Decision details

Digital Strategy and Digital Capital Bid

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

Decision to approve Capital Expenditure on the Digital Lambeth Programme over the next four years. This will allow the organisation and partners to take advantage of technological developments which will result in better outcomes for residents.

Decisions:

Councillor Andy Wilson, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance gave a short introduction on the report and highlighted that:

 

·         Cabinet had considered in capital investment in the past, and following some additional work, the Digital Strategy was being presented with the full confidence of officers and Cabinet.

·         Strategy split in four streams, digital access for all, creating economic advantage, a sustainable digital infrastructure and innovating public services.

·         The Digital Strategy would guide the Council to realising the benefits of digital technology for all our citizens.

·         The guiding principles of the strategy were to provide high quality public services enabled by digitisation to allow our residents to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

·         Several workstreams were established within the strategy to help achieve these ambitions

 

 

Councillor Nicole Griffiths, Green Group, appreciated the ambitions of the strategy and capital bid however, voiced the following concerns and questions:

 

  • Broadband’s expensive and not all families in Lambeth would be able to afford the technology.
  • She questioned whether Schools be used for residents that are unable to access essential services as well as the Council or local BIDs being able to provide free Wi-Fi in local town centres.
  • Would like to see the process that would be followed and timescales on covering all housing estates across the borough.
  • She suggested that it would be a good idea to develop a strategy to encourage girls to take Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at school?

 

In addition, the customer strategy document showed 95% of Lambeth adults had internet access whereas the digital strategy showed 18% of adults do not have access and a further 72% of adults known to Adults Social Services, do not have access. Therefore, the data does not match and needed to be reviewed.

 

Councillor Jackie Meldrum, Deputy Cabinet Member for Resident Services, welcomed the multi-level approach and the ability to see all social aspects fully addressed. However, Councillor Meldrum wanted to confirm target broadband speeds and if new providers could prioritise homes with exchange only lines (EOLs) in addition to the costs of broadband that would be difficult for those on universal credit to pay. Councillor Meldrum stated that the BT lines which dated back to several decades and were aged and did not meet the universal speed of 10mbps. A forum was suggested for officers and providers to report back to ward councillors.

 

 

 

RESOLVED:

1.            To approve the Lambeth Digital Strategy

2.            To approve the Digital Lambeth Strategic programme and the allocation of the £17m contingency budget from the capital investment programme to fund the programme.

3.            To delegate responsibility to the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance to approve individual schemes in the programme.

 

Report author: Dami Awobajo

Publication date: 22/03/2021

Date of decision: 15/03/2021

Decided at meeting: 15/03/2021 - Cabinet

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Accompanying Documents: