Monmouthshire County Council welcomed residents to ‘Love Digital’ on Friday, 25th January – St Dwynwen’s Day, the Welsh equivalent of Valentine’s Day – with the launch of Monty, Monmouthshire’s brand new chatbot which is available 24/7 on Monmouthshire’s website – monmouthshire.gov.uk – and via its Facebook messenger service – @MonmouthshireCC. Monty is the first local authority chatbot in Wales and will enhance Monmouthshire County Council’s digital experience.

The bot, named Monty by local people following a competition at Usk Show and via social media – who thankfully avoided the now ubiquitous moniker Botty McBotface – uses artificial intelligence and learns about the questions people ask most often to develop quicker and better responses, releasing council staff to support vulnerable people and those with more complex queries.

The council’s community hubs welcomed residents to pop in and enjoy a St Dwynwen’s Day tea and technology chat. Sessions took place in Caldicot, Chepstow and Monmouth with support provided for people looking to get online for the first time and learn more about digital technology. There was also an opportunity to understand the range of different ways people can contact the council including Monty, the My Monmouthshire app, the Monmouthshire website and also how to access online library resources.

People looking to find out about Monmouthshire’s beautiful countryside and attractions can see www.visitmonmouthshire.com where various events across the county are featured. In addition, blue badge holders can find out more about the new online system introduced to cut blue badge application time. The new service means applicants can complete the entire process online – details can be found at gov.uk/apply-blue-badge

Council Leader, Peter Fox said: “We’re really proud to be the first county council in Wales to have launched a chatbot. This St Dwynwen’s Day we helped people learn more about digital technology and meet Monty. The more people who start to Love Digital, the more can get the answers they require more quickly and as easily as possible. And what better day to share the digital love than on St Dwynwen’s Day.”