Website praised for improvements

Leeds City Council’s website, which has undergone a series of improvements to make it more user-friendly, has been praised in a national survey of local authority websites.

www.leeds.gov.uk was awarded top marks – four out of a possible four stars – a significant improvement on last year’s rating of one star. Only eight per cent of councils have achieved a four-star ranking this year.

The annual survey was carried out by the Society of Information Technology Management (SOCITM) which tests the websites of all the UK’s 433 local authorities to identify and promote good practice in council website design and presentation.

The website’s navigation has been overhauled making it much easier for customers to find the information they needed more quickly. The current site was launched summer 2012 with a complete redesign with a fresh look and feel to replace an old outdated system.

In the last 12 months improvements have seen the introduction of one-click navigation to top task plus a comprehensive A-Z of services. The website design makes it accessible from smart phones and tablets, while an improved search function makes it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for.

The SOCITM assessor said:

“Overall the site is really well presented and a pleasure to use. I really like the layout and design of the mobile experience - well done. One of the easiest and nicest A-Z's I have seen. Really good implementation of the councillor search and committee information, great to see.”

SOCITM assessors visited the council’s site to check how easy it was to complete a number of different tasks, including reporting a missed rubbish collection, finding out about a planning decision, registering a food business and finding out general information about the council and its services.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said:

“This is really positive news and shows all the hard work that has gone into improving our website over the last couple of years. We've looked carefully at what residents actually use our website for and made changes with their needs in mind.

“We know there are still improvements to be made and we will continue our campaign of improvement. The way people use the internet has changed dramatically in recent years with an exponential increase in the number of people accessing our site on mobile devices. Thanks to the effort we’ve put into making the site accessible from smart phones and tablets we have put ourselves in a good position for the future.”

The annual assessment put particular emphasis on the ease of using council websites on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets where the council’s website scored well.


Notes to editor

More information about the Better Connected report from SOCITM can be found at http://www.socitm.net/research/socitm-insight/better-connected.

For media enquiries please contact:

Dan Johnson,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 4450

Email: daniel.johnson2@leeds.gov.uk