Rising expectations by digitally-savvy citizens and continued budgetary pressures are driving local government to change the way it engages with the public, and reconsider its approach to digitisation. Having grown accustomed to rapid communication and smartphone-empowered lives, people are demanding more of their local authorities. Understanding what citizens really expect and introducing citizen-centric digital tools can enable local authorities to transform public services by catering directly to individuals’ needs while reducing costs and increasing efficiencies.

Our report discusses the findings of a national survey conducted by Novoville, in partnership with the Society for Innovation, Transformation and Modernisation Socitm and startup accelerator Public, which collected responses from 3,500 residents across the UK. The survey was designed to record respondents’ level of satisfaction and engagement with their council, their expectations regarding the services they receive, the most common local issues they face, and the frequency, reason and ways of interacting with local authorities.

Results suggest that although citizen satisfaction remains relatively low, particularly among younger age groups, digital transformation can pave the path towards improved services and enhanced democratic participation at the local level. Decision-makers need to harness digital innovation to bridge the gap between citizens and their city.