This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 27 September 2022
Elmbridge Borough Council

Design, implement and support Elmbridge Borough Council's website using the LocalGov Drupal platform

4 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 0 large

9 Completed applications

9 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Tuesday 13 September 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 20 September 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 27 September 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Design, build and develop a new Elmbridge Borough Council website on the LocalGov Drupal platform, making use of the templates and modules available, and building additional functionality and tailoring as required. Train the existing team to edit the website. Provide maintenance, support and hosting for the duration of the project.
Latest start date
Monday 5 December 2022
Expected contract length
24 months with option to extend for six months
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Elmbridge Borough Council
Budget range
Budget is approx. £90,000-£130,000, with an expected breakdown of:

Year 1: Design, build and develop site on the LocalGov Drupal platform, making use of the templates and modules available, building additional functionality and tailoring as required; and providing training for admins and editors: £45,000 – £65,000

Year 2: Additional functionality/design elements added to the site to meet our requirements: £15,000 – £25,000

Year 1 and 2: hosting, security and support costs: £15,000 – £20,000 per year.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Our current CMS solution is being retired. Support for this site will end in July 2023. A new website for the council with all service information must be in place before then, with work on the new website commencing no later than 5 December 2022.

The council is implementing digital transformation across its services. The website, as the virtual reception for council services, is an important part of our digital offering and needs a reliable and robust platform to underpin it.

We have identified issues with the current website around content, user experience, search, navigation and design, which need to be addressed through the project.

The goal is to provide an accessible website, which transforms the user interface with high quality content and design, enabling a great user experience.

The solution should be future-proofed and not leave us tied to one supplier for the lifetime of the website. This is one of the reasons we plan to use LocalGov Drupal (LGD). LGD will give us a portable solution that we can continue to improve. We can contribute to, and benefit from, the development within the LGD community. The LGD project also aligns with our commitment to the Local Digital Declaration.
Problem to be solved
Residents, businesses and councillors visit our website for service information and updates. Our website also needs to increase awareness of new initiatives and the range of services.

Website content needs improvement – a review is underway and we are rewriting content. Content will need manual migration to the new platform.

User experience is poor due to ineffective navigation and search. The new navigation and search must undergo user research and testing to ensure content is easy to find.

The design must be vibrant, engaging, meet our brand guidelines and reflect our new vision. We need to be able to create pages suitable for service/transactional information, as well as brochure-style pages/subsites. Third party systems (eg online account) also need a design standard so there is a consistent/uniform experience as users click between sites.

User experience is hindered by how the website renders on mobiles/tablets. The new website must be fully responsive and work on all devices/screen sizes.

Accessibility is a key requirement and the new website must meet accessibility regulations.

We are seeking an agency to develop the website using LocalGov Drupal to meet our needs. We need robust maintenance, support and hosting to provide a fast, reliable and secure service.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our website users include residents, businesses, visitors, councillors and partners. Content management system users include content editors and our communications team. Below are some high-level examples of their user needs:

As a resident/business/visitor/councillor, I need to quickly access the right information and services online, so that I can find what I am looking for and complete any tasks I came to the site to do, quickly and intuitively.

As a content editor, I need an easy-to-use interface so that I can create and manage content.

As a communications professional, I need to easily create subsites with their own look and feel, so that we can effectively market our services.
Early market engagement
We have researched CMS solutions for council websites and have spoken to several Drupal suppliers who have worked on LocalGov Drupal. We have also spoken to local authorities about their websites and to members of the LocalGov Drupal community to understand how this approach can benefit Elmbridge.
Any work that’s already been done
We have carried out stakeholder research with councillors, residents and internal colleagues (content editors) to discover what they need from the website and what they want from a new website.

