TVSCA e-Chartam finally published

echartamcoverAfter several months discussing with the various parties involved the first issue of e-Chartam hit the Thames Valley District Society part of

Various District Societies (DS) publish similar newsletters and some are printed and posted and some are available for download on their own areas of The Thames Valley also have a printed magazine that will next hit your post boxes in early May.

stoppressThe common factor is that all the societies have trouble providing news to all their members. The newsletter was announced in Stoppress as one of the few methods the DS has of telling members it exists. The opening rate on this sign posting news email that started as something akin to e-Chartam is now very low with a subsequent issue on click throughs to the articles. I believe the Institute’s web experts advise that the size and format of Stoppress is the optimum for reader’s opening it.

outlookThe Institute has issues with being able to email small PDF’s to their members. The belief is that many members will be unhappy if they received the full PDF in their inbox. In the past I believe this was the case but with the advent of reasonable broadband and the fact that Outlook will now allow you to review a PDF in the preview window I find I am receiving more and more optimised PDF’s in my inbox. The big ones (multi-megabytes) are still links on web sites. I would be interested in your views.

Equally with the advent of the Members Preference Centre I believe the old issue of too much “spam” email from the Institute is now over, perhaps you are still on old affiliate marketing mailing lists but these are easily dealt with as no one wants to upset possible customers and the unsubscribe button will usually work.newsreview

Readers and friends will know I have been involved in Institute communications to District Society members for some time and since the demise of the centrally funded printed newsletter (News Review) I have felt that members deserve more information on what is happening locally and would welcome your views as to how you like to receive that information.

The UK Voice

Readers might know I spent some time developing a blog for a UK firm of Chartered Accountants, Kevin Beare & Co, I have nothing to do with the excellent content, just the creation of the blog in WordPress based on their PracticeWeb main website.

kbmain kbblog

However, Paul Beare, the editor of the blog following his excellent content has been awarded for his efforts and now blogs for for the US AccountingWeb website under the name “The UK Voice”


Paul adores tea – however he is not your "typical Brit". He despises bad customer service, does not come from either Oxford, or Cambridge – has good teeth, and speaks eloquently.  He represents a UK accounting firm that concentrates on helping US companies enter the UK and succeed! Paul provides general UK tax, accounting and cultural insights in a light-hearted and practical way. He is, The UK Voice.

If you need help with this type of development including content then please use the contact page.

Next steps for business support

The ICAEW have put together some good ideas regarding what to do next after the demise of the RDA’s.

See their press release on the ICAEW website Business support: ideas for the future 

The wait and see approach as to what aspects of support are retained in the centre has a great deal to be said for it. The LEPs could be toothless by the time the Coalition has retained all the juicy bits.

If you want a shiny PDF of the article use the contact page and I will email one.

How much revenue per visit on the expensive Government Information web sites?

Earlier in the month the Cabinet Office released a press release about the cost of some information web sites run by UK Government departments – see the release “Clamp down on Government websites to save millions” on the Cabinet Office Site.

A report published today by the Central Office for Information (COI) found that across government £94 million has been spent on the construction and set up and running costs of just 46 websites and £32 million on staff costs for those sites in 2009-10. The most expensive websites are:

  • which costs £11.78* per visit; and
  • which costs £2.15 per visit.

Before we lose some of these sites perhaps we should have more information than just the headline grabbing cost per visit.


I recently commented to a post on the ICAEW ION ITCOUNTS website about the same report:

As with all statistics the headline is in the detail a big cost number divided by a small user number is always a big number, but over what period, equally have the websites been through a major re-write during the period all giving them a high rating,

Obviously some sites have had a lot of money spent on their pretty design (usability as well don’t forget) but we have to ascertain if the end-users of the sites have actually benefited the economy by using the information provided on the site. How would the Cabinet Office collect that information?

After all the information has to be made available, the issue is that they should not be marketing portals for government/party departments they have to be useful information for the citizens and business of the country.

I guess the policy decision was to make the information available on the internet, the civil servants (who are still in post) decided how and how much to spend of their finite resources (our tax pounds) creating the sites.

Congrats Leominster, Ludlow and Tenbury Wells

The Rural Regeneration Programme run by one of those hated RDA’s has given out £200,000 to Worcester-based Airband Community Internet Ltd to provide high speed coverage across towns in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.

Hopefully the new LEP’s will be able to have access to the same or similar funding in the future for other rural areas like Banburyshire, a rural community surrounding Banbury and currently part of five RDA’s.

the full announcement can be found here:

High Speed Rural Broadband becomes reality as new pilot launched at RRZ Conference

AWM website