The value of plain English on local government web sites was highlighted in a couple of ALGIM 08 presentations.
During the floods of 2007, the Northland Regional Council web site translated weather forecasts to plain English, numbering them on a scale of 1-10, 10 implying we're in trouble, get out of here! In a disaster, it's crucial that people grasp the relative severity of forecasts instantly.
Vicky Wheelton said she had great difficulty persuading the Tauranga City Council to abandon jargon and use plain English on the new web site. They were in a long-term relationship with the phrases transfer centres and aquatic leisure facilities.
What are they, you ask? Rubbish dumps and swimming pools.
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