LocalGov Drupal: Improving code-sharing between councils (Alpha)

In this alpha phase the LocalGov Drupal team tested assumptions gathered through their discovery work. They improved their understanding of how councils can share drupal code in order to design and run their websites more effectively and affordably.

The team’s key objectives were to re-factor the codebase used by Brighton & Hove Council and Croydon Council, so that it can now be used by any council in the country. The team then set about co-designing and sharing common features such as campaigns pages and directories. They have established effective ways of working and are already on-boarding new partners. These new councils see the benefit in joining a community of peers to develop their websites using open source code at a fraction of the usual cost.

It is hoped that the shared codebase and the group managing it can provide more choice to the local government sector when developing websites. So far the approach has received positive feedback from core users including content designers and web managers.

Project outputs

The alpha report runs through the approach the team took in detail, including what they set out to achieve, what they learned along the way, and how they plan to take things forward.

The benefits case quantifies the anticipated gains and savings. It uses metrics such as officer time and cashable savings, which establish how much can be saved by reducing fixed costs and common recurring costs such as building microsites. The team estimates that a typical council using the LocalGov Drupal code base would expect to save around £500,000 over 5 years.