12 June 2023

Aberdeenshire's digital progress

Aberdeenshire Council area is the fastest improving area in the UK in terms of uptake towards broadband connections.

The update was given to councillors as part of a committee in which they were discussing the Council’s Digital Strategy and progress.

The digital approach for Aberdeenshire is being delivered across services, putting in place digital improvements which help the Council do things better and more efficiently using digital technology. The Strategy itself was approved back in 2020 in order to help continue to build a modern and effective local authority; one that is resilient and makes financially sustainable use of technology to ensure best value.

At committee, councillors heard that savings are already starting to be realised from a number of projects. It is estimated that there are potential savings of around £1.1m across just three of the projects on the Digital Strategy tracker – putting in place webchat on the corporate website, process automation (using digital systems and processes to speed up services, reduce errors and free up staff), and through expanding online services/increasing the number of services which will be done from start to finishing using the Council website or online platforms.

Councillors welcomed the work taking place to speed up and improve council service delivery, as well as improving digital connectivity for Aberdeenshire.

 Digital inclusion is an important part of the strategy, working to support those who are digitally excluded. In a meeting of Business Services Committee, it was confirmed that Aberdeenshire is seeing the highest digital inclusion improvement rates of any Scottish local authority.

This is thanks to projects such as the Reaching 100% Programme (R100), City Region Deal investment, and the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS), in which Aberdeenshire has the highest uptake of such vouchers. It is also as a result of extensive community engagement.

Progress on projects in the Digital Strategy:



Chair of the Business Services Committee, Cllr Mark Findlater, said: “This is such great news for Aberdeenshire Council and the wider region. We are at the forefront of using digital technology to improve our own processes and systems, but we are also charging ahead in helping connect the wider Aberdeenshire. Our digital aspirations are high but this report to committee today shows that they are not unrealistic. We can use digital technology to deliver public services more efficiently and it is great that the officers working on these important bits of work are seeing such great progress already.”

Vice chair Cllr John Cox said: “It is so important that we have a plan to tackle digital exclusion. It can take many forms such as a lack of connectivity, technology or skills, but working to get as many people as possible in Aberdeenshire confidently active on digital platforms is a great ambition. I am pleased that there has been a lot of focus on this area.”

The full Digital Strategy is on our website.

The meeting recording is on our website now, click the link at Item 0.