THE DEPUTY leader of Shropshire Council has said he wants a digital shake-up at the authority to be “right first time”.

Councillor Steve Charmley yesterday (Thursday, September 13) told the authority’s Audit Committee that not completing the digital transformation is not an option.

The programme, which is redesigning how the council delivers services and manages operations, was estimated to save the authority £35 million over a five-year period when it was approved by councillors two years ago.

It came following the council’s budget cuts and working with outdated infrastructure.

Cllr Charmley, who is also portfolio holder for corporate and commercial support, said: “I think we can rest assured that everything is being done to make sure it will deliver what it says on the tin.

“But I would rather take longer and get it right first time than have to come back and re-jig things which is going to take longer.”

Cllr Charmley continued: “Not delivering this is not an option. We are talking about a big chunk of money that will be saved and this in itself has been identified as a risk.

“But the timescales aren’t as critical for me as delivering it.”

Cllr Charmley also stressed that “changing the culture” of staff is key to making the programme successful.

He added: “We have got an awful lot of work but also to change the culture of the organisation to keep it going forward.

“As any council who work in a certain way, we currently count the beans, but as we go in and change we have to go from using beans to using the latest technology.

“I don’t say that lightly, because this is not just technology, this is cutting edge stuff to create savings and change what we do.”

The programme will use digital channels to make it easier and quicker for residents to interact with the council.

It was also give staff the ability to work from any location meaning they can be closer to customers.