North Yorkshire’s Parish Portal helps to improve services

County Hall in Northallerton.

A drive to empower hundreds of community leaders to improve services, such as fixing potholes, looks set to be extended after leading to radical advances.

More than half of the 731 parish councils in North Yorkshire have signed up to directly report issues over roads, pavements, drainage, vegetation and street lighting through the county council’s Parish Portal since it was launched last year.

A report to the authority’s corporate and partnerships overview and scrutiny committee states the portal has led to the average time between an issue being reports and a response from a highways officers following an inspection falling from 20 days to five days.

It is estimated the online development will save £62,000 annually within two years as parishes are able to send photos of issues, cutting the number of site visits for officers.

The portal has also enabled council officers to provide direct feedback to parishes.

A spokesman for Husthwaite Parish Council said the portal enabled locals to pinpoint the exact site of issues and view other reports, while Linton on Ouse Parish Council described the website as “easy to use and straightforward”.

Due to the success of the portal, councillors will be asked to consider developing it to extend the number of services which can be directly contacted.

Issues which cannot be reported on the portal at present include concern about roadworks, kerbs, obstructions, deposits and spillages on roads, road markings and speeding issues.