On average, the UK’s population is becoming older and living longer, healthier lives. Between 2014 and 2039, the government predicts that over 70% of UK population growth will be in the over 60 age group. Although this trend is partially countered by migration, by 2037 there will be 1.42 million more households headed by someone aged 85 or over.
In the first of two articles on planning for an ageing society, Idox’s Donna Gardiner looks at key considerations for local government, and in particular for planning departments.Read the full article here: Planning for an ageing population: some key considerations
European funding programme, Eurostars, scores SME driven research projects highly with top scoring projects coming from Health, Life Science and ICT projects in the Netherlands in addition to Biotechnology and Medical Technology in the UK.
Vindsubsidies, on behalf of a consortium formed by Twente Medical Systems International (TMSi), Eindhoven University of Technology and the French partners Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and La Hospital Amiens-Picardie, recently won a substantial Eurostars grant amounting to almost €700,000 for a prestigious health project to reduce preterm birth.
Preterm birth is the major cause of child mortality and morbidity (63%) in the EU. Drugs to suppress preterm delivery are available but they only work if administered at the right time. TMSi and its partners have developed a self-care monitoring device to measure uterine contractions which allows timely drug administration to reduce the risk of preterm birth.
Proud to Contribute
Tim Lage Venterink, consultant of Vindsubsidies, commented: “it was a pleasure to contribute towards such a worthwhile and significant win. It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to contribute towards such a fantastic project that offers help to so many people.”
Bringing local government into the 21st century is fraught with well documented challenges. In 2015, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) carried out a survey into local government leaders’ views on digital transformation. The research identified six key barriers to digital adoption:
- Legacy systems and ICT infrastructure
- Lack of development funds
- Unwillingness to change / non-cooperation of colleagues
- Lack of in-house digital skills
- Culturally uncomfortable for the organisation
- Supplier inflexibility
In our latest blog, Idox’s Steven McGinty discusses what’s holding back digital transformation in local government.
Stoke City has launched its new online shop as the first phase of a strategy to create a world-class digital experience for the club’s fans.
The Premier League club has invested in new ecommerce technology - the cutting-edge Magento 2 platform - and teamed up with experienced sports digital agency Rippleffect to offer its fans a sophisticated online shopping experience, far-ahead of some of football’s biggest clubs.
With more than half of all traffic to the club’s store now arriving from wireless devices and that number increasing year-on-year, a mobile-first approach has been taken, ensuring fans can browse, find and purchase official merchandise however they choose to shop.
Potters’ fans were consulted as part of the process to establish their aspirations and expectations for the platform; while statistical analysis was used to identify online behaviour patterns across both football and retail. These insights, coupled with the extensive capabilities of the Magento platform, allowed Rippleffect to plan and create intuitive user-experience with features designed to make online shopping enjoyable and effortless for the fan.
The new site provides opportunities for fans to customise and experiment with products. Key features include a simple, yet effective product search and a drop-down menu featuring every current club player, allowing the user to hover over a name and see their chosen player sporting each available kit. There is also an option to enter into a responsive kit-builder and quickly personalise items on any device.
Rippleffect partnered with Touchretail to provide a full EPOS solution, recently implemented within the tills at the club’s retail stores. These are now linked to the checkouts in the new shop site, creating one overall till system. This allows Stoke City to maximise reporting and gives the club a global view of all transactions, both on and offline.
Importantly, the new platform has provided Stoke City with the flexibility and scalability to leverage any new ecommerce functions and tactics. Plus, multiple payment and shipping providers ensure fans are catered for wherever they are in the world.
Stoke City appointed the Idox Group-owned Rippleffect as its new long-term digital partner earlier this year and the two teams will now collaborate on a new, fan-first official club website that will launch in time for the 2017/2018 season.
Commenting on the partnership, Stoke City’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes said: "Rippleffect are without doubt one of the most reputable digital agencies in sport, particularly in football where they have forged long-term working relationships with a number of leading clubs. We are delighted to be entering into a digital partnership with them as we look to create websites that offer first-class experiences for our fans."
In the first of three articles looking at the challenges facing the building control sector, we highlight the growing demand – driven in part by changes to the building regulations due in 2017 – for future-proof digital infrastructure.
What does this mean for the public and private sectors? Idox’s James Carson examines the current and future plans in place to prepare the UK for a digital and better-connected future.
Read the full piece on the Idox blog: Digital infrastructure: laying the foundations for a better-connected future
Providing his first major update on the state of the public finances since becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond acknowledged in the 2016 Autumn Statement that the post-EU referendum UK’s economic outlook has become more uncertain. With a potential £59 billion gap to account for over the next five years, emphasis was placed on plans to boost investment in infrastructure and housing to equip the UK economy for life outside the EU.
In this blog, the POLICYfinder team outlines the Chancellor’s key announcements across the public sector and related sectors, with reactions from stakeholders.
As part of our commitment to supporting digital service delivery and best practice across the UK, Idox is pleased to announce its latest partnership with the Better Connected programme.
