Merton Council’s web site has been recently praised by the Society Of Information Technology Management (SOCITM), who were impressed with several aspects of the site including the nationally commended Leader’s online surgery.
SOCITM carry out an annual exercise assessing local authority web sites across the UK. Sites are classified into four categories, beginning with promotional and going on to content, content plus and transactional. Prior to Merton’s web site being redesigned over two years ago the site was classed as promotional. Following the redesign, Merton became recognised as one of the 20 most improved web sites and was re-classified as content plus.
This year’s report highlighted a number of areas where Merton’s site has been recognised nationally. The online Leader’s surgery was for example described as ‘an excellent initiative that really seems to have engaged with the community’. The information available on crime and community safety was also highlighted as good practice by SOCITM. Merton was the ONLY London Borough to be recognised as good practice for web site accessibility and one of only 18 sites nationally.
Merton’s web site was also strong in terms of providing useful information and is one of the top 10 Council sites for information provision in London and ranks alongside Croydon, Richmond and Westminster.
Merton Council plans to analyse these results further and create an action plan to develop the web site over the next three years, together with the results of the public consultation on the website. The council IT department are also looking at boosting availability of the website.
Spencer Gasson, Merton Council’s Web Information Manager said: “We welcome this latest recognition of the innovative way Merton’s web site is developing in consultation with our users to provide better information. We look forward to making further progress to help local residents and organisations online and welcome any user feedback to help us achieve this.’
To judge for yourself, visit http://www.merton.gov.uk