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Councils from as far afield as Rugby and Bournemouth were represented at a recent local government intranet seminar...
Councils from as far afield as Rugby and Bournemouth were represented at a recent local government intranet seminar hosted by Shepway DC.

The council has just completed its first-phase computer intranet using leading edge technology which is already saving money and allowing staff to work more efficiently.

Stephen Hagues, executive director (management & development) for Shepway Council, said: 'We arranged the seminar because it was felt that these new applications could prove equally helpful to other authorities. A great deal of interest and enthusiasm was shown by the 34 delegates in the possibility of further seminars, confirming that the effort made to travel to Folkestone on a cold winter's day had been more than worthwhile.'

An intranet is essentially a mini-internet contained within an organisation. It enables staff to communicate with one another quickly and easily through the existing computer network. Databases previously used by only one group of people can now be shared across the entire council.

As well as being more efficient than paper-based methods, cost savings are considerable. For example, to print the council's internal telephone directory would normally cost around£5,000 per annum. Revisions can now be made instantly and effortlessly.

Staff will also benefit from instant access to Ordnance Survey maps enabling every part of Shepway to be located and viewed in detail. Furthermore, address lists, planning applications and building regulations applications can be quickly located.

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