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Blaby District Council


Blaby District Council is committed to providing the highest standards of service to its residents. As part of this commitment, online communication is a major pillar of the council's communication strategy.

After a competitive tender process which involved myself and the commercial director writing brief responses and presenting at the various pitch meetings, my team were appointed and briefed to support the council in the strategic planning, design and delivery of their new website to the highest accessibility standards.

My role was digital project manager which also included leading the 3 person in-house development team. I worked directly with the digital team at Blaby including the managers and the IT manager and acted as the buffer between them and our programmers. This project was an Agile development based on Scrum. The overall project length was 4 months and the project went live as expected and on budget. 

The site was to be integrated with the third-party "My Blaby" solution providing access to online payments and postcode-level information for services such as bin collection.

The site itself was developed in Umbraco 8 and because of the integration with the third-party portal, it required a significant number of bespoke administration and editing tools built on top of the content management system, which I was responsible for defining and managing the development of. 

A key aspect of the brief was that the site should achieve the highest possible accessibility standards. The Sitemorse INDEX is an industry monitoring tool ranking over 400 local government websites for compliance, coding standards and accessibility, and the previous Blaby site was ranked near the bottom, causing embarrassment and complaints.

I believe that public service sites should be as accessible as possible and made it my personal challenge to research, document, brief and manage the development of stringent accessibility features at the same time as creating an interactive site with a modern design. The first quarter after going live, the Blaby District Council website went to the top of the Sitemorse league table, beating all other council websites at the time. 

As a result of the new website, the Council has seen a radical shift towards online transactions and it was vital that the customer finds the website easy to use and understand. Now nearly 80% of orders for bulky item collection are taken online, and the equivalent of almost half of all households visit the website every month.

In addition, the old site wasn't ranking on search engines mainly because of bad site structure and code quality. After implementing quality technical SEO and accessibility, giving the site a semantic structure and auto generating site maps, it was able to be crawled perfectly while quality inbound links (because of the very nature of a council site) and lots of great content made sure that it was top of any local search.

Julie Hutchinson, Communications Manager at Blaby District Council said "We are delighted with our new website and the service provided by the technical team. We had worked closely with them to develop the design and functionality to enable us to launch to our tight deadline.


Project Details

Client: District Council

Type: Highly Accessible Website Build

Time: 4 Months



Responsive CSS and HTML 5

A C# Development

Umbraco 8 CMS

Tight integration With Third Party Services

Scrum Development

Zoho PM



Postcode Search To Find Council Tax Band, Bin Collection Dates, Councillors and Local Services

Job Section

Council Tax and Business Rate Payment System

Document Presentation System

Blog and Articles Section