The Parish Council website recently received the Award for Best Parish and Town Council Website in Hampshire at a Ceremony arranged as part of the Annual General Meeting of the Hampshire Association of Parish and Town Councils. The website, designed and maintained by Jane Bonnin as a contribution to the Hook Community, was congratulated for achieving the aims that Jane sets out below. The photograph shows Parish Council Chairman Antony Hunter and Webmaster Councillor Jane Bonnin with the Award.
Jane Bonnin writes:
“Hook Parish Council’s website was born in January 1997. Hampshire County Council had announced that they would provide free web hosting for Parish Councils, just as I had learnt how to write web pages. Thus we became one of the first few Parish Councils in Hampshire – and the first in Hart – to have a web site. Indeed, we actually had a site running before Hart District Council did!
Over the years the site has grown, but the overriding principle has been to keep it simple, easy to navigate and easy to keep up to date. I’ve also attempted to put on the site not only information about the Council, but about the community that it serves. Thus there’s a scrapbook of past events, some village history and an old aerial photo – in addition to the Parish Council’s Annual Report, Accounts, Minutes and forthcoming Agendas. More items are added as the material becomes available.
New challenges are on the horizon for government and local authority websites, which are supposed to meet the e-government accessibility guidelines. These allow people with disabilities (for example, poor eyesight) to access the pages using special software that makes them easier to read. Modification of our pages to meet the new standard is already well advanced.
My next target is to make the site updateable by our Clerks and Councillors, so that I don’t have to do it all!”