Unsurprisingly, the cost of living crisis is rapidly increasing demand for council support across the UK. Strain on the people, therefore, puts a strain on the service providers.
Since both the need for and the cost of delivering services are on the rise, councils are caught in the middle of a perfect storm. This will inevitably impede a council's ability to assist cities in becoming more equitable and aiding citizens experiencing financial hardship as a result of the cost-of-living problem.
To aid towns in their recovery from the pandemic and citizens in their efforts to weather the cost-of-living issue, the government must provide the resources necessary for local governments to pay these unexpected expenditures.
Councils and local partners have provided amazing services and assistance, and they will continue to do so, focusing their efforts on those with the most complicated needs in order to safeguard them from rising expenses.
On the other hand, they can't solve the issue by themselves. Cooperation between different levels of government and important stakeholders must be fostered and sustained. This is where LocalGov Drupal comes in.
What is LocalGov Drupal?
Developers, content designers, and digital executives from local governments around the UK make up the community known as LocalGov Drupal.
All local governments in the United Kingdom have access to the open-source, best-practice websites they've (and we) been working on together.
The drive comes from a desire to see local governments improve the digital services they provide to their constituents while freeing up funds for more frontline support.
Together, the lGD team have created a common pool of code, resources, research, and experience that has allowed councils to significantly save expenditures. It is the belief that utilising LocalGov Drupal will save the price of developing a new municipal website by as much as 80% (depending on the extras a council wishes to add).
How LGD reduces costs
Reduced expenses on development
Because you're in charge of the site's content, you should expect to spend less money on third-party companies to implement new features. Developer expenses have been reduced by between £40,000 and £100,000 for member councils. Launching a website takes less time and costs less money as a result.
Instead of having to undergo a cumbersome update every few years to bring your site up to date with current standards and features, LocalGov Drupal is built to do it incrementally and cost-effectively.
Free updates and additions are always included
Joining LocalGov Drupal connects you with professionals around the United Kingdom. Working together, our team of engineers, content designers and digital managers in the UK's local government ensures that the product continues to evolve for the better while remaining stable.
Absence of licence fees
Our tools are free of charge because they are open-source (non-proprietary). LGD can be used as a replacement for other software licences, such as those required for CMSs, directories, and basic form builders.
No charges for requesting customisations
Any customisations, including making new page layouts, would likely incur extra costs for licenced web platforms. Look at the time you'll save by working with LGD and updating your setup regularly.
Microsites and single-page sites
The LGD team also offer the option to set up subsites within the distribution itself. You will avoid hiring outside firms to build new page types for your campaigns by using these dedicated pages, which reside within your existing site. If you create a new site using LocalGov Drupal, you might save as much as 90 per cent.
DHULC is also supporting the efforts to develop microsite functionality. Managing the content and infrastructure of several microsites across multiple platforms is a burden for most authorities. Much as with subsites, this should result in substantial savings.
Based on real use
LGD takes an evidence-based strategy that is informed by user data. By being a part of LocalGov Drupal, you save money that could have been spent on user research for new features. There has been a reduction in the cost of user research for new site construction by councils of up to £15,000.
Meet WCAG accessibility standards out-the-box
Sites built from this foundational theme meet all accessibility standards (WCAG AA) and can be modified quickly and simply by front-end developers. All newly introduced features are also compliant.
Free up internal resources
By facilitating citizens' access to and usage of online services, LocalGov Drupal helps to lower the pressure placed on customer service departments through the application of standard accessibility features and collective user research.
The user-friendliness stems from:
- Form factors for optimal website use, determined by user testing
- The highest possible accessibility rating (AA)
- Mobile-friendly website layouts
- Councils may provide a better digital experience for people and minimise the demand on customer services by modifying the content and improving the site's structure.
Illustrations of cost
The amount you spend will naturally adapt to each council's requirements. Research suggests that the bare minimum expenditure is exactly that (quite low).
For instance, LocalGov Drupal can be implemented for as little as £1k if your municipality already has cloud hosting and support agreements in place.
The necessities include hosting, of course. Local governments have hosted LocalGov Drupal on AWS and Azure with similar hosting fees to their existing websites.
You'll need to source cloud hosting if you don't already have it. Depending on the scope and complexity of your website, you might anticipate annual costs of £7,000 to £15,000. We're listed. on the LocalGov Drupal preferred suppliers page for our hosting expertise.
You should hire a developer familiar with Drupal to set up LocalGov Drupal for you. This can be done in a matter of hours, so budget roughly £1000.
Drupal requires periodic security patches, and we also offer updates specifically for LocalGov Drupal. You have the option of installing these updates, which mostly consist of improved features and additional capabilities. The average monthly price of support is £150.
Different municipalities have extended LocalGov Drupal in their own unique ways. This whole thing is entirely discretionary and subject to the requirements of your council.
To supplement the LocalGov Drupal framework, Cumbria invested £8.5k on a theme. Making the appropriate CSS files and developing an online identity for Cumbria using the company's existing logo and typefaces was part of this process.
In addition, Cumbria spent money on content design, with the intention of rewriting existing information rather than simply copying and pasting it.
By April 2023, LocalGov Drupal will have made the transition from a publicly sponsored initiative to a privately financed limited corporation. Councils and Drupal vendors are being asked to consider contributing membership dues of varying sizes.
The code will always be available for free distribution and usage by anybody. As you can see in the Business Plan, membership payments will get you access to exclusive perks.
If you'd like to try LocalGov Drupal, we're offering a 30 day free trial including hosting on AWS.