Londoners invited to flag up grot spots and urban utopias

A website allowing Londoners to highlight well-loved corners of the city - and those that have been left to go to seed - has been launched in the capital.

The LoveCleanStreets website is a spin- off from a successful scheme in Lewisham where residents were able to let their local authority know about those areas that filled them with civic pride and those that could do with some municipal attention.

The site has been used to identify and tackle nuisances such as fly tipping, littering and graffiti.

Users simply upload photos with a description then click on an interactive street map to show where it can be found.

In theory, the local authority then takes any action that might be required.

Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock, said: “This is an excellent new development. Improving the physical environment of a neighbourhood makes an enormous difference to the quality of life for those living in it.

“Thanks to a lot of hard work and some amazing technological advances Lewisham’s new scheme will make a real difference to the lives of Londoners.”

Since the borough-based Love Lewisham project started, the number of enviro-crimes in the borough has fallen.

According to the Audit Commission complaints about graffiti have fallen by 30% and between June 2007 and August 2009 the amount and frequency of graffiti observed in the borough fell by 8%.

Clean-up times have been cut dramatically and resident satisfaction with the council’s street cleaning services has increased.

The scheme has the potential to be rolled out to other parts of the country, with the supporting Microsoft Silverlight technology allowing the system to be easily integrated into local authority systems to make it more likely that issues can be dealt with smoothly.

Helen Gilroy, head local and regional government, Microsoft UK, said: “LoveCleanStreets is a leading example in local government.

“I am really excited to see technologies being brought together in a way that helps to markedly improve the relationship between local authorities and the communities they serve.

“LoveCleanStreets will directly empower citizens to improve the place they live which is a really great thing for Microsoft to be involved in.”

Sam Bond

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