Council website speed performance drops

More councils are failing standards for website speed over than this time last year, according to new research.

A survey by technology monitoring supplier netEvidence has compared load times for web pages across 227 UK local authorities.

It found that 69% of council websites failed to respond in less than 0.4 seconds, compared to 64% last year.

Richard Thomas, chief executive of netEvidence says, “UK local authorities are increasing their use of digital services to replace high cost call-centre services but if digital services fail to deliver a good end-to-end experience, it can result in all sorts of problems such as delays in getting benefits or an officer’s inability to resolve a customer’s issue even during face to face meetings.”

He said that outsourcing meant that many councillors and officers – particularly at a senior level – now lack real-time visibility into how their online services are performing.

He said: “This visibility and knowledge of how people experience digital services is fundamental to achieving the government’s aim of making it the preferred form of contact for public services.”

During its tests, netEvidence measured good performance of a website as one that responded in under 0.4 seconds.

Thurrock Council was the top performer – at 0.04 seconds – and the worst was an unnamed Scottish council, whose webpage opened 122 times slower.

In a repeat of last year, the best group was the Welsh county councils with only 36 per cent underperforming (8 out of 22).

English county councils came bottom of the league with 86 per cent of websites taking over half a second (24 out of 28).

Colin Marrs

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