Friday, 15 March 2013

Four Stars For Cambridgeshire's Online Services

A national survey has once again given Cambridgeshire County Council four stars for its website - putting it as one of the top Councils in the country for its online services.

Four stars is the highest award that Socitm give councils in their Better Connected survey. Cambridgeshire County Council is only one of three Shire authorities who have achieved four stars in 2012 and 2013.

An accessible website makes it easier for communities to reach the services and information they need while reducing costs for tax payers. Research shows a face to face transaction costs the Council £7.40 while one done over the phone is £2.90 or on the Council's website just 8 pence.

The Council is also reacting to public opinion with plans to improve the website so many more services can be carried out online and using mobile devices, such as phones and tablets.

The number of transactions carried out on the Council's website has more than doubled in just two years from 40,380 to 84,403. While in just two years ago the number of people using mobile devices to use the Council's website has jumped from just 5 per cent of traffic to almost 40 per cent.

Communities are also engaging with Cambridgeshire public services through the use of the Council's backed ShapeYourPlace website.

Socitm is the national membership association for all ICT professionals working in Local Authorities and the Public and Third Sectors and suppliers to those organisations. Socitm provides a widely respected forum for the promotion, use and development of ICT best practice. It is also plays a leading role in ICT-facilitated local government transformation in the UK

The purpose of Better Connected is to identify good practice in the development of local authority websites based on extensive evidence-based research.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Mac McGuire, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, said: "We are very pleased to be one of three Shire authorities to receive four stars two years on the trot. It shows the importance we put on people using our website which in January this year alone saw 460,327 external visitors and nearly a million and a half page views. But we know we can do better and that people are asking for us to make sure they can do more online, using smart phones and other mobile devices. Making it easier to access our services online is not only good for our residents but also saves the tax payer and council money. We will of course continue to offer services and engage with our communities using traditional methods but it is clear more and more people are turning to the net to talk to us."

Cambridgeshire County Council Website