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LocalGov Drupal to become a co-operative


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The LocalGov Drupal web platform is to come under the control of a co-operative in which councils and suppliers will have the opportunity to become members and owners.

The programme team has announced the move as a step forward from an earlier indication that it was moving towards a not-for-profit status in anticipation of the end of funding support from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and said that an annual membership fee will enable the new body to cover costs and invest in distribution.

LocalGov Drupal, developed with support from the Local Digital Fund and until now led by a single council, uses the Drupal open source content management system, has been developed by a number of local authorities and developers and allows councils free access to the platform. The platform is currently used by 33 local authorities.

The articles of association for the new body will be based on the Co-operatives UK model rules, arranged to allow councils and suppliers to be members with voting rights while not becoming a regulated company.

The organisation will be registered as company limited by guarantee with an asset lock in place through its articles, which will ensure its assets cannot be cashed in by private individuals of companies for their own gains. The assets must always be used for a specific purpose.

While the name LocalGov Drupal will remain for the product a new name will be found for the organisation because of issues around trademarks.

Product manager Will Callaghan, Finn Lewis and Maria Young have been named as directors.

Netcall partnership

In a further development, Netcall has been announced as the first private sector supporting partner of the programme. It said the LocalGov Drupal team had identified the potential for synergy between their platform and its own.

Will Callaghan commented: "LocalGov Drupal’s goal is to give council digital teams the ability to build and iterate web publishing functionality, based on user needs. Netcall is enabling the same thing. By connecting both platforms, councils can rapidly build best-in-class functionality across the entire user journey.”

LocalGov Drupal said that Croydon, Cumbria, South Hams and West Devon Councils are already combining the two platforms.

Correction on 23.11.22 pm to state Maria Young is a director of the new body.

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