WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT
Does your council need a new website to comply with the Transparency Code, or to achieve compliance with the Website Accessibility Regulations? Does your council have a website that's looking dated or proving difficult to manage and maintain? Have you found it difficult to get non-technical help and support in plain English, or to find someone who can get you on the right lines?
Development and Training
We've found that in the past, many website developers have built a site and then provided minimal training for how to manage and maintain it, often using complicated tools that most clerks are unlikely to have the time to get to grips with. Approaches such as the Norfolk Parishes initiative are good initially for getting councils online, but as the platform ages it starts to look dated, perhaps doesn't work on mobile devices such as phones and tablets, and can have significant limitations on what you can do and how you can do it. One-to-one support can be very expensive, resulting in the site not being maintained and creating a poor impression of the council or local area.
A better approach is to use one of the many free tools that are available online nowadays, which are simple enough to use that anyone familiar with Windows can get to grips with, and which have a wide range of templates that you can use to get started really quickly and produce something that looks professional.
We think the most effective approach is to provide 1:1 training and support direct to the clerk, helping them to build a site so that they can choose how it looks and works, and most importantly understand how to manage and maintain it. By providing 1:1 tutoring backed up by remote support afterwards, the results have looked good and proved cost-effective.
If your website was built before September 2019, it will almost certainly require a little work to bring it up to full compliance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
You must ensure that your site is WCAG 2.1 AA compliant in order to comply with the law, and that you have written and made available on your site a Website Accessibility Statement.
If you would like some assistance with this, our Associate Steve Jackman will be pleased to help.