SocietyWorks has launched a new, dedicated installation of FixMyStreet Pro for Gloucestershire County Council, through which residents can report local street, highway and environmental problems.
Gloucestershire County Council joins more than 30 other local authorities, highways agencies and other public bodies in using FixMyStreet Pro for managing inbound reports of local problems such as potholes, broken street lights and problems with highway drains.
Integrated with the Council’s asset management system Confirm, FixMyStreet Pro’s intelligent, map-based interface will make it much easier for residents to accurately report a problem and stay updated on its resolution.
With all reports and their statuses displayed on the map, the ability to subscribe to existing reports and the automatic, nationwide diversion of reports that are the responsibility of another authority, FixMyStreet Pro will improve things for customers and help Gloucestershire County Council to better manage expectations, eliminate duplication of effort and reduce avoidable customer contact, freeing up staff time for urgent cases or to help residents who need additional support.
Designed as a progressive web app, residents can choose to use Gloucestershire County Council’s branded version of FixMyStreet Pro as a website or as an app, with no obligation either way.
Cllr Dom Morris, cabinet member responsible for highways and flooding at Gloucestershire County Council said: “I am pleased to say it is now easier for people to report issues and keep updated on repair work. We are always looking for ways to be proactive and improve our highways services.
“This summer we have been trialling new methods to speed-up repairs and engineers have been working day and night to strengthen the road network. Fix My Street is another innovation that will improve things for our customers and boost efficiency. Keeping Gloucestershire moving is a top priority and the council are investing heavily in better roads for residents.”
Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “Since its launch in 2012, every feature of FixMyStreet Pro has been built to meet the needs of councils and their residents. No two integrations of the solution are the same, because no two councils are the same, but they all benefit from its incredible ability to create an end-to-end reporting process that’s as intuitive as possible. We look forward to seeing the impact the solution has for Gloucestershire County Council and its residents.”
Request a short demo to see how FixMyStreet Pro could work for your authority.
Citizens in London can now report abandoned hire bikes and e-scooters via FixMyStreet, which will send reports directly to the operator responsible.
A new report category has been added to FixMyStreet to enable citizens to report abandoned hire bikes and e-scooters in and around London. Reports of such problems can also be made via FixMyStreet Pro, the individually branded and integrated version of the service used by several London borough councils and by Transport for London (TfL).
Importantly, any reports submitted under this category, whether made on the national FixMyStreet site or via an authority’s own branded FixMyStreet Pro service, are sent directly to the operator responsible for the abandoned bike or e-scooter. FixMyStreet is currently able to triage reports to Lime, Dott, Forest and Tier.
Upon selecting the ‘Abandoned bikes/scooters’ category, FixMyStreet asks report-makers to select which operator is responsible for the bike or e-scooter in question. Reports are then sent to the appropriate operator, containing all the other useful information included as standard in a FixMyStreet report, such as the report-maker’s details, easting and northing, latitude and longitude, nearest postcode to the pin placed on the map and more.
There is also the option to report abandoned Santander Cycles to TfL via FixMyStreet, which has been available since 2020. Whenever a report-maker selects the ‘Abandoned Santander Cycle’ category, these reports will be automatically triaged to TfL, even when made via a London council’s own FixMyStreet Pro service or TfL’s.
Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks, said: “The provision of cycle and e-scooter hire schemes helps councils to support greener local travel and alleviate capacity pressures on peak time public transport services. However, when incidents of abandonment occur they create a nuisance for residents and put an unnecessary strain on council customer services, who have to manually triage reports to their contracted operators.
“We hope this new feature of FixMyStreet and FixMyStreet Pro helps to ease some of that pressure and its associated costs by ensuring reports of abandoned bikes and e-scooters are sent straight to the people who can deal with them, and in turn get neighbourhoods tidied up faster for residents.
“While currently only available in London, we hope to be able to replicate this across the UK in the future for the benefit of more citizens who live in areas where such schemes are in operation.”
FixMyStreet can also be used by citizens to report other local problems such as potholes, fly-tipping and broken street lights. The service has been run since 2007 by civic technology charity mySociety, while the integrated Pro version of the service is run by the charity’s subsidiary SocietyWorks.
Visit the FixMyStreet website for more information about the national service, or if you’re a council or other public body who would like to use the software as your own, find out more about FixMyStreet Pro here.
Buckinghamshire Council started using our FixMyStreet Pro solution to manage inbound street, highway and environmental fault reports in 2018.
