Council pushes buttons with top website
Belfast City Council’s website has emerged from a UK-wide survey as the best-performing council website in Northern Ireland.
The Society of IT Managers (SOCITM) looked at the websites of 479 councils.
Belfast received three out of a maximum of four stars, while Coleraine Borough Council was given two stars and the remaining councils, one star.
Across the UK, 11 councils received four stars. Belfast’s three stars placed it among the top 25% of councils.
The sites were judged on the content, navigation and accuracy of websites, their use by citizens, number of online transactions, use of maps and search facilities and how they engaged with customers.
The reviewers said Belfast’s website was “a really good all-round website” and praised its plain English style, content, availability, homepage performance and use of social media.
Sinn Fein councillor Tom Hartley, chairman of the council’s strategic policy and resources committee, said: “This is another recognition that Belfast City Council is moving in the right direction with regard to providing value for money services for our citizens.
“We have a long way to go and must ensure that all our services are available online.
“If we do that I have no doubt we can be one of the top rated councils who achieve a four star rating.
“There is real motivation for doing that.
“The report calculates that every customer who is dealt with face to face costs £8.23 while a telephone call costs £3.21.
“However, a web visit costs just 39p and it is not difficult to see the advantage of developing online services in these financially challenging times.”