One of the four pillars of activity through which we will achieve the vision of our digital strategy is Place and Community. It will involve:
- Enabling a better-connected borough.
- Working with partners to provide our communities with high quality internet connectivity and build the skills and confidence to benefit from the opportunities and benefits digital brings.
- Engaging with our diverse communities, and with businesses and partners to create a thriving borough that is digitally fit for the future.
Why is this important?
Our vision is to use digital to create connected, engaged and inclusive communities in Hounslow, supported by innovative and digitally-optimised services. As well as reliable infrastructure, digital skills and confidence are keys to success for the people, businesses and economy of the borough. A thriving borough depends on environmental sustainability and green initiatives, many of which harness advances in technology and data analysis, and will help us to become a Net Zero Carbon borough.
Our intended outcomes:
- a thriving borough that is digitally fit for the future where our communities have high quality internet connectively and have the skills and confidence to benefit from the opportunities and benefits digital brings.
We will achieve this by:
- working with and supporting residents, voluntary organisations and businesses to help them to benefit from the digital age.
- empowering our staff to help all parts of our diverse community interact with us using digital technologies and develop vital life skills.
- encouraging digital skills in schools and further education.
- deploying state of the art connectivity through 5G and fibre networks.
- providing all our locations with good quality wifi for visitors.
- working with partners to develop Smart City and Internet of Things technologies to help monitor and ultimately improve the environment, air quality monitoring and transport.
- harnessing technology and data analysis to help progress towards becoming a Net Zero Carbon borough.
What we have done in 2020-2021
- Signed our first master wayleave agreement which enables the supply of free high quality internet connections to some of our most vulnerable residents as well as our community facilities.
- Provisioned 750 devices for children being schooled at home and 150 4G internet connections to schools across the borough, to help bridge the digital divide in the borough.
- Worked with the third sector to secure and provide residents and schools with 200 recycled devices, with a further 900 secured for distribution this year.
- In partnership with our local Community Voluntary Service, we created, trained and supported 100 digital champions across the borough.
- Established a council-wide Digital Inclusion Network which will monitor the progress of the delivery of devices and connections and development of skills within our communities.
- Delivered a month-long Digital Festival covering a huge range of topics and reaching hundreds of staff, partners and residents.
What we will do in 2021-2022
- Develop a clear framework and approach for the Digital Inclusion Group, with a strong emphasis on building our communities’ digital capabilities to help them benefit from the digital age.
- Work with our communities to reimagine and redesign our services to ensure they meet their needs, are fully accessible, intuitive and seamless, regardless of the channel used.
- Introduce Smart City and Internet of Things technologies to help monitor and ultimately improve the environment, working with partners and learning from experiences elsewhere.
- Embrace advancements in smart home and neighbourhood technologies to support the future of urban liveability, mobility, independence and connectivity.
- Reimagine and redesign the buildings we own to make them work more effectively by sharing them with our residents, voluntary organisations and businesses and improving wifi access.
- Apply data science techniques to help us to create low carbon neighbourhoods and improve environmental well-being.