Hammersmith and Fulham Council has revamped its website. it gives more prominence to propaganda. There are also plenty of pictures of the council leader. However for residents wishing to navigate the site for practical purposes it is unsatisfactory.
It is harder to find out about council services, harder to report on their failings and harder to make payments for them.
The greatest priority is for assuaging the vanity of the Dear Leader. The mundane matters that most residents are actually looking for are given less prominence.
As if that wasn’t bad enough there is a huge bill for this user-hostile website.
Cllr Robert Largan put in an FOI request to ask about the cost of the redesign. What would you guess it would be? £3,000? £30,000? In fact it is an astonishing £300,000.
He was told:
“The total approved budget was £376k. The project will be delivered under-budget. We don’t yet have all the final costs, but the likely figure is nearer £300k.”
This is the same council that says it can’t find £50,000 for the shingles vaccine. It also has broken its pledge to cut Council Tax this year – a one per cent cut would have cost £500,000.
Many will conclude that the council has the wrong attitude and the wrong priorities.
Extraordinary. At least it was delivered under budget.
Because the budget was set at an even more ridiculously high level? All this from a council that tells us how it has saved oodles of money on propaganda…
The saccharine new website is crap, so why do it? It reminds me of George Orwell’s 1984 where inconvenient news gets lost. Except in our case, hostile resident comments on things like the unpopular 20mph scam were lost. And that is an even bigger waste of money – it comes from our council tax precept even if it is whitewashed as paid for by Transport for London.
Sorry, yes indeed, it was meant as an ironic comment. Having reflected further I am incensed at this complete waste of money. Not only is the amount spent completely over the top, but the end result is just yet more political propaganda and Labour party scaremongering about the NHS. This website should be an impartial toolkit and information source for residents, not a digital pravda for the administration.