Councillor Gavin Callaghan will post regular updates here about the progress the council is making to transform Basildon borough.
• Find out more about Councillor Gavin Callaghan
• Leader's update - Turning the street lights back on - 24 September 2019
• Leader's update - 06 September 2019
• Leader's update - 16 July 2019
• Leader's letter to new Prime Minister - 25 July 2019
Councillors agreed our ICT strategy at its Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday, 30 January, 2020.
I am determined that this council invests in the technology we need to modernise our services to provide them in ways that local people demand and that will cut our costs for the long-term.
We are investing £1.5m in the coming year alone in our ICT and Digital Strategies making services simpler, smarter and safer for everyone.
Within that we have some exciting developments that will bring information about council services direct into people's homes - making the answers to the questions most commonly asked, such as 'when is my next bin collection?', readily available through technology already in people's homes such as smart speaker devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home products.
Our staff have been working with Amazon and benefited from free advice and training and we are working with Essex University students and other partners across the county to develop our capabilities to use these technologies and build Basildon Council information into them.
Last year we upgraded our website and have seen customer satisfaction up by 7.5% with better engagement and improved access to information.
We are also working to spread digital skills across the community - levelling up those who have felt less skilled and less confident using online services. We have already funded access to WiFi in the Advice Store, enabling them to provide digital skills training and we have worked with Essex Police to provide free training to residents on how to stay safe online.
Councillor Callaghan has served Pitsea North West as its ward councillor since May 2012. In 2017 he became the youngest leader of a local authority in the UK. As head of a hung council with no party in overall control, Councillor Callaghan:
Returning as Council Leader in May 2019 he has identified priorities to revitalise the borough's town centres, clean up neighbourhoods and protect open spaces and modernise the council's governance making it fit to manage inclusive growth of the borough in to the future.
As Council Leader, Councillor Callaghan chairs its Policy and Resources Committee. He also chairs the council's Town Centre Revival Committee.
Gavin is a Director of a public affairs company and previously worked as a political adviser, a lobbyist for national charities and a parliamentary speechwriter.
Gavin has a degree in politics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and attended Campion School in Hornchurch.
For further information see Councillor details - Councillor Callaghan
You can contact Councillor Callaghan by email, see contact details below.