Saturday, 19 December 2009

Morecambe Town Council Website

I received an email last week from someone who wanted to know about the Morecambe Town Council. I referred them to a local Liberal Democrat councillor or to the town hall but I was thinking how strange to get information from me. It seems that they found me through my blogs and sure enough, if you search for the council then you find one of my blogs on the first page. You also find sites like Lancaster City Council. Unfortunately they don't carry any details for Morecambe's council.

We live in a wonderful age of technology. I can put photos on my website or this blog and people from around the world can see them immediately. We also live in an age where red tape is getting worse and worse. Councillors were elected in June so maybe there will be some official information on the internet in the next few months! Please note the irony of the exclamation mark.

The Morecambe Council has a budget of around £220 000. It is not a huge amount but how much of this money should be spent on a website? Some organisations spend nothing as they use blogs, but I think something should be spent for for Morecambe council. It might help if we compare it with the price that an MP spends on their site. This was exceptional but in 2007 Conservative MP Angela Browning spent £9635 on her website. You may not be surprised to read that it was run by a former Conservative party campaigner. There are many many campaigners who write websites for nothing but as a site for a council is official let's pay a decent hourly rate, say £20 per hour. It might take a day to set it up and then an hour per week to update it. I make that around £1200 including costs for web space.

I wonder how much it will cost and whether the best tender comes from a friend of the councillors. Wouldn't it be nice to think that a volunteer would become the webmaster so that this tier of govenment did not have the same stigma as MPs? Failing that let's see if they get paid more than a generous £1200

Change the world

P.S. As of the 1st March 2010 there is a Morecambe Town Council website to be found at I hope it is a success and more people get involved in local politics because technology reaches out to them.

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