Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Report It!

A few years back I was having a walk along the Roding Valley Way when I noticed a huge pile of fly-tipped builders rubble. When I got home I telephoned the Council to report it. Two days later it was gone. Blimey, I thought, that was quick and I mentioned it to a Councillor of that ward. Apparently it had been there for six weeks all of which time he had been trying to get it dealt with. Those were the days before Redbridge-i.

On Sunday last I used the 'Report It' section on Red-i for the first time. A missing bollard and a hole where it should be. These things are made of heavy duty plastic and are hollow, so when they get sheared off at pavement level by a collision it leaves a hole. I was duly notified on Monday by email that the report had been received and added to the work queue. Yesterday, Tuesday, the hole had been capped off, see photograph below.

So, I and any other registered member of Red-i who happens to have a postcode within a 1Km radius of that missing bollard can see on Red-i that it has been reported, when it was reported, who reported it and that it is being dealt with.

However, if you happen to live outside of this council imposed 1Km bubble you will not be able to see the report, so you won’t know. If you happen to be passing by “My Neighbourhood”, and spot anything else that needs reporting like a defective street light, dead animal on the road, missing bollard, dangerous pavements etc. you will not be able access the local 'Report It' section that will tell you if it has already been reported.

Likewise, if I venture outside of my exclusion zone, having been scanned on the border for sarcastic words and bearing my Council issued postcode ID card, to visit say a park, a Mansion, a library, a Town Centre or most likely a pub and happen to notice something that needs reporting, so too, I will not be able to access the 'Report It' section to see if it is already being dealt with.

Well alright, I could, and so could you, by changing my [your] postcode, but that’s cheating and not exactly a user–friendly facility.

Reactive Maintenance team – Gold Star.
Web site usability – Raspberry.


  1. If you report something to Streetscene via email (no matter where you live), they will let you know a. that the incident has been logged, and b. that it has been dealt with.

    Our road is having severe problems with a persistent fly-tipper, and Streetscene is doing a good job under difficult conditions.

  2. Like Judith, I use streetscene and email them regularly and they are really good.
    Why can't we report borough wide on the website? Why can we not establish human contact borough wide? The mind boggles!

  3. That all sounds rather complicated compared to!

  4. When I checked the report it facility and went to report something I see the following message:
    "We've centred the map below on your postcode, but you can search for a location using the box below, or drag the map and click to select a location."

    Does that resolve the issue or are there still problems?

  5. someone has fly-tipped a load of white stuff all over my road - how do i report it?

  6. Sue,
    You don't get awards for simplicity.

    No it doesn't, but Cllr Ryan has "asked the Chief Officer and Cabinet member to look at "Report It" and see if the system can be changed/modified"

    One of these should sort you out.

  7. Nick Hayes (Fullwell Ward)12:16 am, January 08, 2010

    There seems to be some misunderstanding about this.

    Officers have stated that the report it function allows people to report matters borough wide and is not limit users to a radius centred around their registered postcode. It just defaults to your registered postcode (which seems fair enough, it has to default to somewhere).

    You can either move the map by 'dragging' it or rescaling it or by entering a postcode or street name in the search box under the blue 'find location on the map' thingy. This seemed to work when i tried to test it - I am registered under a postcode in fullwell and it allowed me to move the dog fouling map to Wangey Road all the way over in Chadwell Heath (by searching by street name) and to drag the graffiti map to Wanstead.

  8. Yes Nick, the "misunderstanding" is yours, and officers.

    You can report anything you like anywhere in the borough, BUT you can't see if it has ALREADY been reported by someone else UNLESS your postcode is within 1Km of the reported location.

    How much time is wasted by officers dealing with duplicated reports?

  9. Is there any reason why the 'neighbour' section of the redbridge i beta website is so restrictive? Is it value for money from a Council point of view?
    We see it as control freakery but, who knows, there could be a really good sensible reason.
    Now, if the 'forum' section was opened to suggestions, ... I could open a new topic and air this query, but,... no, no, no!
    So, what is the 'good' reason for the forum to be controlled with a hand of iron in a velvet glove?
    Anybody knows?

  10. Rather than spend a great deal of time commenting on what we CANNOT do with the Red-i V2, why don't we all use the excellent Redbridge Community Forum that Mark has spent a great deal of time and expertise setting up?

    The link is over on the right.

  11. This all seems rather academic as now most faulty street lamps and signs I report, apart from sending me confirmation, seem to be ignored. I don't know if Redbridge is saving money by not repairing things, the contractor is pulling a fast one by clearing jobs while doing nothing or some other problem.

    Things used to be fixed within a couple days.


  12. I'm wondering, Anne, if the designers and decision makers have just overlooked a vital element of the local community website service it offers to Redbridge citizens.

    In their enthusiasm to try to cater for smaller, local areas, they have forgotten to ensure the people are able to "wave at each other" from one side of the borough to the other!

    They may not have realised the knock on effect of providing a mini community facility would be to isolate those groups! Would they?

  13. I think we have said as heartily as we could that the new philosophy of the redbridge i website is to divide us by the clever use of technology. A telling point is that they have tightened the neighourhood knot even further because, to start with, it was not as tight as they wished.
    There are good points to the website and plenty of goodies on offer but we are not looked at as 'customers', we are looked at as flock (as in geese, and I am being polite!)
    Why are they so worried that various parts of the Borough should communicate? The decision-making person(s) are given far too much say. (And whoever is sanctioning.)