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Mobile Users Flock to New Council Website

December 18, 2019 9:45 AM

Cllr Jake SampsonNew figures revealed at a Bedford Borough Council Committee meeting have illustrated a dramatic rise in the proportion of people using smartphones to access the Council's website. A startling 59.8% of users of the Council's website since it was relaunched in December 2018 did so using their smartphone, compared to 32.6% using a desktop computer.

Officers at the Budget and Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee explained that the figures represented a reversal compared to the previous year, which saw roughly double the number of website users accessing it via a desktop PC compared to smartphones.

The figures are a vindication of the Council's thorough redesign of the website, including particular attention to ensure ease of use for those with mobile technology. The changes have been delivered as part of a programme to achieve £23.1 million of ongoing savings through a 'Digital Operating Model.'

At the same time, the Council is maintaining convenient access to services for those unable to use online routes, for example via telephone and the Customer Service Centre.

The Council is now in year 3 of its 5-year transformation programme under the Digital Operating Model, and has already achieved 70% of the total savings target, with £16.2 million of ongoing annual savings realised.

Commenting, Bedford Borough Liberal Democrat Budget and Corporate Committee Spokesperson Cllr Jake Sampson said: "These are startling figures, and they reveal just how important it is that the Council is adapting its website to be more accessible for mobile users. People increasingly expect and indeed need to be able to access services online, especially when they are on the move or out and about. It's good news that the Council is designing its services to reflect that, and making major savings for the taxpayer in the process.'

"Meanwhile, it's crucial that those who are not able to use digital methods are able to access services conveniently. So it was good to hear once again the Council's commitment to ensuring non digital routes such as via phone or in person are available and easy to use."