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New survey assesses every local authority website

The latest survey of local authority websites by Socitm urges senior leaders to “get actively involved in the governance of digital delivery”.

The headlines results from Better Connected 2013 are publicly available, but the detailed findings are limited to Socitm Insight subscribers. It contains assessments of all 433 local authority websites.

Martin Reeves, chief executive of Coventry City Council and president of SOLACE, the society representing council chief executives and other senior managers, said: “The report gives us an important insight into how it feels as a customer of our services and for some of us it’s a salutary reminder that stuff that feels obvious to us can seem a mystery to the vast majority of people who don’t understand our jargon and our organisational structures.”

Only a handful of councils achieved the four star accolade, including Dorset County Council, North Yorkshire County Council, South Tyneside Council, Perth and Kinross Council and Teignbridge District Council.

South Tyneside came in for particularly high praise, with the report noting: “This is an outstanding website. When you think of the number of services being offered, the consistency of the content and navigation is amazing.”

Rob McCarthy, CEO of GOSS Interactive, whose iCM web content management and website publishing software is used by many councils, said: “This isn’t just about rewarding nice looking sites. This is about making it as easy and accessible for UK citizens to get all the information, forms, advice that they need from their council, quickly and simply, 24/7, and in the process potentially saving over £1m for each of the 433 local authorities, which is a huge win-win in these difficult economic times.”

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