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Better Connected Awards 2016-17 full results

Fri 30 Jun 2017
Vicky Sargent

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We presented the Better Connected Awards on Wednesday evening as part of the Connected Local Government Live event in Birmingham.

Results are based on aggregation of published scores from the surveys.

Congratulations to all our winners, but especially to Chelmsford City, nominated in four categories and winner in three, and taking the overall winner Award for Better Connected in 2016-17.

Four other councils won two awards: East Sussex (best county council and best for mobile); Falkirk Council (best for mobile and best for search/navigation and A-Z); Herefordshire Council (best English unitary and best for search/navigation and A-Z); and South Tyneside (best metropolitan district and best for mobile).

To find the best council in the different categories of council, we simply add up scores for service tasks, the mobile and search/nav/A-Z test, and accessibility. Often this is enough to identify a winner but sometimes we have to use reviewer recommendations and commentary to separate councils that tie on scores. The process is the same for other awards, where we look first for those ahead on the numbers and then turn to recommendations and reviewer commentary.

So, nominations and winners in the different categories were:

Best county council

This was between the three four star councils in the category, East Sussex, Oxfordshire and Kent. On points a tie between the first two but East Sussex edged it with a greater number of reviewer recommendations across their surveys

Best English unitary

There were five four star councils in this category, Bath & NE Somerset, Cheshire East, East Riding of Yorkshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin. Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin tied on points and we could not separate them on recommendations either, so both win.

Best London Borough

There were four 4 star councils in the running: Haringey, Islington, Richmond upon Thames and Wandsworth, with Haringey emerging as clear winner on total points in total.

Best metropolitan district

Doncaster, Rochdale, Sandwell and South Tyneside were the best metropolitan districts, but on points, South Tyneside emerged as a clear winner. 

Best shire districts

This is such a big category we give 4 best council prizes. Out of 16 four star sites, there were four ahead of the rest on the sum of the task stars and usability and mobile stars. Each of these is a category winner: Basingstoke & Deane BC, Harrogate BC, Warwick DC, and Chelmsford City.

Best Scottish unitary

From the 4 star councils in Scotland - Aberdeenshire, Angus, East Renfrewshire and Midlothian, there was a clear winner on points: Midlothian  

Best Welsh unitary

There were no 4 star sites in Wales this year, but five 3 star sites that also passed the accessibility test and nearly made it to four stars. These were Cardiff, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Rhonnda Cynon Taf, and Wrexham. Of these the highest scoring was the City of Cardiff

Best for website experience from a mobile device

This is an ‘all council’ category so we give awards to five councils. All of these not only scored four stars and were recommended by reviewers, they also scored the maximum of 24 out a possible 24 for ‘how quickly can I find questions’, and the maximum of 6 out of 6 ‘yes’ questions. The winners were: East Sussex CC, Falkirk, North Ayrshire, South Tyneside, Wycombe DC.

Best for search, navigation and A-Z

This is an ‘all council’ category so again the intention was to give five awards. Councils in our winning group not only scored four stars and were recommended by reviewers, they also scored maximum or close to for the other criteria. Sites were also consistently good across all channels. In fact there were six of them that tie at the top. The winners were: Mole Valley DC, North Devon Counci, Falkirk, Torbay, Herefordshire, Windsor & Maidenhead


Best for Accessibility

Just two councils achieved the top score for accessibility: Bracknell Forest and Chelmsford. Both win an award in this category.


Service sector awards

We only give awards for the larger surveys, this year categories and winners were:

Business: Apply for ‘temporary event notice’ (E&W) or ‘occasional licence’ (Scotland)

Our top four councils in this survey – the only to get a full house of all our questions correct - are four of the districts that are part of the‘Dorset for you’ website. We can’t do anything else than make this a joint award to for Christchurch BC, East Dorset DC, West Dorset DC and Weymouth & Portland BC


Council Tax: apply for single person discount

Five councils in this survey were four star recommended and achieved a very high number of ‘yes’ questions: Blaby DC, Chelmsford City, King's Lynn & West Norfolk, Rushmoor BC, Warwick DC. The highest scoring of these was Chelmsford City and they won the award.


Apply for building control or building warrant (Scotland)

Five councils tied with top scores: Blaby DC, Charnwood BC, Chelmsford City, LB Hounslow, and East Renfrewshire, so this was one of the few categories where we also went back to reviewers’ comments to separate them. From this a clear winner emerged, which was LB Hounslow


Rubbish & recycling: order bulky waste collection (m)

Four councils tied with top scores: Angus, Blaby DC, North Lincolnshire, Windsor & Maidenhead, so this one other category where we also went back to reviewers’ comments to separate them. On comments we were unable to separate Angus and Blaby


Social care: Find local care support for an older person and Request care assessment for elderly relative

It was very easy to identify our shortlist in this category, because Barnsley MBC, Coventry City, and Wokingham BC scored four stars and were recommended in both social care categories. The winner, with the highest number of correctly answered questions across both surveys, was Coventry





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