Over the years, Buckinghamshire has made the most of FixMyStreet Pro’s ability to flexibly integrate with any number of other services and software by connecting it to several of its other systems for the benefit of residents and customer services staff.
FixMyStreet Pro’s integration functionality is particularly useful for when councils want to switch suppliers behind the scenes, while keeping everything consistent and simple to use on the frontend for residents.
In this case, Buckinghamshire wanted to introduce two new integrations with FixMyStreet Pro, without creating any turbulence for residents.
Buckinghamshire Council recently switched its highway asset management system from Confirm to Alloy.
The integration between FixMyStreet Pro and a council’s asset management system is an important one, because data is shared between the two systems, enabling councils to keep residents updated on the status of their reports.
To facilitate a smooth transition, we did a few things to ensure that, as far as Buckinghamshire’s residents are concerned, nothing is any different. These included keeping the display of asset layers the same and maintaining a way to look up the Confirm report ID numbers for reports transferred into Alloy so that no information was lost or required rekeying.
EvoClaim is a solution used by Buckinghamshire Council to manage claims from residents for injury or damage sustained to vehicles or property on a highway, so it made sense to incorporate this into the Council’s FixMyStreet Pro environment.
“This has enabled us to achieve much needed time and resource savings”
This integration enables Buckinghamshire’s FixMyStreet Pro to act as the user-friendly and familiar frontend interface to claims submissions, using the FixMyStreet Pro map to locate the report related to the claim at hand. As with the other two integrations, FixMyStreet Pro sends all of the required data straight into the EvoClaim system.
Speaking about the integration, Amy Thomas, Insurance Claims Manager at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “The open communication and clear requirements/actions set by the project manager at SocietyWorks ensured we were able to meet our goal of implementing a new automated and integrated claim recording process. This has enabled us to achieve much needed time and resource savings.”
In the county of Buckinghamshire some local services are the responsibility of the unitary authority, while others are that of its 171 town and parish councils, of which approximately 84 are signed up to devolved responsibility.
Last year we introduced some new functionality to Buckinghamshire Council’s FixMyStreet Pro service to enable the automated triaging of reports to the appropriate parish or town council.
As you can imagine, most small parish or town councils don’t have expensive management systems from which to manage inbound reports, making it hard for them to update residents on the status of their reports in the same way that Buckinghamshire Council can via integration.
To ensure residents are kept in the loop no matter who receives their report, we also built some functionality to make it possible for parish and town councils to update reports via email using a special code in the subject line, which will correspond to the new status of the report.
Find out more about how integrations work between FixMyStreet Pro and our other digital solutions here.
One of FixMyStreet Pro’s key features is its ability to enable councils to automatically keep residents informed on the status of their reports as they progress.
Status updates are important because, according to research we carried out with YouGov last year, receiving updates in response to a report is one of the most important things citizens expect from a reporting service. It’s also the thing that would most effectively stop them from chasing updates via other channels, which drives up the cost of reports for councils.
Templates for report status updates can be created and managed directly from the FixMyStreet Pro administration dashboard, or they can be pulled from an integrated case management system used by the council. Each time a report’s status is changed, an update will be sent to the report-maker and to anyone else subscribed to the report.
Common status updates relate to scenarios such as, but not limited to:
There is no limit to the number of templates you can create within FixMyStreet Pro, and they can be edited or deleted whenever necessary by staff, enabling you to quickly address any seasonal or situational changes.
So that’s what status updates are, but what makes a good one?
For updates to be effective in reducing avoidable follow-up contact and failure demand, they need to accurately reflect what’s happening with the report. That means as well as explaining what you are going to do about a problem, you also need to explain if you are not able to do anything and why that is.
Honest and open updates help you to educate residents on your intervention criteria, manage expectations during periods of high demand and discourage despondency and disengagement even if a problem cannot be fixed.
Make it relevant
Tailor your updates to the different types of problems residents are able to report to you so that they know what to expect once a report has been submitted. It helps to outline the timeframe within which you will respond to different problems, or explain why a particular problem may be higher or lower on your priority list.
Use accessible language
Take care to ensure your updates are understandable to everyone who may receive them. Avoid using technical jargon that only makes sense to members of staff, or codes from your integrated systems that won’t mean anything to residents.
Additionally, consider using the local words for things where appropriate to apply an extra level of accessibility to the language within your updates.
Signpost to more information
While it’s good to provide detail in your updates, it’s also important to keep them concise. Put the essential information in the update and include a link to another web page or document where the recipient can find more information if they want to.
Signposting can also be used to direct residents to emergency contact details, additional services and even customer satisfaction surveys.
