#105 Martyn Wallace – online citizen engagement for local government
Martyn Wallace is the Chief Digital Officer of the Scottish Local Government Digital Office. His task is to change the way local councils communicate with people in Scotland through the introduction of online citizen engagement. In this episode of InTransition, Martyn speaks with David Pembroke about the challenges of coordinating change across multiple local government bodies.
- convincing local councils to adopt digital technology
- changing the pilot culture to the “version 1” culture
- identifying skills needs
- what content will be required
Listen to the podcast:
Martyn Wallace on online citizen engagement:
“I think if you look at the UK, or Scotland in particular, obviously where I work we have ageing population, we have reductions in budgets for local authorities over the next two to three years, and then we’ve got the rise of Brexit happening at some point as well, which will put more pressures on the councils, and basically we’ve got to do more with less and deliver outcomes and services for the citizen, but with reduced costs. So digital, or my job of being Chief Digital Officer, is to look at how technology can support those outcomes.
I think the biggest challenge is culture. Traditionally we’ve got masses of council services, we do things in certain ways and there’s a massive, massive change in approach and thinking to then go down the digital route. Some see it as fanciful, some see it as eye candy, but there is actually a sort of true value can be derived from digital technology. The thing is it doesn’t even have to be complex, even just something like communicating through text messages, because text messages are obviously are a very, very simple technology. They can have maximum effect.”