Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fix My Street? Duplicate a Service?

Will someone explain fully why the County Council has decided to duplicate the successful Fix-My-Street system with one of their own? Fix-My-Street is a one stop shop for all local problems, without people having to work out which council to take it to. It could even be called a tool of joined up government.

This new website is not clear about what ‘new’ services it offers and looks like product of a department that is ego-driven and out of control. Whoever advised the council leadership to do this should publish the full figures and justification for this website rather than the thin press release (see below).

For the record, the new council site is welcomed by the Lib Dems, for example Amanda Taylor ,Clair Blair and the West Chesterton and Romsey branches; as well as by some Tories, notably Martin Curtis and the councillor who announced it, Mac McGuire, both of whom were backers of the ill-fated TIF bid and its compulsory congestion charge for Cambridge.

The ‘Fisked’ press release:

Cambridgeshire County Council has introduced a new interactive on-line reporting system for highway problems which will ensure the person reporting a fault is kept fully up to speed with its repair.
- This was available on Fix My Street.The Highways Reporting Project allows people to:
• Report a fault using a web-based mapping system to ensure the exact location is identified and notified to repair teams
- This was available on Fix My Street.• Check on-line to see if the fault has already been reported
- This was available on Fix My Street.• Let the customer go on-line to check progress on repair work
- This was available on Fix My Street.
• Does away with the need for the public to use other reporting systems such as ‘fixmystreet’ which will save staff time and free up resources for road repair work
- This should have been the focus of the press release in the first place. There could be a good news story here, but we won’t know until some explains it.• In addition people will still be able to report faults by telephone on 0345 045 5212
- Not new, does not count as news.
Other benefits include:

• Better information and communication for customers
- How? More detail is needed here…• Time saving for county council staff through reduced numbers of e-mail/telephone calls, freeing them up for other tasks such as programming repair work
- How? Some more detail is needed here…• More accurate fault reporting which will help reduce repair times
- How? It is the same people doing the reporting?

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