Town and Community Council Digital Capacity Research
There are 732 community and town councils in Wales, with around 8,000 councillors. As a tier of local government, they are elected bodies, with discretionary powers and rights laid down by Parliament to represent their communities and provide services for them.
Funded by the Welsh Government, the Local Government Chief Digital Officer commissioned a project in the Autumn of 2022 to analyse the digital capacity and capability of the town and community council sector in Wales with the aim of determining how best to resource it sustainably.
Although most councils believe their digital capabilities have improved over the past several years, mostly driven by need resulting from the pandemic, there are wide variations and inconsistencies across the sector in terms of digital capacity and capability.
A research project was undertaken to better understand issues faced in the sector. Activities included a sector-wide survey, focus groups, and a series of one-to-one interviews with council representatives.
The outcome of this research was a report containing a list of recommendations to help maintain and improve the progress made over the past few years.
Community and town councils across Wales are finding that providing their services digitally is challenging. How can we assess the digital capacity and capability of the sector and determine how best to upskill it sustainably?
Aims and objectives
The research’s aim was to assess the digital capacity and capability of the town and community council sector and determine how to upskill it sustainably. The research also aimed to understand the range of issues and the categories they would fall into, for instance:
- Infrastructure or connectivity
- Access to devices
- Lack of skills and training
The objective was to elicit a clear picture of the current digital capacity and capability situation so any recommendations delivered are consumable, clear and list positive actions that could be taken.
The research concluded there is much to do to maintain the pace of digital improvements made during the pandemic. To do this, digital requirements and standards need to be clearly defined, more support is needed to increase skills, and sufficient funding is required to invest in modern equipment and infrastructure.
The research for this report was carried out by management consultancy and training business Cwmni CELyn.
Research Report – Town and Community Council Digital Capacity
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