Angus Council praised in latest SOCITM Better Connected survey on bulky waste collections

Written by Rebecca Hill and Jenni Davidson on 14 February 2017 in News

Only 40 per cent of UK council websites were found to be satisfactory in the latest SOCITM Better Connected survey

SOCITM Better Connected website - Image credit: SOCITM

Angus Council has been singled out for praise in the latest SOCITM Better Connected survey, looking at how user-friendly council websites are for bulky waste collection.

According to results from the latest SOCITM Better Connected survey, only 40 per cent of council websites provide a good online service for people to arrange the collection of bulky waste.

The survey, which is part of a wider annual assessment carried out by the association of public sector IT professionals, looked at the mobile websites of 356 councils across the UK.


A third of UK council homepages fail SOCITM disability accessibility tests

Sixty-six per cent of Scottish council websites assessed as unsatisfactory for building warrant information

SOCITM reveals which services are to be reviewed in its 2016/17 Better Connected survey

It found a range of issues with bulky waste collection services, with just 40 per cent of councils found to provide a good or very good service.

This figure is caused in part by the fact that 16 per cent of the sample did not have websites set up for mobile use, which means the test could not be carried out at all.

Angus Council was one of ten councils, and the only Scottish local authority, to be specifically recommended for good content.

The review said of Angus’s website: “This is excellent. Lots of solid information. The form tells me there are six pages which I like.”

The survey found there was a lack of clarity in many websites on a number of crucial questions, including which items and how many could be collected during a single booking and how far in advance the booking needed to be made – the latter of which was passed by just 25.8 per cent of the councils.

One of the essential questions – which councils have to pass if they are to meet the standard set for the task – was that it was clear if a mattress could be collected, which was only passed by 55.5 per cent of the councils.

SOCITM also branded some councils’ charging arrangements “nonsensical” and over-complicated, with terms that it said residents could not understand or estimate.

Examples of this included in the report were charging by “half or full lorry load”, by how easily it could be lifted by two men or by time slots of 15 minutes.

“It is hard to imagine these sorts of narratives surviving even the most basic user testing,” the review said.

The survey also found that a number of councils had outsourced the collection of bulky waste to charities or businesses that collect things for free if they can be recycled.

This, SOCITM said, was an “excellent move”, but noted that many of these services “are really deficient” at providing information online, “let alone online booking and fulfilment”.

It called on councils to make digital services part of the outsourcing agreement and require that their partner matches best practice in online service provision.

The report recommended good practice, such as providing all information on the web pages rather than embedded in forms or terms and conditions, information about alternatives clearly visible and precision about which items would be collected.



Related Articles

Which? calls for regulator to protect access to cash as bank branches close
12 February 2019

The consumer affairs body said a combination of recent bank branch and cash machine closures risked leaving people in Scotland struggling to pay for goods and services

Falkirk Council chosen to receive up to £25,000 for geospatial data project
19 December 2018

The Open Data Institute chose four councils to receive support and advice during the rollout of the projects

Nearly half of small rural businesses have poor broadband connection, Citizens Advice Scotland finds
18 July 2018

Almost all SMEs reported that the postal service was important to their business, with a greater reliance where broadband was poorer

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Balancing security and digital transformation
24 October 2018

With the annual worldwide cost of cybercrime set to double from $3tn in 2015 to $6tn by 2021, BT offers advice on how chief information security officers can better...

Associate feature: Who keeps your organisation secure?
19 February 2018

BT's Amy Lemberger argues that having the right security in place to protect your organisation is no longer just an option. It is a necessity.

Share this page