About Us

Beginning

Sam Hall started work as the Chief Digital Officer in late November 2020 and was joined by the rest of the team in the first half of 2021. 

Our team is funded by the Welsh Government and is proud to sit within the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA). 

The WLGA is a politically led cross party organisation that gives local government a strong voice at a national level. The Association is a membership organisation that represents all 22 local authorities in Wales, the 3 fire and rescue authorities and the 3 national park authorities. 

The WLGA is full of people who work incredibly hard to make Wales a better place for everyone, so it is fantastic for us to be able to work with colleagues whose main aim is the same as ours. 

Purpose

Simply put, our purpose is to help and support local authorities to provide the best digital services for all residents and visitors in Wales. 

Firstly, we are here to support. We help local authorities to overcome various challenges that make it difficult to design and implement digital services. We do this in various ways, such as encouraging collaboration between local authorities, helping with resource, and by hosting training and events to increase the digital skills across Wales. 

Secondly, we are here to innovate. We believe in Outcome Driven Innovation, so we want to make sure that our services are centred around humans. To do this, we draw on the expertise and enthusiasm in our team and of our partners to create innovative solutions to answer the needs of the residents of Wales.

Finally, we are here to make sure our services are inclusive. This means that services within Wales are accessible to all. Everyone in our team strongly believes that every service needs to be for everyone. We will make sure to live by the principle of creating the best services for all of the people all of the time.  

Policy Context

Our team makes up one quarter of the digital landscape in Wales. The other teams, which we will continue to work closely with, are NHS Digital Wales, the Centre for Public Digital Services, and the Welsh Government Digital Team. 

Below we have listed the Welsh Government policies in which the idea for our team emerged from:

·      The First Minister’s Manifesto sets our ambition to adopt a ‘Once for Wales’ approach. 

·      The System Reboot report (December 2018) identified a need for a renewed emphasis on improving public servants’ digital skills and designing services based on customer needs. 

·      The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act provides an essential context in which we must ensure that everyone can access public services. 

 

 

Sam Hall
Chief Digital Officer

Sam’s role is to drive innovation, change and service improvement across all 22 local authorities. Through the adoption of agile practices, raising digital skills and fostering collaboration, the aim is to fast-forward Wales into a future focussed and digitally ready nation. 

Sam has over 30 years’ experience in public sector, both in central and local government. She has delivered projects with the Government Digital Service and was the head of digital delivery and then service design for the 2021 Census. Sam was also CIO & Head of IT and Digital at Birmingham City council before returning to Wales in Oct 2020 to take up this new and exciting role for Wales.

Email: sam.hall@wlga.gov.uk
Twitter: @SamHallWales


 

Chris Sutton
User Researcher

Chris is new to the public sector, having previously worked in financial services. Prior to his current role, Chris has worked within multiple teams, including Finance, Solutions, Fast Track Change and Data Analysis. Before joining the Welsh Local Government Digital Team, Chris’ digital experience includes working on a solution aiming to disrupt the mortgage market. 

Chris has a keen interest in users and how to design and create solutions that address their needs. He’s pleased to be working for Local Authorities in Wales as the work is incredibly worthwhile and rewarding, with a positive impact on the public in Wales.  

Email: chris.sutton@wlga.gov.uk 


 

Sarah Evans
Agile Delivery Manager

Sarah is seconded from ONS, having been an Agile Delivery Manager for the last 6 years. She’s delivered various projects, from intranets to digital style guides in collaboration with GDS to cross-government data projects with third party tech teams.

She moved to the team to get closer to users and is excited about helping local authorities deliver lasting value to both their own teams and the people they serve. She believes passionately that digital is for everyone, not just the technical, and in its ability to boost the lives of citizens across Wales, and to make Wales a leader in developing human centred services.

Email: sarah.evans@wlga.gov.uk

 

Jo Goodwin
Senior Agile Delivery Lead

Jo has worked in the public sector since 2010, in both central and local government. She has experience in multiple digital roles, from content, social media, and web design, to leading digital, data and technology professionals as a head of profession. Before joining the team, Jo led the delivery of the Digital Services and Technology strategy at the Office for National Statistics.

Jo is passionate about user-centred design, accessibility, and innovation. She is excited to be working with local government in Wales again and can’t wait to work on some great projects to make services in Wales even better for those who live, work, and visit here.

Email: joanna.goodwin@wlga.gov.uk 
Twitter: @joannagoodwin3


 

Tom Brame
User Researcher

Tom has worked in Welsh public sector for the last 12 years, in research and improvement roles for Data Cymru and Social Care Wales. This experience has given Tom an understanding of the power of good data and research use to gain the right insight for the development and improvement of public service delivery.

Tom feels strongly about using user-centred design to achieve better outcomes for end service users. As a User Researcher, Tom hopes to be able to bring the needs of Welsh public service users to the fore to help drive service improvement across local government and ultimately get better outcomes for users. 

Email: tom.brame@wlga.gov.uk


 

Paul Owens
Agile Delivery Manager

Paul Owen smiling at the camera in a black suit and blue checked shirt.

Paul’s role is to work with digital and technical leaders across local government to help identify, understand and prioritise service improvements for our citizens – ensuring end user perspectives are fully considered throughout. 

He has 25 years’ digital experience in the private sector working for organisations ranging from Global 500 multinationals to fast grow start-ups. Paul has worked within a variety of sectors including health, energy, education and retail. He is an agile champion, having worked on a wide variety of successful digital developments throughout his career. 

Email: paul.owens@wlga.gov.uk