Meh, too easy
I've done council stuff and it's really not that hard to get right.
Pretty much every council in any given local government area has to abide by the same rules and carry the same content: rates info, news, etc, etc, plus local stuff specific to any area. Common content such as privacy policies and other legal stuff can be written centrally. It adds consistency and reduces costs.
The frequently accessed info should always be linked from the home page. Don't make the rate payers pissy by hiding things. If councils can't work out what is going to be popular then check the logs and search data and you'll see what people want. If it's not on the home page then put it there.
Most important tip for all for councils: Beware internal empire builders that don't have a clue about web sites but "know someone who does". They will cost the rate payers squillions for no noticeable return. Your council shouldn't be paying 25k for a slightly modified WordPress theme. Leave this stuff to people that know what they are doing.
Sheesh, it's 2012 and people are still struggling over web sites?