The people at MySociety have, once again, stepped into the gaping communications void left by local government in the UK. An encouraging point, though, is that central government funded it.
Neighbourhood Fix-It is simple:
- Something’s broken in your local area, so you visit http://www.neighbourhoodfixit.com/
- Enter your post-code, press Go.
- The site shows a detailed map of the street in question. Click the location of the problem.
- Describe the problem (e.g. sunken man hole), enter your details and click Submit.
- The site sends your report to the relevant local authority.
Brilliant! Inevitably, a good number of local councils will fail to see why Neighbourhood Fix-It is important and many will ignore the reports, at first. Conversations with other people suggest that my experience of contacting local councils, particularly by email, is typical: i.e. they’re slow, overly formal and slapdash.
Of course, WriteToThem is now taken seriously by many Members of Parliament and Neighbourhood Fix-It is likely to gain similar acceptance by local authorities, within time.
Well done to all at MySociety, not least Chris Lightfoot who, sadly, died recently.