Residents have reacted with sceptisism to Wandsworth Council’s introduction of the Report It app.
Hundreds of people are using the app to report a range of issues from fly-tipping to graffiti, and the council believe it is helping streamline communications so the council can deliver a swifter and more efficient response to community concerns.
But not everyone is onboard and, commenting online regarding the app, Wandsworth resident Celia Blair said the app was unnecessary if weekly street cleaning contracts were honoured.
She said: “Apps are only any good if the complaints are responded to. Not the case currently. Just another excuse for our locally mucky streets. It may be autumn but they should be able to manage leaves and domestic litter.”
A council spokesperson said the app helped deliver a faster and better response to residents’ concerns.
The app informs the council what needs to be done, there and then, waiving the need for investigators and saving money in the long-run.
According to the spokesperson, the app is especially useful in places like Garratt Lane, which is two miles long, because it uses GPS positioning to track precisely where the reported incident took place.
The council’s spokesperson claimed reporting incidents on-the-spot greatly improved the process.
He said: “There is the ability to do it there and then, rather than having to go into your workplace and send an email.
“That is the secret of its effectiveness, in that it just streamlines the whole way people communicate with us.”
The ability to attach a photograph to the reported issue has also made the process more efficient.
The use of photos allows the council to cut costs by removing the need to investigate unwarranted concerns.
Traditional methods of reporting will work hand-in-hand with this new technology.
There are still residents who prefer to telephone or e-mail the council.
“It’s about using all the different ranges of available technology to help people choose the one that suits them best.
“Ultimately, if there is a problem in the area that needs addressing, we want to know about it.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to tell us about things that concern them,” said the council spokesperson.
Wandsworth Council said as other London councils look to modernise their systems, they might want to ask to share experiences of smartphone technology and its implementation.
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