So I am going to put on my Parish Councillor hat here and hopefully give a little insight. When the council of which I am a member were considering a new website they were offered a product from a private company who provided a bespoke proprietary system which would cost the council a little over £1400 a year to run and that did not include the initial configuration and setup fees. It would have been something like £3k in the first year and the £1.4k each year. Needless to say I knew that NO.10 were using WordPress and there was little reason not to use it in place of a private product. The reasoning was.

1. We could move our site from host to host.
2. We could reach out and find a plethora of consultants who could support it for is
3. We would not be locked into a site requiring possible future bespoke costs.

Now councils (especially parish) don’t all have IT departments. They either rely on the focus of well meaning volunteers or they buy in external help. The larger the council the bigger the administration the greater the likelihood of people being able to manage the websites. However a council is a pretty busy organisation and if you had to place website security in the queue of issues like Road Repair, Drain clearing, Town Management, Social Services and Community Care, Planning and development, salaries, payroll, daycare and events you will always find it near the bottom of the list.

So what this leads to is consultancies will step in and try to mitigate the risk and provide services. So when you look at the unsecured state the one aspect you have not been able to extract in the data of your presentation is … who is actually hosting and being responsible for this .. contractually speaking. I think that would make an interesting answer as it will then lead to the question how much are we paying for these sites to begin with and what level of national organisation can be created to help monitor them.

It’s not beyond the whit of our community, people like you and I Terence, to make a proposal to help manage and reduce these risks for our state.

One of the reasons I put my name on a ballot paper every election is because I believe that our Local democracy needs people like us with good core technical skills to represent ourselves on the council meetings to help reduce this management issue one site at a time.