New mayors should adopt digital first mindset

techUK has said that newly elected mayors should put digital at the heart of their plans to deliver the best on digital devolution.

Publishing Digital Devolution: A Guide for Mayors, which sets out a series of questions for the new Mayor to ask their team in their first 100 days, the tech organisation argues that by putting digital at the forefront of city region plans, Mayors can re-shape and integrate services, creating better places to live and drive regional growth.

Outlining key recommendations for new mayors, techUK says that ensuring that the right digital leadership is in place is important, suggesting that a Chief Digital and Innovation Champion (CDIC) be appointed and an innovation unit established to to foster new partnerships and offer practical support to test new ideas and embed digital across the place.

Furthermore, the group recommends the the mayor: make a clear commitment to open up data and make decisions based on city wide data and create a city region datastore; adopt a citizen centric approach to tackle digital exclusion; and convene a Digital Skills Task Force to agree a skills pipeline and put in place the necessary provisions to meet the needs and demand of the community and employers.

Georgina Maratheftis, programme manager for Local Government at techUK, said: “Digital devolution presents one of the biggest opportunities to do things differently, break down the traditional barriers to service delivery to drive improved outcomes for all.

“The mayors, with their direct and convening powers, must use their new and unique position to accelerate the pace of transformation, working closely with public sector, the community and industry to deliver better outcomes for all citizens by creating truly joined-up services and places where citizens want to live and thrive. We are looking forward to working with the Mayors to redefine what a 21st century city region can be.”