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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucester planning site still disrupted after 2021 cyber attack

Nine months on from a cyber attack which affected many of Gloucester City Council's online services, the authority's planning portal is still facing disruption.

The council's services were the target of an attack in December 2021, after malware was sent to a council member via email.

At the time, Gloucester City Council's housing benefits, house sales, council tax support and planning application online portals were all affected.

Most of these services have now been restored, but the planning portal is yet to be returned to how it was before the cyber attack.

Residents and businesses are unable to view historic applications. They can however view plans that are currently live, by searching by ward and scrolling through a list to find the correct application.

The Gloucester City Council website says: "It is not currently possible to view historic planning applications on our website and we are not able to email or post plans to customers.

"Please note that as a result of the cyber incident and the new processes we have put into place there may unfortunately be delays to our service. We are working hard to address these issues and will update our website as soon as we have more information.

"However, the cyber incident is currently under investigation and we do not currently have a timescale."

The authority has already spent an estimated £650,000 for the recovery work, and is said to have been working with the National Crime Agency and the National Cyber Security Centre to get to the bottom of the attack.

Liberal Democrat councillor for Kingsholm and Wotton, Jeremy Hilton told BBC Radio Gloucestershire: "The city council needs to speed up its efforts to recover all the IT systems that were hacked in December.

"The public and councillors cannot read the written representations that have been sent in and they have to rely solely on the officer report, which is published a few days before the planning committee meets. This isn't good enough.

"It is vital that this is sorted as soon as possible."

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