Today we launch FixMyStreet for Councils, our street issue reporting software designed for council websites and built in consultation with a wide variety of local authorities across the UK. FixMyStreet for Councils enables local authorities to deal more cheaply and efficiently with street problem reports.
Our national FixMyStreet.com site has operated since 2007, helping people easily and quickly report issues to the council and see what issues have already been reported in their area. We knew we’d done something right when councils began to enquire about incorporating FixMyStreet into their own websites. These local authorities recognised the system’s usability and the benefits of putting reports online, saving their residents and themselves time and reducing duplicate reports.
FixMyStreet for Councils is our response to this interest. It was built with input from different types of council – large, small, rural, urban – to see how we could put their requirements at the heart of the system while still prioritising their residents’ needs.
FixMyStreet for Councils offers:
- A branded cloud service seamlessly branded to reflect each council website’s look and feel;
- Customisable front-end: councils can include their own wording, add new problem categories that are relevant to them and get rid of the ones that aren’t;
- Mobile reporting options including mobile web pages and iPhone and Android apps with council’s branding;
- A dashboard for council employees, allowing them to see, at a glance, which problems have been fixed and which are still outstanding;
- Integration with the national FixMyStreet.com site – all issues reported on the council’s website are reflected on FixmyStreet.com, and vice-versa;
- Optionally, full integration with existing CRM or fault management systems.
FixMyStreet for Councils evolved from custom installations we created for several local authorities, including the London Borough of Barnet, who pioneered the software in January 2010. Chris Palmer, the Assistant Director of Communications at Barnet, says it has “made the council far more open, transparent and responsive”. For an insight into the impact of FixMyStreet on Barnet’s relationship with its community, read our case study.
Our launch comes in response to a growing need in councils. Across the country there’s an impetus to shift services online. It’s easier for people to engage with their council digitally, and it really improves the quality of their transactions. Plus it saves money – and as we know, councils are cutting budgets where they can in the current climate.
SOCITM’s 2011 Channel Value Benchmarking survey underlines just how wide the cost gap can be. It reckons to £8.62 per face-to-face visit, £2.83 per phone call, and just £0.15 per visit to a council website.
We’ve put a lot of thought into this launch and our hope is that it will be as beneficial for citizens as it is for the councils we built it for – after all, making services more efficient and saving them money is good for all of us.
- FixMyStreet puts reports online for everyone to see, cutting down on duplicate reports
- Back-end integration saves ‘re-keying’ time, when staff members are typing details into the council database
- In the long run, FixMyStreet can increase citizen engagement, giving residents an enhanced feeling of empowerment, and a desire to safeguard the community
- FixMyStreet for Councils is economically priced, and includes all hosting and maintenance, so it doesn’t place a burden on council IT staff
- Residents become useful informers: Chris Palmer of Barnet Council describes FixMyStreet users as “our eyes and ears on the ground”
Cost benefits aside, there’s an increasing desire from all of us to do things on the go, simply and quickly. We see it in the private sector, and we’re beginning to expect it in the public sector, too.
For an insight into how FixMyStreet for Councils has altered the London Borough of Barnet’s relationship with its community, read our case study here.