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: UKLC

A great evening at County Hall

Posted: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 13:52 by Ray Smith

It was great to see so many of our customers at the Leicestershire County Council Annual Parishes Liaison Event on Monday evening (9th July 2018). Thanks to all of you that came over to our stand for a chat.

An informative evening, started with a networking session and buffet. The formal session held in the council chamber commenced with an opening speech from Guy Jackson (pictured) followed by an update from LRALC. Ivan Ould (LCC cabinet member) then presented the idea of a single enlarged 'Leicestershire Council' and how this could save taxpayer's money. Nigel Grundy from Enderby Parish Council then conducted a fascinating presentation on how they hold community surgeries in the library. The evening concluded with facilitated workshops to look at joint working between parishes and the County Council.

The picture shows Guy Jackson (LRALC Chairman) with Ray Smith (2commune's Strategy & Development Director).

Tags: UK Local Councils, UKLC, Parish Council Websites

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

2commune supporting the Local Council Award Scheme

Posted: Mon, 08 Jan 2018 08:30 by Ray Smith

Many of our customers have started their LCAS journey with several already having reached the coveted 'Gold' status.

Tina Britt, our Managing Director is a member of the Leicestershire and Rutland LCAS assessment panel (pictured here with Andy Ellis - Lutterworth Town Clerk). This helps us to be at the forefront of the requirements and to actively contribute to process improvement. The picture was taken when the panel sat recently to consider an application from Stoney Stanton Parish Council.

John Kay from Dursley Town Council in Gloucestershire said "The UK Local Councils (UKLC) website is very easy to use and is structured in a way that made it simple for the assessment panel to locate the necessary documents and to meet the accreditation requirements. Our intention to gain LCAS gold status was a very important consideration when making the decision to select 2commune as our website provider".

Here's some of our customers that have already achieved gold; Raunds Town Council, Dursley Town Council, Anstey Parish Council, Painswick Parish Council and Skegness Town Council. More information on the Local Council Award Scheme including a full list of councils and what stage they are at can be found on NALCs website here.

Sara Atkinson from Ashover Parish Council said: "The document management system means that all documents can be viewed in one place which makes finding documents a piece of cake".

We would like to congratulate all councils that have risen to the challenge and achieved an LCAS award - Well Done!

Tags: UK Local Councils, UKLC, Parish Council Websites, Local Council Award Scheme

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

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

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

UKLC User Conference 2017

Posted: Thu, 30 Mar 2017 09:15 by Ray Smith

This year's UKLC User Group Conference was held at the King Power Stadium in Leicester on Wednesday, March 22nd.

The theme of the conference was 'Simplify, Standardise and Share'. Sessions were varied and included best practice, case studies and the use of social media. UKLC users were updated on new functionality and features. Delegates were given an opportunity to help shape the future of the product by assisting us to prioritise future developments from our 'wish list'. UKLC users will shortly be receiving a 'My Notice' which will include handouts and the results of the vote.

There were plenty of opportunities for networking including round table discussions. The added bonus this year, was a directors box being freely available throughout the day for delegates to view the pitch which proved to be a hit!

Roger Harrington - Whittlebury Parish Council said: "I thought the whole day was excellent and couldn't have been bettered. The presentations were top-notch, helpful and informative and your encouragement of audience participation right from the off was a very important part of the conference's success. There was a spectrum of competencies among the users from the new recruits like us to the very experienced, and you skilfully catered for all abilities. Of course, the networking is always such a useful part of such meetings and there was plenty of opportunity for that at coffee, lunch and tea.

The catering was of a very high standard and I couldn't fault the food and beverages. So, overall, 100% brilliant and I would encourage any UKLC website user to seriously consider attendance at future conferences which, personally, I hope will be annually."

Thank you to all that attended.

Tags: UKLC, UK Local Councils, Parish Councils, Town Councils, Websites for local councils, Parish Council Websites

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

Shake Off Those Winter Blues!

Posted: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:33 by Ray Smith

Last night we visited the home of 'The Blues' to check out the facilities for this year's user conference. We actually got a chance to hold the premier league cup! Wow what an experience, to think of all the famous players and managers that have held it over the last 24 seasons.

The next user group conference will be held on March 22nd, 2017 at the King Power stadium. Have you booked your place yet? If not why not book it now and have something to look forward to? It will be a great day, with plenty of time to meet us and to network with other members of the UKLC family. There will be loads of interesting topics and a chance to vote on new features to be included in the product.

Book your place and shake off those winter 'blues'. If you are a UKLC user and have not yet received your invite then please contact us for further details.

Tags: UKLC, News, Websites for local councils, UK Local Councils, Parish Council Websites, Town Council Websites

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