South Ribble Council has defended its decision to fork out £8,000 on a new website – arguing it actually saved £40,000 in the process.
The council’s cabinet member for shared services and corporate support, Coun Phil Hamman, said: “The licence for our old site expired earlier this year.
“We would have been looking at more than £50,000 to renew the existing arrangement, or considerably more than that to buy a more up-to-date system.
“We have been ahead of the game in the provision of council services online, and have been demonstrating our ‘self-serve’ system to councils from all over the country.
“As a ‘thank you’, the company which provides this for us offered us a much more modern website for free.
“This not only saved a significant amount of money, it has also given us a much more versatile and user-friendly website.
“It is also cloud-based, which means that we no longer need to have expensive and high-maintenance servers on council property.”
He added: “Some staff training and set-up costs were incurred at the beginning of the project, as you would expect.
“This came to around £8,000 in total, which came from our annual IT budget.
“This has effectively paid for itself many times over already.”