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Flintshire Council website figures have changed little

Published date: 23 December 2013 |
Published by: David Humphreys
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FLINTSHIRE Council spent almost £40,000 revamping its website but has seen ‘little change’ in visitor numbers since its launch.

Figures released to the Leader show the authority spent £39,950 on an overhaul of its online portal.

The website reboot took three months to complete from June to September, and was carried out by Shropshire web design company Zengenti. The full new site went live in September.

But the council’s computing boss Chris Guest said visitors to the site had not risen since.

“We have seen little change in visitor numbers since the launch of the new website, which receives 12,000 unique visitors each month,” he said.

The £39,950 spent covered licensing costs, maintenance and support, development servers, professional services and training.

Cllr Ian Dunbar, of Connah’s Quay South ward, said the site had needed to be revamped.

He said: “The website did need upgrading and I think it’s now much better. The things going on there now are what the residents of Flintshire need to know about.

“As a council, we’re trying to keep frontline services and we need to keep people informed about this. In this economy, we’ve got to look at savings everywhere.”

Flintshire Council’s head of ICT and customer services, Chris Guest, said updating the website was a council priority.

He said: “The development of a new website was a key priority for the council as set out in our 2013-14 improvement plan.

“We see the new website being key to our plans to improve and extend self service digital access to council information and services for our customers and make efficiency savings by increasing the use of the web as an alternative to more expensive face to face and phone contact.”

Mr Guest said the £40,000 investment was used to replace the council website’s content management system with a better product to reduce the level of spend on software maintenance and staff time. He said the new system allowed them to “present a far more modern look and feel” online.

“The new system was purchased in collaboration with Denbighshire and Gwynedd councils, resulting in significant savings on the normal software purchase and implementation costs,” he added.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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  1. Posted by: kiros at 14:53 on 23 December 2013 Report

    That is all well and good, but you kind fond what you want so was spending £40,000 of taxpayers money justified.

  2. Posted by: Hen ddraig at 15:26 on 23 December 2013 Report

    I'm a frequent user of the Flintshire website, it was creaky before the revamp. It's now even worse!

  3. Posted by: kevinweston4 at 22:01 on 23 December 2013 Report

    I have found a deterioration in services. Trying to make a grant claim for local Church. Directed to form on website but doesn't exist. Wrote letter; no reply. Will try again. £40,000 wasted? Not sure how they expected an increase in use?

  4. Posted by: marchondowntheline at 02:21 on 24 December 2013 Report

    I'm a freelance web developer and I hate using Flintshire's website. It feels like it's been designed for tablets. I designed Mark Tami's website and Connah's Quay Town Council websites for a FRACTION of the cost and I fail to understand how Flintshire think it's OK to spend £40,000 on a website when I have never charged a client more than £600.

  5. Posted by: anonymous85 at 11:34 on 24 December 2013 Report

    What people here are failing to understand is that the £40k was not spent on the look of the website. It was spent on the backend Servers and Licenses to host all the councils Websites as the current solutions license was due to expire. Its not free to host websites contraire to what people think!

  6. Posted by: kiros at 09:44 on 25 December 2013 Report

    @marchon Mark Tami website is cool and easy to use. FCC is a nightmare. Never find what you want you just give up in frustration. A lot of stuff has conveniently disappeared. If we emailed the CEO every time we the taxpayers,could not access what we want on the website it would soon be up and running perfectly!

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