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Richmond Council is this week unveiling a new approach to digital services and wants to know what residents and businesses think. The Council has produced a draft digital strategy that sets out how it will use the power of the internet and related new technologies to improve the lives of residents and businesses.

The Council won’t be forcing people towards using digital services - but will design them so they will move that way naturally. Help and support is readily available - do you know for example you can pop into your local library for an IT taster session, more details are available here

We don’t pretend to have all the answers and we would like to hear from you to help shape the future digital direction of the Council. You can do that via our online survey, which runs to 13 December 2019.

Cllr Robin Brown, Lead Member for Finance and Resources for Richmond Council, said:

“For this Council, digital simply means the smart use of technology. The key shift in our approach is about putting service users at the heart of how we think about designing and delivering all our services. We’re not interested in “digital for the sake of it” and will be driven by ensuring all digital developments meet the test of “how does it help us deliver better communication and better services for local people and businesses.”

Of course, having a fast and reliable mobile signal and broadband connection are essential for people to access all online services. As part of the future Digital Strategy for Richmond upon Thames, the ambition is that the borough is amongst the best connected in the country, with high speed connections available for all. Residents and local businesses who have poor coverage are being asked to report issues to the Council, who will then lobby providers to improve connectivity across the borough.

Cllr Brown commented again:

“Having high speed access to the internet and clear and consistent mobile phone signal is vital for almost all businesses and residents across the borough. In an age where almost all our banking, shopping and for many people social interaction, takes place online, if there are problems it can have huge negative impacts on our lives.

“We need to be clear - Richmond Council cannot fix poor digital connectivity. However, we believe there is strength in numbers. We want to pool local knowledge about connectivity ‘black holes’ and report them to providers on your behalf, pushing them to take action. We can’t guarantee they will do anything; however, we do know that if there is a commercial benefit to suppliers, they are more likely to take notice.”

For more information about broadband and mobile signals in the borough, or to report any issues, go to: www.richmond.gov.uk/your_broadband_and_mobile_signal_strengths

For more information about the Council’s Digital Strategy: richmond.gov.uk/digital_richmond

– from a Richmond Council press release - 7 November 2019