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National e-Planning Project Launched
eGov monitor Weekly

3 March 2003

Parliament has given approval for £80 million of funding to support 12 National Projects providing the framework for the future development of local eGovernment.

A total of £40m has been secured for the first tranche of national projects, covering areas including eDemocracy, schools admissions and working with local businesses, with the remaining £40m allocated for future projects.

The move follows the official launch last week of the first national project, a £4.4m initiative that will provide a toolkit for local authority e-planning services in England and link up a wide range of property-based services provided by councils, government departments and national agencies.

Wandsworth Borough Council will be leading this project, which will build upon its e-planning service, developed with i-documentsystems, which was granted Pathfinder status by the Government in 2001. It is joined by Salisbury District Council and the Welland Partnership consortium of East Midlands local authorities, who are heading up separate project streams, together with a further 20 local authorities and partner organisations including the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Environment Agency and the Office of the e-Envoy.

Wandsworth will lead development work on the technical infrastructure needed to support the other local authorities taking part in the project, and integrating the planning process into other regulatory and licensing regimes, such as Environmental Health and Trading Standards.

Salisbury will be taking forward one of the major outputs of the project, a toolkit to enable councils to implement the full range of e-planning services on a wide supplier base. It will also be looking at establishing a set of standards for delivering e-planning services and ways to make internal procedures more efficient to maximise the benefits of the project.

The stream lead by the Welland Partnership will focus on the aspects of e-planning services that are used and accessed by citizens and businesses, for both urban and rural environments, encompassing one-stop shops, the internet, kiosks and customer relationship management systems.

Speaking at the launch event in London last week, Christopher Leslie, Minister with responsibility for local eGovernment, commented: "The National Project for Planning and Regulatory Services On-line will offer better value for money and make the service more accessible to local people.

"It will also play a role in increasing local democracy, by making it easier for people to participate in a decision-making process that affects them indirectly more often than directly".

The project will last for a year and conclude in March 2004.

Read the full announcement from Wandsworth Council

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