Denbighshire County Council has worked to improve innovation in the County, resulting in stronger connections between communities thanks to the roll out of innovative work.
The council has helped tov deliver the launch of a new, accessible website, ninety-one percent of all the county’s roads are now covered by a provider with a 4G mobile network and the council has upgraded and improved public access technology facilities in all of it’s eight libraries.
The Council’s Corporate Plan 2017-22 included a strong focus on making sure that communities are connected and have access to goods and services locally, online and through good transport links.
Cllr Hugh Evans OBE, leader of Denbighshire County Council and Lead Member for the Economy said: “As a council, we recognised the importance of staying connected. This meant investing in the technologies that will keep our communities connected in the long-term, which is why we work with partners such as the Welsh Government’s Superfast Cymru project.
Cllr Richard Mainon, Lead Member for Corporate Services and Transition, added: “The development of our website ensured that Council information and services will be accessible online where possible. We introduced new accessible website document templates in October 2019 to ensure that online documents are accessible and can be used by as many people as possible.”
From 2019 to 2020 the Council saw an increase from 38 percent to 46 percent of transactions undertaken via the web compared to the total number of transactions undertaken using all access channels.
During the first lockdown in 2020, between April and June online transactions increased to 52 percent, following work to increase available transactional services on our website to ensure that residents continued to benefit from the access that was no longer physically available.
All Denbighshire libraries now have dedicated solo digital spaces which provide connectivity and privacy for users to participate in online meetings, training or job interviews and staff support if needed.
A programme of upgrading and improving the public access technology facilities in all Denbighshire libraries started in 2021.
The project will see new public access computers installed, a new PC management system, self-service printing, an online booking system and printing via Wi-Fi.
The Council has also worked to improve digital communications with friends and family for care home residents.
The infrastructure at Cysgod y Gaer was updated to superfast broadband with download speeds of 65mb, allowing for greater use of smart devices for the residents at the home to stay in touch with loved ones and friends. Other Care homes in Denbighshire with limited connectivity had Wi-Fi boosters installed to help residents access a device throughout the home to attend online groups, see family and allow private G.P appointments to continue during isolation.
IPads, Alexas and Portal devices are now being widely used by residents, and staff have been trained to offer support with the new technology.
The Council teamed up with Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council and Digital Communities Wales and Denbighshire County Council to launch a new digital volunteering scheme in Denbighshire to help those that need assistance with digital technology. Denbighshire Digital Buddies aimed to support people who are not as confident in using tablets and smartphones and help them acquire those invaluable digital skills.
To connect residents closer to job opportunities, Working Denbighshire are also developing a Virtual Reality tool to create interactive interview scenarios designed to help improve the confidence and knowledge of those applying for jobs.
A one-purchase ticket valid on buses across North Wales was officially launched at Rhyl Events Arena in 2021. The launch of the 1Bws ticket was attended by bus operators from across North Wales as well as invited guests from Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey and Wrexham councils, Senedd members and officers from Transport for Wales.
One ticket is valid all day on busses in Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey and Wrexham and on buses from North Wales to Chester, Whitchurch and Machynlleth.
Cllr Brian Jones, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Waste, Transport and the Environment, said: “We were proud to support this initiative, which helped encourage local people and visitors alike to use our extensive bus network.
“This was a great opportunity to get people back on buses and open up North Wales in a way that protects the environment as well.
“We have a strong partnership that exists between bus operators and local authorities which allows us to keep on working together on initiatives like this to better connect our communities.
You can find out more about the Corporate Plan 2017-2022 here www.denbighshire.gov.uk/corporate-plan-ambition-achievements