Council’s tidy app that offers a ready reporting solution

Jonny RoseAn ‘Appy New Year for Croydon? JONNY ROSE, pictured right, downloaded the council’s latest interactive device and was surprised to find … it works

Following in the footsteps of other councils (perhaps, a little too closely as My Croydon App is essentially a reskinned version of the apps churned out by My Council Services), it’s encouraging to see Croydon Council looking at better ways to help residents by using devices most of us carry around every day – our smart phones and tablets.

Upon opening My Croydon App, the user is presented with an uncluttered interface couched in palettes of Council-ratified mauve with a very clear call-to-action in the form of a “New Report” button.

Clicking through leads to simple instructions (“1. Provide us the details…2. Take a picture of the incident…3. Tell us where it is” – simples), before being presented with a drop-down menu of pre-loaded problems – blocked drains, abandoned vehicle, dead animals… – to select from and a request to upload a photo from the location.

Geo-location quickly isolates where you are when using My Croydon App and tags your pictures, meaning you don’t have to arduously type in your location address to the letter (very useful if you’re reporting an incident from an unfamilar area). Other plus points include overlayed instructions for the novice (“double-tap to zoom in”) on some screens, which are helpful for those who are new to using services such as this from their phone.

The My Croydon App: it seems to work

The My Croydon App: it seems to work

If you’re particularly fleet-fingered, the whole process of selecting a problem, keying in a further written description, taking a photo and adding a location takes under three minutes. Or about three times as long as it would take to irately tweet @YourCroydon with a photo attachment. Or one hundred times faster than actually trying to contact the right person at the Council by phone.

(Un)Fortunately, since I live in Croydon South, in a Conservative-ward, in election year, my streets are as spotless and unblemished as a Hallmark card, meaning I was unable to follow-through with the entire experiment by actually taking a photo of the some street detritus and then submit it.

Once they receive a submission from My Croydon App, the initial response offered by the council in the digital world is the same as it ever was, with a promise to look into the matter “within five working days”.

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3 Responses to Council’s tidy app that offers a ready reporting solution

  1. Whilst the app is probably very good, Unfortunately on Android it requires Android 3.0 and my Smartphone uses 2.3.5. Therefore, it will not download unless I go to the hassle of upgrading my operating system. Fortunately I have found an even quicker way of reporting flytipping, namely texting. All they actually need is a short description (such as “2 bags of household waste”) and the house number and road name it is close to.

  2. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now in the Northerly Hinterland – a center for the Wildhammer Dwarves to the west at Aerie Peak and the forest trolls to the east. And you know what? it works a treat !

  3. Out in the sticks of Shirley, 8 residents out of 10 would not know what to do with the app.
    Many seem to think that life revolves around digital communication. It does not.

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