State of the Art Technology
Most of our customers don't worry about this stuff (it's all a bit 'techy'). But if you are interested please read on.
We use leading open source technology including PHP, MySQL, PostGIS, Memcache and Nginx. The UKLC content management system was developed by our business partner Cuttlefish. Our servers are managed by Cuttlefish and hosted by Rackspace Cloud which gives us an industry-leading service level agreement and 100% network uptime guarantee.
We've been exploiting the benefits of open source technologies since 2001. The UK Government recognises the power of these technologies and is using them on gov.uk. GOV.UK was built by the Government Digital Service and replaced Directgov as the primary website of the UK Government on 17 October 2012.
UKLC Technology Infrastructure
UK Local Councils (UKLC) is a platform built to equip parish and town councils with the tools and knowledge required to deliver high quality, online information and services to the communities that they serve.
- UKLC is a technology infrastructure built to join up information and service delivery across the three tiers of local government.
- UKLC provides a home to local council websites engineered to 'exploit' the connectivity provided by the infrastructure's architecture.
- UKLC facilitates a community of professional local council web authors, working together to share knowledge, experience and best practice to deliver continually improving quality of information and services to their customers.
UKLC uses a three layer 'technology stack' to bring information and services together on your website. The three layers provide the flexibility required to connect different technologies together from other local authorities.
UKLC - Content Management System
Our custom-built Content Management System (CMS) sits on top of our technology stack. It is a mature, stable system which has been built from the 'ground up' to satisfy the unique requirements for parish and town council websites.
- All the functionality you will ever need.
- Built with reliability and security in mind.
- Inherently standards compliant, our CMS ensures your website adheres to the latest web standards and accessibility guidelines and makes use of the latest technologies. As well as meeting current 'best practice' for code design, this also means your site will be optimised for search engine indexing.
- Mobile first - no need for 'Apps' our technology is designed to function on any device.
- Future proof - as we add new functionality it is made available to all of our customers protecting your investment for years to come.
UKLC APIs & Web Service components (Middleware)
Our middle layer performs the magic. The use of APIs (Application Programmers Interface) & web services enables us to provide technology agnostic components that can be used with any infrastructure and technologies. This means that we can link any organisation into our infrastructure no matter what technology they use. Our tried and tested components have been used by many public organisations using various technologies. Each of the components are described below.
A-Z of Services
The A-Z component aggregates the services from all partner sites, including district and county councils, police, fire service, health service etc. The aggregated output is made available on parish and town council websites and supplied as a web service for partners to display on their websites.
Our management console enables organisations to create and manage their A-Z of services even if they don't already have one on their website. This console allows for the linking of services to the standard government taxonomies (PIDs, IPSV etc) and allows for the creation of custom synonyms. Organisations can also use this dashboard to fine tune the A-Z displayed on their website.
Our powerful planning aggregator provides near real-time links from local authority back-end planning systems and displays all applications on an interactive map and in list format.
The red lines on the image are district boundaries and the blue line is the parish boundary. Being able to see applications in other districts can be vital. Someone living close to a boundary (district or parish) may be more seriously impacted by an application from the neighbouring area than from across the other side of their own parish or district. Clicking on one of the red markers takes the user directly into the detailed record for that application on the local authority site.
We have developed 'connectors' to most proprietary planning systems as well as some bespoke ones.
The Open Data store can be used to hold, and make available, any public data about a wide range of organisations, including local businesses, voluntary groups, councillors etc. Parish council contact details can be managed by, for instance, the Association of Local Councils in each county.
This information can then be automatically fed into the relevant parish council website. This database is made available as a web service to partner agencies and is published as open data. The local community group directory is populated at parish level and aggregated to give a 'find my nearest' view at district, county and UK level.
Location / Geolocation
As higher tier authorities (County and District) come under increasing pressure to make cuts service delivery is moving from tier to tier. This makes it increasingly difficult for citizens to understand where they should go to access a service for where they live.
The location web service is used to establish 'where a customer is' and then directs them to the information they require. This service uses post codes and property numbers and can be linked to the NLPG (National Land and Property Gazetteer) or NAG (National Address Gazetteer).