Tackling tipping, broken streetlights, graffiti, vandalism was what got me involved in community activity in Kings Cross. Some weeks I feel like an urban Bill Oddie on ‘TrashWatch’. There are loads of ways to tackle this – when i first arrived, Stephan I think gave me a list of about 30 phone numbers he used at the Council to get things done. Contact Islington was a big improvement – pulling together these numbers into one phone No and one email. After some teething troubles it now works well I find, or at least a lot better than the previous system.
Recently I have been trialling the independent FixMyStreet (formerly Neighbourhoodfixit). It allows you to click on a map and automatically reports the problem to the right Council. There is an interesting side effect in that a picture builds up on a map of where the problems have been over time. Some internet magic with RSS feeds allows me to keep an automatic rolling list of local problems in the top left hand corner of the http://www.kingscrossenvironment.com web pages. I find that problems get dealt with by the Council as well as those reported direct to Contact Islington.