News

Listed below are the current news stories on the website, listed in chronological order.

How a parish council website can support the community through the Coronavirus pandemic

Parish and town councils can play an integral part in the current Coronavirus pandemic by being a place to inform and support its community. As part of this, a website offers the chance to be an ideal place to support local organisations and community groups by providing a co-ordinated approach, as well as acting as an information hub for its local community. By updating your website with the latest information, it offers your local community a trusted source where everyone knows what is post...


Using remote technology for Council meetings

As we are all aware the last week has seen a number of different strategies to develop and enhance social distance but as a Parish or Town Council, you may need to keep conversations going and meetings taking place to ensure you are able to adapt in the environment we are currently in. This allows you to communicate back needs to your local authority and to step up to the requirements of your local community. At WJP Software Ltd, we use remote technology in our everyday life, so we thought we...


Second user group gives a great opportunity to dedicate time to website with a professional team

Ensuring websites are kept up to date and relevant is one of the hardest things to achieve when you don’t have a dedicated team member to do it. That is why, at WJP Software, we run our User Group drop-in events throughout the year as this allows our clients to have some time out to focus on their website with a member of our team. The last user group event was held last Wednesday and saw several of our local clients, both council and businesses, drop-in throughout the afternoon to ...


Improve your website: Usability

Isn’t it great when you go onto a website and you think, wow this looks nice? But then that positive energy falls away when you realise that it is difficult to navigate, you can’t find anything you want and it is illogical! We come across so many sites like this and are told about so many more, we thought we would put together a few hints and tips of what to think to ensure that you don’t fall into the trap of putting style over usability (but you can have both)! Navig...


Why having a secure connection is integral to your website

As a Council you are privy to secure data, therefore, you need to ensure that your site is secure. At WJP Software Limited we use the most up to date programming techniques to ensure that our coding is secure but we also ensure all our sites hold SSL certificates. We believe that as a user of a site you need to make them feel safe and confident about interacting with you especially when you hold secure data and you need to affirm that you are, who you say you are especially when you are askin...


Improve your website: Size matters

Ensuring you optimise your images is important – it helps improve page load speed, boosts a website's SEO ranking and improves the user experience. How do you optimise your images? Make your image file size as small as possible and use the correct format. Some file formats save at different file sizes with the most common being png or jpeg Using the correct size of the image will reduce the size of the image. Using the wrong size image will mean the user’s browser will...


Improve your website: Speed

One of the main reasons for users to bounce off your website is to do with the speed of the site. In an age when we want everything now, if a website doesn’t load quickly then users become bored or frustrated (can you admit to never clicking on the mouse to try and get to a page quicker?). This means that a user's perception of a site can be damaged and they won’t return. Using techniques such as optimising your images and not putting too much content with a simpler approa...


Frequently Asked Questions

We were recently asked a few questions for a potential client that could be easily sent onto Councillors at their next meeting. We thought that it was a great way to develop our FAQs, so here they are!    How many Parish Councils have you built websites for? We have built five Town and Parish Council sites. They are:   Bedale Town Council Asikew and Leeming Bar Parish Council Exelby, Leeming and Londonderry Parish Council Snainton Parish Council Burnesto...


How digital techniques can provide engagement from your community

A recent blog, by Andrew Tubb, on the National Association of Local Councils website talks about the Innovative Democracy and how Parish and Town Council have a role to influence, participate and directly deliver to meet the needs of the local communities. However, in order to do this, how can Councils engage more regularly and effectively with the public to help shape policy and decision making through a continuum of engagement? There are several ways offline, one of which is the Communi...


Accessibility explained

With the 23rd September 2020 deadline looming for all, old and new, public sector websites being accessible, over the last few weeks several potential clients have been coming to us for reassurances of what is expected for website accessibility. Therefore, we thought we would try and explain it and give some tips on how to ensure your site is accessible.   Website Accessibility will soon come under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which in turn is part of The Equality Act. Ther...


WJP Software Limited announces second Council websites user forum

WJP Software will be hosting its second Council Website user forum users on Wednesday 4th March from 2.00 pm in their offices at Bedale Hall. The forum allows current customers the opportunity to review their website one-on-one with our team of experts ensuring that the system is working for them and that they are getting the most out of their site. This will include the opportunity to To review all pages and make sure they are up to date Update knowledge about the system Improve ac...


