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West Berkshire Council launches Digital Strategy 2020 - 2023

New Digital Strategy to further improve service delivery and pave the way for 5G, ultrafast broadband and full fibre connectivity

2020 - laptop in use

West Berkshire Council has formally launched its new pdf icon Digital Strategy 2020-2023 [2Mb] to further improve service delivery and pave the way for 5G, ultrafast broadband and full fibre connectivity across the district.

Under the ambitious, three year plan, the Council will implement new digital technologies and processes to make it easier for residents to access Council services online and keep them better informed, and for staff to work more efficiently. The Digital Strategy will also harness the benefits of the more digital working environment that was accelerated by the UK Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020.

In addition, the Digital Strategy outlines the Council's community leadership to help spearhead development of a modern Digital District that features 5G mobile phone coverage, ultrafast broadband, full fibre connectivity including more public Wi-Fi spots, and electric vehicle charging points. The strategy will foster partnerships to implement these latest digital technologies throughout West Berkshire for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors.

As part of the Digital Strategy, the Council will play an active role in ensuring that those who live and work in West Berkshire are able to improve their digital skills, as well as implementing measures to avoid digital exclusion. These actions include making digital transactions simpler and easier to understand, commissioning training opportunities, and providing IT equipment to public facilities.

Councillor Joanne Stewart, Executive Member for Internal Governance, formally approved the new Digital Strategy on Thursday 20 August. Councillor Stewart said: "The Digital Strategy sets out how the Council intends to embrace new technologies, working practices and digital techniques to ensure it can operate as efficiently as possible and provide the best possible digital services for residents.

"I am also excited by the role the Council will take with our partners in creating a Digital District. This will provide the technological infrastructure available to citizens, businesses and visitors, such as ultrafast broadband, 5G and full fibre connectivity."

Nick Carter, Chief Executive, West Berkshire Council, added: "This new Strategy sets out our Information and Communications technology ambitions for the next three years. Some activities are a continuation of our earlier strategy while other elements are new. It reflects on our experiences of Covid-19, and as such signals a new commitment to accelerating our digital delivery within both the Council and the wider District.

"The Delivery Plan that accompanies this Strategy contains strong governance, and details the allocation of new resources as well as internal cost efficiencies such as reduced maintenance and licensing costs, to ensure that the ambitions are realised."