies while driving improvements to citizen experience.

  • Best Transformation Team (Gold): South Hams DC and West Devon BC saves £450K in a year

South Hams District Council & West Devon Borough Council won the gold award for ‘Best Transformation Team’ for continuously innovating and pushing the boundaries of local public service deployment. In just 18 months, using Netcall’s low-code technology, the two councils have transformed 90 processes, including abandoned vehicle reporting, access to business grants and hardship relief and streamlined planning enquiries and Test and Trace.

User-friendly platforms have enabled three quarters (75%) of citizens to benefit from self-service functionality to date. And, by freeing up teams from the burden of navigating broken processes and siloed data, the two councils have saved an impressive £450,000 over 12 months.

Jim Davis, Customer Improvement Manager for South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council, commented, “Despite having a much smaller team, we are seeing rapid transformation being delivered in about a third of the time with the use of low code enabling us to push out processes at about six times the speed of the previous system. Not only are customers getting a better experience, but we’ve been able to effectively balance work across staff resources to reduce stress and improve job satisfaction”.

  • Customer Focus Award (Gold): Cumbria County Council freeing up 20 management hours per week

Since the design of the UK’s first integrated end-to-end Track and Trace system in 2020, which achieved a 96% contact success rate, Cumbria County Council continues to set the benchmark for customer-centred design of digitally enabled services in the county and are recognised as national leaders.

This year, Cumbria County Council was recognised with a gold award for ‘Customer Focus’ for breaking away from the complex systems typical of areas such as highways and social care services. By doing so, the council has made significant savings. For example, fault reporting on highways has reduced management time by more than 20 hours per week, equating to 28 person weeks per year. Using Netcall’s low-code platform Liberty, these process improvements were achieved with no additional software costs and the in-house team were able to deliver these results as part of business as usual.

The council has also been able to develop further innovative solutions including ‘Targeted Short Breaks Activities’ which matches children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND with available council funded support. Parents of SEND children self-serve to request short break activities. The end-to-end service uses online registration to facilitate activity booking and provides updates as needed.

Kate Hurr, Digital Manager for Cumbria County Council, commented, “Continuous improvement has become part of the team’s DNA at Cumbria. We want to provide digital services that are so good that people choose to use them.”

  • Best Transformation Team (Bronze) – Tewkesbury Borough Council ‘flying the digital flag’ with savings of £100K in 18 months

The transformation team at Tewkesbury Borough Council has been recognised for its positive impact on service management and delivery. The team has been referred to as ‘flying the digital flag for district councils’ by breaking free of dysfunctional and unconnected systems and driving transformation with a flexible and innovative approach underpinned by Netcall’s Liberty Platform.

As a fully remote team, the council has simplified systems and reduced officer admin time, resulting in quicker customer response times and significant improvements in council finances – so much so that they saved over £100,000 net of investment in the first 18 months. The council has also been able to increase its ability to drive service income, including a 35% revenue growth from garden waste over three years.

Clare Evans, Corporate Services Manager, Tewkesbury Borough Council, commented, “Not only are we helping to create savings for the council, but we’re also simplifying back-office processes too.”

Mark Gannon, Director of Client Solutions, Public Sector at Netcall, concluded, “These councils have worked tirelessly to transform services for their citizens and their success recognises their understanding that becoming a truly digital council requires transformational leadership, an intense focus on user-centred design and investment in the right platforms and tools.

“Using our solutions which are specifically designed with and for councils in an open and collaborative way and underpinned by low-code, the local authorities we work with have been able to automate and digitalise critical processes rapidly and for significantly lower costs whilst delivering a great customer experience for citizens and I’m delighted that their achievements have been recognised by iESE.”

For further information on the success of South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council, Cumbria County Council and Tewkesbury Borough Council sign up to Netcall’s next webinar: Councils Driving Digital: What’s Holding You Back?