We have written a list of requirements available to view at:

We have started a content review, which involves rewriting, deleting and restructuring content across the website. This will continue over the next few months.
Existing team
The core project team is the Communications Officer (Project Manager) and Communications Manager.
The project is overseen by the Digital Transformation Governance Group, which comprises the Director of Services, Head of ICT, Head of Customer Services, Head of Finance, ICT Business Manager, Business Transformation Analyst, Communications Manager and Communications Officer (Project Manager).
There will also be involvement from third party suppliers for design changes on third party systems.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
We would expect most of the work to happen remotely, although some meetings/workshops may need to take place on site at our council offices in Esher: Civic Centre, High Street, Esher KT10 9SD
Working arrangements
We would expect a digital agency to work with us on this project for as long as necessary each week.

We anticipate kick-off and face-to-face meetings for key tasks to be held on-site at our Esher office.

We would expect regular (weekly or fortnightly) meetings by phone or video conference.

We would be happy to use collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Trello or Slack to help with communication.
Security clearance
BPSS. PCI-DSS compliance if required.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All bids are to be produced at the suppliers expense. The Council is not obliged to accept any tender or enter into a contract as a result of this procurement. The winning supplier is obliged to provide sufficient securities to ensure implementation of appropriate technical and organisational measures so that the processing meets the requirements of GDPR and the protection of the rights of data subjects.
All expenses following contract award must be pre-agreed between the parties.
Invoices are payable in arrears and in any event where undisputed, 30 days from receipt by the Council.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Start project no later than 5 December 2022 and deliver a new website by June 2023
  • Have a qualified and skilled multi-disciplinary team for the duration of the project
  • Have experience of Drupal 9 website design, development and implemention of similar scale to the current Elmbridge website; Drupal integration with business applications; and rigorous QA and testing
  • Have experience of visually engaging website design that transforms the user experience, conveys strong branding and meets wide ranging user needs, undertaking user research for user journeys, personas and wireframing
  • Have experience of building powerful and enhanced search functionality, including predictive search and multi-site search
  • Have experience of website development and delivery compliant with WCAG 2.1 and Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018
  • Have experience of delivering Drupal training to content publishers and technical administrators
  • Have experience of hosting and supporting websites of a similar scale to the current Elmbridge website including out of hours emergency website support
  • Adhere and comply with hosted (cloud-based) websites that conform to UK National Cyber Security Centre cloud security guidance
  • Have secure ISO-accredited UK based data centre hosting and protection from cyber attack
  • Have business continuity processes and procedures for minimal service disruption. Immutable back-ups and effective disaster recovery procedures (RPO and RTO). High availability service levels (99.99% uptime)
  • Have experience of data security and compliance (GDPR), including keeping application up-to-date with security patches and fixes required under SLA
  • Have experience of responsive customer service and account management and delivery of services that meet the DLUHC Local Digital Declaration
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience of Drupal 9 website development and implementation on the LocalGov Drupal platform
  • Be a carbon neutral agency or published a roadmap to being a carbon neutral agency

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding the tasks outlined in the brief
  • Ability to meet the requirements including the timescales outlined
  • Delivery methodology and approach for the overall project
  • Business continuity and security arrangements
  • Team structure, resources and mitigations in the event of personnel changes
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work well with colleagues across Elmbridge Borough Council, the LocalGov Drupal community and existing third party suppliers
  • Proactively communicate at all points in the project, sharing detailed knowledge and skills, as well as the ability to communicate complex technical issues to non-technical content editors and business owners
  • Deliver responsive customer service and account management
  • Provide strong project management, with commitment to meet deadlines
  • Be collaborative and innovative in approach to problem solving and decision making
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. We have extensive experience of working with councils and have a good understanding of the typical requirements for a project like this.
Nonetheless, the budget is much lower than comparable LocalGov Drupal projects.

If we were to use the whole 130k for the website build it would be sufficient, but that would leave nothing for year 2. Is there any scope for tweaking the budget?
The budget should be treated as indicative. We are a Tier 2 local authority, so this project may not necessarily be comparable to all other LocalGov Drupal projects.
2. What are your key user journeys?
We have a broad understanding of our key user journeys (i.e. relating to planning applications, waste and recycling information and parking) but we haven’t done any in depth work on user journeys as yet.
3. Is the start date to be 1st or 5th of December at the latest?
The latest start date is Monday 5 December 2022.
4. What level of page views do you achieve at peak times? What type of pages are involved in the peak demand?
During peak times, approx 20,000-25,000 page views per day across the website with individual pages reaching approx 10,000-11,00 page views per day.

