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2023 in review

Take a look at what we’ve been up to over the last 12 months as we continue our mission of helping local authorities and other public sector organisations better serve citizens through effective and intuitive digital solutions.

Reflections from our Managing Director

Angela Dixon

Angela Dixon

Managing Director

As 2023 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the journey we have been on as an organisation during the past year. We have experienced incredible highs such as being named a finalist in the LGC Awards for the second year running (this time for work carried out in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council), and heart breaking lows with the passing of our dear friend, Francis Mainoo, who served as a non-executive director on our Board.

2023 was a year of evolution for SocietyWorks. We codified our strategy for the next three years, focusing on increasing societal impact by helping our public sector clients deliver their statutory duties in an increasingly complex landscape. Also this year, we were excited to launch a Welsh-language version of FixMyStreet, and to release a long-awaited update to the FixMyStreet app, using a progressive web app to enable everyone to enjoy the same intuitive user experience of the service. Plus, we have made significant improvements to our residential waste portal, WasteWorks, including the additions of bulky goods and assisted collections.

One of the things I think most sets SocietyWorks apart from other suppliers is that this team understands how small things can make a big difference – and we genuinely do listen to our users. I was struck by this earlier in the year while attending the LGA Conference, where a councillor provided feedback on a minor change that would improve their experience of one of our services. This could easily have been brushed under the carpet, or forgotten about. But it wasn’t. The feedback was passed through to our development team, who reviewed it and responded promptly by actioning this change. What started as a simple conversation led to a clear problem definition and an effective delivery response, ultimately resulting in a better user experience for all, plus a very happy councillor.

There is little doubt that 2024 will see increasing pressure on local authorities, with political turbulence and even tighter budgets ahead. We recognise the challenges our clients and the sector face and are committed to being collaborative, helpful and open in all our interactions, while providing cost-effective solutions that help bring councils and other public sector bodies closer to the citizens they serve.

Comments from our Chair

Mandy Merron

Mandy Merron


When we scan the news, we see significant uncertainty in our political and operating landscapes. Decision making is difficult in such complex and uncertain times. We see new and flashy digital tools being hailed as the saviour to budget pressures, set amidst confusion over what the actual problems are to be solved and how these tools will actually solve them. Times are hard, but I remain optimistic that we can carve a way through if we work intelligently, openly and collaboratively. The needs of the citizens that we ultimately serve demand that we find a way through.

Every member of the SocietyWorks team is focused on how they can take pain away from our clients and remove unnecessary friction from workflows and processes. Using our digital solutions, with effective integration and automation of data flows, we have delivered significant efficiencies to our clients throughout 2023. We care about improving citizen outcomes, and we know that if we support local authorities to deliver services by effectively using digital solutions, the positive impact to society will flow through. I am proud of what we have achieved this year, and I look forward to seeing what 2024 brings.

What we did in 2023

Our impact

We exist to extend the impact of our parent charity mySociety and contribute to the creation of a world where all citizens can access public sector services with ease through intuitive and simple to use digital solutions.

30 councils

and other public authorities using FixMyStreet Pro to provide a truly joined up reporting service for local problems.

822,000+ reports

made via FixMyStreet, mySociety’s nationwide reporting service, and FixMyStreet Pro in 2023.

4 new waste services

incorporated into WasteWorks, including green waste, bulky waste, small items and assisted collections.

~50% reduction

in progress chasing calls from residents into Buckinghamshire Council’s customer contact centre*.

8 new installations

of our solutions launched for councils across the UK throughout this year.

5 new integrations

completed between our solutions and other existing software used by our clients to achieve even more efficiencies.

9,301 words

translated into Welsh for a new Welsh-language version of FixMyStreet.

20 years

of building citizen-centred digital solutions for the public sector, through our connection to mySociety.

Sharing insights and best practices

Browse some of the research and best practice guidance we published this year for local authorities and the wider public sector, and catch up on some of the knowledge sharing webinars we delivered.

Citizen reporting in the UK 2023 cover

Citizen reporting in the UK 2023

Who are the UK’s current, active, report-making citizens – and who is missing? What problems are they reporting and where are they reporting them? This report seeks to answer all of these questions and more, as well as signposting to some other existing research to support our understanding of the issues raised in the report.

Get your copy

Disclosure logs: a best practice guide for local authorities

Disclosure logs: a best practice guide for local authorities

Produced in collaboration with the FOI experts on mySociety’s Transparency team, who run the well-used WhatDoTheyKnow request service, and expert FOI consultant Martin Rosenbaum, who was the BBC’s leading specialist in using freedom of information for journalistic purposes, this guide explores why, although not a legal requirement, using a disclosure log is a must for local authorities – and how to do it successfully.

Download the guide

Can relying on citizen reports make neighbourhoods worse? cover

Can relying on citizen reports make neighbourhoods worse?

Published earlier this year in the Spring 2023 edition of the Irish Local Authority Times, this research article uses national FixMyStreet data to explore who reports local, place-based problems such as potholes and dog fouling the most, and how this differs in areas of more and less deprivation.

