Jake Thomas, Web Officer at Warwickshire County Council
Jake Thomas, Web Officer at Warwickshire County Council

"By keeping the website up-to-date and simple to navigate, we hope it helps different members of the community to find the right services to support their needs.”

Every single person working at Warwickshire County Council (WCC) is making a difference to the residents of Warwickshire in one way or another. For Jake and the web team, their purpose is to make the WCC website as helpful as possible for residents, so that they can find the right information they need, at the right time to help themselves.

Jake said: “We get a lot of people using the website, so I hope that residents find it helpful and easily accessible to make their life that bit simpler. We try to make sure that everything is well signposted from the homepage, and we have digitised as many services as possible so that it’s easier for residents to take actions online. By keeping the website up-to-date and simple to navigate, we hope it helps different members of the community to find the right services to support their needs.”

Jake joined the council as a Junior Web Officer in November 2018 before he progressed at the beginning of 2021 to a Web Officer. He is responsible for day-to-day general updates on the website to ensure that the information residents are reading is updated and correct. He also develops new webpages, manages new projects and campaigns and has been involved in editing and updating most existing pages of the WCC website.

The web team at the council is a small team of eight people. Collectively they have many responsibilities including accessibility – which is making sure the website is usable by as many people as possible, including those with disabilities, but also to benefit people using mobile devices or anyone with slow network connections. The team are also responsible for information architecture which establishes how best pages should flow together and how the information on the page can be organised in the best possible way for people to understand. The team develop a whole host of webpages for a variety of campaigns that the council is promoting, which can include anything from recruiting a new Chief Fire Officer through to building a bespoke website for Warwickshire’s country parks.

Jake said: “My favourite page that I developed recently was FireFit. That’s the great thing about my job, you can get involved in any type of campaign. One week I was creating the FireFit pages, putting up exercise videos of Warwickshire firefighters and the next I was working on a webpage for ACE Adoption.”

Like many other service areas in the council, the team faced new challenges when the pandemic hit. There was a significant urgency to get information updated as quickly as possible which required every member of the team to play their part and work outside of regular hours to make sure residents in Warwickshire were informed and updated about the everchanging situation. Jake said: “Dealing with the challenges of COVID-19 has meant that we have improved the way our team works. We now structure our workload better, we plan more in advance, and we are more proactive in the way we work.”

Talking about his experience of working at the council, Jake said: “The web team is quite a small team and we all get on really well. It sounds cliché but it never feels like I’m going to work because I have a natural interest in developing websites. I find it interesting because I have a wide range of tasks – you never know what you’re going to be doing from one day to the next!”

Jake added: “I have been shown nothing but support here. My team have always had a lot of trust in me, and the council is really forward thinking about agile working – WCC is definitely a happy place to work!”

Jake is just one example of someone who is applying his knowledge, skills and abilities in a place that matters to people and communities.

If you're someone who is prepared to get stuck in and wants to make Warwickshire the best it can be, view our current vacancies at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/jobs.

Published: 17th August 2021