SurreyCamp Event and Digital Surrey


Last week was Digital Surrey week, part of the “Future Surrey” initiative. What is Future Surrey? The following quote taken from the Future Surrey site will explain…

Surrey County Council is working with FutureGov to design and deliver Future Surrey: a programme that combines service design and social technology to bring about organisational change.

It’s based on the principles of open government, open leadership and service design with and for users. Together we’re focusing on core services, like highways and adult social services to develop new ways of delivering services, with the help of technology.  We’re also working across the council and with partners to help highlight where innovation and user-led  service design are already happening, and help the adoption of these principles more widely in Surrey.

As part of this, I attended “SurreyCamp” – an event that connected Surrey County Council, local businesses, innovators and residents in an attempt to develop Surrey within a digital context.

During the event I tweeted a lot – summarising what was going on and things that were being said. The bullet points below are basically the tweets I sent out.

  • At #surreycamp Part of Digital Surrey week.
  • Andrew Povey introduced the day, indicating that Surrey residents are already online and the County Council need to ensure we are experts there too.
  • David McNulty says we need to engage as many people as possible in Surrey to get involved in developing the county.
  • We need to harness the passion and skills of the people of Surrey to develop it.
  • Build our networks of partners in Surrey
  • Surrey’s Big Vision – SCC we want to be leading edge & ensure we will be effective in rs time.
  • Be open & ready to react quickly as new possibilities emerge.
  • Currently trying to upgrade systems in Surrey County Council.
  • Will be publishing ideas generated from the event today.
  • Dominic Campbell from FutureGov speaking about the event. This event is part of a bigger piece of work – “Future Surrey” & “Digital Surrey Week”
  • What can web do to help us in our work? Want new structures; challenging; new processes; new ways of thinking; innovation
  • Want performance improvement and efficiency.Get citizens involved. Surreywide programme. Not just SCC
  • Surrey social services currently trialling apps
  • Need to move away from introverted design and move to working with users and partners.
  • Spectrum of project is from staff collaboration to social innovation.
  • Need to get more people involved. Need the enthusiasm to make it work.
  • Mary Baker. Founder of DropBy. Social networking site for over 60s to connect people who feel isolated.
  • Provides: interaction; video chat between family members; online games room (keep the brain cells going)
  • Just decided that she was going to do something herself, rather than waiting for others to do it.
  • Louise Bircher. Customer Services & communications Mole Valley District Council.
  • Redesigned website. Easier to use; accessible. Site ranking improved and have been shortlisted for award.
  • Use Youtube, Twitter, Flickr, QR codes, Facebook (in a targetted manner)
  • Alana Blair. Campaign Communications Officer, SCC. ion Facebook, 5.5mill visits from Surrey postcodes
  • Surrey Matters magazine. Has been introduced as digital format early in 2011
  • Social media offers residents the chance to interact with Surrey County Council.
  • Sign up for Surrey Matters e-newsletter at
  • Nigel Biggs. Software developer background.
  • Runs social enterprise. Connect people to co-create ideas & implement something new.
  • It’s okay to talk about ideas, but you also need to act on it too.
  • Need to create a new vision. Communilab – forum that includes local councils, Universities, businesses.
  • Public sector has a fear of failure.
  • John Woods. Assistant Director for Adult Social Care. Surrey County Council
  • New ways of working with partners.
  • Paul Brocklehurst. Head of IMT, Surrey County Council
  • IMT support customers. Don’t want to be a blocker of resources.
  • Working with services to look ahead a lot more; supporting SCC digital policies.
  • Concentrating on replacing the “plumbing”; creating new data centre; involved in “modern worker programme”; making a difference
  • Helping to transform services
  • Gavin Stephens, Surrey Police.
  • Communication about the services you provide are going on in these social media places. You need to be there too
  • Social media. Evidence can be taken from social media.
  • Community engagement. How can we put Surrey police into people’s pockets? Have created an app.
  • It can improve the policing in Surrey.
  • Not “why?” “Why not?” ie why not try new ideas anyway.
  • Helen Leech. Virtual Content Manager, Surrey Library Service
  • Virtual visits to library site have increased by 25%
  • We are training staff via 23 Things; QR codes; looking at comments via social media
  • “I hate this book” campaign on our Facebook page.
