Council spend on web services tops £19m
Local councils are spending 12 times the amount the private sector paid out on website development and maintenance services.
Freedom of information requests sent to every local council in the UK found councils spend £40,917 a year on average on web services, compared with £3,297 spent by private sector businesses.
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Councils' web services budgets for the financial year 2008-09 were substantially more at £19.1m compared with £16.1m the previous year.
The increase could be a response to years of criticism of council websites, which are often described as badly designed and not user-friendly enough.
But the spending is unlikely to be able to continue, with cuts expected across the board in the coming months and years.
Xenios Thrasyvoulou, CEO at PeoplePerHour.com which quizzed the councils on the topic, said, "Whoever wins the election it's clear that IT will be one of the first industries to see significant public sector spending cuts."
He added the figures are only a fraction of the total spent on IT by local councils, leading to the possibility that technology could be badly hit by future budget cuts.