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Digital Birmingham selected as part of NESTA project

Birmingham City Council is one of four local authorities which have been selected to work alongside digital media developers in a bid to create web-based services to benefit their local communities.

The ‘Make it Local’ project, organized by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) will aim to help local authorities try and maximize use of their data and has partnered with digital media developers to help find the best opportunities to improve or develop new services.

Birmingham City Council and Digital Birmingham will work in partnership with Mudlark to create a ‘Birmingham Civic Dashboard', a social web tool that maps where requests for council services have been made. The project will aim to help residents and the council to use the web tool to see the themes developing from these service requests and the broader issues they illustrate such as graffiti ‘hotspots’.

Each partnership will receive up to £30,000 funding.

Other partnerships will see London Borough of Barnet work with mySociety on two projects, London Borough of Sutton work with web developer Adrian Short to create ‘Sutton Open Library’ and Kirklees Council will work in partnership with Thumbprint Co-operative to build an online community resource called ‘Who Owns My Neighbourhood’.

Philip Colligan, executive director of NESTA’s public services lab, commented: ‘Councils hold huge amounts of data that has the potential to transform the way we all relate to public services if only we could access it. Through the ‘Make it Local’ campaign, we wanted to bring together digital media developers and pioneering local authorities to show what could be achieved. We’re delighted with the quality of the applications and really excited about the four winning partnerships.’

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