Brent Council is working with SocietyWorks to improve the online experience for residents when contacting the authority about two of its most in-demand services: residential waste and street and environment reporting.
Residents in Brent can now make use of two new digital portals, both powered by SocietyWorks’ citizen-centred technology: one for making waste-related requests, reports and payments online, using WasteWorks; the other for reporting street and environmental problems, using FixMyStreet Pro.
Branded to look exactly like the rest of Brent Council’s online environment and integrated directly with the Council’s existing asset, in-cab and payment systems, both WasteWorks and FixMyStreet Pro have enabled the council to facilitate a smooth transition for residents and staff, with no interruption to delivery. These integrations also permit information to be shared to and from residents, the Council and its contractors to help keep the feedback loop closed and improve resident satisfaction.
Brent Council’s dedicated instance of WasteWorks simplifies access to waste services online by providing one front door for all transactions, such as reporting a missed collection, ordering a new container or paying for a subscription to a green waste collection. Through integration, the portal can provide real-time updates about collections to residents to help Brent close the feedback loop, manage expectations and avoid unnecessary contact.
The portal was designed in collaboration with Bromley Council, and was shortlisted for the Public/Private Partnership award at the LGC Awards 2022. For Brent, we hope to replicate the success Bromley has seen with WasteWorks, with a 40% drop in unnecessary contact within the first few months of launching and a continual rise in subscriptions to waste services.
Meanwhile, through FixMyStreet Pro, residents can report local problems such as potholes, blocked drains and fly-tipping. The solution is designed as a progressive web app, giving residents the option to use it as an app or a website, with no obligation either way. It also has the unique ability to automatically triage reports on a nationwide scale, including to Transport for London, which reduces avoidable contact and eliminates manual intervention.
Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “Consistency is key when it comes to improving the digital experience for residents, and with both WasteWorks and FixMyStreet Pro working in tandem for Brent, residents will benefit from using an efficient and intuitive interface across two different but equally in-demand service areas. It is a pleasure to collaborate with a council that takes such a forward-thinking and thorough approach to digital transformation.”
If you would like to know more about FixMyStreet Pro or WasteWorks, request a free, informal demo here.
Northumberland County Council is the latest local authority to have chosen SocietyWorks’ FixMyStreet Pro as its new reporting solution for street, highway and environmental issues.
Potholes, fly-tipping, broken street lights and other local place-based issues in Northumberland can now be reported to Northumberland County Council using a brand new installation of FixMyStreet Pro.
Provided by SocietyWorks, the wholly owned subsidiary of civic technology charity mySociety, FixMyStreet Pro is a long-running, map-based solution developed in collaboration with councils, which integrates with existing backend systems to create a seamless reporting experience and close the feedback loop between residents, the council and its contractors.
For Northumberland, the solution is integrated with the Causeway Alloy asset management system, ensuring reports go to the correct team and enabling updates to be sent back to report-makers. With all reports displayed on the map and the capability to automatically divert reports to other authorities, including to National Highways, FixMyStreet Pro will help Northumberland to increase transparency and reduce unnecessary contact.
Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council said: “We’re so pleased to be launching this system which should revolutionise the way we deal with issues on our roads and footpaths.
“This new online tool is the most direct way to report anything to us that needs fixing, cleaning or clearing across the county.
“In a short few clicks, people can easily alert the council to an issue and receive an update once it’s been resolved.”
Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “Since launching in 2012, FixMyStreet Pro’s development has been guided by the councils using the solution and their residents’ needs.
“As a not-for-profit organisation passionate about helping local authorities to innovate using integrated, citizen-centred technology, it is great to see another council choose FixMyStreet Pro and join our collaborative network.
“We have really enjoyed working with Northumberland and we look forward to seeing the council use the solution and get involved in its future.”
Want to know more about FixMyStreet Pro? Request a demo to see how the solution could work for you.
SocietyWorks is working with Brent Council to transform the way residents report local street-based problems and access residential waste services online, starting with the installation of a dedicated version of FixMyStreet Pro.
Brent Council is the latest local authority to switch to FixMyStreet Pro for managing inbound street and environmental fault reports from residents. Like the twenty four other other local and public authorities across the UK using the software, Brent will benefit from FixMyStreet Pro’s unique ability to automatically triage reports on a nationwide scale, including to Transport for London, which reduces avoidable contact and eliminates manual intervention.
The map-based solution has a simple interface designed to make it easier for residents to report problems on any device, while also displaying all reports on the map to enable residents to subscribe to existing reports instead of creating duplicates.
