Don't spend £2.8mil on your website - use third party applications and services where possible (Google etc) to add value to your site without the need for scoping new features into your already bloated CMS.
There is nothing worse than being pushed to a service that's not technically part of the website and being met with an alien gui. If you're bringing another, developed service in (for example, The Meeting Factory on Lincoln's site - http://tmf.lincoln.gov.uk), skin it up to look like the rest of your site.
Good sites have an attractive, modern appearance that invites you to use them. Council sites should be no different.
People go to council websites for information, not for pretty pictures and inflated egos. Forget about branding, forget about any sort of visual consistency. Instead just get the info out there, set out a consistent scheme for URIs and search-relevant features, then leaving everything else to the contributors. Then set up a search page with a truly configurable range of options (e.g. boolean, natlang, regex, ...) and ...more »