Digital award could be Councillor Rehman’s

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Councillor Rehman

A Wigan Borough councillor has been shortlisted for an LGiU Councillor Achievement Award thanks to her success in rolling out the pioneering Duke of York iDEA scheme.

 Councillor Nazia Rehman has been shortlisted for the ‘Technology and Digital’ award following the successful take up of the nationally recognised scheme and as a result of her dedication to delivering the council’s digital strategy.

In 2017, Wigan Borough was chosen to be the first local authority area to roll out award and Councillor Rehman played a key part in delivering this by encouraging residents to develop their digital skills.

Offered in manageable chunks, iDEA allows users to choose topics they are interested in from online safety to animation and is suitable for all, meaning families can complete the award together.

The scheme also led Wigan Council’s interactive iDEA work to be given the Digital Leaders 100 award for ‘Digital Skills or Inclusion Initiative of the Year’ in 2018.

And, to congratulate some of the first people to achieve their bronze award, HRH The Duke of York attended a ceremony at Leigh Turnpike.

Speaking about the awards, Councillor Rehman said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to have been shortlisted for this fantastic award.

“I am passionate about working with local people and believe that by offering opportunities for people to develop and learn, we can become a stronger borough.

“As demonstrated through The Deal, Wigan Council is committed to getting residents online. We know that in the future, these are skills that will be absolutely necessary in the working world. In addition, accessing services online can save the council much needed money and will free up officers’ time to help residents with more complex questions and needs.

“It was an honour to host HRH The Duke of York at Leigh Turnpike  and we’re extremely pleased with how well the scheme has been received both locally and nationally.”

Following Councillor Rehman’s leadership, more than 1,000 Wigan Borough learners have completed more than 13,500 badges, resulting in almost 300 people completing their bronze award.

Councillor Nazia Rehman is Wigan’s first ever councillor from an ethnic minority background and has represented the Tyldesley ward since May 2016.

In 2018, she was appointed as portfolio holder for resources, finance and transformation on the council’s cabinet, where she has shown her commitment to providing opportunities for people to learn.

According to Tech Partnership and Lloyds Banking Group, digital exclusion in Wigan has reduced from medium in 2015 to low in 2017 and is much lower than most adjoining boroughs.

Wigan Council is committed to helping residents get online and has been an advocate for digital upskilling since publishing its digital strategy in 2015.

The full shortlist can be accessed by visiting www.lgiu.org.uk and the winners will be announced on Wednesday 6th November.