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Adam Turner

Q1 2020 INDEX - UK Local Government Websites

Index Accessibility

At Sitemorse we published our 2020 Q1 UK Local Government INDEX this week. The INDEX has been published quarterly since 2006 and ranks the websites of over 400 UK local government authorities, based on User Experience, Search Engine Optimisation and Governance, Risk and Compliance.

Our Q1 2020 INDEX was compiled following over 260 million tests, checks and measures across over 800,000 URLs.

Congratulations to Blaby District Council for retaining first place and to Leicester City Council for rising 211 places up the table.

Overall, 45 local authorities improved the Accessibility of their website, whilst 44 have seen it decline and 304 have made no progress.

Only 2 local authorities: North Devon Council, Harrogate Borough Council passed the WCAG 2.1 Level A and AA tests on 100% of their web pages. Indeed, there was 1 local authority that failed the level A and AA tests on every page.

European Union Directive 2016/2102/EU, creating a set of standards for EU public sector bodies, using European standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (2015-04) was approved on October 26, 2016. It came into force for in the UK on 23 September 2018. The aim of the regulations is to ensure public sector websites and mobile apps can be used by as many people as possible.

This includes those with:

  • impaired vision
  • motor difficulties
  • cognitive impairments or learning disabilities
  • deafness or impaired hearing

New public sector websites have needed to be complaint since 22 September this year, all other public sector websites need to be compliant by 22 September 2020.

If we focus purely on Accessibility and compare the Q1 2020 INDEX results with those from Q4 2019:

  • 48% of local authorities scored 5 or 6 (out of 10) for accessibility
  • 20% of local authorities scored between 1 and 4 (out of 10) for accessibility
  • 14% of local authorities scored zero for accessibility

An honourable mention should be made to Staffordshire County Council who have increased their accessibility score by 6 points – well done!

Top ten websites

  1. Blaby District Council
  2. North Devon Council
  3. Bracknell Forest Council
  4. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
  5. Richmondshire District Council
  6. Eden District Council
  7. Wigan Council
  8. Daventry District Council
  9. Somerset West and Taunton Council
  10. Scarborough Borough Council

Five Most improved websites

  • Leicester City Council
  • Middlesbrough Council
  • Borough of Broxbourne Council
  • City of London Corporation
  • Gravesham Borough Council

The full 2020 Q1 UK Local Government results can be found here: Sitemorse UK Local Government INDEX


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