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Digital Flintshire Consultation Response

Digital Flintshire Consultation Response

Results Summary

Results are in for the consultation on our proposed Digital Strategy and we’d like to thank the 179 people who participated.

Our digital strategy sets out how we will embrace the opportunities that digital technologies, innovation and information offer us to ensure we deliver modern, efficient public services. We will do this by adopting the following principles:

  • Using technology to offer customers increased flexibility in when and how they access our services
  • Ensuring our customers have the access, skills and confidence to engage with an increasingly digital world, based on their needs - no one is left behind
  • Providing and promoting accessible and inclusive digital services that are simple, secure and convenient, enabling people to use the Welsh Language on a day-to-day basis
  • Creating a workforce which is efficient, informed, and able to interact confidently and effectively in a digital world
  • Demonstrating digital leadership, creating conditions for genuine organisational transformation to take place and challenging those we work with to embrace this culture
  • Working with and supporting our businesses to maximise and exploit the opportunities that digital technology and innovation offer
  • Using digital technology to work and collaborate with our partners efficiently and securely, sharing and using of data effectively
  • Treating information as a key corporate asset ensuring it is compliant, accurate, relevant and secure so that we can use it to design and deliver more effective and efficient services
  • Delivering a secure, reliable, resilient and cost effective digital infrastructure that is responsive to the needs of the Council and its customers


The majority of respondents agree or strongly agree with aims of the Digital Strategy which will see us continue to improve online services in the digital age.

Respondents also agree that being online helps people to be more self-sufficient and can help improve work opportunities.

We are working towards and will continue to work towards:

  1. Faster, more reliable broadband and mobile connectivity for Flintshire
  2. Supporting people without internet access to get online
  3. Free access to devices for people who don't have their own
  4. Supporting people of all ages to develop online skills and confidence
  5. Ensuring people of all ages have access to training and support
  6. Working together with partners to deliver more convenient services
  7. Increasing the number of Council services available online, which will help to deliver better ways of working and increased value for money

Respondents Summary

Total Responses – 179

Number of responses with a full Flintshire postcode – 109

60.4% respondents do not work for Flintshire County Council

83.8% respondents live, or live and work, in Flintshire

Digital Flintshire Consultation - Bar Chart for Respondents Summary

Digital Flintshire Consultation - Respondents Summary
I live in Flintshire 44.8%
I live in Flintshire and work in Flintshire 39.0%
I work in Flintshire 6.5%
I am a County Councillor 1.9%
I am a Town or Community Councillor 1.9%
I own a business in Flintshire 0.6%
Other  5.2%

Access to the Internet and Devices

All of the respondents have internet access at home:

- 98.5% respondents with access to broadband
- 67.9% respondents with access to mobile internet

All of the respondents have access to a device:

- 94% respondents have a smartphone
- 86.5% respondents have a laptops
- 75.2% respondents have a tablet
- 40.6% respondents have a PC

Digital Flintshire Consultation - Access to the Internet and Devices Barcharts

Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Access to the Internet
Internet Connection TypePercentage
Broadband (Home internet contract) 98.5%
Mobile Data (Mobile phone contract) 67.9%
Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Access to Devices
Device TypePercentage
Smartphone 94%
Laptop 86.5%
Tablet 75.2%
Computer / PC 40.6%

Online Behaviour and Connectivity

- Most (61.4%) respondents socialise online daily

- Most (56.5%) respondents work or study from home daily

- Most (62.8%) respondents shop online weekly

- Most (37.9% )respondents manage finances online weekly

- Most (39.5%) respondents never use online health services

- 38.8% respondents access online health services monthly

While 78.3% of respondents reported no difficulty in accessing the internet, the biggest barrier was the speed of the connection (18.6%)

Online Council Services

The majority of respondents:

- have used online council services (88.8%)

- are extremely satisfied or satisfied with online council services they have used

- have been able to do what they need to do via the current online services

Digital Flintshire Consultation - Satisfaction of Services Barchart

Council Services and Satisfaction
Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Satisfaction Levels of the 'Check My Bin Day' Online Service
Check My Bin DayPercentage
I've not used the service 16%
Extremely dissatisfied 1%
Dissatisfied 2%
Satisfied 67%
Extremely Satisfied 21%
Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Satisfaction Levels of the 'Job Applications' Online Service
Job ApplicationsPercentage
I've not used the service 63%
Extremely dissatisfied 1%
Dissatisfied 1%
Satisfied 29%
Extremely Satisfied 12%
Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Satisfaction Levels of the 'My Account' Online Service
My AccountPercentage
I've not used the service 53%
Extremely dissatisfied 2%
Dissatisfied 2%
Satisfied 43%
Extremely Satisfied 5%
Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Satisfaction Levels of  the 'Online Payments' Online Service
Online PaymentsPercentage
I've not used the service 36%
Extremely dissatisfied 2%
Dissatisfied 3%
Satisfied 61%
Extremely Satisfied 5%
Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Satisfaction Levels of the 'Planning Applications' Online Service
Planning ApplicationsPercentage
I've not used the service 53%
Extremely dissatisfied 3%
Dissatisfied 9%
Satisfied 34%
Extremely Satisfied 7%
Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Satisfaction Levels of the 'Report It Online Forms' Online Service
Report It Online Forms
(E.g. dog fouling, street lighting, fly tipping etc)
I've not used the service 59%
Extremely dissatisfied 0%
Dissatisfied 9%
Satisfied 34%
Extremely Satisfied 3%
Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Satisfaction Levels of the 'School Admissions' Online Service
School AdmissionsPercentage
I've not used the service 83%
Extremely dissatisfied 0%
Dissatisfied 2%
Satisfied 18%
Extremely Satisfied 1%
Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Satisfaction Levels of the 'Benefit Applications' Online Service
Benefit ApplicationsPercentage
I've not used the service 100%
Extremely dissatisfied 0%
Dissatisfied 0%
Satisfied 5%
Extremely Satisfied 0%
Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Satisfaction Levels of the 'Grant Applications' Online Service
Grant ApplicationsPercentage
I've not used the service 96%
Extremely dissatisfied 0%
Dissatisfied 0%
Satisfied 6%
Extremely Satisfied 0%

