Vicky is programme director Connected Local Government, a regular host on CLGdotTV programmes and has served public sector IT for more than 25 years@vickysargent
Vicky Sargent picks out CLGdotTV favourites from the last few months covering birth, marriage, death, transformation, cannabis, employment, maps, homelessness, planning, care, fraud and recycling.
Everyone loves maps and there was a huge response to my conversation with Brian Prangle of OpenStreetMap when we talked about why the public sector doesn’t make more use of this remarkable crowd-sourced, open and free-to-use asset.
Council planners are big users of maps of course, but not always very user-friendly ones. This came up in the session with Brett Leahy, Chief Planner and digital/AI enthusiast who has worked transformation at Milton Keynes and is now looking to do the same at Redbridge LB.
Brett reminded us that a big current challenge for planners is getting more homes built in their patch. Our session on homelessness at the LGiU featuring Cllr Stephanie Cryan of Southwark was highly informative about the current crisis and whether Government polices can work in the current context of austerity and Universal Credit.
As environmental issues become ever more pressing, we have started a series called The Circular Economy in collaboration with Dr David Greenfield of SOENECS. We’ve made two programmes on Defra’s (pretty radical) Waste Strategy, one looking mostly at ‘designing out’ waste at source and the other at key elements of the Strategy that are subject to consultation.
Birth to death is pretty circular, but birth to death data does not always flow says Laura Folkers of the Worcestershire Office of Data Analytics, describing aspirations of the Local Digital funded project to explore how data can be securely and ethically shared to improve services and reduce fraud. We are expecting Laura back on CLGdotTV in May to reveal progress and next steps.
We learned from Rachael Tiffen of Cifas what a major issue fraud is for local authorities (north of £2.1bn a year) but often not recognised on corporate risk registers because departmental frauds don’t get aggregated. More on this to come thanks to CLGdotTV’s new programme partnership with Cifas.
Fraud is another thing that can be ‘designed out’ especially when services are re-thought for ‘digital’, according to Paula Clowes who appeared on our first fraud programme. I’m sure that will be music to the ears of Jason Kitcat Paula’s colleague at Essex CC who is leading the council’s transformation drive. Service re-design is a key part of this activity, he explained in an 'Audience with' recording in February.
Time for a weak link from ‘transformation’ to cannabis. In January, Mike Trace of the International Drugs Policy Consortium and Paul North of Volteface, the drugs policy think tank, discussed prospects for legalization of cannabis in the UK. No, I’m not going to tell you, watch the programme. It is actually an excellent primer for those vaguely aware that things are happening all around the world on this always controversial issue.
Finally and most recently available from CLGdotTV is an on location report from March's Dementia, Care and Nursing Home Show. It is encouraging about the benefits digital technologies can bring for people receiving care servcies and support as well as for those managing and delivering it. Even if not professionaly involved, many of us will be carers or be cared for at some stage in our lives, so worth a look at how this world is changing.
These are just some picks. Look out for more from CLGdotTV on all topics related to local public services policy and its delivery for and by local government, health, housing, and transport providers, and the third sector.
All programmes can be viewed on our platform, and don’t forget that all are available also as podcasts downloadable from us or the usual providers. You'll find podcast links on individual programme pages, so get listening in downtime or on your commute – a lot of people are.
Meanwhile, upcoming ‘Audience with’ programme recordings are advertised on our eventbrite page, linked from the header on this site, and which you can follow if you want to get alerts. OR follow us on Twitter (@CLGdotTV) to get updates on what has just been published.