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Wootton Bassett Council: A new website fit for Royalty

The combination of the old and the new, the historic architectural gems, modern shopping centres and nearness to some of the country’s greatest houses and historic villages, makes Royal Wootton Bassett an ideal location for living, working and visiting.

The town was granted royal patronage in March 2011 by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of its role in the military funeral repatriations, which passed through the town. This honour was officially conferred in a ceremony on 16 October 2011 – the first royal patronage to be conferred upon a town (as distinguished from a borough or county) since 1909.

Background

Royal Wootton Bassett is a popular destination and the council website is a place that members of public regularly visit in order to find out information about the area.

Council staff were unhappy with the design, layout and content of their existing website.

They wanted a new website with a fresh new look and content that showed off their history. They also wanted a website that they could update themselves. News, events and other content would be kept up-to-date and so encourage members of the public to keep calling back to the site.

Staff at Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council (RWBTC) had previously met with TownsWeb Archiving Ltd (TWA) through the Society of Council Clerks conference, had seen some of the work that they had undertaken for other Local Authorities and were interested to see how TWA might be able to help them.

Proposal

RWBTC staff and TWA’s technical team put together the following plan of action:

  1. RWBTC would provide a basic structure for the new website and propose which areas they would like to maintain themselves (news, events etc.).
  2. RWBTC would provide initial textual and photographic content for the web pages.
  3. TWA would provide various screen designs using different layouts and colour schemes and RWBTC would approve one of them.
  4. TWA would scan all of the RWBTC cemetery registers and transcribe their contents.
  5. TWA would implement a search engine in to the website that allowed members of the public to search the cemetery records.
  6. TWA would provide an administration system that would allow RWBTC staff to maintain their online cemetery records and a content management system that would allow them to maintain their chosen web pages (without technical skills or knowledge).

Implementation

The new Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council website is now live and incorporates:

  1. New Page Content: Allows members of the public to: find historical information about the town, its buildings and local attractions; to see what events are taking place in the town and to find local organisations and groups that organise these events or provide local help and advice; to browse through a local business directory; to see what the Mayor has been up to; to view the structure of the Council and meet the Local Councillors; to view latest Council Minutes; to see the latest Council press releases.
  2. Cemetery Database: Allows members of the public to search through an online genealogy database of deceased records by name and year.  Scanned images of the original pages from the historical cemetery registers are shown, completely free of charge.
  3. Maintenance: The cemetery database is maintained by RWBC staff using TWA’s Chronicle System.  Web content such as news and events is also maintained and kept up-to-date directly by Council Staff.

Please Visit

The new website can be visited at: www.royalwoottonbassett.gov.uk

A message from Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council…

“Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council commissioned Townsweb Archiving for two projects. Firstly, to create a new website and secondly, to digitise our cemetery records.Townsweb listened to our requirements, ensured that they were all met and, most importantly, delivered a professional service throughout the process.

We were delighted with the quality of the digitisation of our cemetery records, which were linked to our new website. We have had lots of positive feedback from the users of our new website.

 

 

The staff were always accommodating, and the after sales service was excellent. We would not hesitate to use their services again.”

Johnathan Bourne
Town Clerk