This page needs updating. You might as well just look at my LinkedIn profile. Except then you have to look at LinkedIn. Sorry.
As a new councillor in a local town council, and with a wealth of experience as product manager and business consultant with software houses specialising in business process management in Germany and the United States, I am appalled at the lack of any professional support for the IT systems in operation in the town council offices.
Circumstances have allowed me to have a close look at the systems in use at the council offices, and I have found that everything has been running by pure luck rather than informed judgement. There is no guidance from either the county or district councils, and no support, which must surely lead to huge inefficiencies, as each local council is left to its’ own devices to commission software or hardware.
I have had the opportunity to talk with a couple of other councils and the story seems to be the same there. There is a desire to cooperate with other councils, but it would be sensible for the lead to come from the county council, and if you are responsible for corporate systems architecture then I would have thought this would be of interest to you.. although it means including the local and district councils as part of the County infrastructure.
If you’re interested in discussing this further feel free to contact me.
Thanks for the comment Howard. In our area we work quite closely already with our district councils and that relationship is quite strong. If you are talking town and parish councils, however, I agree there’s a lot of room for improvement there and one that we will have to address with the increasing focus on localism. One way is to allow local councils to commission services using County/District platforms but it’s an area I need to give more time to.
Thanks for the quick response. I’m in your area as well… But at the town/parish council level. Due to various circumstances and because of my IT experience I was asked to look at some issues with the IT setup here, and am really surprised at how chaotic it all is. Autonomy is fine, but when it means delegating important decisions (like security, back up services, email provision, wifi provision) to people who have little or no experience in the issues involved, and the systems are used also by town clerks and admin assistants who also don’t have any understanding, it leads to huge problems and a waste of money and time, and very insecure information.
They have to rely on outside contractors, and when they feel they have to blindly accept the cheapest quote when it is being authorised at council, it can all end in problems.
It’s certainly an issue which is not easy to solve, but I feel it deserves some attention, even if only to audit the situation at the various local councils to assess the risk.
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