10 June 2013

Local authorities from across the country will hear about Northamptonshire County Council's mobile website at a national IT event this week (Tuesday 11th June).

County council web manager Richard Beards will be speaking about how the council has developed its mobile website at a conference hosted by best practice organisation SOCITM.

IT event in London

Why is the council speaking at the event?

Earlier this year the council's mobile website was recognised as one of the best in the UK by SOCITM in its annual survey of local authority websites.

The survey finds out which websites are customer-friendly and easy to use, and tests several top tasks that visitors to a council website frequently want to do such as checking opening times, paying a parking fine or reporting a pothole.

The council retained its three-star status and its mobile website also achieved the new mobile standards for the 2013 Better Connected report - just 15% of over 600 councils achieved this.

In the report, SOCITM inspectors said:”This is the best mobile council site I’ve yet seen. It’s very comprehensive in its offering and very easy to use. The navigation works well. Top tasks are promoted. I was even able to search the library catalogue and reserve a book on this mobile site. Impressive.”

Deputy leader and cabinet member for customers and communities Councillor Heather Smith said: “I'm pleased that we have this opportunity to demonstrate to other local authorities the excellent work we have been doing on our mobile website.

"While we are always improving our main website, we have also focused on our mobile site as we know that people expect to be able to access council services 24/7 and that many of our customers prefer to do this via their mobile phone.

"We are seeing a real increase in the numbers of people accessing the website in this way - for example, in 2012 the busiest day saw just 4,700 visits to our mobile site whereas this year, on 20th January when it snowed, there were 48,835 visits to the mobile site.

"And of course, providing a good website also makes good financial sense as it’s estimated that if someone chooses to access information online instead of making a telephone call, the council saves £2.95"

Free mobile apps

As well as the mobile website, the council also has an iPhone app and Android app which are both free to download.