North Lanarkshire Council is looking to make a £150m “landmark investment” in digital infrastructure and services to “unlock the potential” for cost savings, improved productivity, and enhanced service delivery. The council is hoping the procurement of a long-term single supplier framework agreement will enhance the coverage and reach of gigabit networks across the region, ensure its digital infrastructure is “future- proof” and will lead to smart and sustainable outcomes.

Ministers pump £2.19m into social media Covid campaign

As the pandemic raged, Scottish Government put its health advice out on Facebook and Instagram


The Scottish Government spent more than £2m on social media adverts about Covid-19 in the last financial year, newly released figures show. A Freedom of Information (FOI)

request revealed that £2.19m was invested in the government’s digital campaign during the pandemic, with over half the budget allocated to social networking giants Face- book and Instagram. Officials spent £1.19m on

Facebook and Instagram market- ing, £446,852.92 on YouTube, £421,552.20 on Twitter and around £60,000 on both Snapchat and TikTok. Just £4,000 was spent on Reddit and £600 on LinkedIn. A further breakdown of the

spending figures shows that the highest amount of money was al-

located to Covid adverts related to the Parent Club – a body that shares government guidance regarding children’s health and education – at £399,282.66. At the other end of the scale, just

£12,641 was spent on Covid adverts connected to food supply. Te government data also shows

that its social media campaign was primarily aimed towards young people, with £83,729.90 spent on adverts targeting this age group and just £16,386.76 spent on adverts targeting the elderly and vulnerable. In July, Scottish Government fig-

ures released in response to a differ- ent FOI request revealed that £5.7m had been spent on public health adverts about coronavirus – includ- ing television and radio – since the beginning of the pandemic. A Scottish Government spokes-

person said: “Effective government communication is essential, espe- cially during a global pandemic. All our marketing campaigns are informed by analysis and data. “Tese social media advertise-

ments formed part of our wider coronavirus communications strategy that has engaged key audiences and shared information and guidance that has helped keep people safe, protected the NHS and saved lives.” l


SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY SHINES LIGHT ON RURAL LAND USE An interactive map providing insight into rural land use in Scotland has been created using satellite imagery of crops in every field farmed in the country. The Scottish Crop Map uses radar images from the European Space Agency Copernicus Satellite Programme to predict the crop types and to recognise the crops growing in nearly 400,000 fields in Scotland.

ACCELERATOR UNLOCKS £200M TO CLOSE IN ON NET-ZERO TARGET An initiative has been launched to unlock £200m of low carbon investment to help Scotland achieve its net-zero target. The Green Growth Accelerator will speed up low carbon infrastructure projects across the country, providing extra resources and technical support to local authorities. Applications are now open for six projects, which will be developed with £1m from the Scottish Government.

PUBLIC ASKED TO SHAPE COUNCIL WEBSITE Stirling Council is asking people living and working in its region to complete a survey and help shape its new website. Working with digital transformation consultancy, Storm ID, Stirling Council has launched a survey to help developers understand how the public wants to find information on its official website. Feedback will be used to inform the creation of a forthcoming platform.

E-bikes that resemble three-wheeled tuk-tuks seen here in Hamburg are heading to Glasgow

NHS Highland is moving towards financial recovery

The great improvement in an NHS board’s financial performance over the last three years has been formally recognised by the Scottish Government. NHS Highland has officially moved to stage three in the government’s NHS Scotland performance escalation framework following strengthened financial processes and improvements in areas such as governance, leadership and culture.

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