Published: Monday, 20th August 2018

www.harrogate.gov.uk, the website for Harrogate Borough Council, has been named as the UK's best local authority website for the third quarter running.

Sitemorse, an independent digital governance testing organisation, produces a quarterly benchmark, known as the Sitemorse INDEX, which looks at how local authority websites perform, how accessible they are, as well as code quality and functionality.

More than 400 local authorities make up the INDEX and scores are based on some 1,600 tests, checks and measures. Scoring highly typically reflects those that have strong digital leadership and understand the importance of providing the best visitor experience possible.

In the latest quarter, the Harrogate Borough Council site scored 10/10, something that has only been achieved by a handful of councils.

And since 2016, when the council relaunched its website, it has consistently been ranked in the top four of the INDEX as well as being number one for five of those quarters.

Councillor Richard Cooper, leader, Harrogate Borough Council, said:

"I'm extremely pleased that our website has, for the third quarter in a row, been named as the top-performing local authority website in the country.

"The aim and vision of our website has always been to help more people get the support and information they need as quickly as possible.

"However, as with most things, there is always more we can do and we will continue to develop the site to provide customers with access to even more services and conduct more business online.

"This now includes managing council tax, rent, business rates and benefits at the click of a mouse."

Following a review of the old website site in 2016, the council spent time engaging with its residents to understand what they wanted from a council website.

As a result of this feedback, a website featuring 'top tasks' buttons and easy to use icons for popular pages was developed to help customers find the information they require quickly and easily 24/7.

Lawrence Shaw, chief executive of Sitemorse said:

"It is a fantastic achievement by Harrogate Borough Council to not only place number one in the Sitemorse INDEX, after relaunching its website in 2016, but also to hold the position for the last three quarters of 2018.

"It demonstrates the dedication of the council to ensure it is compliant and performs exceptionally well for its customers and stakeholders."

- ENDS -

Notes to editors

For further information, please call the communications and engagement team on 01423 556825 or email news@harrogate.gov.uk.