Policy: Website Management

Policy: Website Management


Author Dr Juliet Cross, Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer
20/07/190.1DraftDraft document circulated to councillors.
01/08/191.0FinalDocument approved at Council Meeting with amendmentsheld on 1 August 2019 (Minute: 19.193).
Review Cycle Every four years at the Annual Meeting of the Council after the election of the parish councillors or in response to new or amended statutory requirements. Next review due May 2023.
Legislation and Regulation Freedom of Information Act 2000Chawleigh Parish Council’s related documents:Communications and Media PolicyFreedom of Information PolicyPublication Scheme




This policy covers the design and management of the Chawleigh Parish Council’s (the Council) website and should be read in conjunction with the Council’s Communications & Media Policy. The purpose of the website is to:

  • Make formal public Council documents available to residents of Chawleigh Parish.
  • Provide information about the activities of the Council and to provide links to other sources of information about Local Government activities that affect the residents of Chawleigh Parish.
  • Provide information about plans, proposals and other activities which might have an impact on the lives of parish residents, together with information about how the Council has responded.


2.1The Council’s website is hosted by a third-party provider, IONOS The current system is a content management system where the Council has direct control of day-to-day editing and content management while maintenance, backups and updating of the system itself is carried out by IONOS.
2.2The website may place and access certain cookies stored on visitors’ computers. All cookies used by the website are used in accordance with current UK and EU Cookie Law. Certain features of the website may depend upon cookies to function. UK and EU Cookie Law deems these cookies to be “strictly necessary”.
2.3The Council reserves the right of use services such as, but not limited to, Google Analytics to provide information to the Council to enable them to optimise the website for future best use.
2.4The analytics services used by this website may use cookies to gather the required information. Some of these cookies may be placed immediately when a user decides to visit the website and it may not be possible to obtain a user’s prior consent. Cookies may be removed and the future use of them may be prevented via the options provided by the user’s browser.


3.1Subject only to the requirements of the law, the Council has the right to determine what should or should not be included on the website.
3.2The website shall contain material that arises from Council business such as agendas, minutes, policies and factual information about the Council and councillors. It may also include any material that has been commissioned by the Council, such as reports, surveys or material that is directly derived from these.
3.3The website may contain other material, such as the history and geography of the Parish, news of local events, or any other material of a non-controversial nature which is appropriate for the website on a “custom and practice” basis.
3.4The website may possess interactive functionality, customary for such local authority websites, such as questionnaires, visitor response facilities, links to other sites.
3.5The footprint of the website may change from time to time according to requirements and circumstances, subject to approval by the Council for significant changes.
3.6On principle, the website shall not contain material of a deliberately contentious, offensive or disputatious nature, or material that criticises or implies criticism of one or more members of the public, individual councillors, groups of councillors or the Council as a whole.
3.7The website shall not contain any material that is libellous or defamatory or in any way against the law or which could expose the Council to legal challenge.
3.8The Council does not permit commercial advertising on the website.
3.9The Council will make every effort to keep file sizes to a minimum although in some cases this may be controlled by an outside source. The Council will endeavour to use the most open and accessible file formats where possible.
3.10The content of the Council’s website is managed by the Website Administrator. However, it is the responsibility of all councillors to check the website regularly for any issues of inaccuracy or omissions and inform the Website Administrator if issues arise.


4.1The Clerk has responsibility as the Website Administrator and retains overall control of the website. The role of the Website Administrator is to manage the website and its design, adding or deleting material and editing pages as required.
4.2The Website Administrator is accountable to the Council as a whole, not to any individual councillor.
4.3The Website Administrator is authorised to routinely update the website as she sees fit without prior reference to the Council. Examples of routine updates include: Correcting errors of spelling, syntax or grammar and factual errors;Replacing out-of-date documents with current versions;Removing material that is out-of-date or no longer relevant;Repairing and restoring links that have ceased to work properly; andMaking routine structural and design changes where this improves the website.
4.4Any councillor may submit material for inclusion on the website provided that it is consistent with this Policy, and also falls within any limits of technical feasibility to upload.
4.5The Website Administrator is authorised to edit or exclude any material submitted for uploading to the website, e.g. requests from other organisations to include links to their websites.
4.6Archival material will be preserved without change to its internal content, but it may be reorganised or re-structured as required. External content referenced within the archival material may change or be deleted after the archive event. Archival material will be retained in accordance with the Council’s Retention and Disposal Policy.
4.7Significant changes to the website will require Council approval.
4.8The Website Administrator may ask for professional help as necessary, subject to reasonable cost limits and prior agreement with the Council. Such expenditure should normally be planned and budgeted for the year ahead.