Wealden has one of the top 20 council websites

Wealden District Council’s website has been judged one of the top 20 Council websites in England according to the annual survey carried out by the industry’s experts.

The Society of IT Managers awarded the Wealden website the maximum four stars for its ability to allow customers to carry out a wide range of tasks quickly and effectively.

“This is a brilliant achievement,” said Councillor Claire Dowling, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services. “It reflects the hard work and dedication of web team and web authors throughout the Council who develop and maintain the site which is becoming increasingly the first port of call for members of the public.

“You can look at planning application and pay planning charges, take part in consultations, apply for a bus pass or housing benefit, report a noise complaint or a pollution problem, pay your council house rent or council tax online, find out which bin collection takes place this week, check out the opening times of the Freedom Leisure Centres, add an event to the Wealden event listing or ask a question to the Leader of the Council, and much more.

“There is also a wealth of information about what the Council has been doing and links to various public services which are there to help you. It is a 24 hour service in your home and workplace, providing a level of convenience undreamt of 20 years ago.”

SOCITM’s Better Connected 2012 report sets out 210 criteria on which to judge an effective website. Some 480 local authorities were surveyed and Wealden was one of only four district and borough councils to achieve the maximum four stars and the only one in the south-east.

SOCTIM said the Wealden site was a “straightforward site to use which has really started to focus on what customers want.”

As part of the review, a thorough accessibility audit was carried out by the Royal National Institute of Blind people who said that the pages “had a high overall level of accessibility and were a pleasure to use.”