Laura Sharman 27 April 2016

Council websites 'failing to meet plain English guidelines'

Two-thirds of local government websites are failing to meet plain English guidelines, according to new analysis.

The study, conducted by VisibleThread, found 66% of council websites analysed do not meet recommended readability standards.

The website pages were judged on how readable content was, what proportion of sentences were too long and used passive language, and how many complex words were used.

Of the council websites rated, Hampshire County Council topped the 2016 UK Local Authority rankings, scoring very highly in three out of the four assessment categories.

Fergal McGovern, CEO of Visible Thread, said: 'Two years ago, UK Government recognised the need to communicate clearly and took the significant step of publishing its comprehensive "Writing for Gov.uk guide".

'Our analysis demonstrates that there has been no uniform adoption of these crucial guidelines.

'With few exceptions, poor communications on government websites continue to confuse readers and lead to increased customer support costs.'

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