Integrated directly with two of Brent’s backend management systems Symology and the Selected Interventions Echo system, which is used by the council’s waste contractor Veolia, FixMyStreet Pro will help to improve accuracy and close the feedback loop by facilitating a two-way exchange of data from council to report-maker.
The introduction of FixMyStreet Pro in Brent will be followed by the rollout of a dedicated version of SocietyWorks’ residential waste portal WasteWorks to also improve the user experience when accessing information and making requests about waste services.
Councillor Krupa Sheth, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Climate Action at Brent Council said: “We take serious pride in our streets and green spaces. In order to make sure our spaces are functioning – we need your help. I encourage all residents to let us know when they encounter fly-tipping, potholes, graffiti and other issues by using report.brent.gov.uk.”
“Thank you to all the residents who do keep us up to date with issues in the borough, it really does help us to keep Brent clean and green.”
Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “It has been a delight to support Brent with this ambitious project to improve the digital experience for residents in two different service areas. At every stage it has been clear that resident needs are being prioritised, and we look forward to seeing our technology make a positive impact in the borough.”
FixMyStreet Pro for Brent Council is now live for residents to use: https://report.brent.gov.uk/
Southwark Council is the latest in a fast-growing number of councils to adopt SocietyWorks’ map-based reporting solution FixMyStreet Pro for taking reports of street cleaning issues from residents.
Residents in the London borough of Southwark can now report street and environmental faults, such as fly-tipping, graffiti and overgrown grass, using a brand new installation of FixMyStreet Pro, built specifically for Southwark Council.
Provided by SocietyWorks, the wholly owned subsidiary of long-running civic technology charity mySociety, FixMyStreet Pro offers a simple, accessible and intuitive reporting experience and will feed reports directly into Southwark’s asset management system Confirm via integration.
Crucially, FixMyStreet Pro will help Southwark to close the feedback loop for residents without adding extra workload for staff by automatically pulling updates back out of Confirm for report-makers.
The new system displays all reports publicly on the map and is also capable of automatically diverting reports meant for other authorities, including for Transport for London, which will enable Southwark to increase transparency and improve the reporting user experience for both its residents and its staff.
Cllr Catherine Rose, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Streets & Clean Air, said: “Our new online tool is the most direct way to report anything to us that needs fixing, cleaning or clearing on Southwark’s estates and streets. In a short few clicks, you can easily alert the council to an issue and receive an update once it’s been resolved.
“We chose FixMyStreet Pro because it was the most user friendly street cleaning platform on the market. It takes away the stress of knowing who to contact at the council about issues we know our residents really care about, like fly tipping. We look forward to working with residents through FixMyStreet Pro to keep our streets cleaner, greener and healthier.”
Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “We are delighted to have yet another London borough benefit from FixMyStreet Pro’s ability to simplify the reporting process and connect councils together for the satisfaction of citizens.
“It has been a genuine pleasure to work with the team at Southwark, who have kept their residents’ needs at the front and centre of their rollout of FixMyStreet Pro. We look forward to seeing residents and staff make use of the new system.”
FixMyStreet Pro for Southwark Council can be found here: https://report.southwark.gov.uk/
Camden Council joins over twenty other councils and public sector bodies in using FixMyStreet Pro as its citizen-facing online fault reporting tool for street and environmental issues.
A new, dedicated version of FixMyStreet Pro has launched for the London Borough of Camden, through which residents can report issues such as potholes, fly-tipping and broken street lights.
Developed by SocietyWorks, the wholly owned subsidiary of civic technology charity mySociety, FixMyStreet Pro is a user-friendly, map-based online reporting solution, designed to make it easy for residents to accurately report problems on any device.
FixMyStreet Pro will help to reduce report duplication by displaying all reports on the map and close the feedback loop by integrating with Camden’s backend system Symology to facilitate a two-way flow of data from council to report-maker.
Camden will also benefit from FixMyStreet Pro’s unique ability to automatically divert irrelevant reports to the correct council or authority, including to Transport for London, reducing unnecessary contact and improving processes.
Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a sustainable Camden said: “Having the most up to date information about where there are any problems on roads and pavements across Camden can help us to respond to these quicker.
“Reports provided via the new FixMyStreet app and website are vital to this. Issues such as potholes, broken street lighting, damaged road signs, and blocked or flooded drains can now be reported quickly on the go and allow users to provide the exact location and upload a photo.
“This information is then sent directly to our engineers so they can investigate and seek to fix the problem in a more efficient and effective manner. The individual who reported the issue is then updated once the issue reported has been resolved.”
Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “Camden is the tenth London borough council to have chosen FixMyStreet Pro as its fault reporting solution, along with Transport for London.
“This is a really significant step forward, not just for Camden, but for the capital as a whole, with FixMyStreet Pro creating a transparent and unified fault reporting process, capable of cross-borough report triaging, which makes it as easy as possible for London residents to report problems wherever they are.”
FixMyStreet Pro for Camden Council is now live for residents to use: https://fixmystreet.camden.gov.uk/
Recently we’ve been working with Buckinghamshire Council on introducing some new functionality to FixMyStreet Pro, our integrated street, highway and environment reporting service, to enable automatic triaging of reports to town and parish councils, and better ways of passing reports between authorities.
Parish and town councils cover almost the entirety of England and Wales, except for the main urban areas. There are 10,000 parish or town councils in England (National Association for Local Councils), and over 730 town and community councils in Wales (Welsh Local Government Association).
These councils take responsibility for a variety of things within the community, such as bridleways, bus shelters and litter bins, and they sit within larger principal authorities which may also sometimes be responsible for the same things in certain cases.
For this reason, when there’s a problem that needs reporting, it can be hard for citizens to know which level of authority is responsible for what problem and when.
FixMyStreet has always been able to automatically divert fault reports to other councils and authorities, based on the location and category of the report – but not at the parish level. Until now.
With the new functionality in place, parish and town councils can be set up as sub-bodies to a principal council within its instance of FixMyStreet Pro, and on the national FixMyStreet site.
This way, categories can be assigned to more than one body, and asset layers can be placed over the map to enable the service to work out for the report-maker whether the report needs to go to the principal authority or the parish level council.
Buckinghamshire Council is a unitary authority, but the county itself is made up entirely of parish and town councils. Residents can report numerous issues via Buckinghamshire’s FixMyStreet Pro site, some of which are the responsibility of the unitary council, others the responsibility of the parishes.
Previously, Buckinghamshire staff were forwarding reports to individual parish councils wherever necessary, but this wasn’t ideal, so they asked us to make it possible for FixMyStreet Pro to work out for the resident where the report needs to go, and to send it there without the need for any manual intervention.
For example, any reports of fly posting are now diverted straight to the correct parish, based on the geo location information provided within the report.
In more complex cases, such as grass cutting, the recipient of these reports depends on the speed limit of the road. So, at one end of the road a grass cutting report might need to go to the parish, but at the other end of the road the report needs to go to the unitary council.
Thankfully, the report-maker never needs to worry about this, because Buckinghamshire’s FixMyStreet Pro uses a speed limit asset layer, in addition to the geo-location and category, to work out where to send the report.
Additionally, from Buckinghamshire’s FixMyStreet Pro site, you can now view each individual parish or town council on its own map, along with the reports it has received.
While Buckinghamshire and its parishes were the focus when building this new functionality, a few of the features we introduced are beneficial to all users of FixMyStreet Pro.
Arguably the most important one of these features is the ability to provide updates on reports without integration into a backend system.
As you can imagine, most small parish or town councils don’t have expensive backend systems from which to manage inbound reports. In the past, whenever there’s been no backend system with which to integrate FixMyStreet Pro to facilitate a two-way flow of data, the only option would have been to email the reports.
In the spirit of keeping the feedback loop closed and being able to publicly display a report’s status (eg ‘fixed’ or ‘in progress’) on the site, we’ve made it possible for parish councils to update reports via email using a special code in the subject line, which will correspond to the new status of the report.
Of course, lots of councils or other authorities receiving reports from FixMyStreet may not have a backend system, so this feature is a really positive step forward in ensuring that feedback can always be provided transparently via the platform.
Another feature that will be of use to more than just parish and town councils and their principal authorities is the ability to specify different text to be displayed on the public report update and the private update sent directly to the report-maker.
This is useful for sharing any extra information that you may not want to display publicly, such as feedback surveys.
Finally, Buckinghamshire wanted to be able to recategorise reports, because citizens sometimes select the wrong category. This could lead to reports being sent to a parish council when they should go to the unitary council, or vice versa.
Now, council staff have the option to reassign a category if needed, which will ensure the report gets to the right place in the end.
For more information about FixMyStreet Pro, you can contact us here.
Image: Beth Jnr on Unsplash
SocietyWorks’ parent charity mySociety is looking for local authorities to take part in a funded prototyping project aimed at helping to decarbonise households and make them more energy efficient.