Respondents Views on “Digital Flintshire” - Summary

We asked respondents to share their views on our plans to deliver Digital Flintshire. Results have been categorised and summarised into the sections below which we will continue to focus on as part of our Digital Strategy. Please see our blog post for more information on how we will do this.

1. Planning and Information

  • Visibility of a roadmap and timescales for implementation
  • Transparency around costs and impact on services

2. Inclusion and Accessibility

  • Inclusion, exclusion and accessibility – consider people who cannot access services online or would prefer to access services offline
  • Training, skills and confidence building
  • Alternatives to digital provision
  • Accessible sites
  • Community engagement

3. Connectivity

  • Better connectivity in the county

4. Website and Service Provision

  • Better designed online services – as easy as picking up the phone
  • Up-to-date, easily accessible and relevant website content
  • Services designed and based on customer/resident needs

Current Council Services

We asked you to tell us whether anything was missing from our online services and to tell us about any issues you may have experienced. Results have been summarised below:

  • 35 respondents stated that something was missing from online service they used
    • 37.1% report it online
    • 31.4% planning applications
    • 22.9% online payments
    • 22.9% check my bin day
  • Website search poor and difficult to navigate – unable to find information required
  • Ease of use of forms and site
  • Information not up-to-date, limited content or missing information
  • Limited feedback or response from online services
  • Mobile device compatibility

A website group has been re-established and a forward work programme is in development to ensure that all of these issues are addressed as we continue to streamline and update the website, improve search functionality and ensure it accessible via a variety of different devices.

 We asked you whether there was anything which would make it easier for you to access the internet and you told us about the 8 main points below.

  • Better online services
  • Training / skills
  • Free parking - access
  • Better devices
  • Better website content
  • Cheaper access
  • Better connectivity - mobile
  • Better connectivity - landline

A forward work programme is being developed to address points raised in relation to our online services and website and we will continue to develop our online services alongside our Digital Hub, which provides access to a range of resources including training, access to devices and signposting to initiatives which are ongoing within our communities.

Support to include volunteers trained to help support people, digital surgeries within our Connects Centres and having these become “Online Centres” is planned - in partnership with the Good Things Foundation, we are aiming to be the first Council in Wales who will provide free data sims to people who need them.

We will continue to work with our partners to improve our connectivity via every opportunity which arises. Our work on the North Wales LFFN programme is nearing completion, installing fibre connectivity throughout the county and we are now focusing on the Digital Infrastructure element of the North Wales Growth Deal, to ensure our residents, businesses and visitors have access to better mobile and broadband connections.

Our Response

We have collated and summarised the feedback we received during the consultation period.

Digital Flintshire Consultation Results - Feedback Recieved and Our Response
Feedback Recieved Our Response
  • No clear roadmap, milestones, targets set for implementation, ways to measure success.
  • No details of how the aims and objectives will be met and how this will impact residents.

A roadmap for the Digital Strategy will be published and we will report on progress and updates via the Digital Hub and our blog posts throughout the year.

 All associated actions are reported against at relevant boards and within individual plans and strategies across the Council.

  • Where will costs be coming from? Will there be an increase in Council Tax because of this? Some of the services you provide are already under funded.

Funding for projects across the different areas of the Council can come from a range of sources from grants to budgets. Only priority projects which have funding allocated are taken forwards.

  • Does this mean that fewer services will be available in real life and will this affect jobs
  • A strong emphasis on customer first is needed.
  • Council services, information and advice should be equitable and able to be accessed offline as well as online.

No, our services will continue to be designed and delivered based on customer needs.

Our aim is to ensure that services which can be online are accessible online, whilst ensuring that other channels will be available for people where these are needed.

  • Where can I find examples of the Council’s progress?

We will continue to develop our Digital Blog, Digital Hub, and Digital Strategy pages ensuring that progress against the aims are published.

  • The use of data is very important to ensure a continuous improvement approach to the services provided.