As a Socitm and Boilerhouse Communications initiative, the programme is targeted at analysing digital performance in local authorities and other local public services.
Idox will support Better Connected’s 2016-17 work in accelerating digital transformation across local government, providing expertise to deliver surveys and content in the areas of Building Control and Licensing.
With a host of digital products supporting both sectors – not least online application service iApply and new role-based app suite OnSite – Idox will provide the industry and technology knowledge required to deliver the aims of the Programme. Most notably, this includes delivering to decision makers in local authorities and the wider public sector, accessible and tangible data and intelligence that offers the opportunity to make digital improvements in the lives of local citizens.
Results from the first Idox-sponsored survey, Building Control, are anticipated to be published in early December.
For further information on the Better Connected programme, visit https://betterconnected.socitm.net
The recent Channel Shift in the Public Sector conference focused on how public sector organisations are harnessing the power of digital services to drive efficiencies and savings.
Every year, local government are mandated to deliver over 100 different services even though funding is still being cut to meet central government targets. In addition, citizen expectations are higher than ever before. They want to be able to engage with councils on their terms, wherever they happen to be and on whatever device they are using 24/7 365 days of the year.
Councils are working hard to address these challenges and have looked towards using technology and digital tools in more innovative ways to drive transformation. Many councils have identified citizen self-service as a way to reduce costs and increase efficiency to meet customer expectations. However, it’s not just about cost savings but providing the same level of service, for more people with less resource.
One of the topics discussed at the conference, highlighted how councils have reduced the processing costs of managing customer contact in the ‘front office’, by designing out avoidable manual contact when implementing and utilising digital services. Councils commented that they had seen a rise in customer satisfaction and an increase in online transactions whilst face to face contact and calls had decreased. However, it’s also about recognising where digital services can add value and where they can’t.
For example, by offering a digital service to report potholes - whilst this may have reduced face to face or phone contact, the number of potholes reported increased which impacted the budget required to fill the holes.
Making services accessible in one place has been highly successful for Harrow Council since the introduction of their MyHarrow Account. Harrow delivers online digital services that work both for the customer and for the council which have delivered real savings and increased customer satisfaction as more transactions are being resolved at first point of contact.
Harrow actively encourages online transactional customer contact and includes a portal where selected local businesses can offer discounts to its citizens.
iApply by Idox fits perfectly into this trend for digital self-service by offering local authorities the opportunity to benefit from an out of the box digital solution that makes submitting the most popular transactions (Planning, Building and License applications) simple for customers and cost effective for the authority. iApply offers significant efficiencies gained from direct synchronisation with back office systems reducing and even removing the need for manual intervention.
For more information about iApply, visit: digital self-service.
For six consecutive years, Melbourne has been ranked the 'most liveable city' by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The study assessed over 30 indicators, across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.
In our latest article, Idox’s Steven McGinty looks at the factors that have helped Melbourne achieve “most liveable city” status – including the role of smart city initiatives such as the use of data and digital technologies to meet the changing needs of its residents.
In addition to managing the regional road network, Oxfordshire County Council’s management team is responsible for managing all infrastructure contracts and ensuring real-time passenger information is available for the 100 bus routes across the county’s network.
Idox’s traffic management solution from Cloud Amber provides information on the 270 bus stops across the county, collating data to a single source and keeping passengers informed of any delays. Idox’s Icarus solution broadcasts vehicle and traffic information in real time. In conjunction with Voyager, another Idox solution, this enables updates to be available to busy passengers at the bus stops and bus interchanges.
Click here to read more about Idox’s digital traffic management solutions.
Today, the idea of researcher mobility is highly valued and more important for our world than ever before. In the context of Brexit and a changing international research landscape, RESEARCHconnect’s Jack Hood explores why this is the case, uncovering the factors facilitating and hampering mobility and the new concepts of mobility being mooted.
Future City Glasgow has had many successes since it was launched three years ago. The projects proposed by Glasgow City Council were designed to explore innovative ways to use technology and data to make the city ‘safer, smarter and more sustainable’.
Idox fits perfectly into this trend to deliver digital services by offering a broad range of digital solutions to support public and private sector organisations.
In this article, Idox’s Steven McGinty describes how the Future City Glasgow initiative has been exploring innovative technology and data applications to make the city safer, smarter and more sustainable.
Full article: Future City Glasgow: successes, challenges and legacy
The Knowledge Exchange is the information and intelligence arm of Idox, supporting policymakers and practitioners across the UK. One of its key products is Scottish Planning & Environmental Law (SPEL). Published bi-monthly, the journal is one of the leading information sources on land use planning and environmental legislation. In this article, Morwen Johnson considers recent significant court cases affecting planning in Scotland.
Idox Elections goes from strength-to-strength. With over 23 years' experience delivering end-to-end elections solutions, hear what our clients, Glasgow City Council have to say about the expertise, knowledge and software that we bring to the table.
Offering professional and reputable consultancy, our team of experts have combined their wealth of experience across election software development, training and print, to offer practical solutions that best suit our customers' electoral needs.
