Monmouthshire County Council Chief Executive Paul Matthews is delighted to announce that up to £1.25million of GovTech Catalyst funding is available to develop solutions aimed at helping to break the cycle of loneliness and the challenge of limited rural transport faced by many people in Monmouthshire.
The challenge will be formally launched at the Tram Shed, Cardiff on Tuesday 3rd July and the competition will open on Monday 16th July.
The funding comes from the new £20 million fund from the UK Government to encourage technology firms to deliver solutions to complex public sector problems. GovTech encourages technology firms to bring innovative solutions to public services that, once proven, can be introduced in other areas helping grow UK businesses while providing benefits to society as a whole.
Cllr Sara Jones Cabinet Member for Social Justice, said:
‘Here in Monmouthshire we are blessed with diverse and beautiful surroundings, thriving towns and vast amounts of social capital. Yet the diversity of our landscape has challenges. Loneliness has a significant impact on people’s health and well-being. There is a direct correlation between loneliness, our increasingly ageing population and the unravelling of our sense of community.
Reducing budgets in public services also means there is less money available to subsidise traditional transport services. This is a major issue in rural areas where journey times on public transport to local services can exceed two hours. As a result residents are heavily dependent on private cars which is costly, both financially and environmentally. These challenges can lead to increased loneliness and it’s making it harder for young people to access training and employment. We need to find solutions to enhance the lives of people of all ages in the future.
I urge businesses of all sizes to get in touch share ideas to help us alleviate some of the pressures affecting our most vulnerable communities’
The competition opens on 16th July and closes on 5th September 2018. There will be an opportunity for businesses to hear more about the challenge and how they can apply at a briefing session taking place in coming weeks. To find out more visit: www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/govtech_challenge