OPINION: Reporting council issues made easier by phone app

Dallington resident Patrick Boland talks about city council’s ‘Snap Send and Solve’ app and when it has and has not been effective for getting problems solved within the community.

One thing I love about our local community is how people aren’t afraid to call it how it is and to take some action to solve problems.

Despite not always feeling the love in terms of service, it’s in our nature to give things a go and get things done.

One of the best tools I have found lately is the Snap Send Solve app. It allows you to take pictures with your phone and report problems to both Christchurch City Council and to ECAN (for pollution, etc.)

You can log something and straight away it goes into these organisations’ tracking systems and usually the results are good. It can be used for graffiti, rubbish, parks, roads, waterways and so on.

I love it because I have a phobia of using telephones and I can log problems and know they got to the right place and are being tracked.

I have found it particularly useful with getting rid of graffiti and rubbish dumped in our corner of the red zone.

Snap Send Solve was also effective in getting a faded pedestrian crossing painted so that motorists could see it and stop, this was done within a week of the request.

Where hasn’t it been so effective for me?

I reported a problem with traffic light phasing, where there are often 12 cars queued during peak hours and the lights were letting to to three cars out per phase.

Despite backing up my report with pictures and timings, I was told there was no problem and no changes would be made.

It often depends on who receives your report.

Also once I reported a large amount of sediment dumped into a waterway and ECAN only got the report two days later.

So maybe sometimes you still do need to use that telephone.