Six Scottish councils shortlisted for SOCITM Better Connected awards
The awards are based on a series of surveys looking at functionality and ease of use of their websites
SOCITM Better Connect website - Image credit: SOCITM
Six Scottish councils have been shortlisted for awards for the good functionality and customer experience of their websites.
Aberdeenshire, Angus, East Renfrewshire, Falkirk, Midlothian and North Ayrshire are among the 50 councils from across the UK shortlisted for SOCITM Better Connected awards, with Angus, East Renfrewshire and Falkirk shortlisted for more than one award.
The awards are based on national surveys of the functionality of councils’ websites by the society for public sector IT professionals SOCITM.
- Angus Council praised in latest SOCITM Better Connected survey on bulky waste collections
- SOCITM finds just 16 per cent of Scottish councils provide good online service for social care support
- Sixty-six per cent of Scottish council websites assessed as unsatisfactory for building warrant information
The surveys were carried out by a team of reviewers who tested how easy it was to complete common tasks such as finding information of waste and recycling or how to get a social care assessment for an elderly person, as well as how accessible the websites are for people with disabilities and using a mobile device.
The awards fall into a number of categories including best council, best for mobile, best for accessibility, best for best for social care information, best for search and navigation and best for building warrant information.
They will be presented at SOCITM’s Better Connected Local Government Live event in Birmingham on 28 June.
The list of councils shortlisted for an award overlaps with, but is not the same as, the councils that were awarded four stars, or very good, overall in this years’ Better Connected survey.
Aberdeenshire, Angus, East Renfrewshire and Midlothian were all rated as four star websites overall.
Of those four, only East Renfrewshire had achieved four stars the previous year as well.
Only nine per cent of the UK’s 416 council websites achieved four stars, so Scotland was above average with the four councils making up 12.5 per cent of the 32 Scottish local authority websites.
The proportion of three and four star sites has risen by 11 percentage points since 2015-16, but SOCITM highlighted that simply improving the look of a website was not enough to score highly.
In its report on the rankings, it said: “Although individual tests were different this year, overall they were comparable and in some cases harder, so this is an encouraging result for UK council websites.
“Of the list of top sites, thirteen achieved 4* status last year.
“Of 91 council websites identified as having undergone significant redesigns in the year since Better Connected was last completed, just seven qualified for the Better Connected four star list and only slightly more than half passed the BC [Better Connected] test by achieving three or four stars.
“This illustrates that delivering a quality website takes much more than a visual makeover and new site architecture.”
Martyn Wallace of the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government and Claudette Jones of the University of the West of Scotland are listed in the CIO 100
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