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2commune

Web technology for local councils

The Old Rectory

Contact: 2commune Limited
The Old Rectory, Main Street
Glenfield, Leicestershire
LE3 8DG

Tel: 0845 868 3975

Tags: Websites for parish and town councils

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) What's it all about?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) What's it all about?

Posted: Fri, 30 Mar 2018 12:00 by Ray Smith

I'm sure that you are all aware that GDPR comes into force on May 25th 2018.

GDPR replaces the existing law on data protection (the Data Protection Act 1998) and gives individuals more rights and protection regarding how their personal data is used by councils. Local councils and parish meetings must comply with its requirements.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has published a comprehensive toolkit to support local councils. If you don't have a login to NALC's website please ask your local association for details. This toolkit provides a number of practical tools to assist local councils with GDPR compliance including an action plan, checklist and a data audit questionnaire. Templates for privacy notices and consent forms are also included.

You can be assured that UKLC gives you all the necessary tools to ensure that your council's website and email accounts comply with the regulation. We will be updating the generic privacy policy but you may need to consider more specific text at the point of data collection. An example can be seen here.

We have prepared a GDPR information bulletin that has been sent to all UKLC site editors. Please contact us if you haven't received yours yet.

Tags: UK Local Councils, Websites for parish and town councils, GDPR, UKLC, Resource

Christmas Message from 2commune

Christmas Message from 2commune

Posted: Tue, 19 Dec 2017 16:30 by Ray Smith

We've had another fantastic year thanks to you (our customers), it's been great working with you all. The 2017 User Group was the first big event of the year. This was a roaring success and we're now busy developing the new features that you all voted for.

Many smaller councils have joined the UKLC family over the last couple of years having benefited from transparency code funding. The fund comes to an end in March 2018 so if there are any small councils out there that still haven't applied for the grant act now as time is running out.

A large number of our customers have enrolled on the Local Council Award Scheme with several having already achieved the coveted gold status. Assessors have often commented on how easy it is to find the necessary information on UKLC making their job easier.

Our 'Digital by Default' course has evolved into a course called 'All Things Digital' the most recent one was run in Yorkshire only a few weeks ago. We will be on the road again next year. Look out for one near you if you haven't already attended.

There's no doubt that next year will present more challenges to the sector with GDPR probably being at or near the top of the list. We will ensure that our technology fully complies with any legislation and make it easy for you to manage your online commitments.

We have lot's of exciting things in the pipeline for 2018 which promises to be another busy year. We'll be improving our website to make it a more useful resource for members of UKLC.

This Christmas Amy (pictured) made the office aware of the YMCA's 'shoe-box challenge'. We all thought this was a great idea and were well up for it as you can see. If you are interested you can find out how to make a contribution to the YMCA here and join us in helping to keep young people safe.

We grow our business by referrals. If you feel that we provide a good service and that our websites have helped you become more efficient and effective then why not recommend us to other local councils?

The office will close at 5:00pm on Friday, December 22nd and reopen on Tuesday, January 2nd 2018. Should you need any assistance during this period, please raise a technical support ticket or leave a message on the office answer machine and we will respond as soon as possible.

A massive 'Thank You' to all of our customers old and new.

We wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year.

Here's to a great 2018!

Best Wishes,
From us all at 2commune

Tags: News, Christmas, UK Local Councils, Websites for parish and town councils

A great day at Cromford Mills

A great day at Cromford Mills

Posted: Thu, 12 Oct 2017 16:30 by Ray Smith

Derbyshire Association of Local Councils 71st AGM was held in the Gothic Warehouse at Cromford Mills. Cromford Mills was the first water-powered cotton spinning mill developed by Richard Arkwright in 1771. It is the birthplace of the modern factory system and internationally recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The day included a fascinating presentation on how to produce a good press release and concluded with a networking lunch followed by a tour of the site.

The picture shows Wendy Amis (left) and Glen Ingham (right) from DALC with Ray Smith from 2commune (in the middle).

