Local Election Websites: Review

Dafydd Vaughan on 9 May 2008

This is the final part of a series of entries looking at websites operated by county councils for the 2008 local elections.

Over the last few entries, I’ve looked at some of the websites used by county councils to provide details of the 2008 local elections. Some of these websites (mainly Monmouthshire County Council) were just plain irritating, whereas others were really easy to use, but didn’t provide enough information (Swansea). Cardiff‘s site was somewhere in between.

Overall though, none of these sites provided the level of detail and usability required for the age of the Internet. It is becoming less and less acceptable for councils to avoid providing this information online.

It is, however, encouraging to note that the 3 councils I have covered actually provided live information online. A number of councils I looked at during election night did not provide information at all (for example Neath Port Talbot and Torfaen. What is even worse – and completely unacceptable – is Powys County Council, who still did not have results of their elections available 4 days after the election took place!

The next set of council elections in Wales take place in 2012, I sincerely hope that by then, every council gets its act together and produces live systems that not only comply with the UK’s accessibility laws, but are also easy to use and provide the level of detail expected.

Will this happen? I don’t know – we will have to wait and see.

Any views stated here are my own and not those of my employer unless otherwise stated.