We are sometimes asked why this site is called the “official town website” – a very valid question as there are several websites that cover news, events and business listings in the area.

Background
The town website project was one of several that came under the Town Improvement Projects funded by a grant made to the town. A ‘Steering Group’ oversaw the projects and the present site was created; the project being supported by the Whitchurch Town Council, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Hampshire County Council, SEEDA (South East England Development Agency) and the Whitchurch Association.
We recognise the excellent support they gave because without them Whitchurch would not have a community-owned website, accountable to the residents. You will see that recognition included in some of the promotion for the site. The site was launched officially on 1 May 2010 by the Town’s Carnival Queen.

Accountable to Whitchurch
Once the Steering Group came to the end of its life in March last year, the projects were passed over to the Whitchurch Association to oversee as they are a properly constituted and registered charity with Trustees and Committee elected each year at an Open Town meeting.
And that’s where we are now – a community-owned site, accountable to the community.
This site is wholly answerable to the people of Whitchurch, and free of all commercial influence. It is not tied to any one business organisation or single individual. Few sites can offer such transparency of ownership. Email addresses for organisations and individuals in articles are not hijacked to redirect to this site.

Who ‘runs’ the site?
The day-to-day running of the site is done by volunteers from the Whitchurch Association who have to abide by its rules. These volunteers help research stories, collect event information, and add items to the site, as well as looking after its maintenance.
In addition they have set up related channels of communication through social networking such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Feedback by the public is often given and helps this site reach out further into our lovely community.

Visitors – local and from afar
In its short history the site has rocketed to being arguable the leading community-owned site in the area and now regularly receives requests for listings from outside the Whitchurch area with visitor records being broken almost monthly.

How can I help?
There are a number of people who do this at different ‘levels’ from those who make up the core Whitchurch Association communications team to ‘Contributors’ and ‘Authors’ who submit and edit their own news and event information.
More helpers and contributors are always welcome, so if anyone can help out please please get in touch.
Any little bit of help is most welcome. Please contact the website team through:
contact@whitchurch.org.uk

So for those who ask, we hope that makes it a little more clear, but if not please send any enquiries to:
contact@whitchurch.org.uk

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