It recently came to light that Haringey Council has spent practically the highest amount in the whole country on its website. The Telegraph newspaper released the information showing that Haringey spent over £500,000 on a website redesign in 2003 and together with running costs since – have spent over £2million.
Blimey! for that amount of money you would expect the best looking and easiest to navigate site in the land!
This over the top expenditure demonstrates just why the Council is facing a £10million budget black hole of its own making this year. And yes – it’s not going to get easier with a funding squeeze from central government – so the ability to commission projects of good quality and deliver value for money – is even more crucial.
The other issue of key concern about this (other than they was robbed) is that it is yet another example of the Labour run administration spending more than most other Councils. My LibDem colleague, Robert Gorrie, Leader of the LibDem group on Haringey Council has highlighted the need for the Council to prioritise front-line services over website expenditure.
“Haringey is top of a league table – but for all the wrong reasons. Communication through websites and the opportunity for residents to engage with the Council online is important, but spending £200,000 of taxpayers’ money on a website every year, especially when there is good evidence of better value elsewhere, needs to be challenged.
“At a time of extreme financial pressure money must be prioritised on front-line services which tangibly benefit residents and not wasted on projects with little direct influence on people’s lives.
“The only specific cut identified so far is the web casting of Council meetings. I wonder if that is because there is evidence no-one watches them or because Haringey Labour is embarrassed by what they show of the nature of their administration.”
True say Cllr Gorrie!