Tags: UKLC, UK Local Councils, Websites for parish and town councils

Yellow Pages - End of an Era

Yellow Pages - End of an Era

Posted: Mon, 04 Sep 2017 16:25 by Ray Smith

The Yellow Pages is no more. We all had one next to our phone helping us to solve domestic crises and securing local traders lucrative work.

After 51 years, owners Yell have decided to close the book and offer a purely online service, as people tend to just Google things these days.

Does your council provide an online directory to your community?

UK Local Councils (UKLC) includes an online community directory making it easy for members of the community to find local groups and businesses. This helps people find what they are looking for locally which helps them and the local economy. Here's an example.

Tags: Websites for parish and town councils, UK Local Councils

Devolution of services to local councils

Devolution of services to local councils

Posted: Thu, 25 May 2017 18:00 by Ray Smith

Jonathan Owen (NALC Cheif Executive) is pictured here with Tina Britt from 2commune at the spring conference in Norfolk.

In his presentation to Norfolk parishes, Jonathan said that "results of a recent consultation conducted by NALC showed that over 70% of respondents are keen to get involved in local service delivery".

As higher tier authorities face reduced funding they won't be able to fund discretionary services. There is a real opportunity for local councils to pick up the baton and deliver new local services in innovative and exciting ways.

The public have always been confused about which tier of local government provides what services. This is only going to become more confusing as service delivery moves between tiers.

2commune have developed a comprehensive A - Z of services directory which makes it easy for members of the public to find the service they need (even if it's not provided by the parish or town council). The directory has recently been upgraded to make it easy to add, remove or modify services at any level of local government. This system links into GOV.UK to provide automated links to higher tier authorities.

Tags: UKLC, UK Local Councils, Websites for local councils, Websites for parish and town councils

Norfolk ALC Spring Conference

Norfolk ALC Spring Conference

Posted: Thu, 25 May 2017 10:48 by Ray Smith

Ray Smith (from 2commune ) is pictured here with Russell Reeve (Norfolk ALC's County Officer).

The theme of the conference was Sustainability and was held at The Great Britain Centre in Swaffham.

It was a scorching hot day, an upbeat agenda kept everyone's attention. There were lots of questions and the main session was followed by a networking lunch.

We would like to thank all of those who were able to visit the stand. Our 'Crash Course in Digital by Default' was well received by attendees.

Finally there was a chance to take a tour of the Windmill although we heard that Helen chickened out due to the unnerving swaying sensation as she climbed the tower.

Tags: UKLC, UK Local Councils, Websites for local councils, Websites for parish and town councils

Government Launches New Digital Strategy

Government Launches New Digital Strategy

Posted: Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:30 by Ray Smith

The Cabinet Office has launched the new digital strategy.

Delivering the keynote speech at the Reform think tank's annual conference in central London, Ben Gummer MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, outlined the government's commitment to build on the Digital by Default services developed under the previous digital transformation strategy.

Gummer said: "I want to see a revolution in the way we deliver public services – so that people up and down our country feel that government is at their service at every single stage in the journey.

"That is why we are today (9th February 2017) publishing our Government Transformation Strategy, outlining our commitment to reshape government by ensuring millions of people are able to access online the services they need, whenever they need. We will deliver these changes while driving efficiencies wherever possible, making considerable savings for the taxpayer.

"Only by transforming the relationship between the citizen and the state – so that the latter serves the former – will we deliver the Prime Minister's commitment to build a country that works for everyone."

Watch Ben Gummer's keynote speech in the video below.

Tags: UK Local Councils, Websites for parish and town councils, Resource, Strategy, Parish Council Websites, Town Council Websites, UKLC

What a Difference a Year Makes, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

What a Difference a Year Makes, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Posted: Tue, 20 Dec 2016 18:00 by Ray Smith

This time last year we had just completed our tender for the contract to continue to supply local council websites in Leicestershire & Rutland. We were tentatively waiting to hear how we had got on. It wasn't until February 2016 that we finally heard that we'd won the contract. We're delighted to say that we now have well over 100 Leicestershire & Rutland parishes back 'on-board'. Thank you all so much for staying with us.

