Public Policy Exchange | Digital Transformation in Local Government: Applying Technological Solutions to the Local Level

20 May 2021


Join Professor Mark Thompson at the Public Policy Exchange webinar “Digital Transformation in Local Government: Applying Technological Solutions to the Local Level” on Thursday 20th May.



The Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated digitisation in local government as councils have risen to the challenge of delivering public services remotely. However, it has also exposed insufficiencies and inequalities in digital service provision across the sector. Last year the United Nations E-Government Survey ranked the UK as the 7th most advanced digital government in the world – but research by OpenText found that in mid-2020, nine in ten local authorities had still yet to fully digitalise their citizen information records. There is a clear disparity between the ambitious digital transformation strategies launched by central government and the resources of most local authorities. Furthermore, the pressing demand to move existing services online in early lockdown may have embedded old working practices into new systems which would benefit from reimagining services in an entirely new way. The rapid digitisation brought on by the pandemic therefore demands thinking more thoroughly about strategic, longer-term innovation and investment in local digital service provision.



  • Review current national guidelines and policies for digital transformation in the wider public sector and discuss their intersection with and impact on local services.
  • Consider the role of central government in either facilitating or imposing structural transformation at local authority level.
  • Learn about emerging technologies and best practices utilised by leading local service providers in the UK.
  • Assess ways to overcome reduced budgets and minimal resources.
  • Identify other major barriers to digital transformation at local level and discuss potential strategies to combat them.
  • Develop ideas to foster greater collaboration between local digital service providers.
  • Build a strong business case and bring all relevant stakeholders on board.
  • Ensure a smooth transition between legacy and new systems and processes.
  • Explore potential solutions to address digital exclusion as public service provision becomes increasingly “digital first”.
  • Compare UK digital transformation strategies and capabilities to international competitors.


Joining Mark will be:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Pittaway, Senior Teaching Fellow at UCL School of Management
  • Gavin Beckett, Chief Product Officer at Placecube
  • Joana Goodwin, Digital Lead, Welsh Local Government Association
  • Lord Ralph Lucas, Officer on the APPG for Digital Skills
  • Caroline Sheppard OBE, Chief Adjudicator, Traffic Penalty Tribunal


Register now to secure your spot.