Council Secures Government Funding for COVID-19 Data Sharing iInitiative

Central Bedfordshire Council has been awarded £80,000 of Government funding to improve data exchange between Government, local authorities and third-party organisations.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced on 27 July that 11 projects have been successful in securing funding through their Local Digital COVID-19 Challenge.

Central Bedfordshire Council submitted a bid in collaboration with Greater London Authority, London Borough of Camden and London Office of Technology and Innovation to improve the flow of data between organisations, so that we can better support vulnerable residents and communities in the post COVID-19 environment.

Cllr Steve Dixon, Executive Member for Transformation and External Relations said, “This is superb news. We have learnt throughout the COVID-19 pandemic just how important it is to be able to share and join up data and information digitally from across different organisations to enable us and others to make well-informed decisions and be able to respond in an effective and timely manner.

“Not only will this project help us and help our residents, but the learning and outcomes can be replicated across the country.”

Councillor Richard Olszewski, Camden Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Transformation said, “I am delighted that we, along with our partners, have secured this valuable funding.

“One of the consequences of this unprecedented pandemic is that many of our residents, some of whom we may not have had regular contact with recently, have suffered changes to their personal circumstances through reasons such as their employment status or health.

“One of the barriers that can restrict our ability to assist these residents in a more efficient way is the lack of easy and secure data exchange processes between councils and our valuable voluntary and community partners and organisations. 

“This funding will enable us to explore and agree best practices around the issues of data exchange to ensure more effective ways of working and providing better support for our residents both now and as we head towards recovery.”

Eddie Copeland, Director at London Office of Technology & Innovation said, “The COVID-19 period has highlighted how vital it is for councils and voluntary sector organisations to work together. This project will help ensure that critical information gets to those who need it most to support residents in need. LOTI looks forward to supporting Central Bedfordshire and Camden on this project with our knowledge and networks, and to help share the project's lessons to benefit other councils.”

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