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03 December 2013

Is this the future for local government IT?

How do you feel about the following as a vision for future public services? You’re on your way home from a night out; you notice a streetlight isn’t working. You tweet to the local council what you’ve seen and the road you’re on, and the next day an engineer turns up to fix the light. Maybe your phone even transmits your GPS co-ordinates to the council to ensure they locate the faulty lamppost. Or perhaps you’ve moved home and you need to change your council tax details. Instead of contacting your old local authority, and then your new one to tell them too, you use the council services app on your smartphone or tablet, select "Update your home location", and the device automatically informs both councils that you’ve moved house. And then, as a result, your app automatically receives updates on everything you need to know about the public services in your area – when your bins are collected, for example. Perhaps it could even set an alert on your phone to remind you when to put the bins out and what to recycle this week. Sounds ...

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