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Agenda item

Smart Cities Scrutiny Review - Report Back


Jo Barker, Assistant Director of Digital Partnership, John Saul, Business Relationship Manager and Lynn Spendilow, Business Analyst updated Members on progress of the recommendations in a report produced in May 2016 following the review undertaken by the Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee on Smart Cities.

In the discussion the following points were made -

·         The Smart Cities Advisory Board provides leadership in implementing the Council’s Digital Collaboration Strategy, together a panel of citizens, key partners, private sector experts and technology providers including technology specialist such as InLinks UK, Microsoft, Three, private consulting firms and local authorities have been brought in to provide expertise and knowledge.

·         The Advisory Board has produced an action plan.

·         Members welcomed the inclusion of representatives of Age UK on the advisory board so that everyone’s views are taken into consideration while shaping the strategy.

·         The Council continues to retain ownership of data collated through the internet of Things and Smart cities. It was suggested that that officers should ensure that valuable data shared and in the possession of third parties is not lost.  It could be used by the Council in the future especially as it plans for the delivery of or shaping its services.

·         In response to a question on the baseline audit, the Business Analyst informed Members that Internal Audit is reviewing all Council services that have potential for smart cities involvement, as it was important not to reinvent what is working. Members were informed that having other local authorities on board was a positive thing as lessons and experiences are shared so as to avoid pitfalls.

·         With regards to consultation, its methodology and community engagement, two years ago the committee received a presentation on an interactive consultation tool called ‘Common Place’ and it was suggested that officers liaise with their counterparts in Waltham Forest which employed the tool while undertaking a transport project.

·         Members were advised of the ‘soft’ launch of the Clean Islington app which was still being tested.  The intention is that it would be integrated with other Council systems. 

·         In response to concerns about digital exclusion, the meeting was informed that this was an ongoing discussion with their various partners and is also being addressed through the Council’s apprenticeship programme, various online forums and training.

·         With regards to the impact of Digital Champions, Members were advised that  the initiative was successfully taken up by council officers when launched especially with the provision of tablets, however interest faded especially when it involved community engagement.

·         The possible extension of digital services into the issues around anti-social behaviour would be considered as the present system which involved calling a telephone hotline is not for purpose in today’s modern digital society and that victims should be offered an online platform where it is easy to log and report cases quickly. Officers welcomed the suggestion and indicated that this would be fed back to the Advisory Board

·         Members were advised that housing officers were piloting an app to monitor noise nuisance in their estates. If successful the app would be extended to areas other than reporting complaints by the residents such as being used by council officers for identifying hot spot areas and resources allocation.


            That the report be noted.


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