Not so smart red face as Council Leader flunks IT test?

The York Council Leader has rather proudly announced the launch of an “app” for smart phones.

In a media release he urges residents to go to the web site www.smarteryork.com.

Fat chance. That web address doesn’t even exist!

In a spirit of helpfulness we can tell residents that the actual web site address is http://www.smarteryork.org.uk

Whether the cost of developing this new reporting tool can be justified is another matter. The top priority for the Council should be to stop environmental vandalism (Graffiti, fly-tipping etc) in the first place. A quick and efficient clean up is also necessary, but there is little evidence to suggest that York residents are failing to do this using “old fashioned” communications methods such as the telephone, Email or via the Councils web site.

Still, Iphone at the ready, we’ll be trying the new system out over the next few weeks.

NB. This hiccup comes a few days after residents started receiving their Council Tax bills. The explanatory leaflet issued with the demand assured residents that the Councils gross expenditure for the forthcoming year would be a world record beating “£354,937,000,000”.
The equivalent expenditure agreed by the LIbDem Council for 11/12 was, a quite parsimonious, £341,644,000!

4 thoughts on “Not so smart red face as Council Leader flunks IT test?

  1. A N Other says:

    Nice to see you all working together for the good of your city.

    Oh btw, you’ll find that the use of mobile technology in this way is known as channel shifting, and will help companies save money because they don’t need the ‘old fashioned’ (and expensive) resources to take telephone calls, answer emails, and monitor web sites.

    • Unlike many other Local Authorities, York has had a web based issue reporting system in use for over 2 years. Residents reporting problems like graffiti have the option of including a photo with the report.
      This access channel is as cheap to run as the Iphone “App” option. We are not opposed to the latter, but question whether it is a top priority for the use of limited resources?
      We react negatively to outrageous claims such as the risible statement by the Council Leader who implied that the incidence of graffiti will reduce by over 50% as a result of the “App” initiative. In an Authority that was taking its first steps into automated reporting systems, then a reduction in that order in reaction times (the time taken to remove the graffiti) might be achieved – but that isn’t the case in York.
      Rather we need to see progress made in identifying and dealing with serial “taggers” through the courts.
      If there is any spare money around then it needs to be invested in dealing with those instances of graffiti which have been reported – without response – several months ago. In particular, some on private property boundaries and many on railway land continue to be blight on our City.
      The Council needs to learn quickly that it’s procedures should:
      • identify a problem,
      • consider options for dealing with it,
      • cost those options,
      • consult with residents and
      • then make an informed decision on a way forward.
      The decision making process which led to the production of an “App” failed all those tests.

  2. […] up the introduction of a new system which allows residents to use smartphones to report issues (see http://stevegalloway.mycouncillor.org.uk/2012/03/28/not-so-smart-red-face-as-council-leader-flunks-…) it is disappointing to report that the system isn’t producing results. Fly tipping in Front […]

  3. […] was trashed by the Labour Council when it introduced a “Smartphone” App which is so limited in application that most users rapidly abandoned it in favour of more flexible […]

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