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Better Connected programme update – 26 January 2018

Fri 26 Jan 2018
Vicky Sargent

Social care survey results are out!

Results for councils tested on the adult social care task Find services to help elderly relative stay in their own home are out, with 41% achieving three or four stars. The survey tested how easy it was to find specific services like washing and dressing, shopping, and meal preparation that enable older people to maintain their independence and stay in their own home. It reveals significant problems with the directories and emarketplaces that most councils with social care responsibilities have invested in since the Care Act. Well done Barnsley, Cheshire East, Croydon, Herefordshire, Sandwell, Staffordshire and Wigan for your 4* recommended scores. Access your council’s results from the council index page and the ‘all council’ report from the services landing page

Parking results out next week – where to find them

Next week we will be publishing results of the task Find out about parking tested with Northern Ireland and English district councils. We won’t be doing an email update next week so keep an eye on the @btrconnected Twitter account as well as the Friday news from Socitm for news that they are available. Or just make a note to visit before the end of the week.

How does your council manage web content? What professional skills do you have in your web team? Does it include developers?

Two councils that use Better Connected have asked if others would share information about how you manage the corporate website content, the make up of your web team, and why you do things like you do. Please make your contributions via a thread we have set up in the Web Improvement community forum.

  • Is your website content management centralised, with one or more editors within the corporate web team, or devolved to service department based editors/contributors?
  • How many central or devolved editors do you have – please state the size/type of council, population, city/rural etc.
  • How do you keep service departments engaged in a centralised system?
  • What is the make up of your web team and does it include a full/part time developer?
  • If not, how do you access developer resources when required?

Better Connected intends to resume collecting this sort of information as part of our web management research in due course. Would you be prepared to share this sort of information behind the login on the Better Connected Website? Let us have your thoughts.

Incorporating Better Connected into your website improvement programme – new post

We all know that running a website is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge, and its good to see from the feedback we get how web managers are incorporating Better Connected into their ongoing improvement activity. Coupled with a council's own user testing/research/feedback, the BC process, which covers tasks that are primarily service management responsibilities as well as things web managers are primarily responsible for, is providing a useful structure on which to develop user-focused improvements. Read more in the BC blog.

Accessibility stage 2 – have you done the neccessary ?

Councils that failed our stage 1 test will NOT be put forward for stage two testing unless they write to us at, by TODAY’S deadline, stating that they have fixed the issues identified and wish to go forward for stage two testing. They must also be paid up with their Socitm 2018 subscription. Pass/fail results have been published on council landing pages. Access these via the councils index page at A successful stage 2 accessibility test is required to get a 4 star rating overall in Better Connected.

Libraries e-resources results out: 37% pass

These results were published early in January for Socttish and Welsh Counicls. Access your council’s results from the council index page and the ‘all council’ report from the services landing page

Survey timetable update

We published the timetable for surveys in 2017-18 in our blogpost of 29 October. Reviews are almost complete for our rubbish and recycling surveys:

  • Find out how to take rubbish to the tip – English counties
  • Find out about garden waste collection and order it (or additional bin) - shire districts
  • Find out how to put out rubbish for collection – all others

The following is ongoing:

  • Find out about roadworks – English, Scottish and Welsh unitary councils

Other surveys will be starting in February, updates to the published timetable will be made in this newsletter .


Socitm subscriptions were due by 31 December. Non-payers will have access to login in removed from 31 January 2018, and will not be put forward for stage two accessibility testing. From this month we are further limiting non-member access to the site, including question sets. Most councils get Better Connected as part of a corporate subscription but district councils can now choose the lower cost 'Better Connected +' option. Details are set out on the Socitm website. Please contact the Socitm office if you have any queries, email or call 01604 709456.


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