Yes a plug, for something I have no connection with – the FixMyStreet web site, part of mySociety.org, in turn part of UK Citizens Online Democracy (this gets complicated). If you’ve not seen FixMyStreet it’s a simple way to report, view, or discuss local problems like graffiti, fly tipping, broken paving slabs, or street lighting.
They seem to be running at 800+ reports a week across the UK. Congratulations Isles of Scilly – no complaints logged on the site. Commiserations Surrey – 2543 complaints logged. You’re both reaping the consequences of size (a smarter technowhizz than me would mash up the data with the population mid-year estimates to work out the “best” and “worst” councils).
My only moan might be people who post a complaint about the alleged behaviour of a neighbour (parking, recycling etc.) rather than do the decent thing and have a word with them first.
This is real innovation using the power of the web, and driven from entirely outside the public sector.
PS – also like the Australian equivalent, It’s Buggered Mate , a site that comes with typical antipodean chutzpah. Unfortunately, it’s still only a protoype but let’s hope it springs into life soon.