LocalGov Digital South Peer Group - 10 March 2017

14 Mar 2017

The second South Peer Group meeting was hosted by West Berkshire Council on 10 March 2017. View the agenda

More information about LocalGov Digital Peer Groups can be found in our previous blog post

Key attendees

As well as the two speakers, guests at the event were:


The event was introduced by Nick Carter, CEO of West Berkshire who introduced his council and talked about the power of focusing on people and designing around what users want.

Mark Foden then used his Future of Local Government video to kick off an engaging talk on the differences between complex and complicated situations and how organisations tend to use technical change rather than adaptive change to address complex problems. This was followed by a lively group debate on the subject.

Identifying capabilities

The four tables then worked on identifying capabilities from a chosen service to identify the potential to share components. Each group then fed back to others on what they had discussed and worked on, revealing four distinct approaches and interpretations.


Phil Rumens did a short presentation on a concept he had been been discussing with others. The idea of timebanking is well known, and there are a number of technical solutions to help facilitate it. However, it has its shortcomings and is informal in nature. Microcontracting could mirror the approach used by the Digital Marketplace Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework, where digital practitioners in councils could agree to provide time to other councils in exchange for an agreed charge. This would enable any working arrangements to be on a more formal footing, and provide an income stream for the council.

Actions since the last meeting

  • a Slack channel had been set up for the Group on the LocalGov Digital Slack team
  • Suppliers had been invited to this event as a trial
  • Future themes had been discussed with other Peer Group leads, and some suggestions were then considered

Future meetings

The Group discussed themes and standing items for future meetings.

  • Theme: Discussing a framework for sharing and collaboration
  • Standing Item: “Bring a Problem” to use the collected expertise in the room to help solve an issue
  • Standing Item: “Show and Tell” to bring projects in progress along for feedback and ideas of how to take them forward

Wycombe District Council offered to host and co-organise the next Group meeting in June.