Website accolades and success

Other website awards

These are some of the other awards or accolades this website has received.

UK Councils Top 30 Silktide Index - September 2022

In September 2022, the council website was ranked as one of the highest-rated 30 UK Council websites for accessibility in the Silktide Index UK Councils list. This is from a total of 402 local council websites assessed and is the first time this website has been placed in the top 30 results.

Silktide assesses websites of organisations like local councils for web accessibility. They do this by testing and scoring websites against WCAG 2.1, the globally-recognized standard for web accessibility.

Better Connected assessment 2018

In June 2018, this website was again awarded a maximum 4-star rating by Better Connected.

  • Our website is in the top 10% of the highest-performing council websites in the country.
  • Rochdale has been identified as one of only 42 four-star council websites in the country. Sites are ranked from 4 stars (max) to 1 star (min).
  • Rochdale and Wigan are the only 4-star sites identified in Greater Manchester.
  • Rochdale is one of only 6 councils in the northwest to have achieved 4 stars namely Cheshire East, Eden District Council, Rochdale Borough Council, West Lancashire Council, Wigan and Wyre Borough Councils.
  • Rochdale was classed as a recommended site and exemplary for landlord licensing, rubbish and recycling and finding childcare.
  • Our website is one of only 4 councils across the country, and the only council in the North West, that has achieved 4 stars across the past 6 consecutive years.

Better Connected assessment 2017

This website was awarded a maximum 4-star rating by Better Connected.

Our website was identified as one of only 35 four-star subscribing council websites in the country and well within the top 10% of highest-performing council websites in the country.

Live 2017 Awards

This website was identified as one of the country's top 4 best borough council websites at the Better Connected Live Awards.

Better Connected assessment 2016

​This website was awarded a maximum 4-star rating at the Better Connected ceremony in Birmingham in May 2016.

Rochdale was one of only 13 councils in the UK to maintain its 4-star rating from 2015.

Live 2016 Awards

We picked up a gong at Better Connected Live 2016 for the best local authority website in the country in the 'search, navigation and A-Z' category.​

Supplier Excellence Award 2016

We won the Supplier Excellence Award which recognises outstanding performance for working with a supplier and celebrates innovation, collaboration, efficiency and going the extra mile.

Better Connected assessment 2015

This website was recognised as one of the best council websites in the country for the 3rd year running by leading industry experts.

Our website has once again been awarded 4 stars - the highest rank achievable - by Socitm, the professional body for IT and digitally-enabled services in their ‘Better Connected 2015’ report.

Rochdale is the only authority in Greater Manchester to achieve 4 stars and one of only 34 of 407 authorities in the UK who’ve reached the top standard.

Socitm ‘recommends’ the site and said it ‘meets all relevant criteria in relation to usability and navigation of top tasks.’ They also say the site ‘really feels like it is prioritising content according to what people are looking for.’

Experts praised the performance of the website's search function, navigation, use of email alerts and the ways the council engage with residents on social media.

Better Connected assessment 2014

Website rated 4 out of 4 stars, mobile responsive and 'outstanding'.

Our website has again been singled out for special praise in a UK-wide review of local authority and public sector websites.

Socitm reviewed a total of 474 sites and their feedback on our new website was: “This assessment shows that it is an outstanding site. The results from the main survey mark it clearly as a four-star site. In fact, it would have appeared comfortably in the top 20 sites for Better connected 2014.”

The website review also showed our site was mobile responsive and we were exemplary in the following areas: planning, email alerts, missed bins, A-Z and search results.

Here's some feedback we got:

Report a missed bin: "This is excellently covered and extremely well presented. Certainly the best treatment I've encountered in BC14. I particularly like the connection made between bin collections and 'changes to bin collections' which covers not just disruptions to service but planned changes, and it is from that information that I am prompted to check my collection day. A clean, entirely logical flow. It is hard to see how this might be improved further."

Find out about a planning decision: "The planning landing page is exemplary, with prominent links to 'Find applications and decisions', 'How we decide on planning applications' and 'Appeal a planning decision' – all relevant to this task. 'How we decide on planning applications' encourages people to 'register to be kept informed as the application progresses' and gives a simple but informative overview of the process including the role of planning committees and the fact the public can attend. For once the information is not directed at just the applicants."

A-Z: Faultless.

Armed Forces website 2013

Our Armed Forces website has been held up as best practice by the Ministry of Defence for all other local authorities.

Lieutenant Colonel Rich Jordan, The Military Liaison Officer for Greater Manchester, said, "The difference they are trying to make both locally, regionally and nationally is significant and on behalf of the Armed Forces Community in Rochdale, I thank them for the superb work they are doing”.