It’s our intention that this prototype will assist citizens in reducing domestic energy consumption, thereby saving them money, while also helping councils to reduce domestic carbon emissions and make net zero obligations more achievable.
This follows another exciting prototyping project run by the Climate team earlier this year, which saw various stakeholders from across local government and civil society come together for six weeks of prototyping to explore potential solutions for six different climate focused-projects. Take a look at one of the home energy prototypes that was developed through this project.
During the next phase of this work we’ll develop one or more solutions to the problems we’ve identified so far. We’ll focus on our riskiest assumptions, or the biggest challenges that a new service might face. That could focus on encouraging residents to act together, and we’re excited to see where that leads!
Councils of all shapes and sizes from across the UK are invited to take part.
The Climate team is particularly keen to hear from councils that are already taking steps to encourage energy efficiency, or have established retrofit coordinators and/or planning officers with a focus on decarbonisation and raising energy efficiency standards.
The potential to share your needs to shape the development of a digital service that can be used in further funding pitches to ultimately help you and your residents to improve energy efficiency and save money.
Plus, we hope there might be opportunities to foster new relationships with other local authorities and innovators leading the way in retrofit and home energy.
No, this is a funded project, so there will be no cost to councils interested in getting involved at the prototyping stage.
Essentially, you can be involved as much or as little as you like – whether that’s by simply sharing some knowledge or experience via email, engaging via a video call or exploring the possibility of piloting a digital service in your area.
Please contact Siôn Elis Williams (email@example.com), Outreach & Networks Coordinator for mySociety’s Climate Programme, who is leading on this project.
We’d like to hear from any interested councils between now and March 2023, at which point we hope to start testing one or more potential solutions.
If you’d like to know more about the sort of projects run by the Climate team, you can catch up on the mySociety blog.
Image: Richard Bell
The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has chosen SocietyWorks’ self-service waste portal WasteWorks, for managing resident access to waste online more efficiently and transparently, starting with garden waste and looking ahead to incorporate wider domestic waste services.
Residents of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames will now be able to access the council’s garden waste services via a dedicated version of SocietyWorks’ new online waste portal WasteWorks, which was launched in 2021 in collaboration with Bromley Council and Veolia. Using the portal, residents will be able to view their garden waste subscriptions, order new containers and use one-off card payments for non recurring subscriptions, all within the same workflow. There will soon be a Direct Debit function for residents to use for recurring subscriptions, too. While initially focused on improving the resident experience for garden waste, plans are in place to roll WasteWorks out to manage the council’s wider domestic waste service transactions.
Optimised to work on whatever device residents want to use, WasteWorks will enable the Council to provide a more convenient and seamless online experience for residents thanks to integration with the council’s in-cab system provided by Veolia Echo and payment provider Capita. WasteWorks will also help to deliver a more transparent waste service by enabling a two-way flow of information to keep residents informed on the status of their waste subscriptions, payments, reports and requests. Customer services will be able to use the same user-centred workflow to manage waste subscriptions on behalf of residents over the phone.
The introduction of WasteWorks, which was recently shortlisted for a LGC Award 2022 in conjunction with Bromley Council, is a joint venture between the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and the London Borough of Sutton, whose own dedicated version of the portal is currently in development. This comes as part of the ongoing improvements being established by the South London Waste Partnership, of which both Kingston and Sutton are members. The two councils approached SocietyWorks to help further digitise their existing online domestic waste system and move towards a consistent approach to online waste services across the boroughs, which will also benefit their shared waste provider Veolia by improving communication between its in-cab system, the councils and residents.
Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “We’re delighted to be helping the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames bring its online waste system in line with resident expectations. It’s always a pleasure to work with councils that not only put resident needs first, but also work very collaboratively with neighbouring councils and their other external partners to deliver more wide-reaching improvements. We look forward to helping more councils across the UK do the same.”
Councillor John Sweeney, Portfolio Holder for Business, Recycling and Customer Contact added: “We are excited to be one of the first boroughs to use this innovative system. This new online portal will allow residents to more easily keep track of their subscription payments. It is great to know that this system has been developed with another London council and we look forward to rolling it out across the borough.”
Scott Edgell, General Manager, Veolia SLWP said: “Our teams work hard to serve over 70,000 Kingston households with recycling and waste collections, including 14,000 signed up to the garden waste collection service. We’re so pleased to be supporting Kingston Council with the implementation of their new waste portal with the help of SocietyWorks, so that the high quality service we strive to deliver to residents is reflected in a better experience online, and look forward to the platform’s development in Sutton.”
