CUMBRIA County Council has been awarded the highest rating for its website for the first time ever.

But South Lakeland District Council’s ranked the lowest of every authority in the county that took part in an assessment.

The county council achieved a four-star rating for its website after scoring two stars and then three stars in recent years.

Eden District Council, Allerdale and Carlisle City Council all won four star ratings for their websites.

But SLDC's achieved one star and Barrow Borough Council did not take part.

The sites were assessed by independent public sector IT body SOCITM which grades websites on their content, functionality and user-friendliness.

Users of the sites are asked to complete a short survey.

SOCITIM - the Society of Information Technology Management - analyses hundreds of local authority websites up and down the country.

Cumbria was among just five county councils with a four-star site – the others being Dorset, Kent, Oxfordshire and Surrey.

The county council said it equates to its website being in the top seven per cent of local authorities.

An SLDC spokesman said: “This is a disappointing result and the authority has already started a project which aims to make the site much easier to use for customers.

“The survey checked the ease of use of the site for customers based on a series of key tasks including reporting flytipping, missed bins, registering a food business, and booking a football pitch.

“It also considered navigation, webmapping, and the compatibility of our site with mobile and tablet devices. The survey was carried out last November. No public money has been spent on this project so far.’’