A parish council website speaks volumes about a council's attitude to its residents, tax payers and electors.

  • The lack of a website says even more
  • Smaller councils now MUST publish legally determined information on a website
  • The web is littered with moribund parish council websites
  • Some town council websites are not much better
  • Encouraged by the poor quality council scheme there was a rash of ill fated and ill considered “me to” council websites

 

How often do you hear...

  • “we don't need a council website no one uses it”

closely followed by

  • “it's (the Internet) only used for gossip”

and condescendingly

  • “no one in the village uses it (the Internet)”.

 

What is being missed is that Internet access and usage has fundamentally changed together with the world.

 

Article Contents - Click on a link below

The basics

Open Honest and Transparent

The requirement to have a website

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The changing digital landscape

So who's not using the Internet

What should be on a council website

Who and how

What is a Town or Parish Council Website?

Does the Town or Parish Clerk have to run the Council website?

Website Security

 

The basics...

Many town and parish council websites forget the basics.

  • Where is your community
  • Where is it near
  • What's its history

 

This basic information puts your community into context for visitors.

Don't assume they know where you are.

 

Tourism is playing an increasingly important role in the rural economy. Consider...

  • Promoting farmers markets
  • Open farms
  • Places of interest
  • Local activities and
  • Where to stay

All of the preceding are more cost effective via the web

All town and parish councils have the power to promote tourism

 

Open Honest and Transparent...

  • A good website can save money and enhance the reputation of the council
  • By publishing most of information and documentation digitally not only does a council gain a reputation for being open it significantly reduces the potential for FOI requests and the attendant costs both in terms of time and money
  • Remember residents pay for the council with the parish precept,
    • they pay for the production of that information
    • and have a right to see it
    • so why make it difficult?

Councils need communities, communities do not need councils.

  

The requirement to have a website

  • The requirements have changed with the new transparency code for smaller parish councils which MUST now publish information on a website
  • It is now irrelevant whether it is the council's own website or for example a community run website

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