Londoners were left unable to log in and claim social housing or pay tax bills because their council failed to pay a £ 5 bill on the site.
Much of the Tower Hamlet Council’s website went offline on January 4 and 5, and it prevented people from accessing many important services.
Residents could not use online forms to pay school taxes, apply for social housing or many other services.
It also meant they could not access public hearings on projects in Tower Hamlets or use the council’s online school section.
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The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that the problem was caused by the council failing to pay the subscription fee for its website domain – which only cost £ 5.
It is not clear why the fee for keeping essential services online for the residents was not paid by the council.
The Council’s Conservative opposition was critical of the website going offline.
Conservative councilor Peter Golds said: “Residents will be amazed to hear that the municipality’s website was down because a simple fee of 5 GBP was not paid. What on earth was going on there?”
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Problems with the website caused a number of problems – including emails sent to the municipality’s addresses were not received, where many people did not know if their mail had gone through.
After the website was online again, the council recommended that residents resend their emails to make sure they had been received.
Tower Hamlet residents aired on social media after the municipality’s website crashed.
One said, “Not sure if they paid their bill, but I do not pay mine [council tax bill] until they fix the page. “
Another wrote: “I bet someone forgot to renew the hosting fee! Great way to avoid reporting uncollected waste.”
A local was even more critical, saying, “Sounds like a normal day at Tower Hamlets. When did something or someone work there?”
A spokesman for Tower Hamlets Council said: “The problem was caused by an administrative error which has now been fixed and is therefore unlikely to recur in the future.
“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused to the residents and we will ensure that there is no harm to residents who were unable to use our website as it was inaccessible.”