This year we've continued to welcome many new, parish and town councils to the UKLC family. A considerable proportion of these have been 'smaller councils' most having received transparency funding to cover the cost of their sites.

Norfolk Association of Local Councils joined the growing number of CALCs using UKLC. It was great to meet them and a large number of member councils at their November conference.

Our 'Digital by Default' roadshow continues to truck on with the most recent one being held at the Suffolk Association's office only a few weeks ago.

We have lot's of exciting things in the pipeline for 2017 which already promises to be another fantastic year. The next UKLC Conference will be on March 22nd 2017, we hope to see you all there. If you've not received your invite yet then please contact us.

Our office will close at 5:00pm on Thursday, December 22nd and reopen on Tuesday, January 3rd 2017. Should you need any assistance during this period, please raise a technical support ticket or leave a message on the office answer machine and we will respond as soon as possible.

With the X Factor, Strictly and Apprentice finals over we've still got the Dr Who Christmas special to look forward to on TV. And then it's New Year!

A massive 'Thank You' to all of our customers old and new.
We wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year.

Here's to a great 2017!

Best Wishes,
From us all at 2commune

Tags: Websites for local councils, Parish Councils, Town Councils, Websites for parish and town councils, UKLC, UK Local Councils, Christmas

2commune wins Leicestershire Framework Contract for a further 4 years.

2commune wins Leicestershire Framework Contract for a further 4 years.

Posted: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 09:00 by Ray Smith

We have been working with Parish and Town councils in Leicestershire and Rutland for well over 10 years now and are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the new framework contract by Leicestershire County Council.

This sole supplier framework runs for 4 years and replaces the one previously held by 2commune which was established in 2013. Parish and Town Council's procuring websites under the framework benefit from a guaranteed fixed cost over the lifetime of the contract which has been reviewed by the County Council's legal department.

The contract was signed on February 16th 2016 and lasts until February 15th 2020.

Thomas Barker (Policy & Assurance Manager at Leicesteshire County Council) said: "We are pleased to announce that 2commune have won the contract for the new framework. Their bid offered the best value based on cost and quality over the life of the framework, as well as a product specifically designed for parish councils".

Councils in Leicestershire and Rutland wishing to find out more about the contract should contact us direct.

Tags: UKLC, UK Local Councils, Websites for local councils, Leicestershire, Parish Councils, Town Councils, Websites for parish and town councils

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from 2commune

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from 2commune

Posted: Wed, 23 Dec 2015 16:00 by Ray Smith

Is it really the end of another year? It hardly seems like 5 minutes since we were writing our last Christmas message.

It's been a fantastic year and we've enjoyed a huge amount of success & innovation driven by our users. Normally things start to slow down at this time of year, however this December has been our best month ever.

We launched our new 'mobile optimised' templates and 'custom' design option at the 2015 user group event. The 'custom' design offers a rich, crisp new look and feel. Here's a few examples Duffield, Huntingdon, and Newtown Linford. Whilst our 'classic' template continues to be our best seller.

This year we have established ourselves as the major supplier in the local council sector. UKLC has raised the bar and is setting the industry standard for parish and town council websites across the UK. Our customer base now stretches from Cheshire to Cornwall, we now have 7 CALCs on-board.

Tina (our managing director) became a member of the Leicestershire & Rutland Local Council Award Scheme accreditation panel.

Ray (our strategy & development director) was re-elected as a parish councillor for Glenfield at this years election and now chairs the finance working party.

Our offices are now closed until Monday 4th January 2016. Should you need any assistance during this period, please raise a technical support ticket or leave a message on the office answer machine and we will respond as soon as possible.

That just leaves us to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy and Peaceful New Year from all at 2commune. We look forward to working with you all next year and to welcoming many more new customers 'on board' UKLC.

Thank You!

Tags: Websites for parish and town councils, UKLC, UK Local Councils, Websites for local councils

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