  • We have staff blog for sharing info related to libraries; Library2.0 wiki; doodle event organiser; Webex online meetings
  • Communities of practice website – great for discussing issues amongst wide groups of people.
  • Currently in sessions rapping, eating yoghurt and making boats. It’s great. Like being back at playschool. 🙂
  • RT @simonjchughes: #surreycamp the future of public services in a yog pot.
  • Part of the ideas board from #surreycamp
  • Future Surrey sweeties! #surreycamp
  • Future Surrey “Thinking caps & creativity trousers.” #surreycamp
  • This afternoon is about coming up with ideas for web solutions.
  • Developing ideas to address issues about isolated people. How can they be supported?
  • What is your idea? What difference will it make & to whom? How could it save money/make money? How will it help Surrey people to do things for themselves? What do you need to make it happen?
  • Internet portal via TV type interface to provide comms.
  • Isolation idea covered possible telecom. Bundle inc software; software itself; options needed; delivery options.
  • Roundup of all group ideas
  • Ideas (1) How to engage with businesses. Need to map existing solutions and make connections between them.
  • (2) Volunteering. To promote existing volunteering to encourage more people to volunteer. Make one stop shop for info.
  • (3) e-learning. Bring together all info. of resources inc. library info; packages for home safety; online courses; booking system
  • (4) Meals on wheels. Combine meals on wheels and school meals service. Use volunteers to help & get money of meals
  • (5) Localism. How to solve local problems. Network communities together. Give 1/2 money saved back to comms.
  • (6) Isolation. Get systems to houses – superfast broadband. Need simple app. -TV; internet
  • (7) Looked after children. Joined up comms for children. Only have to say things once. Child could provide status updates.
  • (8) Emergencies. Web/mobile app. Get clear official info feeds out to people. Opps. for people to help out based on your skills
  • (9) Collaboration/ways of working. Multi agency workspace. Internal web chats between staff & external resident discussions
  • (10) Elections. App timeline for elections. Who’s standing in the area. Webchat with MPs/councillors
  • (11) Search facility across all council – C.C. ; borough; parish sites.
  • (12) Roads & transport. Highways app. Multifaceted. Log your pothole! Real time travel info. Efficiency of journey info
  • (13) Carers. Review and evaluate services and service providers. Allow residents to decide on who their care provider will be
  • (14) Waste & recycling. Collection day alarm- “Don’t forget to put your bins out tonight.” Recycling service. (Idea) Scan items – can you recyle them?
  • (15) Politicians. Training sessions for members to use social media
  • (16) Engage with young people. Advice on careers, health, education, activities; vouchers for young peoples activities.
  • (17) Tourism. Harness spending power in county. “Locate me” using geoloc. Inspire me – chooses random idea. Combine resources
  • (18) Parents. Enable parents of disabled children to access support services. Improve web access.
  • (19) Rural. Encouraging visits to countryside by using social media. Set up blog. Get people to share experiences. Use Flickr map
  • (20) Engagement. AskSurrey. Pull all convo into 1 place from places like Twitter Facebook- respond there & push replies out…
  • FutureGov @dominiccampbell @carriebish Hi. Archive of #surreycamp tweets here. – Fri Sep +011
  • Summary of #surreycamp tweets following yesterday’s great @FutureGov event. – Fri Sep +011
  • Interesting Surrey Police app, mentioned at #surreycamp yesterday. More info. Thanks to @csuptstephens – Fri Sep +011
I really enjoyed and felt inspired by the whole event – about 10 quick presentations at the start highlighting what people in Surrey (inside and outside the council) were getting up to; creative sessions afterwards, trying to get a focus on selling/developing your services; and final sessions attempting to get people to think practically about digital services that could be created to improve the lives of people in Surrey.
It reminded me of the mashed libraries events I’d been involved in – people there who really wanted to make use of the technology/software they had and develop services creatively for the residents of Surrey.
The key things that came out of the whole event were…
  • If you want something to happen, you need to help make it happen and not sit back and twiddle your thumbs
  • A lot of the information people want is out there – it may be hidden… it may be in silos, but it’s out there and if you can bring it together in one place and tell people that it is there, it is going to be so useful for them.
  • People in Surrey have the imagination and skills to develop these services.
It will be interesting to see where we are in a years time with all of this. Hopefully we can see some of these ideas will have been turned into practical and useful services.

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