Farewell Bracknell… Hello Southwark

A final post from me as Digital Development Officer at Bracknell Forest Council. 8 years have certainly flown by and I guess I am grayer and (hopefully) wiser for it.

Below are some of the highlights and landmarks over my time at Bracknell. It’s a bit like those annual highlight shows aired around Christmas time that pick up on the year’s memorable events – except this is over 8 years. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here it goes:

  • September 2011 – the Bracknell Forest public website goes live after switching from Livelink Obtree CMS to Livelink Reddot. This included a style switcher for m.bracknell-forest.gov.uk for small screen devices and implementing a Google Mini Search.
  • May 2013 – Active Directory search pulls staff details into our intranet.
  • March 2014 – DataShare site goes live.
  • November 2014 – forms payment integration with Capita goes live with the Bracknell Half Marathon form.
  • July 2014 – the team begin to use Drupal 7 for our Microsites.
  • September 2014 to June 2016 – server upgrade from Windows Server 2003 (no longer supported by Microsoft) to 2008 or 2012.
  • January 2015 – 2-way CONFIRM Integration with Achieve forms put into place.
  • May 2016 – our public website gets SOCITM 4 star rating.
User testing guerrillas with clipboards at the ready!
Gathering feedback with the team.
  • June 2017 – our public website goes live from Livelink Reddot CMS to Drupal 7.
  • July to August 2017 – third party sites are re-branded to reflect the new public website.
  • August 2017 – new leisure bookings system replaces existing legacy system.
  • August 2017 – GovDelivery newsletter integration with Active directory.
  • February 2018 – migrating all Firmstep Old Forms to New Achieve Forms.
  • March 2018 – public website gets the SHAW Trust accessibility accreditation.
Visiting the Empathy Lab at GDS!
  • March 2018 – web chat integration added to the public website.
  • March 2018 – working as an alpha partner with the Government Digital Service Pay team. (We should soon be going live with Pay for Firmstep payment forms after some final live testing.)
  • April 2018 – started using WordPress for our microsites.
  • September 2018 – Cludo search added to public website.
  • March 2019 – working on embedding maps into Firmstep forms to report issues.
  • March 2019 – Firmstep Bookings pilot underway with a couple of new forms to be used by the Planning team.

And beyond March, there is still a lot of exciting stuff in the pipeline at Bracknell. This includes:

  • a Firmstep integration using APIs to simplify our back office waste processes
  • more booking and payment integrations
  • using Ordinance Survey data for address lookups
  • a direct debit sort code and account number checker

The team here at Bracknell have been a joy to work with and I will miss them all.

Thank you and farewell Bracknell Digital Services and ‘hello’ to Southwark Council from April 1st.