General Support: Re: Has E voice a limited life
We're currently looking for funding to keep e-voice running. Although e-voice is free for you to use, we do have to pay for hosting, maintenance, backups, support, development, etc.
It is true that SurreyCommunity and EssexInfo are closing, and they use the same technology. Those councils paid to use their systems, and part of what they paid went towards funding e-voice for everyone. Since they will no longer be paying for services beyond March 2020, we therefore need to find another way to fund e-voice, or else close it down.
It is frustrating that we haven't been able to make a firm decision on this already, but funding takes time to find!
The current plan is to set up a CIC (Community Interest Company, which is a non-profit), and get some grant funding to keep e-voice running, free for everyone, for several more years. We have applied for grants, but it takes a while to get approval.
When we know for sure we will of course let you all know.
Was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to set up the website and had several complimentary comments about the appearance.
Do hope you can keep going. Please keep us posted.
Obviously I don't know how much e-Voice costs annually to run and I haven't added up the number of users but, setting aside the principle that it should be free to users, I am sure that the vast majority if organisations would be able to cough up (say) £25 or £50 a year to keep it going.
When the Essex and Surrey sites close, as they use the same technology I would anticipate that a fair proportion would migrate here, thus adding to income.
I have been using E-Voice to host a Parish Council web site for nearly 10 years. One of its attractions has been the underlying Content Management System which is now a valuable Parish archive of reports, minutes, agendas and events,etc. Will there be a convenient way to download all the documents and data that I have patiently uploaded over the past ten years? It would be good to know well in advance in case it all has to be done manually.
I am sure most parish councils and voluntary organisations would support a subscription if it could maintain - and ideally enhance - this valuable service. Some updating and refinement of the software would be welcome.