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RatemyCouncil site launches, falls over

Stop me if you've heard this one...

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A £22m website offering comparisons between local councils launched today, and at the time of writing is barely useable because pages are loading so slowly.

The Oneplace site is meant to bring together information from several inspectorates including the Audit Commission. We suggest they start by auditing their own web hosting deal.

A spokeswoman for the Audit Commission said the site had had more than 300,000* page impressions since midnight, which apparently explains why it is not working.

The site allows you to compare local government services by area and by activity, presumably so that people unhappy with their bin collection service can choose another area of the country to live in.

But the site has already been condemned by some councils. Wandsworth and Hammersmith and Fulham told the FT that collecting the information for the site had cost each authority £100,000, and that the assessments were too bland and superficial to be of any real use.

The site cost £22m to create. The Tories have pledged to cancel the site should they win the next General Election.

The site, if it is up, is here. ®

*An Audit Office PR got in touch to say the correct figure at the time of writing was 131,275 page impressions not 300, 000. And the cost of £22m includes the total cost of collecting the data not just the website. We will be told the cost of the website, which cost £220, 000 to set up, after its first year of operation.

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