The publishing platform created by councils, for councils.

New sites, subscriptions and partnerships. What a start to 2023!

Our Product Lead, Will Callaghan, runs down some of what's been happening so far this year.

It’s been a whirlwind start to 2023.

Five new LDG sites were launched; Hammersmith and Fulham, Canterbury City Council, Rutland County Council, Wirral Council, and Tipperary County Council, with the latter becoming the first non-UK council to join our collaboration.

This brings the total number of live LGD sites to 17, with many more in development. 

Congratulations to all those that launched their new LGD site. We know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into these big projects. The sites all look fantastic and we’re sure they’ll better meet user needs.

Seeing the sites functioning so well in the wild is, for me, the most fulfilling part of this project. 

We love the before and after shots and seeing all our collaboratively built features in use. The improved navigation, the step by steps, and the enhanced directories. Every site, every new feature, is the culmination of a huge collective effort.   

This is the real essence and key benefit of the project. Thanks to the open-source nature of our project as more councils build, it continually improves. 

Thanks once again to all those who’ve contributed to this collective endeavor. The feedback from councils using the platform continues to be overwhelmingly positive. 

Thinking back to the times we talked about open-sourcing our code in Brighton & Hove and Croydon, I dared to hope we could achieve something like this. I’m immensely proud of the work that’s been put in, and profoundly grateful to everyone involved along the way.


Subscriptions update

We’d also like to thank Agile Collective, Epping Forest, and Bracknell Forest, they’ve become our first supplier and council subscribers.

Without the support of subscribing councils and suppliers, it wouldn’t be possible to keep the project's momentum going.

Subscription money is vital for us to keep the show on the road and ensure that we can meet the needs of our users.

It pays for new LocalGov Drupal features and makes the switch to Drupal 10 and WCAG 2.2 as seamless as possible for everyone. Thirty councils no longer need to do this alone.

It also covers the cost of organising and facilitating Product Group meetings, so that we have a roadmap that suits everyone.

It pays for our tool subscriptions such as Slack, and the time to start conversations and respond to technical requests.

It also funds team time to find out what councils are doing, so we’re able to matchmake effectively. 

More pledges

Another 11 councils have pledged their subscription fee and been invoiced. Thanks to them also.

We’re waiting to hear back from many more and we’re hopeful that further invoices will go out in the next week or so.

The more subscription fees we receive the more we’ll be able to do to further improve and augment our CMS and microsites platform.


How we spend the fees

We aim to be as transparent as possible about how your subscription fees are being spent.

As we progress this year your fees will pay for 7 main roles, each between 0.5 and 1.5 days per week:

  • Product Lead
  • Technical Lead
  • Drupal Developer
  • Content Lead
  • Communications Lead
  • Community Lead
  • Operations Administrator

There are also several other costs including the Slack channel, Zoom account, and Airtable, each of which is vital to keep the collaboration running as efficiently as possible.

We’ll be sharing a full breakdown of costs very soon.


Supporting Partner update

We’d also like to thank our first supporting partner, Netcall.

This week they met with us and 8 LocalGov Drupal councils to talk about a new roadmap for improved integration between our products.

A working group of LGD councils that use Netcall will create the roadmap of features and then work with Netcall to get these built. 

All of the code created will be available free to any council, a big advantage for any thinking of switching to or already using Netcall’s services. 

We’ll update you on progress via our various channels.