After living in Stoke-on-Trent for quite a while again now I’ve come to realise like many others that when needing to find something out about local government – generally you head to stoke.gov.uk. This is an old site that has been online for a number of years without too much improvement. For a lot of topics you can actually find the information you’re looking for eventually, but the problem is that the lack of updated information throughout the site and its lack of usefulness to the general public are just two points on a list of problems for the site.
In the age of open data and big society, local government websites need to work differently. For example, folks such as the bccdiy.com team have taken the challenge up themselves to provide a better service to local residents through the creation of a better online service to give news, information and data to local people in a more straightforward and usable manner.
There are a large amount of local people with the talent to create a new site and platform to provide a better service for the residents — but do we really think they’ll invest the money to do so? not in a million years. As Mike Rawlins recently stated in his blog, there seems to be the good, the bad and the need to improve.
At present, Mike, Matt, Mark and more are discussing the best way to go ahead with our own DIY project to provide a better set of services. When we’re ready to start testing, you’ll be the first to know.