Jul 31 2015

Dismal Failure of ‘Channel Shift’ for Harrow Council Website

harrow_council_logo2Despite throwing more and more money at it’s website, and forcing residents to deal with the council online – the so-called ‘Channel Shift’ strategy to reduce costs and increase residents’ inconvenience – visitors to the Council’s website are declining for the fourth month in a row. We’ve got a chart below, using the Council’s own figures.

In fact, the number of pages viewed (and a single resident may view many pages before finally stumbling onto the information they’re actually after, whilst waiting for someone at the council to answer the phone) aren’t dramatically different from two years ago, other than a bit of a spike over the winter. Which is especially disappointing, since the council is now pimping adverts to residents who have little or no choice other than to use the site.

Of course, this could be spun – and probably will be, if Lambeth Comms, the Council’s £3,000,000 PR-gurus have anything to do with it – as residents being able to find the information they need quicker without needing to trawl through page after page of useless crap in the process. But of course, they have access to the entire vistor statistics and won’t share, so any thoughts of transparency and independant assessment are impossible. So who is supposed to serve whom, here?

web_graphAn alternative, of course, could be that the website is unavailable far too often – the council doesn’t publish any service level agreement for the site, not it’s key performance indicators – although the horrors of a year or so back, when the planning portal was down so much, and for such long periods, that at least one consultation had to be extended – seem to be behind us.

However, we only know what the figures tell us (here: http://www.harrow.gov.uk/statistics?year=2015) so it’s probably best to just draw your own conclusions. Oh, and ignore the bit about ‘Unique Visitors’ as that’s clearly broken.

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  1. chariscroft

    I don’t want to defend the Harrow website, which is immensely frustrating and awful to use.

    BUT the graph you show doesn’t actually show bad usage figures. Looking back to past year, it seems clear that there’s a seasonal dip over the traditional summer months, following a peak in March. Which is exactly what’s happened in the last four months – a summer dip after the March peak.

    And each of those months are higher than the previous year. Which you could count as a success!

  2. mike mcfadden

    Ha ha ha you gotta laugh ain’t yeah. What do you really expect with another loony-council carrying out the web-maintenance. We use to call it the blind leading the blind.!! The reason Harrow are in a mess is the same old story “Oh what a web we weave when we first start to deceive” The Web has just become another hiding place for incompetence, stupidity and lying.

    The reality as harrow Council has pulled up the draw bridge and hiding because of the mess they have made of our once smart clean borough. I am of the opinion and it must be alleged Labour Harrow have encouraged far to many people here with the lure of benefits for votes and now the borough is turning into a slum built on rewarding failure.

    The attack on our way of life mainly concentrated on the Edgware ward were gangs roam late at night making derogatory remarks about white people.

    How many people were asked or consulted about Harrows Multicultural fiasco? How many people have been prosecuted over beds in sheds? How many prosecuted for fraud over housing benefit ? How many fined for drinking in the streets. How many arrested or fined for throwing litter? Who gave Harrow the right to decide fraud claimants would not be pursued if they had a child under 7 years ?

    Harrow, must STOP forcing people into area’s like Edgware on benefits totally distorting housing market conditions which promotes “WHITE flight”. However, before any of this can be achieved they must STOP lying and face reality!!! “Subterfuge” will no longer be considered an excuse for failure!!!!

  3. mike mcfadden

    Oh I forgot to mention, Lambeth Council did have or still has the worse rate of collection of council tax. In effect people don’t pay council tax because loonies don’t do much about it which in turn leads to less people paying. Ever wondered why our council tax keeps going up in Harrow? Its because its easier to increase our council tax rather then go after those that won’t pay or more to the point rewarding failure only crates failure and you and me pay for the folly of incompetent councillors that lack the moral fibre to lead. Who in my opinion should be held financially responsible for their neglect or incompetence if its found they have ignored the rule of law. That would include housing those that should NOT be in the country. Time to wake-up and smell the coffee. Its not rocket science.

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