Only 10 percent of UK local councils score 4-star rating for their websites, survey reveals

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27th June 2018 12:14 - Local Government

Only 10% of UK local councils score 4-star rating for their websites: The websites of UK councils have been put to the test by a team of reviewers and only 42 out of 414 local authorities were awarded 4-star status by testers. 
The annual SOCITM Better Connected survey reviews local government websites for their usability (how easily users can find information and navigate aroundOnly 10% of UK local councils score 4-star rating for their websites, survey reveals the site), as well as how accessible they are for disabled users. 
In the 2017-18 survey (conducted by Better Connected professional reviewers), 10% of councils were awarded a four-star ('very good') rating -- up from 9% last year.
This compares to 46% given a 3-star 'good' rating, the same as 16/17.
There were fewer 2-star ratings (31%) in 17/18 than the previous year (35%), however, the survey revealed one-star ratings were up - from 11% in 16/17 to 13% in 17/18.
Key findings
These latest survey findings show that in 17/18, more councils (94%) offer a responsive or mobile site – so can be used effectively by local people using a smartphone. This is up from 89% in 16/17 and up from 57% in 2015. 
When it came to testing accessibility for disabled users 62% of websites passed the BetterConnected test  - which includes all sites given a 4-star rating.
Performance testing of websites 
Websites were also tested for how well they performed when users were trying to carry out particular ‘tasks’ such as reporting a broken streetlight, finding out about their local bin collection or local development plans. They were also tested on how easy the site is to navigate, on search and A-Z facilities. and how accessible it is for people with disabilities. 
Seventy per cent of websites were awarded 3 or 4 star status for how easily they could find out about roadworks, while just over half (53%) had a good or very good rating for being able to find out about childcare. 
When it came to accessing information about parking, only 32% were given a 3-4 star rating, and when it came to being able to sign up for e-resources via the council website, only 39% were 3 or 4 star. 
The number of UK local authority websites achieving 3-4 star rating for service area tasks: 

Service area

Tasks 2017-18

Awarded 3 & 4     stars


Find out about roadworks



Report streetlight failure


Waste & Recycling

Take rubbish to tip



Find out about putting rubbish out for collection


Social Care

Find childcare (m)



Find out about local development plans


Waste & Recycling

Order garden waste collection OR extra bin


Social Care

Find services to help elderly relative stay in their own home


Council & democracy

Find out about councillor



Sign up for e-resources



Apply for landlord licence



Find out about parking (m)


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