Birmingham City Council

Council website named as UK’s most improved

Council website named as UK’s most improved

Birmingham City Council's revamped corporate website has been named as the fastest improving in the UK, breaking into the top 20 overall in the process.


The findings, announced by Sitemorse in the September 2009 local government survey, mean Birmingham has leapt 409 places to 20th in the rankings – after four consecutive months at the very bottom of the national league table.


Developed in partnership with Service Birmingham, the new www.birmingham.gov.uk went live earlier this month and offers users a host of improvements across 17,000 pages of content, including an enhanced search engine and better disabled access.


The improvement is the greatest recorded in the eight years that Sitemorse has ranked UK local authority websites and has taken Birmingham’s out-of-ten rating up from 0.9 to 7.89.


Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “To be ranked as the fast improving website in the UK is a hugely encouraging achievement.


“It underlines how important and worthwhile the project to transform our website was and continues to be. It also confirms that from a technical perspective, we now have a first-class site.


“However, this is just the start of an exciting journey. We now have a web platform that will allow us to introduce many more planned improvements over the next few months including the creation of customer accounts that will enable citizens to track any query they make to the council.


“We will not take our eye of the ball because we want to ensure the council's enhanced web presence continues to be ranked amongst the very best nationally in the years to come.”


Lawrence Shaw, CEO of Sitemorse, added: “The technical performance of Birmingham City Council’s website has been completely turned around for the better.


“The structure and management of the site has improved significantly – this result shows the council understands the importance of establishing a solid web platform that can be built on in the future.”

ENDS


Notes to editors


  1. Over 2,500 local and central government, FTSE and Bank clients are rated by Sitemorse to help them maintain error-free, fully functioning and compliant (HTML/eGMS/Accessibility/brand) websites. Sitemorse also work with SOCITM (Society of Information Technology Management), and the organisation is also used by Gov. Sector Publishing, Global Retail Congress, Blays Netratings and ISPA for website ranking and awards services.
  2. Business Transformation is Birmingham City Council’s ambitious nine-strand programme which aims to modernise and enhance services delivered across the whole authority to citizens. It is projected that the programme will realise benefits of around £1.5billion over the ten years to 2016.
  3. Service Birmingham is a strategic partnership between Birmingham City Council and Capita which will support a transformation in the way the council works; improving services and contributing to its efficiency agenda. This strategic partnership forms part of the council's objective to find better and more innovative ways of delivering services for the benefit of employees and citizens. The principle of this joint venture focuses on the provision of cost effective, sector leading, ICT services and in supporting the council in achieving its business transformation objectives.
  4. Customer First is one of nine programmes which make up Birmingham City Council’s ambitious Business Transformation programme, and will help deliver a range of improvements giving residents world-class standards of customer service. As part of the wider package, Customer First will provide simpler and easier ways of accessing council services, a single ‘0121’ telephone number to access all council services, a brand new user-friendly city council web site personalised for customers. Increased customer satisfaction is a key driver behind the programme.


For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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  • Reference number: 431-CEO-KK
  • Issue date: 06 October 2009