Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) now hosts the borough's first ever digital champion to help residents with digital literacy.

Alex Coley, a West Ewell and Ruxley Residents Association (WERRA) councillor for Ruxley Ward, adopted a new title as the borough's first ever 'Digital Champion'.

WERRA said his appointment — expected to be adopted formally next year — would help boost online engagement and improve the welfare of those who lack access or the necessary know-how to get by in the digital realm.

A spokesperson for WERRA said: "At present this is an informal role, providing support and information.

"It is hoped this role will become official next year if Cllr Coley can demonstrate the value and good work of improving access, staying safe and doing more with internet technology."

Cllr Coley for his part said that he hoped to use the role to help disadvantaged people in the borough.

"Epsom and Ewell is a hub for creative services so it’s natural that we focus on digital communications.

"We must also be inclusive and give support to older residents, disabled residents and residents who are socially or economically disadvantaged," Cllr Coley said.

"There are great opportunities in digital technology for the local economy and the wellbeing of residents. I’m working to make sure as many people as possible can benefit," he added.

WERRA released a comprehensive list of the responsibilities the hope the new digital champion will focus on:

  • Helping disabled/mobility impaired users with assistive digital solutions.
  • Keeping young people safe online.
  • Encouraging and supporting older internet users to learn new skills.
  • Horizon scanning plans for 5G and future connectivity.
  • Exploring planning policy for smart devices in street furniture.
  • Promoting self-service online.
  • Encouraging channel shift from paper and telephone systems to digital services.
  • Advocating for the voice of residents in the design of new services.

For more information about the digital support you can receive from Cllr Coley, go to: https://westewellandruxley.org.uk/digital-champion-for-epsom-ewell/