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Didcot Town Council

Tom Hudson

Tom Hudson (Deputy Town Clerk)

Didcot Town Council is the largest Council in South Oxfordshire, it represents a population of over 25,000 people and manages an annual budget in excess of £1,000,000 per year.

Didcot moved to UKLC (UK Local Councils) in 2018 after a short selection process. Their previous website was inflexible and each time they needed a new page or layout they had to go back to their supplier and everything was chargeable. Having to go back all the time was very frustrating as it could take a while to get a change and it was becoming expensive. The old system was difficult to use and lacked the specialised functionality required by a busy local council.

Tom Hudson (Deputy Town Clerk) said: "We found it difficult to edit pages and add documents on our old website. It had a very static look and didn't attract your attention. I am now able to grab our site visitor's attention with the use of ticker messages and slide shows and then guide them to our on-line consultations and other things we want to make them aware of."

"Working with 2commune has been a 'breath of fresh air'. Nothing is too much trouble. 2commune's product is called UK Local Councils (UKLC). It's very flexible and easy to use, which means we can quickly add new pages and make changes to the site ourselves. You can tell that a lot of thought has gone into the design of the product."

"The form builder is fantastic. We've built a whole suite of forms for booking council services and conducting on-line consultations. You can build as many as you want and there is no additional charge."

"Our new website has greatly improved our ability to communicate with the public. We recently applied for a WREN grant of £50,000 which we have won. The grant will cover two thirds of the cost of refurbishing one of our play areas. To get the grant we had to show clear evidence of need. We built a consultation form and then added a news item on our website asking people to complete the on-line form. When we add a news item it gets sent to Twitter and Facebook automatically. We had over a hundred responses within a short time which was sufficient to justify the need and get the grant approval."

"UKLC integrates seamlessly with the County and District councils to automate the A-Z of services. The County and District services are linked in automatically, this has saved us loads of time. People can find what they want even if we don't do it."

Tom went on to say "The meeting management module has really streamlined the way we manage meetings. All meeting papers can be quickly accessed from a single 'click' in the council meetings calendar."

"The whole system is designed to automate as much as possible to enable our staff managing the site to be highly productive, yet remains flexible so as not to limit our creativity. Another really important point is that the system automatically ensures that we meet legislative guidelines and accessibility standards."