Vital role for Council digital communication

By Aileen MacLennan

Many services and organisations are having to develop new ways of working as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. With more people working from home, the use of digital communications has never been more important in maintaining vital services.

Argyll and Bute Council has been pioneering the use of secure digital communication for ten years and was the first UK local authority to use Skype as a communication tool to help connect employees who are working in remote parts of the region including our islands and to maintain business as normal with full remote access to council systems.

Digital communication has played a pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling vital workers to come together to maintain frontline services and help manage the crisis.

  • Since lockdown started , the council has hosted 10,184 online Skype meetings
  • 40,544 people have participated in Skype meetings either by video or audio conferencing
  • Skype conferences involve 3 or more participants. The council still makes thousands of normal one to one calls every month

Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Support Services, said: “As a council we have embraced digital communication as it provides a great link with staff and partners working across Argyll and Bute. As the second largest local authority by geographical area in Scotland with some of the most remote communities including 23 inhabited islands, digital communication has been a vital resource for us connecting people and never more so than now.

“With more than 1100  council employees working from home , the use of Skype has meant we are able to carry on delivering  meetings, including the Business Continuity Committee  for councillors decision making, and hold emergency planning discussions and generally bring everyone together as we work together to manage the ongoing situation. In a short amount of time where we are all having to make changes to everyday life, it is reassuring that the council is very much connected and able to deliver vital services for the people of Argyll and Bute. ”

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