Read the article

Closing the feedback loop between local authorities and residents

Closing the feedback loop between local authorities and residents

Back in March, our Managing Director Angela Dixon delivered a best practice session on closing the feedback loop between local authorities and residents as part of Public Sector Insight Week 2023. The session was recorded, so if you’re interested to hear what Angela had to say about how to fix the common problems local authorities face when feedback loops are broken, click below.

Watch the recording

The benefits of a collaborative data ecosystem

The benefits of a collaborative data ecosystem

We also took part in Digital Leaders Week this year, at which Bekki Leaver, our Head of Product, ran a session on how to avoid ending up in a data walled garden when seeking new tools and solutions. The recording of the session is available to watch on YouTube – click the link below to watch it.

Catch up on Bekki’s advice

“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.”

Cllr Catherine Rose, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Streets & Clean Air at Southwark Council

LGA awards 2023 finalist

‘Game changing’ technology

We were thrilled to be finalists in the LGC Awards for the second year running; this time in the Technology category in recognition of our work in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council to unify the fault reporting process between the unitary authority and approximately 84 of its 171 parish and town councils.

Read the full story

Unifiying the fault reporting process

“We are using technology to get the report to the right team, as well as managing customer expectations at the first point of contact. This is a game changer!”

Lloyd Jeffries, Service Director (Business Operations) at Buckinghamshire Council

Putting users first

Our solutions are built in partnership with councils, based on user needs. Take a look at some of the new features we have rolled out to clients this year.

Preemptive messaging on WasteWorks

Share preemptive messaging about waste collections

Why was my bin not collected? When will my bin next be collected? Will collection schedules change over the bank holiday? Councils can answer all of these questions in advance via WasteWorks to better manage expectations and reduce failure demand.

Find out how it works

Report abandoned hire bikes and e-scooters straight to the operator

Report abandoned hire bikes and e-scooters straight to the operator

A new report category enables citizens to report abandoned hire bikes and e-scooters in and around London directly to the responsible operator. This currently includes Lime, Dott, Forest and Tier, as well as Transport for London, which manages London’s Santander Cycle scheme.

See more

Bromley Council adds bulky waste to WasteWorks

Take bookings for bulky, green and small item waste collections

As well as being a user-friendly front door to residential waste information, WasteWorks now provides councils with the ability to take bookings, subscriptions and payments for various different waste collections – all facilitated via integration with existing systems.

Take a look

Duplicate report suggestions on FixMyStreet Pro

Customise the duplicate report suggestion radius

FixMyStreet Pro encourages users to subscribe to existing reports of issues instead of re-reporting them. Previously, the radius for this feature was fixed at 250 metres. However, at the request of our clients, we have now made this customisable.

Read about why this helpful

FixMyStreet Crosshairs

New crosshairs for accurate reporting on mobile devices

60% of FixMyStreet’s users access the site from mobile devices. Crosshairs make it even easier for report-makers to position the pin accurately on the map when using smaller mobile devices, especially those with touchscreens.

Take a look

Helo Cymru!

2023 saw the very exciting launch of a Welsh-language version of FixMyStreet, translated by Dai Lingual, and complete with Welsh-language map tiles provided by Mapio Cymru.

Find out more

LGA awards 2023 finalist

“FixMyStreet was built to make it easier for citizens to report problems in their communities. We are delighted to be able to make the service accessible to Welsh-speaking citizens, with a fully translated reporting process and a Welsh-language map, enabling users to select the street names and locations with which they are familiar. We look forward to seeing the Welsh-language version of the service put to good use by more citizens who care about improving where they live.”

Louise Crow, Chief Executive at mySociety

Progressive thinking

Also this year, we achieved a long-held ambition to bring the FixMyStreet app up to date with the web service and each of our clients’ FixMyStreet Pro services by replacing it with a brand new app store progressive web app (PWA).

Learn more

FixMyStreet Progressive web app

Why do we use PWAs?

  • Having a PWA instead of a website and a separate dedicated app means we don’t need to maintain two different codebases, helping us to keep costs down for our public sector clients without compromising on service delivery.
  • PWAs permit offline capability to websites, allowing reports to be started on the website or app without internet connection and finished when back online. This is particularly handy for users in more rural areas where connectivity is poor.
  • The new app store PWA enables assets like street lights and grit bins that were previously only available on FixMyStreet Pro sites to be displayed on the national site and app, meaning citizens are always able to make reports containing the most accurate information possible, no matter where they make the report.
  • Everyone always enjoys the same user experience, with updates made to the website automatically reflected on app store PWA. It also means accessibility is of the same high standard across the board.

Who we worked with

Thank you to the 35 local authorities and other public sector organisations in the UK and abroad who trust us to deliver accessible, effective and simple to use digital solutions, including…

Bath and North East Somerset Council Bristol City Council Bromley Borough CouncilBexley Borough Council Lincolnshire County Council Buckinghamshire CouncilCheshire East Council Peterborough City Council Hart District Council Rutland County Council Greenwich Borough Council Hackney Council Isle of Wight Council Oxfordshire County Council Hounslow Borough Council Shropshire Council City of Westminster Kier Ringway National Highways Transport for London Central Bedfordshire Council Stadt ZurichWest Northamptonshire Council Merton Council Hampshire County CouncilCamden CouncilKingston upon Thames CouncilSutton CouncilSutton CouncilPeabody LogoNorthumberland LogoGloucestershire County Council

Purposeful partnerships

This year we’re also proud to have worked in partnership with the Local Council Roads Innovation (LCRIG) Group, techUK, Mapio Cymru, Dai Lingual and Data Orchard.

