Website to cost £2.8m?!

After reading a recent news article about the Birmingham City Council website costing £2.8m I couldn’t help but be flabber gasted and amazed at this? How a website cost can rise “383 per cent in just four years” is beyond me? What are they doing?

Here is a screengrab of the current Birmingham City Council site:

Birmingham City

I think you’ll agree it in dire need of a re-design, so it is of course welcomed as the current site is messy, unattractive, disorganised and extremely basic.

TaxPayers Alliance West Midlands spokeswoman Fiona McEvoy said:

“This is a staggering amount of money for a service that is yet to be delivered, We really need to be asking why the costs involved have been allowed to escalate so massively over the past four years as to many this will look as though the authority have lost control of the project.”

The completion date has slipped several times from the original March 2006 and the council says it now believes the new website will be up and running later this month. I hope that for £2.8m the new site address all these issues and more, with bells and whistles!

They should follow the lead of Nottingham City Council whose site offers the users to customize what hey see by filtering in or out modules, the My Nottingham style allows a sense of ownership to the site as well as Nottingham itself and it is all presented in a well thought out, clear and attractive way.

Nottingham City

Further Reading:

Jon Hickman, Web and New Media Degree leader at Birmingham City University and all round “Social Media Guru” looks into “how could public sector organisations commission these big projects in a way that might prevent embarrassing questions? Could large scale public web projects be done in a more innovative way?”

Click here to find out what he said.

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~ by Adam Stewart on August 8, 2009.

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