Councils saved £230 million over 2008/2009 by using the latest technology to manage services for local constituents, a new report reveals.
The Local Government association said that town halls are using mobile, web-mapping and satellite technology to improve a variety of services including automated bus stops and processes to keep people involved about roadworks and planning applications.
The reported savings are detailed in a report called Value of Geospatial Information. The LGA in a press release said that technology and information sharing could eventually result in savings of £372 million. The £230 million savings figure was stated in the report as local government "output" having increased to the value of £230 million as a result of productivity benefits.
"Whether it’s bin men working smarter, fewer phone calls to inquiry centres, freeing up staff from time-consuming checks or reducing parking ticket machine maintenance costs, making the most of modern technology and data sharing has seen huge cash savings across the country," said LGA improvement board chairman Councillor David Parsons.
The LGA also drew attention to councils developing smartphone applications aimed at town halls across the country, citing an example of an application in development which would link a mobile phone calendar with refuse collections to remind people on what days to put their recycling and waste bins out.
Local government spending on mobile application technology is in stark contrast to the national freeze on new IT projects and a review of activities such as websites and mobile phone applications as part of efforts to trim national spending.