Don’t create a dead end
If the update you provide is to inform the report-maker that the issue is not your responsibility, try to provide information on who is responsible, or assistance on where they might be able to find this out for themselves. This will help to reduce the likelihood of the report-maker getting back in touch.
Acknowledge the value of the report
Finally, don’t forget to thank the resident for their report. Research shows that the main reason why residents report problems is because they want to improve the place where they live. Acknowledging this in your responses helps to improve the experience for residents and encourages continued commitment to helping you care for your area. This is particularly important in instances where the problem cannot be fixed.
Alongside transparent status updates sent to residents after they have made a report, FixMyStreet Pro equips councils with a few useful ways to manage expectations beforehand, too.
One of these is its site-wide messaging functionality, which displays a message from the council to report-makers in multiple places to inform them of, for example, expected delays in responses due to increased seasonal demand.
Councils can also schedule these messages to display only during certain times, such as out of hours or during bank holidays.
Another way FixMyStreet Pro helps with this is by enabling councils to assign in-category messages which display during the report workflow. These can be used in a number of ways, such as to help educate on intervention criteria to ensure the report can be actioned or divert emergencies.
For more information about FixMyStreet Pro and its features, get in touch with us.
Image: Reuben Juarez
A new integration has been completed for Brent Council between FixMyStreet Pro, which acts as the Council’s user-friendly, resident-facing front door to place-based defect reporting, and Continental Landscapes’ ATAK system.
Continental Landscapes is contracted by Brent Council to manage grounds maintenance for all parks and housing land. Previously, reports of those issues made via FixMyStreet Pro had to be manually keyed into the ATAK system.
By integrating the two systems, reports from residents, council customer services staff and on-the-ground inspectors of issues that are Continental Landscapes’ responsibility can be triaged automatically and managed more efficiently.
Understandably, most members of the public are not aware of which service is responsible for what problem, especially in places like London where there may be a number of different services responsible for overlapping issues. For example, in Brent, litter in the park might be the responsibility of Continental Landscapes, but graffiti removal might be the responsibility of another contractor.
One of the main advantages of the integration with the ATAK system is the way in which it ensures reports always go to the right place when made via Brent’s FixMyStreet Pro, or the national FixMyStreet service.
The integration enables asset layers to be added to the in-report map which correspond to different categories. Depending on the location of the map pin, category and asset selected, a report will be sent either directly into the ATAK system, or to another location as specified by the Council to ensure that the correct team can respond.
Brent Council’s version of FixMyStreet Pro is also integrated with Symology Insight and Veolia Echo, into which some other report categories are sent, such as potholes and fly-tipping on streets.
FixMyStreet Pro can also automatically divert reports to Transport for London wherever necessary.
As with all integrations into FixMyStreet Pro, any updates made to reports by staff within ATAK are then automatically fed back to the report-maker. FixMyStreet Pro also enables councils to set up automated response templates to reflect different statuses with an integrated system, which helps to easily keep report-makers informed of their report’s progress.
All reports and their updates are shown to the public on the map to help reduce duplication and avoidable contact.
Brent Council introduced FixMyStreet Pro in early 2023 as part of a drive to improve its digital offering for reporting local street-based problems and accessing residential waste services online. The Council uses WasteWorks to manage inbound waste reports, requests and payments online, which is integrated with Veolia Echo and Capita 360.
A new integration has been completed for Central Bedfordshire Council between FixMyStreet Pro, SocietyWorks’ reporting service for street, highway and environmental faults, and Jadu, the Council’s website provider.
The integration enables residents to report fly-tipping straight to Central Bedfordshire Council’s Environmental Services team using its existing installation of FixMyStreet Pro,
Central Bedfordshire Council has been using FixMyStreet Pro since 2021 to manage reports about local issues, including potholes, broken street lights and blocked drains.
Previously, due to the nature of the information required, if residents wanted to use the service to make a report about an incident of fly-tipping, the Council was redirecting them to a separate form on its website.
Now, with the new integration in place, FixMyStreet Pro can send all of the information required by the Council’s Environmental Services team for fly-tipping reports directly into its Jadu system, while residents and customer services staff can enjoy a consistent reporting experience for all categories on the frontend.
“Customers’ concerns are promptly and accurately populated in the back-end system automatically, streamlining processes and reducing manual back-office activities.”
– Sim Fountain, Digital Customer Excellence Programme Manager at Central Bedfordshire Council
The integration between Jadu and FixMyStreet Pro is the second to be set-up for Central Bedfordshire Council, with an existing integration in place between FixMyStreet Pro and the Council’s backend management system, Symology Insight.
