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Adam Turner

Q2 2020 UK Local Government INDEX Results

Index Accessibility Public sector


At Sitemorse we published our 2020 Q2 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 Q2 2020 INDEX was compiled following over 290 million tests, checks and measures across nearly 900,000 URLs.

Congratulations to Richmondshire District Council for taking first place and to Chesterfield Borough Council for rising 393 places up the table – the biggest improvement for 3 years!

Overall, 62 local authorities improved the Accessibility of their website, whilst 50 have seen it decline and 282 have made no progress.

Harrogate Borough Council was the only Local Authority to have passed the WCAG 2.1 Level A and AA tests on 100% of their web pages. Indeed, there were 3 local authorities, an increase of 2, 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 on accessibility, Harrogate Borough Council should be congratulated for taking the lead in this sector top scoring a perfect 10 (out of 10). Summarising accessibility scores we see that:

  • 50% 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
  • 12% of local authorities scored zero for accessibility

An honourable mention should be made to Chesterfield Borough Council and to North East Derbyshire District Council who both increased their accessibility score by 9 points – well done!

In the event of 2 organisations being tied then the organisation who scored higher in the previous quarter’s INDEX is ranked higher.

Top ten websites

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

Five Most improved websites

  • Chesterfield Borough Council
  • North East Derbyshire District Council
  • Woking Borough Council
  • Gosport Borough Council
  • Middlesbrough Council

 The full 2020 Q2 UK Local Government results can be found here: Sitemorse UK Local Government INDEX

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