It was great to learn last week that our digital transformation programme has been recognised in two wins at the 2017-18 iNetwork Innovation Awards which honour innovation, success and achievement throughout the public sector.[i]

We were awarded the ‘Effective Service Redesign and Reform Award’ for our innovation and achievement in whole service redesign, multi-service systems thinking, design led initiatives, customer centric change and focus on services that impact on demand.

We were also delighted to see the ‘Partner Excellence Award’ awarded to LookingLocal,[ii] for their outstanding partnership with us in the creation of the BetterOff Stockport website.

These Awards acknowledge that our Digital by Design programme is creating new ways for residents to access services online and supporting staff with new digital tools to use for the benefit of residents.

Digital for residents

‘My Account’ and ‘BetterOff’ are great examples of how we are redesigning council service delivery, creating digital tools that meet the needs of our residents and save the council money.

The BetterOff Stockport website guides users every step of the way with:

  • Online benefit entitlement calculator to find out what benefits you are entitled to
  • Advice on claiming Benefits
  • Online forms supported with content and video guidance and help to submit application forms
  • Job search listing feeds jobs from hundreds of databases
  • Advice on applying for jobs
  • CV writing advice
  • Detailed guidance on interview techniques, questions and preparation
  • Journal to record search activity in a form that is accepted for Universal Credit by Job Centre Plus
  • Pre-constructed journal entries help users accurately record activity
  • Journal and forms can be shared remotely for help and support

My Account is a secure personalised way for you to access council services, all in one place, anytime it suits you:

  • Manage your Council Tax information: download your Council Tax bill and view payment schedules, make payments and tell us about a change
  • Manage your Benefits: view and download Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support information and view when your next payment is due
  • Bins: keep track of bin collections at your address
  • Appointments: change or cancel appointments for Registrars, Advice, taxi surgeries and taxi tests, pest control and replacement or additional bin deliveries
  • Check up on faulty street lights, lit signs or illuminated bollards or blocked grids that you’ve reported

 Digital for staff

We are also supporting our staff with digital, including new mobile working equipment and processes, a new case and contact management system and business intelligence tools.


[i] iNetwork is a public sector partnership that helps local public service organisations to ‘collaborate to innovate’ and provide effective support for their users and communities.

[ii] Looking Local (a development organisation co-owned by Kirklees Council) developed the Benefits and jobs platform BetterOff, which was offered to other local authorities as a collaborative software development project. We added Stockport information and personalised the experience to Stockport as well as suggesting a number of improvements and developments that have now been applied to all other Authorities using the platform.