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Cumbria Council plans push for LocalGov Drupal


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Cumbria County Council is beginning an effort to increase national take-up of the LocalGov Drupal website publishing platform.

It has taken over from Croydon as the lead council for the programme, which has recently won a fresh round of funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Local Digital Fund and moved into its beta phase.

LocalGov Drupal uses the Drupal open source content management system and has been developed by a number of local authorities and developers. It is now used by a group of councils including Croydon, Bracknell Forest, Brighton and Hove, Lambeth, Waltham Forest and Westminster.

Cumbria has published a market notice for support in further developing the platform and increasing its adoption among councils and software suppliers, as well in exploring options for long term management, governance and financial sustainability of the programme.

It says the work will involve further development of the code to meet needs identified by partner authorities, a review of the onboarding process, refining the evaluation process and promoting the platform more widely.

The notice also identifies a need for council website developers to have clear documentation, standards and processes.

New home

In a recent blogpost, programme lead Will Callaghan said Cumbria is a good home for Drupal because it is more typical than previous leads Croydon and Brighton.

“They have developers, but they’re skilled in other technologies and want to switch to Drupal,” he said. “The council also wants to invest in interaction design, user research and content.

“This gives us a great opportunity to see up close how Cumbria adopts our code and ways of working, and we will use these findings to improve our work.”

He added: “This new funding will allow us to improve site features and add new ones. It’ll provide time to refine how councils join the project, and how we work together.

“Our other aim is to think about how LocalGov Drupal is run long term, possibly as its own not-for-profit organisation.”

Image from iStock, Milindri

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