'Councils should share web content'
04 April 2011
Few councils have sought to combine the increasingly adopted cost saving measures of shared services and self-service, as they look to improve their websites, Socitm has said.
The public sector ICT body said more and more authorities were recognising the importance of self-service through the internet as a way to save money, with many councils providing services online, looking to reduce the need for costly contact with the public over the phone or face to face.
Many councils are also joining shared services frameworks as a way to reduce back office costs.
But Socitm said combining the two solutions to share website content was an "obvious solution" to maintaining a large number of pages on council websites.
"The website is a critical corporate asset," said Socitm's Martin Greenwood. "It needs to perform effectively if channel shift potential is to be reached. Sharing content, applications and resources, whether locally, regionally or nationally, is a strategy that will deliver the change that is necessary at the speed that is now required."
The briefing from Soctim said shared A to Z lists offered an efficient approach to content maintenance and that they also offered consistency for the user. But this approach was said to be rare, with councils in Cumbria, and some in Derbyshire and Leicestershire leading the way.
The briefing also pointed to the potential for shared applications in areas like rubbish collection, schools / youth, libraries, leisure facilities, planning, housing and council tax.