A highly-regarded senior leader in digital communication with years of experience in central government, Neil Williams has a strong track record working at the forefront of digital transformation. And having lived in the north of the borough for more than 10 years, he hopes to play a key role in helping Croydon achieve its ambitious plans.
As the council’s chief digital officer he will be responsible for the design and delivery of the council’s digital services for residents and businesses, making it quicker and easier for them to connect with the council through platforms such as My Account. He will also lead the council’s internal IT function, ensuring it is innovative, cost-effective and efficient; lead work on Smart Cities, using data and technology to make Croydon a better, more efficient and more sustainable place to live; and help to support the continued growth of the borough’s thriving technology sector.
Neil joins Croydon Council from his most recent role as a Deputy Director at the Government Digital Service (GDS), part of the Cabinet Office. He had specific responsibility for GOV.UK, the single website providing access to all central government’s services and information, having also been instrumental in its set-up when he joined GDS in 2011.
Prior to that Neil has worked in digital communications at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills; the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Trade and Industry.
Neil said: “I’m thrilled to accept the role of chief digital officer for Croydon. I’m passionate about public service, in particular the role digital plays in making services and support simple and intuitive, designed around users’ needs. Building on the great foundations that made Croydon 2017’s Digital Council of the Year, I'm looking forward to leading the next phase of digital transformation, harnessing the opportunities around Smart Cities, and making the borough an even better place for residents and businesses to thrive. I’m fiercely proud of this brilliant, diverse and creative borough – Croydon is a great place to live and work, so I’m delighted to have this opportunity to play a part in its continued growth at this exciting time.”
Richard Simpson, executive director for Resources, said: “We want to make it quicker and easier for residents to get in touch with us and for them to have a better and more satisfying experience when they do so. This is at the heart of our drive to transform our digital services, and our new chief digital officer Neil has the perfect combination of experience and expertise to lead the council through this process. As a local resident he already shares our enthusiasm and ambitions for Croydon, and I’m delighted to welcome him on board.”
Neil will be joining the council in October.