Newsletter March 2023

Newsletter March 2023

Following a short break we return with a bumper edition of the WLGA Digital newsletter for March. Find out what we’ve been up to over the past couple of months, what we’re looking forward to and how you can get involved.  

Digital strategy 

As mentioned in January’s newsletter, our Head of Delivery Lindsey Phillips spent the early part of the year visiting councils across Wales to inform the team’s forward strategy and work programme. An initial proposal for this was circulated to councils earlier in the month and received really positive feedback. It was then presented to the Digital Leadership Board on 23rd March.  

Next we will circulate the proposal to wider stakeholders and continue to work with local authorities on adding more delivery detail. We’ll also be building out the work programmes for each of the three strategic priorities of People, Services and Technology.   

Digital update / Digital Advisory Group 

The digital update session scheduled for 12th April is no longer happening. This is because we are preparing to run the first of our Digital Advisory Group meetings on 19th April to which all councils have been invited. We will also be reviewing our wider comms plan to make sure we communicate our progress to the right people in the right way and at the right time.  

If you want to know who your council representative is on the Digital Advisory Group, please email us at  

Town and Community Council research report 

A report analysing the digital capacity and capability of the town and community council sector in Wales was launched on 16th March. This project was commissioned in Autumn last year with the aim to determine how best to resource the sector sustainably. A project blog post has been published which also contains a link to the full report.  

Local Government Digital Transformation Fund roundup 

The 22/23 Local Government Digital Transformation Fund has wrapped up, with the delivery of the 6 successful projects and the submission of a final paper to Welsh Government. The paper also included proposals for delivery of the fund in 23/24, and we hope to confirm details of next year’s fund in the coming weeks. Once confirmed we will look to kick things off at the Digital Advisory Group meeting, and will follow up with further comms in due course.  

In the meantime if you have any ideas for projects we could explore as candidates for funding in 23/24 please do let us know – we’d love to hear from you! 

Digital Skills Fund roundup 

We were allocated funding from Welsh Government to spend on skills and training in 22/23. A paper has been sent to Welsh Government summarising what we did with the funding, including setting up learning frameworks for content design and user research, a user research mentoring programme and a content design Community of Practice.  

We have additionally delivered a series of funded training sessions to support the learning frameworks and develop other skills across digital disciplines within councils including general agile methodology, delivery management and user experience.  

The funding also supported the purchase and distribution of a suite of books on digital topics to all 22 of the local authorities for them to share with colleagues to boost knowledge and skills. If you would like the details of who received these books within your authority, please let us know.   

The paper for Welsh Government also included proposals for additional funding in 23/24. This will be used to deliver the People programme stream in our new strategy, and if you have any ideas of how we can further focus our efforts we’d love to hear them.  

Content Design Community of Practice 

Our next Content Design Community of Practice is happening on Tuesday 4 April at 4pm. You can find out more about the community in our Terms of Reference blog post, and if you’d like to attend email and we’ll send you an invite. 

In this session we’re planning to open the floor to councils who have something to share, are looking for support or want to raise a subject for discussion. This could take the form of a crit (short for critique), show and tell or collaborative review and if you have something you’d like to bring to the discussion please let us know. 

Carmarthenshire Cost of Living project 

We have been working with the Carmarthenshire digital team to help design and then test with citizens, an infographic product for social media channels. This is to raise awareness of their Claim What’s Yours website and associated Hwb service for citizens. We have conducted some usability testing on an initial product and are now looking to re-issue a revised version, which will then undergo further testing. 

Pembrokeshire Cost of Living project 

We are working with the digital team in Pembrokeshire Council to help them design, test and implement a new Cost of Living website for their citizens. We currently have an initial prototype which will undergo usability testing of at the end of March.  

Blaenau Gwent service improvement project 

The council have put live their new litter reporting service and we are allowing a period of use before conducting analysis of the performance compared with the previous service.  While this is taking place we are due to hold a Show and Tell with the council on 20th April. This will review the project and the collaboration we had with the council to create the new service.  Please contact the digital team if you would like to attend the Show and Tell. 

DSE work 

A Digital Maturity Assessment was carried out with Vale of Glamorgan council in January 2023. The exercise was well received and all participants found it useful. There was some constructive feedback from the participants and WLGA digital team facilitator on potential improvements to the exercise to give greater value to the council taking part. 

With a lot of interest expressed from other councils to undergo a digital assessment, we have been working on a redesign of the whole activity that will make it less subjective and provide greater insight to councils taking part. As a result the exercise will now be a facilitated Digital Self Evaluation (DSE).  

We are in contact with a couple of councils and are looking to try out the new DSE with them over the next few weeks with any feedback being incorporated to further refine the exercise. If you’re interested in participating as we roll the exercise out, email  

Latest blog posts 

Since our last newsletter we have published Life Events Service Design: Project Closure Blog, Terms of Reference for our Community of Practice, Digital Transformation Fund – Content Design Discovery Project, Digital Transformation Fund – Independent Living Project,  
Blaenau Gwent service improvement project – wrap up blog, Town and Community Council Digital Capacity Research, Wrapping up the Content Discovery Project, Content Design Discovery Project – Our recommendations for next steps, Digital Transformation Fund – Digital Skills Shortage Project and Digital Transformation Fund – Digital Exclusion Project.  

Team news 

Since the last edition of the newsletter our User Researcher Tom Brame and Business Analyst Aimee Sharratt have moved on from the WLGA digital team. Delivery Manager Sarah Evans has also returned to ONS after a period of secondment. We are very grateful for all the work they delivered as part of the team and wish them all the best for the future.  

We are currently advertising for an interim Chief Digital Officer (CDO) on secondment to March 2024, and expect exciting news about more appointments as we set up our work programme – watch this space for updates.  

If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest WLGA Digital news, you can sign up to our mailing list and we’ll email you future editions of our newsletter.  

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