New research suggests that only five per cent of councils have cutting-edge tech projects such as AI and automation underway.

That is the claim following a year-long study of country-wide Freedom of Information Requests to all councils in England and Wales.

The research, conducted and turned into a tech league table by The Transformation Network, an arm of Business management consultant T-Impact, shows how councils perform.

The table is based on the number of AI and robotic projects currently being undertaken, the ROI achieved from these projects and whether or not the council has published plans for new projects in the future.

Its league table suggests that Newcastle-Under-Lyme District Council, North Norfolk District Council and Surrey County Council take the top spots, while Warrington Borough Council and Dundee City Council are placed at the bottom.

Former COO of Government and ex Sage CEO Stephen Kelly said: “The best way to protect the future of local council services and the communities they serve is through the smart use of technology, such as robotic process automation and AI.”

“There has never been a more exciting time to be leading an organisation, and I am sure that the CEO’s of these councils will step up to embrace the opportunities.”

The London Borough of Hackney is the highest ranked council from the capital.

“We’ve been able to show how a person doing a task that takes four minutes and 57 seconds, can be done by a robot in 27 seconds,” said Matthew Cain, Head of Digital and Data from the London Borough of Hackney.

“By running those videos alongside each other we have been able to build an incredibly compelling case for colleagues across our different services.”

In the North, robotics is being spearheaded by Durham County Council, who have recently deployed several pilot robotic projects, as well as developing their own Centre of Excellence.

“What we’re seeing at the minute is that it’s really increasing productivity. We know how long it took members of staff to do some of these repetitive tasks and already we’re seeing significant benefits…,” said Alan Patrickson, Head of Digital and Customer Services at Durham.

“The intelligent use of RPA will also bring significant financial savings, not just in one area but across the organisation.”