Opening up our data to make Birmingham cleaner

Jacqui Kennedy, Acting Strategic Director for Place at Birmingham City Council, blogs on the publication of data showing how clean the city’s wards are…

Jacqui Kennedy

Jacqui Kennedy – Acting Strategic Director of Place

Following his election as Leader of the Council, Cllr John Clancy has made it clear that ensuring we all have cleaner streets is a top priority for him.

This of course echoes what residents make clear to us day in day out.

So, given the new leadership of the council, we want to draw a line in the sand, so people know where we are at and to ensure we know what needs to be done to meet our aim of a cleaner Birmingham.

We’re doing this by capturing the spirit of another of the new Leader’s aims – opening up the council’s vast amounts of data, so members of the public can judge our performance.

Today we are pleased to be able to present a dashboard that outlines how well each ward is doing on some key environmental measures: litter, fly-posting and graffiti. It lists:

– each of the city’s 40 wards
– the date of the annual 2015/16 inspection (if already done)
– a percentage for the number of inspected sites in the ward that fail to meet the recognised targets for the three issues (we inspect 70 sites in each ward to reach the final figure, and those sites are a cross-section of street and location types to make the result as representative as possible)
– a percentage to show the proportion of wards that fail to hit the target for the three issues

In short, the more green on the dashboard, the better! Some people say red and green should never be seen (together), and we agree – and fully intend to make Birmingham greener.

So please take a look and see how we are doing. Everyone has a role to play in keeping their own communities clean, and as a council we are fully committed to doing our part to make this happen.

It’s clear that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to environmental services – these figures show that our current ways of working are not delivering even results.

We’ll be using this as motivation to deliver better services and will be utilising it and other information, which we will make available in the coming months, to shape our services in the best way possible.

The days of action announced by the Leader are the start of this – watch this (or better still) your local place!

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