Your site is down for maintenance

Do you ever receive this email and think what are they doing? And then when your site is back online nothing seems to have changed? So what does this phrase mean? From WJP Software’s view, maintenance of our web communication system is integral to ensuring the site is constantly improving to future proof the product and service for our customers. We do this because often we see the impact of a website that gets built, then is left untouched for a long time, eventually becoming inc...


How data and Google Analytics can support your Parish Council direction

Keeping track of the thoughts of your community supports the aims of the parish and town council agenda. Therefore, ensuring your website has google analytics enabled gives you access to a host of information which may come in useful when you discuss the coming years' priorities. For those who see themselves as a novice in updating websites, google analytics may seem like a step too far. Yet, if you put the groundwork in, using the data really helps you get an insight into your community...


Transparency is key to Parish and Town Council communication

Parish and Town Councils need to ensure that they are giving ‘local people the tools and information they need to hold local public bodies to account’ (Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities. March 2015), meaning they are offering a clear view of the authority. Under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the framework sets outs that, smaller authorities of annual turnovers not exceeding £25,000 need to offer the following information to their local electorate a...


WJP Software Ltd develop tender management system for web communication system

WJP Software Ltd has developed a tender management system for its Council web communication system. Originally developed for the Yorkshire and Humber Pharmaceutical Purchasing Consortium (YHPPC) the system offers the opportunity to pull together documents required for tenders whilst also categorising them and making them searchable so that they are accessible for the Councils to look at. James Proctor, Managing Director of WJP Software Ltd said ‘as someone who has sat on a number of dif...


How can your Council website offer young people a voice?

At the recent, National Association of Local Councils’ (NALC) Annual Conference, the Princess Royal highlighted that local councils are the closest port of call for residents and are on hand to solve very local issues including: Empowering the younger generation Helping people to connect Access to information Public scrutiny. Over the coming weeks, we will be giving you some ideas of how you could, through your website, achieve these aims. First up, empowering young peo...


Beyond the Parish Council Noticeboard

How many times do parishioners wander or speed past a Parish Council noticeboard, unaware that you are spending your time promoting their community to improve facilities?   How many times do you hear your local community complain about the spoiled playground or the too busy GP surgeries unaware of the time you’re spending lobbying the Local and County Councils?   Do you ever wish that communicating what you’re doing is easier?   Pinning up an ag...


Is your website Accessibility Compliant

Accessibility regulations for public sector bodies came into force on 23rd September 2018. These regulations, known as The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018, build on existing obligations to people who have a disability under the Equality Act 2010. If your website was published before 23rd September 2018, then you have until next year (23rd September 2020) to become compliant. However, if your website was published after the 23rd...


Data Security Accreditation: Is it Worth it?

An article recently published in Compute Weekly (11th September) investigated the importance of gaining accreditation and certifications within a business and with National Cyber Security Awareness month upon us, we spoke to our Managing Director, James Proctor, as to why he thought it was essential for our business to gain cyber and data security accreditations. What accreditation does WJPS have and what do they mean? ISO 27001: 2013: An international information security standard that pr...


Making your Council Website engaging

We recently attended the Yorkshire Local Council Association Conference in York and several Parish and Town Councils were interested in our web communication system. However, one common theme was Clerks weren’t sure where to start when developing content and found the whole concept intimidating. Therefore, we thought we would put together some of our hints and tips as to how to go about updating or starting from scratch – it’s not as scary as it seems!   Put...


WJPS Respond to ICO Revelation Parish Council Clerks Concerns over use of Personal Email and Devices

At the recent Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) Leadership in Action Conference 2019, Parish Council Clerks ranked the use of personal email and devices as their top data protection concern. Although the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) doesn’t state that Councils can’t use their own email address and devices, it could bear more risks which councils need to be aware of. A Council has an obligation relating to the confidentiality...


Cyber Essentials Certification

WJP Software Limited are pleased to announce that we have received Cyber Essentials Certification for our infrastructure and hosted services. Alongside our ISO:27001 Information Security, this goes to show that we are committed to data security. Managing Director, James Proctor said ‘we have worked hard to ensure WJPS and all systems comply with the latest data security processes meaning that we look after data in safe way. This latest certificate proves we are committed to data sec...