Website development

New website design for the unitary council. Project overview, improvements we have made, future work and how you can help us.

We are developing a website for the new unitary Westmorland and Furness Council.

Project overview

Currently a lot of web content sits on the websites of the former authorities that make up Westmorland and Furness Council:

You can find the information you need by searching the Westmorland and Furness site however  some pages will link back to the old council websites.

As the new council harmonises its services our task is to 'migrate' content from these old sites to the new Westmorland and Furness Council website.

We want to do this so people can find information and do the tasks they need to do more easily, in one place.

Once content has been migrated to the new site, and only when we're sure that it is findable, we will remove content from the old 'legacy' council sites.

Benefits of the new website

The technology behind the new website is very versatile and accessible. It is used by many other councils sharing resource and knowledge through the LocalGov Drupal scheme.

This allows us to access a community of developers and designers and to share ideas across other councils. 

It also allows us to create things like directories, which is a great way to show services that have a number of sites - for example, find a car park near you.

Changes we have made

Over the last eight months since your new council was formed we have worked to make the site content clearer, more accessible and easier to use. 

We have designed and delivered a new website and used some of the new features it offers us.

Content that we have moved from the old sites to the new site includes:

Future work

These are the main service areas we will be working on in the next few months:

  • Children and families
  • Commissioning and procurement
  • Countryside
  • Schools
  • Planning - Building control
  • Planning - Minerals and waste
  • Your environment

We will also be migrating smaller bits of content as the opportunity arises.

How you can help

You can help us by giving us feedback on our website and web content, use the feedback form at the bottom of this page.

Things we have done based on your feedback

Below are some of the updates we have recently made to our site in response to your feedback.

Contacting us

You told us that it was hard to find out how to contact us, if you couldn't find what yo needed on our website.

We improved our search so that terms like 'contact' or 'telephone' would take you to the 'Contact us' page of the website

We also added a 'Contact us' link in the footer of out site, so you can find our contact details from wherever you are on our site.

Bin collection calendar

We are trialling a new way to find information about your bin collection dates. 

Currently this service is being tested on the legacy Barrow BC 'Your bin collection days web' page.

We are aiming to develop this service so that it is available right across our area.

Improving searches

We regularly check our website analytics to see what search terms people are using on our site. If those search terms aren't finding relevant content we work on the site to improve them. Recently we improved searches for related to 'cost of living'.

Place names

You pointed out that some towns and villages can be hard to find om our mapping. For example the map search in our directories doesn't recognise 'Barrow', but does recognise 'Barrow-in-Furness'.

As a temporary measure we have added some information and instructions to relevant pages about how to search for places like Barrow, or Dalton.

We are working with our developers to come up with a solution to improve the map search.

Corrected location of facilities

You pointed out that some of the locations on our directory mapping pins were wrong. For example on our 'Find a library near you' directory.

We investigated and found that the automatic mapping function was placing pins in the centre of a postcode rather than on the exact site.

We went through every one of our directory pages, checked the given locations and corrected them where they were wrong.

Mapping symbols

You said it was difficult to understand the symbols on some of the road works mapping.

We added instructions on how to mouse over symbols to see what they mean.

We are also considering adding a map key for people who may have difficulty using a mouse or who are using a mobile phone.