West Berkshire Council

Digital Services Blog

Highlighting the work of our Digital Services Team

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Website Review and Renew

Reviewing and renewing our digital content

Written on: 2-8-2021

Digital by Design

Here in the Digital Services Team, we're always trying to improve the information and services we have on our website.

As part of this ongoing process, we've started the Website Review and Renew project which aims to assess and improve our content. This includes tasks such as checking that content is up to date, making sure we have all the information that users need, improving the clarity of our information, and fixing errors or broken links.

The Review and Renew project aims to:

  • make our website clearer to read and understand
  • make it easier to find the information or services that users need
  • improve the consistency of our content
  • make sure that our content is accessible

The project as a whole will involve working with different teams across the Council to review their webpages and make improvements where necessary. Reviewing all of our content will definitely take time, but as we make progress, our content will become more and more user friendly.

If you'd like to provide any feedback on our website, please use our How Did We Do? online form to submit your comments. We welcome useful comments and feedback, as they help us to understand what information users are looking for or where our content or services fall short of expectations.

If you'd like to stay in touch with the Digital Services Team, make sure to check our blog for updates or follow us on Twitter.



New Roles in the Digital Services Team

Two new roles in the council's Digital Services team

Written on: 22-4-2021

We Are Hiring

Last year we publishedpdf icon our 2020 - 2023 Digital Strategy [2Mb]. As part of our effort to deliver it, we're hiring two new roles. They are:

  • A new Digital Development Officer will create the code behind new digital services, website templates, and other online solutions.
  • A new Digital Design Officer will design the visual elements of web pages, templates and websites, and the visual interaction and accessibility elements of digital service

As a unitary authority we're responsible for local waste services, roads, social care, education, and much more.

This means these new roles will work on a wide variety of projects to improve local services and information, and alongside existing members of the multi-disciplinary team they'll support the council's user-centric approach to digital delivery.




Using Data to Combat Depression

How we're using data from a digital service to combat depression and isolation

Written on: 14-9-2020

Ask for help from our Community Support Hub Front

Back in April we wrote about a new digital service to help support residents during the coronavirus pandemic. Since then our Community Support Hub has helped hundreds of people and using the digital service we've been able to better capture and act on the needs of people who have contacted us.


Not only have they been able to help people who have contacted the Hub for direct assistance, but through analysing the data they have obtained in the interests of organising a community response to COVID19, they have been able to reach out to people who may be vulnerable and offer them assistance too.


It's a great example of how using a digital service can not only have an immediate benefits to services users, but can be use to help others too.




Asking for help from our Community Hub

A new digital service to help support residents during the coronavirus pandemic

Written on: 8-4-2020

The council's Community Support Hub is performing a vital role in our effort to help local communities during the coronavirus pandemic. To assist with this, today we launched a new digital service.

Ask for help from our Community Support Hub enables residents to ask our Community Support Hub for assistance for themselves or someone else, identifying if they're in a vulnerable group and what type of help they need.

It also lists local community groups who may be able to assist too.


Ask for help from our Community Support Hub Front
Ask for help from our Community Support Hub Front
The service is more than just an online form, and allows our staff to case manage each request by adding notes, requesting more information and sending emails. We've also integrated it with GOV.UK Notify to allow us to send text messages to people who don't have an email address.


Working with colleagues in Customer Services and ICT and the Community Hub, the service was created in under a week, and whilst it's only a small part of the council's response, Digital Services is proud to support our colleagues and our local community to help beat the coronavirus pandemic.

Ask for help from our Community Support Hub Back
Ask for help from our Community Support Hub Back




My Family Plan

Making it easier to offer early help

Written on: 11-6-2019

Caring for Children and Families

There are few things a council does which are more important than safeguarding children.

The Department for Education describe early help, also known as early intervention, as support given as soon as a problem emerges, at any stage in a child or young person's life.

Over the past few months the council's Digital Services team and our Children and Families Service have been working with partners to create a digital service to support early help.

Moving away from a paper based system, consisting of browser based forms, digital workflow, and data analysis tools we've created My Family Plan, which we'll be introducing as part of our early help offer soon.

Whilst the new service will be more efficient, more importantly it will make it easier for staff and partner organisation to support children and their families though early help, and that's what really matters.