Former Socitm president and Norfolk head of IT Geoff Connell has encouraged councils in England to respond to ‘stocktake’ research on their cybersecurity this summer.
Speaking at Socitm’s President’s Conference in Glasgow on 9 May 2018, he encouraged councils to respond fully. “This isn’t about trying to say you’re brilliant,” Connell said. “It’s about being honest so we understand what we need to do, where the challenges are and where the priorities are.”
The work is funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which is providing £1.5 million this year to support English councils in cybersecurity work, administered by the Local Government Association. The ministry hopes to allocate further funding in both of the following two financial years.
As well as the stocktaking exercise, local authorities will be able to apply for funding for ‘quick win’ projects, such as to improve technical skills.
The money has partly been organised through the Local Public Services CIO Council, which confirmed a set of changes when it met at the President’s Conference.
The renamed Socitm Local CIO Council will concentrate on digital services, redesign and leadership; health and social care integration; workforce diversity and skills; and cybersecurity, where Connell will act as core spokesperson.
The council, which will become an integral part of Socitm, plans to have two face-to-face meetings a year, supplemented by teleconferences which may focus on the four newly-adopted themes.
Council chair and Leeds chief digital and information officer Dylan Roberts said the council will retain its focus on integrated, place-based delivery of services, under the slogan ‘simplify, standardise, share’.