Discover for yourself why Idox Elections is recognised as a trusted partner and hear from Glasgow City Council how we have helped them deliver elections and referenda effectively.
For more information about Idox Elections and their services, visit: Democratic Services.Tweet
This autumn, Idox Grants hosted the latest one-day training events in the UK and Netherlands, focused on funding best practice. The masterclasses – part of Idox Grants’ campaigns on European funding and funding awareness – have already led to positive results, generating notable grant wins for clients.
Participants of both events awarded high marks for the quality of the content and practical advice. In the Netherlands, EU funding was the focus of the day at NEMO Science Center Amsterdam on 4 October. The event generated great interest from local government in the area. A series of presentations shared insight from successful projects, and external speakers and consultants of Vindsubsidies passed on their knowledge and expertise to a receptive audience.
GRANTfinder’s Masterclass in Funding on 19 October at White Hart Lane, home of London’s Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, featured an impressive range of speakers including the Big Lottery Fund and funding expert Sue Scott. Sessions on digital engagement strategy (designed to help organisations raise awareness of their work with potential donors and funding bodies), practical bid writing methodologies, and advice from a grant recipient and grant giver’s perspective delivered valuable insight. Delegate Janey Thompson, Third Sector Development Officer at Enfield Council, commented: ‘The programme for the day was very well planned and all the speakers were very captivating and inspiring’. 100% of respondents to the post-event survey reported that they had achieved their objectives for attending, with particular value gained from improved awareness of funding opportunities, grant application best practice, and the funding strategy of major funding providers.
The NEMO event was part of the ongoing Idox Grants campaign on European funding, which has already led to an impressive client win. Vencer, creator of unique supercars, has been awarded a substantial grant from the European Regional Development Fund for an innovative project to develop a technique for a modular chassis. Eurostars disposal for TMSI, a medical organisation in the Netherlands, has also reported funding success in its collaboration with a university and a French partner to develop a method to prevent preterm birth.
More masterclasses to come
Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC), who was set up by Government to speed up delivery of up to 15,000 homes and create a 21st century Garden City in north Kent, has successfully gone live with Idox’s cloud based hosting service.
Provided over a period of 3 years, under the agreement, Idox is responsible for maintaining and updating all systems relating to a range of business functions including Planning and Development Management and ensuring these meet all legislative requirements.
The system also provides online access to related records and documents via Idox’s citizen engagement portal thereby increasing convenience for service users and reducing demand on EDC as a service provider.
The hosted managed services are operated from Idox’s data centre where data is replicated every 15 minutes, backed-up and stored offsite. Adhering to ISO 27001 information security standards, the centre is resilient to emergency situations, such as power outages.
Adopting a managed cloud service from Idox has enabled EDC to benefit from immediate efficiency savings thanks to reduced server and data storage needs. In the future, services can be scaled with ease and with no need for capital equipment investment on the part of EDC.
Christmas season is coming, which often means exchanging gifts. It’s that last bit that could be confusing for employees: which presents or invitations could they accept? Which ones are too valuable? And what gesture is still appropriate?
Idox Compliance is supporting businesses and local authorities in answering these questions with a brief online training course covering Gifts and Hospitality. The training is designed to raise employee awareness that there are rules that need to be followed. It can be undertaken not only during the Christmas season but also as a regular seasonal refresher.
Full article: Gifts and Hospitality for the Christmas season
Please get in touch if you’d like to learn more on Gifts and Hospitality.
Statistics show that the UK is today some 24% less active than in 1961. There are numerous factors as to why there has been such a substantial decline including an increase in desk-based occupations and the influence of technology, encouraging sedentary lifestyles.
Now that the dust has settled on the Rio Olympics, the question lingers: how can we utilise the good feeling from such high-profile sporting events to help inspire the nation into being more active? And how can society make best use of funding to support healthy living initiatives?
The latest GRANTfinder whitepaper explores:
- the long-term strategy to improve the health of the nation through physical activity;
- the measures Government and public sport and health organisations are taking; and
- how major sporting event legacies can be extended beyond the gold-medallists of the future.
Download GRANTfinder's latest whitepaper: The Olympic Legacy and improving the nation’s health
In the past year, local authorities have reported a 14% increase from, the previous year, in security breaches to the ICO. The figures show that 64% of all reported breaches involved accidentally disclosing data. In our latest blog, Idox’s Steven McGinty looks at growing concerns about data protection breaches in local government.
Last month, the Association of Electoral Administrators (AEA) claimed that unprecedented challenges had pushed the system ‘closer to collapse than ever before’.
Although the 2016 elections and the EU Referendum were successfully delivered, the AEA argued that the framework for electoral administration was becoming increasingly unfit for purpose. Their report – Pushed to the absolute limit: 2016 – the electoral year never to forget – set out 91 recommendations for reform to prevent adverse effects on the UK’s democratic systems.
The latest whitepaper from Idox Elections looks at some of the challenges facing the UK’s electoral administrators and describes the recommendations for improving the delivery of democratic polls.