Feature

Councils boost fix time on rubbish and vandalism with shared system

Potholes, broken street lights, abandoned vehicles, graffiti and dumped rubbish in East Sussex are all being dealt with more quickly after six of the county’s seven councils deployed a shared system for members of the public to report problems.

People who spot problems can access the system from any of the councils’ websites, or via a separate website. The application includes a geographical information system (GIS) that enables people to pinpoint the location of the problem.

Council officers can also use the tool to report any problems they spot while on duty. The Access East Sussex project said, “Now it is fully implemented, there are high levels of usage and high numbers of repeat reporters – people who report faults regularly. We also encourage street wardens to make use of the system for anything they observed on their normal rounds.”

The project has made the councils’ highways and maintenance departments more efficient because the system automatically allocates reported street problems to the council responsible.

Before the system was introduced, people often reported faults to the wrong council, and then became frustrated that reported problems were not dealt with.

Now if people are not sure which council has responsibility for a particular street, the problem will still be allocated to the right council, regardless of which website they use to report the problem.

The project is one of the fruits of a partnership between East Sussex County Council, Eastbourne Borough Council, Hastings Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Rother District Council and Wealdon District Council.

People can also use the websites of Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to report problems. The police force is included in the project because only it has the legal power to remove abandoned vehicles.

The shared system cost £135,000 to set up. The only local authority in the county not using it is Brighton & Hove City Council.


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This was first published in August 2006

 

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