Agenda item

Breckland Website Govdelivery (Agenda item 8)

Report of the Executive Member for the Environmental Wellbeing & Communications Portfolio (Kay Fisher)

Minutes:

The Marketing & Communications Officer presented the report which allowed Members to discuss and decide whether the Council should procure GovDelivery to complement the Council’s new website.

 

Breckland Council launched its new website in January 2011 and as the launch had proved to be a success, the Council needed to continue to build on its achievement and move forward and complement what had already been created.  As a result, Officers had been looking at ‘bolt-on’ products and the one that was felt to be the most favourable was a product called GovDelivery.

 

This product was being widely used in England and the United States of America.  Norfolk County Council had also been using it therefore, if approved, Breckland Council would be following in the footsteps of good companies.

 

The Marketing & Communications Officer explained how GovDelivery worked.

 

It was noted that the report recommended that SMS text messaging should not be included as an option due to the excessive costs involved.

 

The system would enable the Council to increase its reach and would allow engagement to those who were classed as ‘time poor’.

 

The costs of having such a product were explained but it was highlighted that such costs would be found from the existing Communications budget.

 

The Chairman knew that Broadband was an issue in the area and therefore felt that the Council should embrace this technology as it was the right tool to be able to communicate to everyone.

 

The Executive Member for Corporate Resources said that getting the right balance was important and to introduce such a product would be equally as effective as Breckland Voice.

 

The Executive Member for Corporate Development & Performance thought that the automatic update facility would be a great boon for the Council and knew that the Business Improvement Sub-Committee would support it.

 

The Overview & Scrutiny Commission Chairman felt that transparency was the name of the game and this product would allow people to contact the Council with any concerns they had and it would be an opportunity for them to raise issues in a meaningful way.

 

Option 1 – Recommended

 

To agree to the procurement of GovDelivery to complement the Council’s website but not take up the option of allowing customers to receive information through SMS messaging.  The budget for this option would be found from within the existing Communications budget as detailed in the finance section of the report.

 

Option 2

 

To agree the procurement of GovDelivery to complement the Council’s website and allow customers to receive information through SMS messaging.  To agree to increase the Communications budget by £12,000 to allow for 120,000 SMS messages a year.  This equated to two text messages a month for 5,000 people.  The budget for all other associated costs would be found from the existing budget as detailed in the finance section of the report.

 

Option 3

 

Not to procure GovDelivery at this time.

 

Reasons

 

GovDelivery wais a bolt on product which would further enhance the Council’s digital output and play a part in reducing the number of calls to the Council’s Customer Contact Centre, the average cost of which was £5.19 per call.  Consultation had shown that it was a system which residents would value and use.  GovDelivery would be paid for out of existing budgets.

 

RESOLVED that the procurement of GovDelivery to compliment the Council’s website be approved, subject to the option of allowing customers to receive information through SMS messages not being taken up.

Supporting documents: