Community Hub helps parish councils stay online

While Shropshire Council closed its web service for community websites last week, the first parish council websites created by Community Hub are currently being launched.

Shrewsbury based web development company, The Web Orchard, created Community Hub the easy to use parish council website service earlier this year. Community Hub was designed specifically for community and parish councils, and offers a whole range of features that weren’t available on the old Shropshire Council service.

The first parish council websites hosted on Community Hub went live a few weeks ago, with more going live every day. One of the first councils to launch their Community Hub website was Montford, whose clerk, Ian Hutchinson, said: “We are very happy with our very successful Community Hub website which has been tailored by The Web Orchard specifically to our requirements for quick and easy management by a part-time clerk to a typical Shropshire parish council.”

Shrop.NET, was originally developed by Shropshire Council in 2008 to help the county’s parish and community organisations create websites for the first time. However, the service has become severely outdated in recent years due to the lack of updates and redesigns – which led to the decision to stop supporting the service from the Council in its recent cost cutting measures.

This has led to a number of Shropshire’s Parish Council’s being left without websites which after the new Transparency Code regulations came into force last year is not practical or feasible. These new regulations set out that smaller councils are now required to publish a range of different publications throughout the year on an accessible website for the public.

Pete White, director at The Web Orchard said, “We’re excited to see how Shropshire’s parish council’s websites will grow in the coming months as they take complete control over them and the content.”