Smart Stanley seems to be going well. The idea is to have a number of small projects that use digital to enhance the experience of the town for everyone that lives there, works there or is a visitor. We made a major breakthrough with the launch of the web site a few weeks back. Daniel has been doing a fantastic job in getting round all of the business in the town and its surrounding villages. You can see the stickers in many of the shop windows.
He’s also got some great ideas for some additional pages with perhaps a jobs bulletin and some support for setting up a business in the area. Check it out at www.smartstanley.org.uk
We are also making good progress with a hackathon as part of a participatory budgeting event. We’ll use it to ask the residents about some of the problems that they are facing and see whether solutions, using technology or not, can be used to make improvements. Daniel has picked this up as well, to find suitable community groups and we are working with Newcastle University’s Open Lab to deliver it. Graham’s plans for providing WiFi down the Front Street are also coming along. There are a few hurdles to jump over but aren’t there always.
So what next? What can we do to build upon the momentum we have already got?
Perhaps we could do something in partnership with the Smart County work that our colleagues in Business Durham are doing. I’ll need to speak to Catherine. We thought about how we could create some gateway signs with QR codes to draw people to the web site and the town. The Coast to Coast cycle route runs by Stanley and this could be a great way to attract those people who are in need of a pie, or some other form of sustenance. That’s one for Wendy.
Our thoughts then got round to twinning our work with other towns that are doing something similar. Alli has said she would have a look at what others are doing but I am going to give a bit more thought to the possibility of digitally twinning with another town, whatever that means.