National targets for electronic service have been both brought
forward and extended to local government. They are for 100% of
all services to be capable of electronic transaction by 2005,
and 25% by 2002. The definition of 'electronic delivery' covers
(for example) a telephone call to a call centre supported by data
management or CRM software, but not a fax or an ordinary phone
Over the next five years, borough residents will be adjusting
to rapid changes in the national and local economy brought about
by the speed of connectivity and low cost communications inherent
in the Internet and new forms of broadband technology.
Part of the Council's e-strategy
try to influence and steer these changes to the benefit of local
people, in terms of access to jobs, education, and participation
The risks of a new 'digital divide'
and of new forms of 'electronic exclusion' are particularly relevant
to a borough with the socio-economic characteristics of Hammersmith
and Fulham. The extent of any 'divide' is also narrowing fast,
as the costs of online access drop.
The Internet offers enormous opportunities for individuals, local
organisations, interest groups, and partner agencies to become
involved in exchanging information and 'virtual' dialogue on every
aspect of local community life. This has major implications for
the council's role in 'community governance', its approach to
developing a community strategy, and the representative and constituency
role carried out by councillors.
The strategy is designed to show how the authority intends to
achieve the target of 100% e-enablement in 2005 and how this fits
in the with overall Community Strategy objectives. In producing
the statement the council were required to identify the level
of electronic government that it had achieved at July 2001, which
then stood at 49% well above the 25% target that for last year.