Building and maintaining parish council websites since 2005
Live News is a facility that you manage yourself. Using a simple online interface you enter a headline and a snippet of text to grab peoples attention (see below). This appears instantly on your homepage. You also enter the main text of the story, set an expire date and you're done. When visitors click the article on the homepage another page opens displaying the full article. You can use Live News as a notice board to carry announcements and details of forthcoming events as well as news.
The cost of Live News is £70.00 + VAT for installation and £70.00 + VAT per year rental and support.
Here is the "Live News" which appears on the website of the Princes Risborough Town Council
Live Calendar automatically displays the details of events that are taking place that day. You can also click on a highlighted date to show events that are taking place in the future.
The Live Calendar would be sized and styled to compliment your website and is recommended to a large, busy parish or town council where events and activities take place on a daily basis. Smaller councils will find Live News to be more than sufficient unless you're running a thriving village hall and need to publicise/track bookings/events.
The downside of Live Calendar is that it looks bleak if there's nothing taking place on that particular day and it doesn't have the facility to convey as much information as Live News.
The cost of Live Calendar is £70.00 + VAT for installation and £70.00 + VAT per year rental and support.
A Google Map is included in the basic package but you can enhance this map dramatically by adding your parish boundary and flagging up to ten places of interest/importance. The places of interest can also contain a photograph of that location. Click on a red flag to see a photograph.
The cost of the full Google Parish Map is £70.00 + VAT
View West Wycombe Parish Council in a larger map
The email address for the clerk is provided automatically free-of-charge. If members require email accounts we can provide these too for a one-off fee of £25.00 + VAT to cover all councillors.
Members can also be added to the Secure Contact Form using their own email address of a domain email account.
Many rural parishes are littered with public footpaths. If you want to publicise your footpaths and you have the Google Parish Map, your footpaths map can be added to your website for the price of a standard page - £15.00 + VAT
We now have our own gallery to which you can upload and caption your own photographs which are laid out on the page as thumbnails which you can click to open them full size.
The cost of the photo gallery is £70.00 + VAT.
Having an up-to-date Planning page on your website allows your parishioners to see what’s happening in the parish and helps drive traffic to your site without having to do a lot of searching on the Planning Authority's website.
In 93% of our websites the statistics show that the parish council’s planning page is the most visited page on the website.
There are three ways that a Planning page can be updated.
1: Autonomously, by us every Monday
2: Ad-hoc by you sending us the links as and when they become available.
3: Standard Page Update by you sending us the full information once a month
1: The autonomous route is best because it requires no input from the Clerk but we can only offer this service where the Planning Authority provides the facility to search the Planning database by Parish, Validated and Start/End Dates. You can test this yourself by going to your Planning Authority's Planning Portal, enter the name of your parish council or choose it from a drop-down list and then insert a start date and an end date which are one week apart next to the Validated Search – if the Planning Authority does not provide this level of search functionality then unfortunately we cannot offer this service. If the facility does exist, our charge for weekly autonomous updating is £260.00 + VAT per year.
2: The Ad-hoc route is the closest from a user standpoint to the autonomous option. With the Ad-hoc route the Clerk sends live links to us in the form 10/06286/FUL for each application as they are known, we follow the link and add the details to the web page. The cost is £15.00 per notification regardless of the number of links contained in the email, but they must all be dated within the same week. This scheme works best if the Clerk gathers all applications together and sends them through to us (say) every Friday.
3: The Monthly scheme involves the Clerk sending the links and the details for each application to us once per month; we DO NOT visit the Planning Authority's Planning Portal. The details should be sent in the following form:
17 Beechwood Road High Wycombe
Householder application for construction of single storey side extension
We suggest that this is done five days before the meeting when the Agenda is sent but separate from the Agenda.
The cost is £60.00 + VAT per year.
Obviously this is the least desirable option because it does involve the Clerk in additional work and reduces the amount of time that Parishioners have to view applications before the Council meeting.
Now you can upload all the documents that you wish to share with your members at the same time without having to send numerous emails.
MemberZone is a highly secure system with six levels of security in order to keep your documents confidential. This is far more than a simple password protected webpage, in fact, it's not a webpage at all.
We are not providing any more information about MemberZone here as it is only available as a retro-fit.
Please contact us if you are an existing customer, or when your new website goes live and we will set it up for you.
MemberZone is free to councils on our Webmaster Service and charged at £150.00 + VAT to others
Again, another in-house development, this application is unique and like many of our other facilities is only available through mh-p.
When installed on your website the Polling application appears on your homepage when there is a live poll on which people can vote. The application is fully controlled by the clerk and is as easy to use as our Live News and Live Calendar systems.
You simply type in a question and a choice of answers and your parishioners can vote on the answer that they prefer. When they vote a cookie is dropped onto their computer and their IP address is logged which is sufficient to prevent multiple voting. After people have voted they are show the state of voting at the time. When the Poll closes (after 30 days) it disappears from the homepage and the clerk can access the final results. Only one poll can run at any one time.
e-Petitions is a more complex and serious application which allows parishioners to start a petition in a controlled and secure environment. After entering a title and the details of their petition it is stored in a database whilst the email address they have given is validated. Once this stage has passed the Clerk is notified and requested to approve the petition. If the Clerk rejects the petition there is a requirement to give a reason for the decision which is conveyed back to the petitioner. If approved, the petition appears live on the website and parishioners can vote “For” or “Against” the petition.
Any number of petitions can run simultaneously each being timed out after 90 days. People voting on a petition are required to give their name/address and their email address, the latter being verified before their vote is counted. Once a visitor attempts to vote a cookie is dropped onto their computer, their IP address is logged and the email address they gave is also logged to prevent multiple votes.
When a petition closes the clerk can view the details of all the people who voted and note any that might be out of parish or suspicious in any way.
As you can see both Polls and e-Petitions have an important role to play in communicating with your parishioners; there is no reason why the council should not start their own petition to gauge public opinion.
The cost of Polls and Petitions is £70 to install and £70 per year rental. Rental charges will not be applied until your system has been running for one year.