Take a look at The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames’ new green waste system or contact us to discuss how WasteWorks could work for your authority.
Peterborough City Council has broadened its partnership with SocietyWorks to handle domestic waste online through its new WasteWorks service.
Peterborough City Council has adopted WasteWorks, a new waste service from citizen-focused local authority services provider SocietyWorks, to improve the way residents access waste online. The new service will empower residents to easily self-serve reports and requests from any device, while helping the council to streamline processes, deliver faster resolutions and reduce demand on customer contact centres thanks to an automatic two-way flow of data from front to backend system.
Integrated directly into Peterborough’s in-cab system Bartec and branded to complement the council’s website, WasteWorks will allow residents to manage all of their waste requirements from one place, whether it’s to report a missed bin collection or to pay for a bulky waste collection – which is currently being worked on and set to be delivered later this year. Behind the scenes, the service will seamlessly feed information between citizen, administrator and inspector, helping the council to better manage expectations and close the feedback loop through automated notifications and intelligent tools for on-the-ground inspectors.
This is the second SocietyWorks service to have been adopted by Peterborough City Council, which has been successfully using FixMyStreet Pro to take reports from residents about street and highways problems since 2019. The council will be able to access both WasteWorks and FixMyStreet Pro reports from a central dashboard, which includes a live heatmap to track category, seasonal and area-based trends.
Councillor Nigel Simons, cabinet member for Waste, Street Scene and the Environment, said: “We are fully committed to improving waste services across Peterborough and as part of this commitment, we want to enhance the way residents access services online. The new WasteWorks service will make a positive difference and I would encourage residents to log on and see for themselves.”
Councillor Marco Cereste, cabinet member for Digital Services and Transformation, added: “We want to engage better with residents online and enhance the overall user experience. This is a big step forwards and just the start of improvements to our online services.”
Mark Cridge, Chief Executive at SocietyWorks said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Peterborough City Council again. By integrating both FixMyStreet Pro and WasteWorks into its line of business systems, the council and its residents will benefit from a truly joined-up reporting service that puts user-friendliness at its heart.
“Peterborough is a really forward-thinking council, and it’s been a real pleasure to collaborate with the team on this project and build a service that works around the real-life needs of residents and staff.”
Residents in Peterborough can access the new waste service right now.
WasteWorks is available to all UK councils. Request a demo to find out more.
Merton Council has joined a growing number of London boroughs using SocietyWorks’ FixMyStreet Pro service to process reports from residents about local environment issues.
Londoners living in the borough of Merton can now make reports about environment issues such as fly-tipping and graffiti via the council’s newly launched FixMyStreet Pro service. Developed by SocietyWorks, the subsidiary of civic technology charity mySociety, FixMyStreet Pro is focused on helping citizens be active members of their community by making it easy to report problems and closing the feedback loop between council and resident.
FixMyStreet is an extremely user-friendly platform, and it will make it even easier for our residents to play their part.
Councillor Natasha Irons, Merton’s Cabinet Member for Local Environment and Green Spaces
Merton Council is one of several London authorities to use FixMyStreet Pro and benefit from its intelligent functionality to handle the complex routing of inbound street and environment reports, automatically ensuring everything goes to the correct place, including being able to divert reports to Transport for London where relevant. With integration into Merton’s Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM system, FixMyStreet Pro acts as the user-friendly front door to environment reports, with a simple, fully-optimised interface that works perfectly on any device and facilitates a two-way flow of data so that report-makers can stay up to date with the progress of their reports.
Councillor Natasha Irons, Merton’s Cabinet Member for Local Environment and Green Spaces: “Merton is a great place to live, work and visit but, like all London boroughs, we’re seeing too many people abusing our public spaces with environmental crimes like fly-tipping and littering. We want everyone to take care and pride in their neighbourhoods and behave considerately, so that everyone can enjoy our great borough. FixMyStreet is an extremely user-friendly platform, and it will make it even easier for our residents to play their part.”
Mark Cridge, Chief Executive at SocietyWorks said: “FixMyStreet Pro provides London councils with a key opportunity to join a community of authorities and other agencies delivering a truly efficient and joined-up service. We’re delighted to welcome Merton into the FixMyStreet family, and we’re excited to continue working together to build a stronger, more active community.”
FixMyStreet Pro is now up and running in Merton. Residents can use the service to report local environment issues.
Want to explore how FixMyStreet Pro could work for you? Request a demo with the SocietyWorks team here.