>Local Council Roads Innovation (LCRIG) Group” width=”200″ height=”124″ class=”alignnone size-full”/><img loading=techUKMapio CymruDai LingualData Orchard

“WasteWorks has enabled Sutton Council to provide a seamless and much improved online experience for Sutton residents. SocietyWorks has been extremely sensitive to our needs as an organisation and worked tirelessly to provide the authority with solutions in a very short timeframe that benefit the borough as a whole.”

Paul Brockwell, Interim Head of Waste and Street Cleaning at the London Borough of Sutton

Out and about

We have loved hosting and taking part in various events this year, both online and in person, catching up with clients and meeting people from across the sector to discuss shared challenges and explore solutions. These include…

  • LGA Annual Conference 2023
  • LGC Awards 2023
  • tech UK Local Public Services Innovation Summit
  • Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation & Ringway roundtable
  • LCRIG Innovation Festival
  • GovCampCymru
  • Keep Wales Tidy LEQ Forum
  • Digital Government North & South
  • Digital Leaders Week
  • Public Sector Insight Week
Angela, Amelia and MAtthew at the LGCBekki at Digital Government North & SouthAttendants at GovCampCymru in front of SocietyWorks standSocietyWorks at Keep Wales Tidy LEQ Forum

New team members

This year we welcomed two new team members:

Sally Reader

Sally Reader

Joined us as Account Manager, bringing a wealth of FOI experience from her time on mySociety’s WhatDoTheyKnow team, as well as in depth knowledge of how FixMyStreet Pro works in practice from her time working at Transport for London, where she was involved in the implementation of its version of the service, known as Street Care.

Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards

Who took on the busy role of Business Development & Account Manager. Chris is currently providing maternity cover for fellow Account Manager Nicolle, while also working closely with Amelia to drive new business for SocietyWorks, the profits of which are all donated back into our parent charity mySociety.

Francis Mainoo

In memory of Francis Mainoo

We were heartbroken to lose our friend Francis Mainoo, who sat on our board of directors as Non-Executive Director from July 2022 until his unexpected death in October 2023.

Francis was a kind, generous and immensely valued member of the board. He was a big believer that we can be a more productive, happier and connected society if we engage – provided we have the right tools to engage with. For Francis, technology such as that built by SocietyWorks and our parent charity mySociety is essential; benefitting citizens by making them better connected and fulfilled, as the issues directly affecting them are addressed.

Francis’ death is a huge loss, not just to us, but to the many other people and organisations he worked with to help them grow and succeed in making the world a better place. We miss his good humour, his intelligent input and his strong leadership. We are grateful for the time we were able to work with Francis, and we will keep him in our thoughts as we strive to achieve the goals he believed in so passionately.

What’s next?

Enhancing the staff user experience of our products

If you missed it, we blogged recently about how we’re currently in the process of exploring in collaboration with clients how their members of staff use our solutions, what other tools interact with ours and where things could be made better for them. This work continues into the new year, and we’ll be sharing more updates on our progress soon.

Continuing to innovate

Every decision we make about the future of our products is influenced by the needs of our users – both councils, public sector organisations and citizens. 2024 will find us seeking out the latest feedback and ideas to ensure we focus on finding solutions for the most pressing challenges facing the public sector and meeting ever-changing expectations.

Sharing more of our experiences and know-how

Through our connection to mySociety, we have now been providing citizen-centred digital solutions to the public sector for 20 years. During this time we’ve developed a strong understanding of how to support councils and other public sector organisations with technology that enables smart and achievable digital transitions to deliver more accessible and efficient public services. In 2024 you can expect to see us share more of what we’ve learned through research reports and guidance, as well as highlighting positive case studies from our community.

A new way to search for report categories on FixMyStreet

There’s a very exciting piece of development in progress for FixMyStreet, which will also benefit our FixMyStreet Pro users. Once it’s finished, report-makers will be able to find an available category to report their problem using a search function instead of selecting from a list. This should make it quicker for users to accurately find what they’re looking for.

Stay up to date in 2024

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Got a question?

Let us know how we can help you with citizen-centred products, service design and discovery.

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Amelia Nicholas

More from mySociety

This year mySociety celebrated its 20th anniversary. Read the charity’s 20th Anniversary Impact Report to discover what they’ve been up to, and what’s coming next.

Read the mySociety annual review

*New functionality for Buckinghamshire Council’s FixMyStreet Pro service enables automatic triaging of reports to town and parish councils, and gives those councils the ability to respond to report makers even without an integration into a CRM system. This has achieved a nearly 50% reduction in progress chasing calls, as well as report duplication between authorities. Read more.