Category Technology
Publication date
13 May 2024

LocalGov Drupal: Build it and they will come… to Birmingham

Time to read 5 minutes read

LocalGov Drupal Camp offered a fantastic platform for engaged participants from various stages of LGD implementation to share their experiences, challenges, and solutions.

The inaugural LocalGov Drupal Camp was an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in or involved with this CMS to learn and share and brainstorm. It was held at Birmingham City Council on 23 April, and Annertech was the event’s headline sponsor. 

Mike King is behind a podium, delivering a presentation at LocalGov Drupal Camp in Birmingham.

Annertech's Director of Projects Mike King talks about Annertech and our involvement with LocalGov Drupal during the inaugural LGD Camp in Birmingham.

LocalGov Drupal is a CMS built by councils for councils, and its take-up has been swift and decisive from councils across Ireland and the UK. This was the first camp of its kind, and we were thrilled to be part of it. 

Our day was filled with standing (only to be expected when you have a stand at the event), but it was well worth it due to the engaging conversations, problem-solving discussions, and enthusiasm shared by participants at various stages of their LocalGov Drupal (LGD) journey. Everyone was eager to learn from each other's experiences, challenges, and solutions. 

The event took place in a modern council office which served as an excellent venue for the day's discussions. The two linked rooms provided ample space for plenary sessions as well as smaller group activities.

The order of the day

The morning kicked off with sessions focused on Microsites and the LGD product, where participants shared their pain points and improvements they had implemented themselves through open conversation.

After the presentation of unconference ideas and dot-voting, the lunch break offered a variety of food options, including a last-minute rescue by Papa John's, ensuring everyone was well-fed and energised for the afternoon sessions.

A LocalGov Drupal banner showing Annertech as the main sponsor.

Two rounds of four unconference sessions took place in the afternoon. Participants had the opportunity to attend various discussions, including a follow-up session on the product from the morning, where they explored both positive and negative aspects of the current system. 

Another session focused on how Solr was being used by different councils to enhance search functionality for users and possible solutions to certain issues were shared amongst the attendees. 

After a brief closing session, participants had the chance to continue their discussions, share more about their projects, and get to know each other better. 

While the event, for me, concluded earlier than expected due to personal travel plans, it left everyone eager for the next opportunity to connect and collaborate on LocalGov Drupal projects.

My highlight 

Out of everything I attended, I found the product session the most useful. Getting to hear from those who actively use LGD, and about their specific problems is always a great reminder of how others see the systems we create. 

The aim of this session was to ensure LocalGov Drupal and Microsites are the most user centric, customisable and cost effective web publishing platforms for content editors in the public sector. 

A number of these have taken place online and they’re really insightful. They generally kick off with participants – who can be content designers, product managers and developers from councils using (or soon to use) LocalGov Drupal CMS and/or Microsites – reviewing and refining items on the backlog and prioritising them based on common needs. 

Based on these needs, working groups are formed around new features, as well as updates to the product roadmap, so that there is a clear record of past steps and future direction.

From a developer’s perspective 

My colleague, Daniel Pickering, who is Annertech’s Head of Infrastructure, also attended the event. 

“I found it incredibly refreshing, to be honest. There were mainly people there who were trying to brainstorm solutions and expressing their desires to know more about Drupal,” he said. 

“There are many IT events and conferences that have become a bit of a peacock thing. It’s all about showing off a company or trying to sell a product. There was none of that at LGD Camp, and that’s what made it so refreshing.” 


In summary, the day was a fantastic platform for engaged participants from various stages of LGD implementation to share their experiences, challenges, and solutions. 

The unconference sessions allowed for open discussions and idea exchange, while the social aspect provided an opportunity for networking and building connections within the LocalGov Drupal community. 

On a personal level, it was great to meet both the community members and some of our clients face to face, and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

Would you like to know more about LocalGov Drupal?

Annertech has created websites for councils across Ireland and the UK using LocalGov Drupal, and we’re passionate about this groundbreaking CMS. 

Profile picture for user Mike King

Mike King Director of Projects

Mike is Annertech's Director of Projects - among other things. He joined Annertech in 2013, and has more than 25 years' experience in technical project management and consulting.