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Webinar review: The Case for Local Authority Digital Champions

Mobile UK

2 min read Partner content

Mobile UK, the trade association for the UK’s mobile network operators – EE/ BT, Virgin Media O2, Three and Vodafone is calling on the Government to fund the role of Digital Champions for local authorities to assist mobile deployment.

Mobile UK, the trade association for the UK’s mobile network operators – EE/ BT, Virgin Media O2, Three and Vodafone is calling on the Government to fund the role of Digital Champions for local authorities to assist mobile deployment.

As part of this campaign, Mobile UK hosted a webinar, in partnership with the Local Government Association (LGA), on 13 July inviting representatives from local authorities across the UK to discuss key issues.

The webinar brought together representatives from 26 local authorities to hear from a panel including Heather Clarke (City of Wolverhampton Council), John Gravett (Cluttons), Lesley Holt (WM5G) and Cllr Tom Cunningham (Essex County Council).  

The session started with an address from the LGA’s Digital Champion Councillor Mark Hawthorne, who explained that digital champions are critical to our communities and highlighting how the national body was supporting them to help the rollout of mobile infrastructure and to tackle issues around digital exclusion.

John Gravett, Partner at property consultancy Cluttons, presented findings from the organisation’s own Connecting The UK report. He explained that funding is a huge barrier to UK connectivity and discussed why it is important that the UK Government invests to support the critical rollout of 5G.

Mobile UK’s Director of Policy and Communications, Gareth Elliott, hosted the panel discussion on a range of subjects including funding constraints which explains why digital champions are not commonplace; the barriers faced in setting up these roles; and the need for central Government investment to enable more widespread use of digital champions.

The webinar event sparked debate and discourse around Digital Champions and the panel session can be viewed below.

Mobile UK is campaigning for Digital Champions and is calling for the Government to make funds available at the next Budget this Autumn. For more information about the campaign please read Mobile UK’s report Building Mobile Britain: The Case for Local Authority Digital Champions and click the campaign website here.

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