Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Fix My Street and more

A group called My Society have put together a number of really useful sites to help people interact with all levels of government in the UK.

A pedestrian crossing close to where I live has a broken request button. What to do? Who to call? It's Fix My Street to the rescue! I just enter my post code, click on a map to set a flag pointing to the offending crossing, briefly describe the problem ... and Fix My Street sends a report to the appropriate body (the City of London in my case). Brilliant! The system lets the council respond to the problem by, for example, saying when and how the problem was fixed.

Another application from My Society is Write to Them. Again I start with my post code and in this case I get a list of all my representatives including local aldermen, MP, MEPs etc. I click on one of these and a letter template pops up with the correct form of address in place. I just need to enter the essential text of my message. After confirming that I really want to send the message (by sending me an email message), Write to Them send off the message to the representative. After a couple of weeks Write to Them sends me another email message asking if I heard back from my representative, adding my response to a database which records who is good at responding to the people they represent and who isn't.

My Society has other systems too, and what they all have in common is providing a very easy to use wrapper around public services that should be easy to use anyway, but often are not.


Anonymous said...

Is there a site like this in USA??

Bruce said...

Sorry, I have no idea :-/