Shadow Cabinet members from the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group have offered the following responses to Medway Council’s annual public health report which focused on digital poverty.
Cllr Teresa Murray, Health Spokesperson and Deputy Leader of the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group said:
“The report described the current situation but did not offer any immediate intentions to resolve this problem that thousands of people in Medway are currently facing.
“Medway Council has digitised many services and there are plans to offer aspects of health and social care services by the same medium as well as increased use in education.
“The lack of urgency associated with ensuring fair digital access is disturbing, so Medway Labour have produced further research to shine a light on the areas most in need of connectivity and will be making recommendations about how to tackle the skills gap which inhibits internet use for disadvantaged groups.”
Cllr Vince Maple, Leader of the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group and member of the Health and Wellbeing Board added:
“It’s all very well to identify the real challenges that lack of internet can cause residents, but what we need is solutions. There needs to be more of a focus on creating new schemes to support those who find it difficult to access or operate the internet.
“As we head into a cost of living crisis, we need to ensure that the Council is doing its utmost to ensure vulnerable people are still able to access essential services by having the option to use digital services. We will continue to push the Council in the right direction on this issue.”
You read our findings on digital poverty here – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dn-rpOp3fFvl7Ht899eSA0yFY6xVy-gBAA82q1cDxbM/edit?usp=sharing
The report that this in response to is “BRIDGING THE DIGITAL GAP – IMPROVING HEALTH OUTCOMES THROUGH DIGITAL INNOVATION” ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH 2020-2021”, and can be found at this link –