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Building on our Smart and Connected foundations

Our previous Digital Strategy, Smart and Connected 2018-2022, was developed to ensure that the council took full advantage of the benefits of existing and new technologies.

Despite the unavoidable Covid19 interruptions, the strategy has delivered the vast majority of its proposed actions. These have included key areas such as the Social Care ‘Track My Request’ project and completing council tax forms online. 

What Smart and Connected 2018 - 2022 has delivered

  • Full restructure of Digital Services aligned to DDaT Profession Framework - assimilate all existing staff into new structure
  • Develop and embedding the NPT Digital Service Standards and Technology Code of Practice across all teams
  • Demonstrate the value of DDaT to service design – e.g. the benefits of User Centred Design, how data should inform service design principles
  • New employee experience platform launched ‘NPT Connect’
  • Engagement with service areas to explore opportunities for Digital Transformation
  • Developed a Comms and Engagement Strategy for Smart & Connected
  • Further developed the Occupational Health system allowing managers to self-serve the referral of staff to Occupational Health Service and the subsequent management of the process thereafter
  • Supported the voluntary and community sector to develop their capability, both in terms of the services and support they offer to the community and in sustaining their own organisations
  • Worked with partner organisations to set up and maintain the Track, Trace and Protect (TTP) system
  • Creation and development of our Digital Partners programme with over 30 partners signed up and trained across the organisation
  • Worked with partners to aid/help and support residents during winter storms and Skewen floods
  • Worked alongside Centre for Digital Public Services Wales on an exemplar programme - introducing user centred service design and agile ways of working into the council and adult Social Care
  • Consolidated and redesigned a number of websites, making them clearer and more accessible based on user needs
  • We have started work on addressing some of the barriers to digital transformation, introducing our digital service manual and working closer with service areas to embed user centred design principles to create more efficient and customer focussed services.
  • Completed Cyber and Phishing Training Exercises
  • Developed solution for hybrid Meetings for Democratic services (bi-lingual).
  • Continued to support the delivery of EdTech & 21Century Schools
  • Develop digital leadership capability within the council, in line with CDPS and WLGA, prioritising the corporate leadership team (the top tiers of council officers) and council members
365 Staff training provided including Introduction to teams, engaging online audiences Office 365
  • Develop a pilot project aimed at understanding the use and benefit of a data sciences approach to understanding service demand
  • Embedded Data and Research as a core pillar in the new Digital Services Target Operating Model
  • Created a Data Unit as part of the Digital Services restructure to build capacity in this critical area
  • Creation of a data platform, creating a single view of 7,000 businesses in Neath Port Talbot to support our track, trace and protect teams during the pandemic

HR iTrent System. Date extracts from existing HR Vision for the new iTrent system

  • We designed and built NPT Buy Local, an APSE award-winning digital service, which connected businesses and support groups in Neath Port Talbot with our communities during the pandemic
  • Delivered Safe and Well App to support the most vulnerable people in the community during the height of the Pandemic
  • Supported the processing of more than 45,000 school meal payments made to parents through our digital platform during the pandemic
  • Delivered Isolation Grant Application Process
  • Delivered management console for Skewen Flood Incident to help support the families affected by the disaster
  • We have started to enable our staff to focus on higher value activities through embracing the use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in finance, HR and land charges along with digitising forms and streamlining business process across the Council
  • Completed upgrades to major financial systems
  • Virtualised corporate firewalls
  • Overhauled of corporate backup and disaster recovery arrangements
  • Accessibility for our website is within the top 5 Council’s in the UK
  • Over 45,000 customer conversations dealt with via automation and an AI chatbot during the pandemic
  • Use of cross-government platforms such as Gov.UK Notify helping reduce the cost of text messaging and postage with over 2,000,000 messages sent
  • New online booking system delivered for household waste recycling centre bookings, with over 100,000 bookings to date, 96% of which are made online
  • New digital platforms to enable improved customer self-service and automation including new services for missed bin collections and bulky waste collections
  • Introduction of Gov.UK Pay for online payments on
  • Created online system for Cemetery Staff to access Burial Plans
  • Use of cross government platforms integrated into our platforms to update school bus and taxi operators when individual schools are closed due to adverse weather
  • Introduction of voice AI into the Council – delivering latest news directly to residents through our Amazon Alexa news channel
  • Embedded Microsoft Teams to aid Agile working practices across Council with 54,000 meetings taking place, 78,000 messages sent and 167,000 calls from Dec – June 2023
  • Supported implementation of MHR iTrent – a new system to underpin HR/Payroll in the Council
  • Delivered registrars online ordering of certificates – out of hours
  • Asset management lifecycle process, plus sort backlog of legacy infrastructure
  • Actions within the Cyber Security Strategy - Security and compliance – Gap analysis with Audit Wales Learning from Cyber Attacks
  • Employee Platform - SharePoint Online/Viva-Yammer - to replace corporate Intranet
  • Service redesign - New Recycling Centre; Bulk Waste Collections; Missed Bin Collections; Household waste recycling bookings
  • New services – Warm Spaces; Winter Fuel and Cost of Living Payments; Corporate Joint Committee website
  • Playbooks – Agile coaching, delivery and change capability
  • Collate application stack service catalogue - full review of against the 6 R’s
  • Winter fuel grant digital platform
  • New digital service for Absorbent Hygiene & Household Waste Recycling Centre
  • New web services - London Bridge, Cost of Living, DEWIS

Blue Badges, Streamlining the process will save 70 hours per year

This new DDaT strategy builds on the strong foundations which Smart and Connected has put in place, clearly setting out our approach to provide best value services, while continuing to support our residents, businesses, elected members, staff and visitors, through the investment in existing and new technologies to better prepare us for the future.