THURROCK COUNCIL have splashed out a staggering £300,000 on a upgrade for their new website.
The investment is a bid, they say, to save money in the long term.
A spokesperson said: “The look of the site is only part of the programme. The new site will make it far easier for local people to carry out a wide range of different transactions, saving them time and the council money.”
“In the coming months there will be more layers of local information available to all visitors.
Despite no promotion, the council have claimed that the number of page views, has increased by 14,000 a day.
The website had over 650,000 page views in October, compared to Essex County Council with 880,000, Essex Police with 300,000 and little old Your Thurrock with 100,000.
With the council being heavily criticised for other “transformation” projects such as the Oracle payment system and the waste and recycling system, the saga of the £300k website looks set to run and run, especially as the chair of the audit committee, Conservative councillor, Tunde Ojetola, has it in his forensic sights.
Cllr Ojetola said: “I understand the need to save money but the question remains whether you can justify spending such a large amount on a website.”
Three years ago, eyebrows were raised when Essex Police splashed out £80,000 on their glossy website.
Research has shown that other councils have upgraded their websites at a fraction of the cost. One council in Minnesota employed an undergraduate on summer vacation to upgrade their site on the wordpress system. They paid him $7,000 dollars.
YT searched in vain for details of remembrance services in Thurrock on the website. When we went to look up Burma Star, for example, it came up with “File not Found”.
The computer may well say no but you get the feeling the public and the Conservative group are going to say: Why?