Neighbourhood Fix-It makes it as easy as possible for citizens across
the UK to report local problems like fly tipping, broken lights, graffiti etc, whilst opening the problems up to browsing and public discussion of solutions.
The problem tackled
Councils across the UK do an excellent job of fixing local problems when they’re reported by citizens. However, the model for handling the information is a system of doctor-patient style confidentiality. A citizen who makes a report normally knows about a problem, and so does the council, but there is no general public way of finding out what has been reported or fixed.
Given that the nature of public problems being reported is that they are public, this seems a strange situation.
Neighbourhood Fix-It opens up and democratises the process of discovering and reporting problems, so people can see what other reports have been filed locally using the site, and can leave extra feedback and comments on the problems if they see fit.
In quiet beta test for a few weeks prior to launch, several hundred problems have already been reported across the UK. Fixes by councils so far include:
- Fixed paving slabs
- Redundant estate agent signs removed
- Filled pot holes
- Removed graffiti
Funding and Partnership
The project was funded with £10,000 of support from the Department of Constitutional Affairs Innovations Fund, and is a partnership with the Young Foundation’s Transforming Neighbourhoods Programme, a consortium of 15 local authorities, government departments and community organisations working together on practical ways to give more powers to neighbourhoods.
Tom’s quote from the press release: “Neighbourhood Fix-It aims to change the act of reporting faults – turning it from a private one-to-one process into a public experience where residents can see if anyone else in the neighbourhood has already spotted and reported a problem, and to see how their council is acting on it. We hope the website will make the process of reporting faults more efficient, possibly reducing the number of individual reports that councils receive because people will be able to see that their neighbours have already made the call.”