A few months ago, Microsoft and The Municipal Journal teamed up to announce the first-ever Digital City of the Year Award. The award celebrates the city that most improved the lives of their citizens, developed their potential and met their changing needs for integrated, digital public services. After a competitive nomination period, seven finalists emerged:

  • Birmingham City Council
  • Brighton & Hove City Council
  • Derby City Council
  • Glasgow City Council
  • Hull City Council
  • Manchester City Council
  • Sunderland City Council

All the nominees had compelling stories to tell about the ways they’re transforming services, engaging citizens and accelerating economic growth. They’re all passionate about the ways technology can lead to smarter, more effective public services. Each of the nominees deserves a round of applause for the work they’re doing.

After careful deliberation, however, the judges selected Sunderland City Council as the winner of this year’s Digital City of the Year Award at The MJ Awards Ceremony last night. Sunderland’s story is a tale of comprehensive transformation, as the council adopted a people-centric approach to managing services. The council found ways to deliver citizen services more efficiently – lowering costs and improving citizen satisfaction at the same time digitising its services using Optevia's Local Government Essentials, which is based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Learn more about the great work Sunderland City Council is doing.

Sunderland articulated a very strong sense of “place” that demonstrated real progress in their digital agenda with engagement across multiple sectors that reached beyond just the boundaries of Sunderland City Council. A well-executed operating model, supported by a powerful evidence base, was convincingly presented by an impressive cross-disciplinary digital leadership team.

“Sunderland has become a 24-hour city. Citizens demand that services are available at all times, but the council also saw that it was important to deliver consistent services across multiple channels. This was made possible through technology and a complete reorganisation of their business,” said Optevia’s managing director, Tim Vernon.

During the award ceremony, Brighton & Hove City Council, Derby City Council and Manchester City Council were also announced as being specially commended for their efforts, reflecting the incredibly competitive nature of this award.

We would also like to extend our congratulations to the winners of  other categories in TheMJ Awards this year.  You can see the full list here.

Congratulation to Sunderland City Council – and thanks again to all our nominees!