North Devon Council's website has retained its spot as best local authority website in the country following judging in a quarterly national audit.

The audit is carried out by independent specialists Sitemorse and is known as the Sitemorse 'INDEX'. During the audit the website undergoes 1600 tests, checks and measures per page which identify actions that improve the user experience, looking at factors such as loading speed, links and accessibility.

The INDEX runs every quarter, assessing sites and giving them a score and rank.

Leader of North Devon Council, Cllr David Worden, says: "Our website is a crucial tool for us to provide our services in a way that meets our customers needs. Many people are simply not able to call us during working hours, whereas for others it isn't easy to make it into our officers, so our website is the way they access important information. This has been illustrated even further over the last few months with the coronavirus outbreak making it possible to continue providing our vital services 24/7 to help our customers get through the difficult time.

"Our aim for the website is to make sure that the online experience matches what people would get over the phone or face-to-face. I am delighted that all this hard work has been reflected in the audit and award to the council."

Executive Assistant at Sitemorse, Laura Shilstone, says: "Congratulations once again to North Devon for topping the Sitemorse Local Council INDEX.  Their achievement is testament to their attitudes and putting online visitor experience to the top of their agenda.  How do they stay in the top 10?  Through incremental management and steady improvement, always scheduling regular times to assess the detail and having a "let's get on with it" attitude - essential to their success!  North Devon really care, and it shows."

The website remains continually under review with improvements being made all the time. One of the council's priorities is to continue to provide better services for customers and this includes making more services quick and simple to access from the website.