Speaking about the integration, Sim Fountain, Digital Customer Excellence Programme Manager at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “As part of our digital customer experience programme, we have been driving transformation across the council to optimise service delivery and enhance overall customer satisfaction. We want customers to be able to reach our services and self-serve 24/7.
“The FixMyStreet app is integrated with our corporate JADU Forms/Workflow/Case Management System to enhance our front-door point of contact. Enabling existing FixMyStreet customers to report Environmental Services issues through the app instead of being signposted to our online forms aligns with transformation work already carried out across this service.
“Customers’ concerns are promptly and accurately populated in the back-end system automatically, streamlining processes and reducing manual back-office activities.”
Angela Dixon, Managing Director at SocietyWorks said: “Integration is at the heart of what we do. Over the past 15 years, SocietyWorks has been helping local authorities to innovate and get the most out of their digital infrastructure by working collaboratively with the wider industry to connect things together while keeping everything simple for citizens on the frontend. We are delighted to add Jadu to our ever-growing list of integrations we can offer to local authorities.”
FixMyStreet Pro is a map-based progressive web app, built flexibly to integrate with any number of different systems and software for local authorities, highways agencies and other public sector organisations. It is the only reporting solution capable of automatically routing reports to other authorities across the UK.
Find out about how we integrate with other systems or if you’d like to know more about FixMyStreet Pro, request a demo.
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.
FixMyStreet Pro has a very clever feature that suggests existing nearby reports to users if a pin is dropped on a map within a certain radius of another report of the same category.
If an issue has already been reported, FixMyStreet Pro encourages the user to subscribe to the existing report instead of re-reporting it – a time saver for both the would-be report-maker and the council responsible for responding to the problem at hand.
Previously, the radius for this feature was fixed at 250 metres. However, at the request of our clients, we have now implemented a new update to enable FixMyStreet Pro customers to customise the radius within which an existing report will be suggested to a user.
A larger radius can be useful for reports about issues that are likely to cover a large area, where users may drop a pin in a number of places to report the same issue. Meanwhile, a smaller radius can be more helpful in areas where there may be lots of reports of similar, but not identical problems.
By encouraging users to subscribe to existing reports wherever possible, the duplicate report suggestion feature helps to increase transparency and facilitates a one-report-per-issue approach to problem reporting without creating any extra work for council staff.
The duplicate report suggestion feature is available to all FixMyStreet Pro customers.
For more information about this feature, or any of FixMyStreet Pro’s other intuitive features, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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.
Originally launched in 2007 by our parent charity mySociety, FixMyStreet is a national reporting service for local street and environmental problems that sends reports to the correct authority even if the report-maker doesn’t know who that is.
Citizens can use the website, or they can download an app from the app store if they prefer. Until very recently, that app was a dedicated, ‘traditional’ app that ran on a different codebase to the website, and to each of the FixMyStreet Pro sites built for SocietyWorks’ client councils and other public sector bodies.
Not anymore though.
The FixMyStreet app has now been replaced with a brand new app store progressive web app.
This is very good news for app users, the councils who receive reports from FixMyStreet, and those who use FixMyStreet Pro as their own reporting solution – here’s why.
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.
Having a PWA instead of a website and separate dedicated app means that 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.
With everything running from the same codebase, this also means that everyone always enjoys the same user experience, with updates made to the website automatically reflected on app store PWAs. It also means accessibility is of the same high standard across the board.
Progressive web apps (PWAs) are websites that have been designed with ‘app like’ qualities. They look and act like an app and can be downloaded to a mobile’s home screen like an app – either from an app store or by simply saving the website directly to your device.
The main differences between PWAs and ‘normal’ dedicated apps is that they run from the same codebase and users are not obligated to download them in order to use them. Plus, they enable you to provide exactly the same experience to users across the website and “app”, with new features and functionality automatically available.
Yes, and that’s nothing new! FixMyStreet Pro was already a PWA, giving the councils and other public sector bodies that use the solution the ability to offer their users the choice to use a website, or download their PWA if they prefer.
Individually branded FixMyStreet Pro PWAs aren’t downloaded from an app store. Instead, users need to load the website from a browser on their chosen device and save it to their home screen – it will then work exactly the same as an app store PWA.
With all FixMyStreet Pro sites connected to the national service, the solution is capable of triaging reports on a nationwide scale, diverting reports meant for other authorities or agencies like National Highways.
Want to know more about FixMyStreet or FixMyStreet Pro? Get in touch with us.
Image: William Fortunato