Not Fit For Purpose? You Decide.

Sopra Steria is probably a name not many of you may know, why would you? Hands up if you do know who they are and what they do for Shepway District Council. Oh alright then we’ll tell you. They provide us with Shepway District Council’s website.

In 2010 Sopra Steria won a £3.5 million pound contract with Shepway ‘to sustain and improve the customers satisfaction with ICT services’ amongst other things. It costs £1340 a day to sustain and improve the customers satisfaction with ICT services.’

After six years has there been much improvement of the website? It has said for nearly two years now ‘We are currently redeveloping,’,  is this ‘Best Value for Money’?


(Members of the Sopra Steria team are pictured with Council Leader David Monk (centre))

Lets give you one real example amongst many. Shepway District Council have an FOI publication scheme  between pages two and four there are 35 links to take you to various places on SDC’s website. Unfortunately only six of the thirty five links actually work. To put it another way only 17% of the links function, the other 83% give you Server Error 404 File or page not found.

The two men who are responsible for Digital Transformation at Shepway District Council are Cllr Rory Love and our much loved and much missed CEO Alistair (get well soon) Stewart.

Now at the time we were signing the contract Cllr Rory Love, was rubbing shoulders with our former Prime Minster ‘Dodgy Dave

No 10 invite Downing St_T

Now talking of ‘dodgy’ for a moment, one of Cllr Love’s nominees on his Statement of Nominations was former Sandgate Parish Cllr  Leo Livingston Griggs as was Cllr Ms Jan Holben and others.

Former Sandgate Parish Cllr Leo Livingston Griggs sold to Oportunitas Ltd, a company solely owned by SDC,  15 Grace Hill. They gave him a loan of £250,000 and sold the property for close to £500,000. The house cost Leo £105,000. Nice return, but was it ‘Dodgy’?

Anyway that aside, the website is not fit for purpose as it is. Nor is our CEO Alistair (get well soon) Stewart due to health reasons. There are far to many 404 page not found, links, which cause  much customer  dissatisfaction with Shepway District Council’s ICT services.

Also SDC must by law publish on its website, quarterly information such as Procurement information, SDC Procurement Card transactions and transactions with other public bodies, among other things.

Since 2012 SDC have had to, but haven’t  published Datasets in excel or csv format on their website. Four years worth of 404 page not found because they haven’t existed when they had to, by law. This is not Sopra Steria’s responsibility. It is SDC’s. Sopra Steria’s responsibility will be to keep it updated and free of broken links

Why can’t one renew one’s parking permit online?  Make a housing benefit claim online?  These are but two examples among many we could cite. Also the website may breach the Equality Act 2010 as SDC must as a  service provider anticipate the needs of potential disabled customers for reasonable adjustments, but do they?

If you wish to comment on SDC’s website because you to have had issues navigating it and finding errors and/or information; which is not being published when it should then leave them some Feedback

or write to Cllr Rory Love @


Alistair (get well soon) Stewart @


email the webteam  @


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2 Comments on Not Fit For Purpose? You Decide.

  1. I’ve noticed 404 pages before on the SDC web site…

    Apart from the £3.5 million not looking like value for money – the question I ask is simple…

    Wasn’t there a local company in Kent able to do this work and no doubt be more accountable?

    Surely £3.5 million would mean a helluva lot to a local company and it’s local workforce.

    (Note…. I don’t mean Royston Vasey “local”)

  2. Interesting— Sopra Steria is also responsible for the new Home Office immigration biometrics website. And it has similar issues.

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