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Flitwick
Monday, 2 August 2021

Central Bedfordshire Council signs up to FixMyStreet

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Council opted to refuse reports from third party websites in 2017

Central Bedfordshire Council has signed up to FixMyStreet to enable residents to report highway issues.

FixMyStreet was created by mySociety, which is a not for profit group, using online technologies to empower citizens to “take their first steps towards greater civic participation“.

FixMyStreet is for reporting things which are broken or dirty or damaged or dumped, and need fixing, cleaning or clearing. Such as graffiti, dog fouling, potholes or street lights that don’t work.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, executive member for Community Services, said:

“This is an exciting development for Central Bedfordshire residents as the FixMyStreet system is not only easier, faster to use, and more interactive it can also connect with other systems to ultimately lead to smarter more efficient services.

“As the new system allows users to submit reports against specific council assets, it will be a lot simpler for officers to locate and assess any problems.”

Updates will be sent during every step of the repair

The reporting system allows reports to be pinpointed on a map, photos to be added and shows residents’ reports that have already been created. It also shows planned roadworks to help to avoid multiple reporting.

The council said that this new arrangement will improve the level of updates customers will receive. Updates will be sent during every step of the repair. So the resident will be notified when works are booked in and when the repair is complete.

FixMyStreet started to collect reports about issues in Central Bedfordshire’s area in 2009. However, in 2017 CBC stopped accepting reports from third-party websites. A spokesperson for FixMyStreets said:

“FixMyStreet reports were sent to Central Bedfordshire Council until late 2017, at which time the Council opted to refuse reports from third party websites like FixMyStreet.

“Happily, since then, Central Bedfordshire recognised their need to provide a better, more efficient digital service for residents to report street and highways problems, coming full-circle to choose FixMyStreet as the ideal solution.”

CBC said:

“We did not accept reports from third party websites as we had our own system in place and third party reports would not feed directly into the system which our highways officers were using.”

Residents were still able to report issues, what happened to all the these reports? CBC said:

“We haven’t looked into past reports on FixMyStreet ahead of our launch date. We closed any old reports on the system when we started using it, so that our officers are aware of any new reports that they need to action. If any highways issues are still outstanding we would ask that they are reported on the site as a new report.”

FixMyStreet said:

“As part of the process of integrating FixMyStreet Pro with a council’s management system, it is customary to clear any old reports so that the new service can start afresh.

“While we assume that any old reports will have been dealt with by the council prior to this clearing, we do email residents whose reports will be affected to let them know and to advise them to re-report if the issue is outstanding.

“The benefit of doing this is that, post-integration, reports go directly into the council’s management system, meaning they can be updated directly by council staff and dealt with much faster.”

Cllr Dalgarno said:

“FixMyStreet Pro already works seamlessly on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers and can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices. It’s free and easy to do and doesn’t take long to create a report.”

To start reporting issues you see on the roads and for more information please visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/reportit.

Screenshot of CBC FixMyStreets homepage
Screenshot of CBC FixMyStreets homepage

John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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