News and press

Tuesday, 1st February 2011

Sandwell Council widens ‘depth and breadth’ of access to services with new 'open to all' web site

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) has launched a new website built with the Jadu transactional web content management platform that has been designed and developed specifically to provide greater engagement with customers by providing significantly greater access to services and information.

Sandwell had identified that 80% of customers visiting the Council web site typically look at only 10% of the content.   The previous web site making it difficult to find information frequently sought which included bill payment; council tax, planning and school term dates. 
The new site has been developed using the Jadu web content management system and provides a completely new and fresh feel to it.  Information is now easier to find and provides better access for people with disabilities.

The website will help visitors get in touch with the council quickly and easily, from paying a council tax bill to reporting problems such as graffiti and fly tipping.  Other improvements include increased use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and an events calendar.

Leader of the council Cllr Darren Cooper said:

We want the council to be as accessible and approachable as possible and this new website provides a great way to communicate with residents, visitors and local businesses. More and more people are using the internet to pay bills, to contact the council and to find out information about where they live, such as when their bins will be collected or where their nearest library is. This improved website will enable people to interact with the council and its services more easily.

The new website is being delivered as part of the council's corporate partnership with BT known as Transform Sandwell.  The website was successfully delivered using a Jadu Content Management System and implemented through excellent collaboration between SMBC, BT and Jadu.
Chief Executive Officer of Transform Sandwell, Dave Ratcliffe said:

The new website is a modern and robust system that will not only greatly improve the current customer experience, it will also over a period of time offer additional services to the council and Sandwell residents. By delivering more services over the web we will be able to make greater efficiency savings and reduce costs for the authority.

The Jadu CMS provides a sustainable and cost effective platform to add further council and partner services, and the project team responsible for deploying the new web site are already planning future developments.

BT Project Manager Dan Thain said: 

The team has worked fantastically and tirelessly to engage with staff and the public to deliver a website within dedicated financial targets and timescales that meets the council's level of excellent customer services. The delivery was a successful example of partnership working with commitment from all parties involved. The team is looking to maintain this engagement through into the next stage of web transformation.

Suraj Kika, CEO, Jadu says:

Jadu's new transactional web platform will open up new possibilities for customers living in and around Sandwell to get the information that they need from their Council quickly and easily. The increased depth and breadth of content and high availability, will increase customer service and enable greater efficiency for residents and the Council.  We are delighted to be able to support Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council in delivering this significant service improvement.

About Sandwell MBC
Sandwell is a metropolitan borough in the Black Country in the West Midlands which is home to 289,000 residents and around 9000 businesses.

The council's vision Sandwell: Great People, Great Place, Great Prospects aims that:

  • People will choose Sandwell for their home, their job and their leisure
  • Is an inspiring place, easy to get around, with quality homes, schools, shops and great places to go
  • Sandwell will realise its abundant talent and potential through the success of its businesses, schools and communities

About BT

BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.
In the year ended 31 March 2010, BT Group's revenue was £20,911 million.

Transform Sandwell is a 15-year strategic partnership between Sandwell Council and BT, which began in 2007.  It seeks to revolutionise how Sandwell does business and delivers public services with a remit that includes ICT, human resources, project management, finance, procurement and customer service.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
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