Better connected 2006: a snapshot of local authority websites
Produced by: Socitm Insight
This is the 2006 edition of Socitm Insight's annual survey of all local authority websites.
Local authority websites have to serve a diverse range of customers with diverse needs for information and services. Our report is invaluable in identifying and sharing good practice for policymakers, managers and practitioners alike.
This report examines in depth their state of development at the end of 2005, the target date for all local authorities to make available online 100% of services that can be put online, and in England, for achieving the a series of required 'priority service outcomes'.
Every UK local authority website has been assessed against our standard for high quality websites of being 'useful, usable and used', and also to provide commentary on the achievement or otherwise of the government targets insofar as this can be judged from the customer view of websites. We have also examined many other issues, such as the joining up of government and need to promote usage of the facilities that are now available.
The results published in Better connected 2006 suggest that the range of functions of council websites, and the number of transactions now available through them, has increased markedly over the last year.
60 councils have achieved the top ranking 'transactional' status, up from 38 in 2005. Promotional sites, the lowest ranked, have almost disappeared. Generally, council websites are continuing to improve, although at a lower rate than has been seen in the last three years. The survey also suggests that in some cases, increased functionality may have been achieved at the expense of usability.
In addition, analysis against a sample of nearly one third of the priority outcomes required of councils in England suggests that while good progress has been made from a low base twelve months ago, most councils appear to be struggling with a number of the outcomes, the majority of which should have been achieved by the end of 2005.
Socitm Insight subscribers can go direct to the full Better connected 2006 reports as well as the separate appendices and related files that accompany it.
Those who do not subscribe are encouraged to subscribe now, or alternatively order their copy of Better connected 2006.
Last modified: 19th January 2010