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Website 'Excels' for Second Year Running

South Tyneside Council's website is among the top ten per cent nationally, according to an independent professional body.

For the second year running, the site has been given the highest possible four-star rating by public sector IT organisation, SOCITM (Society of Information Technology Management).

The council is just one of 43 local authorities in the country to be awarded the maximum four stars in the annual Better Connected report.

SOCITM analyses the digital performance of councils and and other public sector bodies. Each year a team of reviewers tests websites from the perspective of a visitor, such as finding out how to put rubbish out for a collection. They also look at how the site performs on a mobile device.

The site scored particularly highly for ease of accessing information on childcare and was cited as an example of good practice that other councils could learn from. Reviewers said: "The responsive intuitive design worked well, easy to locate links, styling of boxes and headers works well. The homepage boasts the term childcare. Good example."

Councillor Ed Malcolm, Lead Member for Resources and Innovation, said: "We're delighted the council's website has retained its four-star rating.

"Our web team redesigned the site in 2016 to make it easier to access from mobile phone and since then it has just gone from strength to strength.

"The easy, user-friendly design is obviously paying dividends because more than half of residents visit the site from their mobile or tablet.

"The council is committed to making more services available online and we'll soon be introducing a new customer account facility which will make it easier to report problems via the website using a mobile phone."

The Council's web team has been hosting sessions across the Borough, meeting residents and finding out how people use Council services and how accessing the information online can be made as easy as possible. As part of this they are inviting people to join their Digital Champions panel. For further information visit https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/digitalchampions

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