Most councils are expected to rely on more technology to deliver services because of spending cuts, according to a new survey.
A ComRes poll of 432 councillors across England and Wales conducted for Intellect, the UK technology trade association, found that 72 percent of respondents expect technology to be used more to deliver council services. Eighty-two percent also indicated that their council was open to new ways of employing technology to deliver services.
In addition, 51 percent of councils expect the shift to local will enable councils to “develop real power” their council to “get things done”.
Charles Ward, COO of Intellect, said: “Technology is a powerful tool that can be used to help local authorities to tackle this dual challenge of achieving cost savings while improving the way services are delivered.
“It is really encouraging to see that local councillors are aware of the potential that technology offers to solve the problems.”
While the spending cuts may drive innovation as local government looks to use technology to provide lower-cost services, councils will also face some challenges.
Nearly all, (95 percent) of councillors expect staff numbers to be cut, while most councillors expect the relationship between central and local government to be “more difficult”.
Moreover, 56 percent said that the green agenda will “take a back seat” as the spending cuts bite.
This supports a warning from management consultancy Compass Management Consultant, which claimed that green IT projects were at high risk of being dropped as part of businesses’ cost-cutting measures.