Renfrewshire Council

Renfrewshire signs up to national charter promoting digital participation

Renfrewshire has taken another step towards closing the digital divide by signing up to a national charter promoting digital participation.

Both Renfrewshire Council and Engage Renfrewshire have joined forces with Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) by signing up to the Digital Participation Charter.

The charter seeks to ensure that everyone has the access, motivation and basic digital skills to participate fully in our digital world.

It follows the launch of the Council's Digital Renfrewshire Strategy (Tuesday 20 September) which sets out how the Council and its partners aim to tackle digital exclusion, improve digital public services and infrastructure, and use digital technology and skills to grow Renfrewshire's economy.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: "As internet usage continues to grow, key groups in our communities are increasingly being left behind because they lack the skills and opportunities to get online.

"Signing up to the Digital Participation Charter demonstrates the council's commitment to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to reach their digital potential and access all the economic, health, social and cultural benefits that can bring.

"We are working closely with our partners on a range of projects to support those most at risk of being excluded and are excited for Renfrewshire's digital future."

Renfrewshire Council and Engage Renfrewshire also organised a free One Digital Meet Up in Johnstone Town Hall this week, (Thursday 22 September), with SCVO, bringing together third sector groups to discuss all things digital.

Alan McNiven, Chief Executive of Engage Renfrewshire, said: "As a Community Planning Partnership we all have a common interest in extending digital participation. We all know that digital participation is vitally important in giving our young people the best start in life - specifically around potential job opportunities; it can also help reduce isolation in our communities and can impact on our ability to get best value from services that we engage with . And as we aim for Paisley 2021 digital engagement can be extremely useful for showcasing Renfrewshire's rich cultural assets. Engage Renfrewshire is committed to supporting the promotion of 'on-line' participation."

                                     

David McNeill, Director of Digital at Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), said: "We're really excited that Renfrewshire Council has joined the movement to get everyone in Scotland online. With each new organisation that signs up, we take another step towards our ambitious target to break down the digital divide in Scotland by giving people and organisations the support, motivation and skills they need to get the most out of the digital age."

 

The four cornerstones of the Digital Renfrewshire Strategy are:

  • Tackle digital exclusion by removing the barriers to digital participation,
  • Enable digital participation through provision of a strong digital infrastructure of connectivity,
  • Becoming an efficient, effective and sustainable council by developing our digital public services,
  • Grow Renfrewshire's economy by maximising the use of digital technology and tackling the growing digital skill gap.

Key initiatives include tablet classes for older people and people with disabilities, coding clubs for young people, a £1million investment in public wi-fi for Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew town centres, and a Digital Volunteer programme providing a digital resource to local third-sector organisations and small businesses.

The Council is also improving its digital public services through the introduction of its MyAccount customer portal. This makes it easier and more convenient for people to notify the council online about important changes, make applications for council tax discount and housing benefit, upload supporting documentation electronically, and check their account balance and payments. Further MyAccount services will go live in the coming months.

To keep up to date with Renfrewshire's Digital programme follow @DigiRen on Twitter or facebook.com/DigitalRenfrewshire.

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