Multi-council Drupal code sharing: Beta win and new lead council

LocalGov Drupal is now in Beta: find out what's new in the project and watch the team's presentation to DrupalCon Europe.

The last few months on LocalGov Drupal have been action-packed, and an update is long overdue.

Site regulars will remember that Croydon has joined with other councils to share Drupal code. Drupal is the platform we use to publish our main site, and we’re about halfway through migrating all site content from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.

The project continues…

Our biggest news is that we have more funding to continue our work. In November we applied to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for money to take the project to Beta phase, and we were successful. You can see our Alpha findings here.

This new funding will allow us to improve site features and add new ones. It’ll provide time to refine how councils join the project, and how we work together. Our other aim is to think about how LocalGov Drupal is run long term, possibly as its own not-for-profit organisation.

We’ll need an agency to help us, and will be launching an open procurement later this month – if you’d like more details, drop me a line. There’s so much to say about the Beta, and I’ll follow up with a separate blog post shortly.

Passing the baton

Our next news is about the lead council for LocalGov Drupal. The idea for the project started at Brighton & Hove, and became a reality when Croydon adopted Brighton’s code. The Discovery and Alpha phases were managed by Croydon, supported by other councils. We decided with MHCLG and Croydon that it was time for a change, and the baton has now passed to Cumbria County Council.

Croydon has been a great home for us, and we’ll still have a close working relationship with colleagues here. Tom and team attend tech standups and Product Group meetings, so we’ll be seeing them all the time. You’ve all been amazing, and we’re grateful for the support and kindness you’ve shown us.

Cumbria joined the project at the end of Discovery, and we’ve stayed in touch since then. The council is a good home for LocalGov Drupal, because they’re more typical than Croydon or Brighton. They have developers, but they’re skilled in other technologies and want to switch to Drupal. The council also wants to invest in interaction design, user research and content.

This gives us a great opportunity to see up close how Cumbria adopts our code and ways of working, and will use these findings to improve our work.

Our man in Europe

A big highlight of the last few months is our session at DrupalCon Europe. It’s one of the major events of the Drupal calendar, and it was an honour to get time to share our work. Finn, our Delivery Manager and Technical Lead for the Discovery and Alpha phases, presented LocalGov Drupal to the Drupal community, covering a bit of history, outlining the features and sharing our plans for 2021. The talk was well received and generated lots of great feedback. You can watch it here.

Further conversations at the conference inspired a number of Drupal professionals working on a range of Drupal distributions to start collaborating more actively to share ideas and problems in the form of a regular meetup about Drupal distributions. This can only be a good thing and furthers our connections with the wider Drupal community and increases our chances of long term sustainability.

More councils have joined us

Our final news for now is about new launches. Croydon migrated to LocalGov Drupal in December, and Tom wrote about it.

Earlier this week, Lambeth launched its LocalGov Drupal site and you can read more about it here. The council used all the features in our distribution, and added a lot more besides. All the project partners will get the benefit of this work.

We’re also delighted to welcome Hammersmith & Fulham to LocalGov Drupal who joined in December. It’s all go!

There will be many more launches this year. We’re seeing lots of great work in progress, and will post links soon.

2020 was a tough year for everyone, and 2021 is proving hard for many. It’s helpful to be working on a project that’s going to do some good.

To find out more, see our new improved documentation site at https://localgovdrupal.org, or follow us on Twitter @localgovdrupal.

 

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