This will be reflected in our forward work programmes and fed into service design where it can be

  • What about people who are not able to access digital or online services?
  • I feel you should ensure that local "council contact hubs" are a permanent fixture for those people who cannot afford to purchase computers and pay for broadband services, and those who prefer to have a minimal internet footprint.
  • How will people with limited skills be supported to access digital services and will training be provided?

Digital Inclusion is a new wrap-around theme within the revised strategy and will ensure customers are at the heart of how we deliver services.

We will continue to support our customers, providing access to digital services, devices, data and training within our communities via Connects Centres and in partnership with other organisations such as our libraries and other information services to ensure support is available to those who need it.

  • Some issues, questions and concerns are personal and complex
  • An online platform may not be able to address these or be the right approach.
  • Residents still need to be able to access knowledgeable staff.

Ensuring that the user is at the centre of our service design will help us to design our services in the best and most appropriate.

The nature of the services we provide cover a large spectrum and a key principle of our digital strategy is that services which can be accessible online will be, whilst ensuring that appropriate channels are available dependent on user needs. 

  • Digital contact can be efficient, but can also effectively isolate if they have a built in dead end, i.e. if the reasons for contact are not included or covered sufficiently and there is no clear, alternative route. Frustration in this respect can lead to feelings of isolation from services or help.

Service design is key - by putting our users at the centre of how we design our digital services and using the data we have to help shape these, we aim to ensure that digital transactions are simple, clear and efficient.

Our contact centre remains open to support our customers and we aim to continually improve our online service provision. Feedback is always welcome and will help inform future developments –

  • Great to see this happening but the infrastructure in terms of bandwidth and reliability of ISP's must be available as a priority.
  • The plan is absolutely vital - not only for service users, but for retaining employees in the new work-from-home era and ensuring our local authority is not left behind. The pandemic has enormously accelerated the need and motivation for this infrastructure development.

Whilst digital Connectivity is the responsibility of the UK Government and private sector, we will continue to take advantage of every opportunity that arises to make use of resources which will accelerate or complement improvements to connectivity above the baseline that these bodies have planned.

We have recently completed our LFFN programme and further investment is planned via North Wales Growth Deal funding and via the UK Government Shared Prosperity Fund.

  • Welsh should be used as much as English.

All of our digital services will be developed bilingually from the outset- this is a key principle of our service design.

  • An enhanced digital offer in Flintshire is critical for residents to access the services that can support them.
  • The way services are accessed online shouldn’t be more difficult than traditional methods.
  • Digital services should be secure, easy to access and easy to use.

We aim for our digital services to be simple, secure and convenient.

These are key principles in how we develop our digital services and the feedback we have received about our current online provision will be addressed with work being planned to continually develop our online service provision, ensuring these are accessible, easy-to-use and have the customers needs at heart.

  • I would like to see information on current interruptions to local services e.g. non-collection of bins, and perhaps even road closures etc.
  • Will the web site be updated at times of need, i.e. when unusual events occur. e.g. snow fall, school closures.

We will continue to work to ensure that our website content is as up-to-date and relevant as possible and develop our social media channels to ensure that our residents are able to see up-to-date information online.

  • I think everyone should have access to digital services and devices but not necessarily free. 
  • How can you determine who is more worthy than the other to get such free services? Even people with jobs and what would seem to be a good salary are struggling nowadays.

Our Connects Centres are accessible to all of our residents and will provide advice, support and assistance to those who wish to get online, whether this is in relation to training and skills, helping with device access or internet access schemes etc.

We are working closely with partners and joining initiatives such as the National Databank and developing online centres to ensure access is possible for all.

  • Accessible training is key for those already being left behind.
  • There should be mandatory training for all staff who work with and provide care/support/assistance to people

Digital skills and training are key areas across multiple themes within the strategy. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that our residents are able to access training and are supported to get online.

We are developing a Digital Volunteers programme, supporting others to use technology, as well as working with our partners such as Digital Communities Wales and Coleg Cambria to further develop these skills

  • Schools should provide children with a tablet/laptop for homeworking, not just the families who are on benefits.  With home-schooling, parents had to buy tablets, printers etc. in order to do the school work and some are schools still are doing this for homework.
Welsh Government allocated funding during the pandemic for local authorities to work with their schools to support digitally excluded learners and continues to work with local authorities to help address any digital exclusion.  If a family  feels they are finding it difficult for their child /children to access homework digitally then they should contact their school for further advice and support.  
  • How secure is “the cloud” and what sort of information will be stored there?
  • How will information be backed-up?

Security of our systems and Information is vital to our ongoing service continuity and the confidence of our customers in engaging with us digitally. Any cloud service we employ is subject to a rigorous assessment with security considerations at its core. These assessments are based on National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) best practice guidance. In addition, any new services we introduce are subject to a Data Protection Impact Assessment. 

  • What happens if the IT or systems fail? You need a robust system and back up plan so that downtime, whatever the reason, will not adversely impact residents or staff.
We have a backup solution that is based on industry best practice and our Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans seek to mitigate the impact of any IT or Systems failure on our services and residents with greatest emphasis on systems deemed most critical in that regard. As we move our systems to the cloud, these same considerations will apply. In addition, when constructing IT infrastructure to deliver business systems, reliability and availability are forefront in the design process.