The logistics of providing the wide range of services that local administration offers, has always been a challenge. So much so, that a large percentage of staff hours would be spent on this task. The Internet age has really pushed development along, with all businesses feeling the benefits of an online presence. This does not only apply to the private sector, all government sectors, from top to bottom, are finding that their website can provide so much more than just information. This also removes the PR headache of providing constantly updated information about a multitude of things.
Meetings and minutes
This is something Town councils must have on a regular basis, and due to the policy of people participation, it is now easier than ever to check agendas, download minutes, and even make comments or suggestions via the website.
A good council website will detail the progress of all ongoing projects, as well as a calendar, highlighting specific events coming up. Being informed about all aspects of your local council gives you a complete picture and fosters involvement across the board.
With the many services that Town and Parish councils undertake, it is essential to keep the public updated. Road closures, cleaning schedules and other important tasks can be updated, saving council staff valuable time.Town council website design is now cutting edge with Contact Management Systems (CMS), designed specifically for local administration. Service pages can make site navigation a breeze, with drop down menus, and a concise layout.
Town and Parish councils provide services such as,
- Local maps
- Business directories to help you locate, or advertise a service
- Events calendar
- News and maintenance schedules
- Weather updates
Another invaluable tool for local councils are polls. When making a decision about anything, it is good to know how the public feel and online polls instantly give accurate feedback.
With the many devices one can use to access websites, it is important for a site to be device compatible, which enables correct resolution viewing with a smartphone or tablet. For ease of navigation, a search window can find a phrase or sentence with having to scroll through large amounts of data. Disabled people should be able to increase text size and images, or turn on audio, to facilitate a better experience. Market research has clearly shown that customer satisfaction has increased greatly since the introduction of total access solutions.
Paving the way to success
Software development is a never ending cycle and this leads to new, innovative practices. Online community forums can really motivate residents to become more involved in providing solutions that improve the well-being of the local people. Freedom of Information demands that all data is available to the community, and this is not only possible now, it has never been easier. The labour resources that a modern website frees up is considerable, and this alone can drastically improve performance and efficiency in local government.