The Parish Council website

Since becoming Chair of the Parish Council, one of the areas that I have worked on improving has been the Parish Council website.

The website used to be rather uninteresting, and was only really used to publish meeting dates and minutes.

I have worked with our brilliant volunteer webmaster, Mike Jones to launch a new site. The new site has introduced a number of new features including:-

  1. A dedicated news page
  2. A blog
  3. Profiles of members of the Parish Council and the Parish Clerk, and their contact details
  4. Dedicated pages to areas of particular focus of the Parish Council such as the environment, allotments, & planning
  5. A page about the finances of the Parish Council where you can see the accounts and budget and details about the local parish precept (local council tax)
  6. Useful links to the websites of local organisations
  7. Details of minutes and agendas of meetings including of the full parish council and the planning committee
  8. Integration of the Parish Council twitter feed into the website home page – to keep the site fresh and provide useful links
  9. Links to Parish Council online surveys – such as the residents’ opinion survey 2013 and the consultation on the Conservation Area review
  10. Links to subscribe to the Parish Council email mailing list

The new site has been live since february 2012 – ie about 18 months now. I have tracked the traffic to the site over that period and have noted how it has grown. For example, before this new site was launched we had (in January 2012) 292 visits to the site in the month, and a total of 164 unique visitors. That has grown so that in June 2013, we recorded 1989 unique visitors in the month with a total of 3,719 visits to the website. I attach below my own record of the data from our tracking statistics.

The website is now working well, but I’d be very interested for more ideas about further improvements. Further integration with social media seems a logical next step – to add for example a facebook presence. I’d also be interested to know if there is any further ways residents might like us to use the website.

Loughton and Great Holm Parish Council website statistics

All feedback and ideas, gratefully accepted!