Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation

UK Property Investment news and comments from Mark Harrison of

Are your local councils fixing problems?

Posted by markharrison on December 31, 2007

Earlier today, I noticed an interesting widget on the loudmouthman blog.

It showed “street problems” (things like abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping and so on) near his house, provided by a site called fixmystreet.

I was sufficiently interested in what was going on that I went over to that site, and found that there were two things you could do there:

  • Report a problem (and then give updates)
  • Get a list of all problems within a certain distance of your house (I picked 5km, a range of options are available.)

As far as I can tell, FixMyStreet doesn’t actually FIX the problems, nor does it manage reporting them. What it DOES do, though, is publish them, so we can see what particular areas are like to live in, and which councils respond quickly to these kinds of things.

As someone who has read “The Tipping Point”, I’m aware of the argument that fixing problems like vandalism and fly-tipping is a good start to reducing crime… I’m not entirely convinced (because I’ve also read “Freakonomics”), but actually, being able to compare areas certainly strikes me as a good thing, and a useful tool if I’m looking at property in an area I don’t know well.

So, an interesting site, and one to keep an eye on, and if you’re reading this blog on my site (as opposed to in a feed reader), then you can see how my own area’s doing 🙂


4 Responses to “Are your local councils fixing problems?”

  1. Chris said

    It’s a pretty good idea. FixMyStreet collect your problems, report them to the council via email, contacting you back four weeks later to check that the work has been done.

    Commonly, the strategy within local authorities is to encourage electronic point of contact. Making responses visible to the public helps show how well your local council is meeting its obligations to deal with your query quickly and effectively. I’m surprised that this isn’t an official government initiative given e-government (and more recently t-government) has been preached to the masses for so long now.

  2. OK, I’d not got any local problems that needed reporting, so I’d not realised they actually automated the reporting / followup as well.

    Stikes me that EVERYONE should be using this, then, both to report and to research.

  3. Chris said

    Probably so, I’d definitely encourage it. Perhaps if local authorities became aware that their responses where made immediately public, they might be a little more encouraged to act properly.

    I reported a bit of graffiti I noticed near the local railway station yesterday. I’ll see how long the council take to get back to me 🙂

  4. Gold Smith said

    Hello Everyone!
    I have had a brilliant property experience; they were true to their word ?Property done properly?. I was impressed as soon as I went on their website

    URL removed… because the “glowing testimonial” was actually written by someone from the company in question, rather than from a real customer….

    How dumb do spammers think we are?

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