Kent fields covered in mist.

Supporting Town and Parish councils to improve their digital accessibility

There are around 10,000 local parish, town, community, and neighbourhood councils in England. These work hard to provide services that meet the needs of their residents and improve community well-being.

Most of these local councils have their own websites with information about the services they provide. Each one is accountable for ensuring its website accessible. This includes all documents that are published on the website such as neighbourhood plans, policies, newsletters, agendas, minutes, notices etc.

We know local councils want their information to reach everyone in their community and that they want residents to have a good online experience. However, we also know how daunting it can feel to be told your information needs to be made accessible, especially as each local council has different levels of skills and resources. That is why we are on hand to help.

We can support Town and Parish Councils, Neighbourhood Plan Groups and other local councils in the following ways:

  • Deliver training sessions for Councillors and Clerks introducing and explaining the importance of digital accessibility. We have recently done this for the Town and Parish Councils in Tunbridge Wells and will be doing the same later this year for the Town and Parish Councils in Central Bedfordshire.
  • Providing Councillors and Clerks with access to our online video led training courses that cover the essentials of digital accessibility and how to create accessible online content and documents for websites.
  • Carrying out audits of websites to help local councils to identify any accessibility issues with their websites and improve their accessibility statements.
  • Helping to make Neighbourhood Plan documents and other crucial documents accessible. We have recently worked on the Lamberhurst Neighbourhood Plan document to make it accessible, and we supported Brenchley and Matfield Parish Council to make their own changes to their Neighbourhood Plan.
  • Creating accessible template documents for plans, accounts, policies, agendas, minutes etc. Using these templates means that the documents will be fully accessible when published on your website.
  • Providing other bespoke and ad-hoc support for any difficulties Town and Parish Councils and other groups are having with improving the accessibility of their website and the documents they publish.

If you are looking to improve the accessibility of your website and the documents you publish, please get in touch to find out more about how we can help.