The work on the website has also been recognised by the Royal British Legion.

Better Connected assessment 2013

Website rated 4 out of 4 stars

Our website has been singled out for special praise in a UK-wide review of local authority and public sector websites.

This website was named as one of the 8 reviewers' favourites from a total of 474 sites in the Socitm Better Connected 2013 report and also awarded 4 out of a possible 4 stars.

The endorsement is the result of a concerted drive to improve the council website over recent months to make it easier for residents to find what they are looking for.

The council's web team and contact centre worked together to review a range of evidence to identify the top tasks residents wanted to do most often online.

They then made these tasks - including finding out when bins are collected, claiming benefits, finding a school and renewing library books - easy to find on the home page of the website.

The reviewers praised this approach and said it is a useful model for other councils to follow.

One of the reviewers said: "I love the simplicity and minimalism of Rochdale’s website. The stripping away of colour and extraneous decoration reveals a pared-down, customer-focused site that is all about function and clarity."

The report also praised the website's mobile compatibility, a key achievement now that many people access websites via their mobile phones.

Better With Less 2013

The council's Web Team has been highly praised in the report by Socitm called 'Better for Less' for being determined, passionate and overcoming barriers to achieving usable online services, even in a sensitive area such as Housing Benefit claims.

The team successfully adapted the benefits claims software to improve its usability and encourage people to make their claims online. According to Socitm, "The greatest impact of this achievement may well be that it demonstrates to the whole council that it can deliver successfully a significant digital service in an area that is sensitive and complicated to administer. In this sense, this has become a flagship project within the council".

Greg Clarke, Managing Director from Team Netsol, who produced the software, said: "The system wasn't being used to its full potential, we took on board the suggestions from Rochdale and it has benefited all our customers".

Great council website 2013

Website rated a 'great council website'

There has been a strong shift in the design and layout of council websites to a more user-centric model with many councils taking note of the variety of factors that influence how residents use their websites.

This website has been named a 'great council website' by Delib along with Manchester City Council and Medway City Council.

Small Business Rates Relief 2013

A report which looks at the availability of information relating to Small Rates Relief found on a sample of 120 Council websites in England most council websites are poorly laid out, out-of-date and inaccurate. Rochdale Borough Council's website was one of the 15% or so that had "Correct information, well laid out" and received a Gold Award.

Better Connected assessment 2012

Website rated 3 out of 4 stars

For the 3rd consecutive year, we achieved 3 out of a possible 4 stars.

Better Connected assessment 2011

Website rated 3 out of 4 stars

We kept our 3 out of a possible 4 stars for the second year running and were classed as being active in social media.

Referring to social media the report stated we were " of a number of councils that was responding to comments out of normal office hours - after 8pm!"

Better Connected assessment 2010

Website rated 3 out of 4 stars

This was the first year councils were rated using a star system. We achieved 3 out of a possible 4 stars, were one of the top metropolitan districts (9 selected), listed as an example of good practice in several areas including use of A to Z and search.

The following 2 quotes have been taken from the report:

"An A to Z list often includes links to external agencies or other local authorities as well as the council's own services. Some links may link directly to external websites and some to 'do it online' services. Some links will be self-explanatory but others may be less so, for example, CPA. The design of Rochdale's A to Z list is simple yet innovative and well worth taking a look at. A number of entries include a narrative in italics which is used to promote a particular online service, describe a service in more depth, or describe links to external agencies. Many other A to Z lists do similar things, but Rochdale’s is interesting because only a relatively few entries contain the narrative and so it has more impact as a promotional device. Finally, another excellent feature of this A to Z list is the keyword search."

"Essential information, well written and constructed."

Better Connected assessment 2009

Website rated as an example of good practice

We were named as an example of good practice in 6 different areas.

Better Connected assessment 2008

Website rated as one of the most developed council websites

Our website was ranked as one of the top 20 most developed council websites in the UK, classed as excellent on useful content, named as one of the top metropolitan district websites (7 selected), having a clear and consistent style for users in finding their way around amongst other areas of good practice.

The following quote has been taken from the report:

"Different website designs use different navigation techniques. Consequently, when users first go on to a website, they need to be able to grasp the navigation immediately. It should be intuitive and obvious whether or not it uses a main menu, tabs or drop-down menus. In some sites, the ‘breadcrumb’ trail (trail of links) has become an essential means of navigating around the various areas of the site. Although this is a useful feature, not all users would be familiar with this and the best websites are the ones where the breadcrumb trail merely adds benefit to clear navigation. Rochdale MBC has a main menu that expands as the user navigates down through the levels of content. An additional feature is that the specific menu option chosen pops to the top of the menu list so that users can always see where they are in the website and can see other main menu items."