Lots of things are happening in Kirklees…
Last week Saffron and I visited our Local 2.0 partners, Kirklees Council for the first time. The work being done by the Web Development team there is just superb. It’s a local government version of one of those labs you see in science fiction films (or Gremlins 2 if your on my level) which just produces outstanding ideas, one after another. Their most successful product is Looking Local, which uses digital TV to get agencies communicating with people who don’t have access to the internet. Dozens of councils now use this service. They are also using devices such as the Nintendo Wii to provide telehealth services to people with chronic health conditions.
They are doing loads more as well, which we will talk about as we move forward with Local 2.0. The purpose of the meeting was to look at potential neighbourhoods which we could focus on for our work. We’ve settle on two. Firstly, there is Newsome. According to their local councillor, Andrew Cooper (a representative of the Green Party), Newsome is probably the ‘greenest ward in England’. It’s hard to argue with him. Amongst other things, there are lots of PV panels on households (of all incomes), social housing developments which rank as ‘excellent’ in terms of environmental sustainability, and plans to plant 1000 fruit trees in public space over the next few months.
The second area is Dalton, which is more challenging but the potential for impact seems huge. The area is right at the top of the Index of Multiple Deprivation and has a committed Neighbourhood Management team in place. In Dalton we want to find smarter ways for everyone to communicate with each other.
As usual we’ll update as we go along. In the next few weeks we will be pinning down our ideas into a project plan and will blog about it once it’s agreed.