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Monday 15 March 2010

Three-Star Accolade for Cheshire East Council Website

Cheshire East Council’s website has been given a three-star rating by top IT consultants.

The Society of Information Technology Managers (SOCITM) ranked just one star below the top score.

Only 11 of Britain’s 433 councils got four stars – and none were unitary authorities.

Councillor David Brown, Cabinet member with responsibility for performance and capacity, said: “Cheshire East is committed to making it easier for people find out about and access council services in a way that is quick, convenient and hassle-free.

“I am delighted that our website scored so well. Our web team is to be congratulated.”

Cheshire East’s website was awarded a three-star rating based on how useful, usable and well used by the public the online service was. The topics it was assessed on included jobs, library services, schools, family history, planning and waste collection.

Of the 433 councils assessed in the first Better Connected annual survey of local authority websites, 117 (27%) were awarded three or four stars.

Of the nine new unitary authorities, only Cheshire East and Shropshire achieved three stars. Four were awarded two stars and three got one star.

Some of the most popular Cheshire East Council website services used by the public revealed:

78% of applications for school places were done online
24,357 library items were renewed in January 2010
1,265 online forms were submitted to report problems with potholes/gritting/street lighting in January 2010.

Nikki Hughes, Cheshire East Council’s online services manager, said: “We are delighted our website has won this recognition and has been viewed so positively.

“One of the reasons we got such a good rating was for online school admissions. This year, 78% of school admission applications were made online.

“Many parents have reported that this has made the application process easier and quicker. We want to make more of our services available online.”

New services to be added to the Cheshire East Council website in coming months include live traffic information and online forms for direct debits and customers’ change of address.

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