Test results for Copeland Borough Council

According to our records, this website hasn't had a major update since it was first registered with us - webteam members can update this information themselves.

Grey rows indicate this council is not responsible for this task, but has been tested according to how well it signposts to the correct council.

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TaskNavigationA-ZGoogleSite searchReadabilityScoreTestsImportance
Address - change mine on council systems
Adult education courses - find information
Antisocial behaviour - complain about itUntestedGave upGave upUntested133
Blue badge - apply for one
Broken street lights - report
Bulky waste or other special waste collection - book
Complain about something the council has done
Council housing - apply for itUntestedVery easyGave upUntested733
Council meeting - read the last full council minutesUntestedGave upGave upUntested135
Council news - find it
Council tax - pay itUntestedVery easyVery easyUntested835
Council tax / housing benefit - applyUntestedDifficultGave upDifficult345
Council tip - find a nearby one
Councillors - find who mine areUntestedVery easyGave upUntested735
Cycling strategy - find it
Death - register one
Economic condition and strategy for the area - find itUntestedVery easyEasyDifficult643
Elections - find out when the next ones are
Employment help for people with disabilities - find information onUntestedGave upGave upUntested133
Events - find council ones
Flood protection - find information
Food hygiene problem - report oneUntestedGave upGave upUntested333
Freedom of Information Act request - make one
Housing repair - request oneUntestedVery easyVery easyVery easy843
Jobs - find a council jobUntestedVery easyVery easyUntested1035
Leisure centres close to me - find one
Leisure discount card - apply for one
Library book - renew
Local history - find out aboutUntestedEasyEasyUntested633
Local library opening hours - find them
Local services and information on a map - look atUntestedGave upGave upUntested133
Market stall trading - find information about
Meals on Wheels - find information
Missed bin collection - complain about oneUntestedGave upGave upEasy354
Noise nuisance - complain about it
Open Data - find someUntestedGave upDifficultUntested233
Parking - find out how much it costs
Parking fine - pay one
Petitions - create oneUntestedVery easyGave upUntested435
Planning application - comment on one
Planning committee meeting - find when the next one is
Planning or building control violation - report oneUntestedVery easyVery easyEasy1043
Planning permission - apply for itUntestedDifficultDifficultUntested433
Population and census information - find itUntestedGave upDifficultUntested233
Pothole - report oneGave upGave upGave upUntested145
Public toilets - find them
Read the council's greenhouse gas emissions report for the previous yearUntestedVery easyVery easyUntested1033
Regulation of children on stage, film, and television - find informationGave upGave upGave upEasy250
School places - apply for one
School term dates - find them
Scrutiny committee reports and minutes - find themUntestedDifficultGave upUntested233
Senior staff and politicians in the council - find their names
Small business support - find informationUntestedVery easyVery easyUntested1033
Social media accounts - find themUntestedGave upGave upUntested333
Stopping smoking services - find information
Supplying the council - find out howUntestedEasyGave upUntested633
Sustainability and climate change - find information onUntestedVery easyEasyUntested633
Taxi driver - complain about oneUntestedGave upGave upUntested135
Taxi licence - apply for one
Telephone number - find the main oneUntestedGave upGave upUntested135
Trading Standards - complain about a dodgy item from a shopUntestedVery easyGave upUntested435
Travellers - find information about them
Tree preservation order - apply for oneUntestedGave upGave upUntested133
Unitary Development Plan / Local Development Plan - find it
Voting - register toUntestedVery easyVery easyUntested1035
Vulnerable adult - express concern about one
Vulnerable child - express concern about one
Watch a webcast of a recent council or committee meetingUntestedGave upGave upUntested135
Welfare reform - find information about
Youth clubs in the area - find information
TotalsNavigationA-ZGoogleSite searchReadabilityScoreTests 
Total scores127217312642470  
Number of tests34233336 108 
Usability Index (total score ÷ number of tests)415474  

About the scores

Each task can be tested according to five different criteria - navigation from the home page, navigation using the A-Z directory (where present), searching on Google, searching using the site's internal search, and the readability of the page. Scores are assigned according to 10 = Very easy, 8 = Easy, 4 = Difficult, and 1 = Gave up. As more users complete any given test, the score for each aspect of each task becomes a mean average of all the individual testers scores, and thus the more tests are completed the more reliable an indication of the usability of the website can be seen. The total scores in the table are thus the sum of the averaged scores for the whole suite of tasks which have been tested.

The Usability Index is the sum of the scores of all the tests which have been carried out, divided by the number of tests which have been taken for this council, resulting in an index score between 1 and 10, with 6 being the score which a nominallly usable website with room for improvement might be expected to achieve. If any criteria have had fewer than 20 tests, or the site as a whole has had fewer than 100 tests, the final Index scores are shown in a grey background to indicate insufficient testing for the result to be a reliable indicator.

