Council website attracts record numbers

A record number of people are using the Arun District Council website.

New figures show more than half of the customers who contact the local authority are choosing the internet to do so.

The proportion logging on to has risen from 41 per cent this time last year to 60 per cent.

There were more than 112,000 customer hits to the site in the first six months of the year alone.

The most popular pages are planning, refuse, council tax, environmental health, jobs and the daily news items. Each receive thousands of hits every day. The number of people accessing the site with smart phones and iPads is also the highest it has been.

More than 9,000 of the total 112,203 hits were from mobile devices.

Arun’s councillor responsible for the website, Dudley Wensley, said: “We are constantly developing our website so that people can access more information about our services quickly and effectively.

“This large increase in the number of visitors is a credit to all those involved in the development and provision of information on the website across every department in the council.”

The current website went live in April. More than 40 electronic forms were added to increase the services that can be accessed online.

They include changing addresses, paying council tax and enabling benefit claimants to tell the council about rent changes.

Maureen Chaffe, the council’s head of information management, has led the changes to the new site and is managing ongoing developments.

She said: “We live in an increasingly digital world and people want to go about their business with us at times that suit them.

“We have lots of plans for developing our website. Over the coming weeks, we will introduce RSS feeds so people can choose what information they would like to receive from us.”