The type of pages involved would depend on the reason for the peak in demand, but typically these would be news pages or standard content pages.
5. Are there any particular limitations on the Citrix VM environments to be aware of? eg. Running Windows XP and IE7 still
There are no limitations. We do not run Windows XP or IE7.
6. What site data should be downloadable as CSV?
This is a desirable, not essential, requirement. We would be looking to download page data such as name of page, page editor, last updated. We would consider other formats or other ways to view or access this data.

(NB: The document with the requirements we have identified has been shared for information. We will discuss this document with the chosen supplier at the start of the project to agree the most practical way to achieve each requirement.)
7. What format are planning application numbers in for search terms?
Planning application numbers follow the format: year, forward slash, 4 digit number (eg 2022/1234).

This is a desirable requirement. We acknowledge it is a very specific requirement and we will need to work with the chosen supplier to look at ways this may be achieved or any workarounds.

(NB: The document with the requirements we have identified has been shared for information. We will discuss this document with the chosen supplier at the start of the project to agree the most practical way to achieve each requirement.)
8. Who will be responsible for the reskinning of your other sites?
The suppliers of the other sites will be responsible for reskinning those sites, but the new website supplier would need to be willing to share design code and potentially answer any related questions other suppliers might have.
9. Do you have examples of what you consider to be non-gimmicky design trends in local government?
No, we don’t have an example of this.

(NB: The document with the requirements we have identified has been shared for information. We will discuss this document with the chosen supplier at the start of the project to agree the most practical way to achieve each requirement.)
10. Can we see the brand identity guidelines we need to work with?
The brand identity guidelines will be shared with suppliers possibly at the next stage, or certainly at the start of the project. The guidelines cover use of logo, font, colour palettes, imagery and there is scope for them to be developed further to cover our online website branding.
11. Do you need any automated migration or are you planning to overhaul your content and migrate manually?
We anticipate that we will migrate content manually.
12. What is meant by “online accounts” in the context of “online account links”?
“Online account” refers to:
13. Are you willing to sponsor suppliers through BPSS clearance, or are you expecting suppliers to have this in place prior to the contract starting?
We would expect suppliers to have BPSS clearance in place prior to the contract starting.
14. Can you elaborate on your requirement for out-of-hours support? Do you need this available routinely, or just around specific events? How often have you needed this in the past?
We would require out of hours support in the event of unexpected problems occurring, such as the website going down in the evening or at the weekend. We would expect this support to be required infrequently.
15. Can you elaborate on any requirements for “integration with business systems”?
For the essential skills and experience requirement, we are looking for experience of integration work involving Drupal and a third party system as we are expecting work in year 2 to include some level of integration with systems such as: MyNeighbourhood (
16. Are you expecting an automated migration of content from the existing website, or will your team be doing this manually?
We anticipate that we will migrate content manually.
17. Can you quantify expectations for face-to-face meetings i.e. number and frequency?
It is difficult to say the exact number and frequency of face-to-face meetings as this will be determined by the needs of the project. Suppliers should expect to be available for some face-to-face meetings at the beginning of the project and occasionally throughout the project. Other meetings would be conducted online or by phone.
18. Are the budget figures inclusive or exclusive of VAT?
Figures are exclusive of VAT.
19. Would you consider a customisable Drupal 9 based managed service for this project, such as This delivers on all of your immediate requirements, whilst being ready for content population immediately, avoiding a lengthy and expensive build phase, and is already in production usage (e.g. and Council Platform is continually developed with new features added monthly.
The Council will not consider Council Platform for this project.
20. Hi, can you confirm whether you received our previous question regarding the use of a Drupal 9 managed service such as
Yes, please see answer above.