Abstracts: October 2nd, 2006

The latest council website survey from the Society of IT Management shows that the use of council sites grew by 29%. In the same quarter, Internet usage was up by 2.5%. The survey period coincided with the start of the Government’s take up campaign, but with many other factors influencing the situation, it is impossible to assess the impact the campaign had on usage.The take up campaign targeted local residents, rather than businesses, and there has been a marked increase of 33.8% between the average usage by local residents for the quarter before the campaign, compared to the following quarter when the campaign was in progress.

Job vacancies remains the most frequent reason for visiting council websites, with 14.76% giving this reason for a visit. This is an increase of one percent since the last results were published in February 2006. Enquiries about library information have increased from 7.6% of the total to 10.2%.

Local residents are the largest group of visitors, accounting for 58% of visits, followed by people who work in the area, who make 30.% of the visits. Three visitors out of four find the information they are looking for, or at least part of it.

The survey is available from www.socitm.gov.uk