Where would you base a LocalGov Digital service or network, a practitioner group that's aligned with local government's sector-led improvement agenda?
London? Edinburgh? Manchester? Birmingham?
People often refer to Local Government but in truth they should probably say Local Governments. This is because each Local Government has a unique political make-up, voted for by the residents of the respective Parish, District or County.
Decisions about local public services and how they're delivered are made by elected representatives, locally. This means that each have a different set of services and objectives.
Local Governments also consult on thousands of issues each year, and the results can vary by area. This also affects the services that they provide and how they deliver them.
As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for digital services, given no council is alike.
I've often read things like, "I worked in Local Government for five years, I know about it.". Unless you work in a Local Government now, you don't.
Cuts to funding, redundancies and shared services have changed things radically in the past couple of years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Not a criticism, just a statement of fact.
So, getting back to the question, where's LocalGov Digital? It's in London, in Hackney and Camden, but it's also in Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Derbyshire, Kent , Kirklees, Lichfield, Liverpool, Monmouthshire, North Yorkshire, South Cambridgeshire, Surrey, Swansea Walsall and West Berkshire
In fact it's promoting innovation in every local authority (as someone clever than I from Derbyshire once said) because that's where the decisions on local services are made and that's where the expertise to deliver them is.
If you’d like to discuss this then you can find me @PhilRumens