Value for money?

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If you have read one national newspaper's story about the staggering cost of some Government websites, and you are wondering how much cost to set up and to run, read on. The Daily Express story reports that more than £1.5 billion has been spent on the 2,500 Government sites and much of it has been a complete waste of money. One example, website link that was here no longer works) has had 77 hits in the past year, it reports, and it cost £43,000,000 to set up with ten linked sites. The UK spends far more than any other European government on websites, indeed twice as much as Germany, the next highest spender. The story also reports that the NHS IT costs could hit £50 billion, six times the original estimate.

So, how much did this website cost? It was paid for with less than £300 from the Parish Council and 4 sponsorships, three of them by local companies, of £250 each. The money was spent almost entirely within the village. The running costs of the site are virtually nil. For the record, we are getting more than 77 hits a year — around 3,000 visitors a month at present. Perhaps if 'Value for Money' ever gets on the agenda, the next big Government IT contracts should be placed in Audlem.

The Daily Express is, by the way, now out of date. The Audlem webteam writer responsible for this story has just pushed the hits up to 78, partly out of pity, partly curiosity. And a very fine site it is — but £43 million!


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