The Importance column shows the mean average of how important all the testers considered the ability to complete this task to be, ranging from 0 = Unimportant to 5 = Very important.

Specific comments made about this council

Antisocial behaviour - complain about it
'High hedges' was the top internal search result!

Council housing - apply for it
I assume the fact of the Housing main page referring only to housing association homes means Copeland does not have its own housing stock? By the way, I found the large picture of a homeless person being used as eye-candy on the page to be quite offensive.

Council meeting - read the last full council minutes
This is unbelievable and outrageous how difficult this task was to complete!

Council tax - pay it
Finding the main council tax page was easy enough, but then going in to find the specific page for paying council tax was quite hard. As with other pages, the eye-candy image dominating the page was distracting rather than helpful.

Council tax / housing benefit - apply
Came to a page about who can claim housing and council tax benefit, but it didn't take me any further to anywhere where I could actually make the claim. Google search eventually led me to a form which was a .pdf file on a page with no other context, and as a .pdf requiring me to print it out and complete with a pen rather than being able to complete electronically.

Councillors - find who mine are
It was good to be able to filter / search by ward.

Economic condition and strategy for the area - find it
Internal search returned a .pdf of a document titled Cumbria Economic Strategy 2009-2019, but with no contextual information on the page. Google search returned, as with many other tasks, many more potentially useful results.

Employment help for people with disabilities - find information on
To be fair, few councils seem to perform well at this task.

Food hygiene problem - report one
The overall design of the page made it harder to read than it could have been. As somebody wanting to report getting food poisoning I want to be taken straight to the relevant information rather than have the page dominated by a large promo picture of somebody holding a slice of pizza! Internal search gave two pages about rats a mice with the remaining results appearing to be meeting minutes.

Jobs - find a council job
I did like the fact that there's a page which basically is open and honest about them being more likely to be cutting jobs than creating them.

Local services and information on a map - look at
There's a postcode / streetname look-up facility, but I couldn't find a way to do that on a map.

Missed bin collection - complain about one
Does this council seriously not have a page on which to report a missed bin collection???

Missed bin collection - complain about one
You don't seem able to report a missed bin online - it just gave me a phone number to call.

Open Data - find some
The only open data I could find was expenditure over 500 and the senior officers' salaries.

Petitions - create one
I was only able to find the external petitions site via the Google search

Planning or building control violation - report one
Would have marked the readability as Very easy if it wasn't for the annoying large graphic taking up half the page.

Planning permission - apply for it
Getting to the page was easy enough, however the link to the online planning portal was hidden at the bottom of the page containing the (long) list of downloadable forms to complete, and the downloadable forms were .pdf files meaning they would need to be to be printed out and filled in by hand and posted rather than being word documents which could be completed electronically and submitted by email.

Population and census information - find it
Nothing at all turned up on a search for 'census', and only basic information on a search for 'population'.

Scrutiny committee reports and minutes - find them
Finding a list of committees was easy. Finding any documents about what they've actually been doing and deciding, on the other hand... Google search found one, possibly the most recent, but there was no way beyond that to find specific reports.

Small business support - find information
Notwithstanding having had such a poor experience in testing other aspects of this site, I was actually quite impressed with how easy it was to navigate to complete this task and the range of information offered. As with some other tasks, the external Google search revealed more information than the internal search.

Social media accounts - find them
The design of the home page hiding the fact of there being content off-screen to scroll down to made this harder. Search just produced a FAQ page called 'How do you communicate with residents' which was just waffle text.

Supplying the council - find out how
Possibly one of the easiest navigation routes I've seen, with the link to the relevant page being one of (the few) links under Business on the global navigation. The massive picture for four sentences of text does detract from the experience a bit, though. The Google search result would have been better had it had the council listed on the results page to signpost to The Chest in order to provide greater confidence that The Chest is the legitimate route.

Sustainability and climate change - find information on
Considerably more information can be found as a result of a Google search than from the internal search.

Taxi driver - complain about one
Horriblest home page I've ever seen! Text scrolling above a fixed background image is very difficult and distracting.

Telephone number - find the main one
Now although it's actually probably the easiest council website I've ever seen for finding the main phone number due to putting it in big numbers in the masthead area of every page, I'm actually marking it as 'gave up' on account of it being an 0845 number, which me, as a solely mobile phone user, would have to pay 35p per minute to use. This is not an acceptable practice for a council.

Trading Standards - complain about a dodgy item from a shop
Only found the signpost to Cumbria County Council via external Google search

Tree preservation order - apply for one
The page about tree preservation orders had information about what you can do to a tree with a TPO, but no information about how to apply for one for a tree. And it had yet another useless large image

Watch a webcast of a recent council or committee meeting
Presumably this council doesn't have webcasts of meetings.