News from eCasework

Good communication and engagement is central to a councillor’s role. You’re the bridge between a council and its citizens, and keeping track of who has raised problems can make your life a lot easier.

When a resident raises a problem, they’re going to expect a resolution. But once that problem is solved, who should tell the resident? Each council has its own way of keeping up with residents, but we recommend that councillors take the lead and communicate with citizens directly. People trust local advocates who are seen to be improving the quality of life in their neighbourhood…and that’s you!

To help you keep track of residents’ issues, you can note down details of your constituents in eCasework. Think of it like an electronic address book, except this address book can tell you much more than names, addresses and numbers. Watch the video below to explore the People section of eCasework.

Remember: By collecting the personal details of local residents, you will be acting as a data controller under the Data Protection Act 1998 and should adhere to the legislation. The Information Commissioner’s Office has advice for elected and prospective councillors on the use of personal information in your role.

News from eCasework

Pick a picture to represent yourself. (No, not a selfie.) Find a shape or symbol that shows your character. Not so easy is it? As a councillor, there’s no doubting the values you stand for but choosing an image that shouts those ideas too can be tough.

That’s what we we’ve been up to recently. We know what eCasework is and where its future lies, but how do you translate that into pictures? Hire a bunch of talented designers, of course! Here’s what they came up with.

An idea from Charcoal Eater. An idea from NRE Branding Studio. eCasework logo idea from HenDsign.

Rather good, aren’t they? We were blessed with a wealth of design talent but had to settle on one. After a couple of round-tables and one seemingly prophetic dream (imagine your boss is a logo, that’s essentially the narrative that played out), we finally settled on our choice.

Et voilà! The winning designer was NRE Branding Studio whose designer used a bespoke font face for the typography and simplified the icon based on our feedback. Gone now are the bulky filing cabinets full of papers, reams of letters you could forget to reply to and leave someone sorry they elected you. eCasework is the replacement for that. It stores everything, allows you to access it wherever, whenever, tells you who to talk to and when to get in touch.

It’s your digital filing cabinet. We think the logo encapsulates that perfectly.

News from eCasework

It’s all too common a tale when you’re a local councillor. As a prominent figure in the local community, people may come to you with problems at any moment  – and all you’re trying to do is buy some groceries. Fitting your public role into your private life can be tough.

But you did sign up to this. Your community should feel like it can rely on you, that you’re approachable and trustworthy. And so juggling your bags and their concerns, you reach for your notebook to record their case. You scribble it down. Done.

That’s not the end though. When you get home, you’ve got to start the cogs of local democracy turning to get this problem solved. Only you’ve mislaid the note. You can’t remember their exact address. What were the finer details of their noise complaint again?

There’s a better way to stay organised.

Helping you to help them

For over 10 years, councillors across the UK have been using eCasework to record, track and complete cases brought to them by their public. It’s a useful tool, taken on centrally by Lambeth Council and Rotherham Council to help their councillors improve life for local residents. But as with everything, there comes a time when you need to do a bit of maintenance, tinker with things and make improvements. So we’re building a new version.

A new era

Without a doubt, technology plays an important role in the lives of most people. Technology has been helping businesses everywhere become more efficient and provide better services. There’s also a growing trend for councillors to become more active online and engage digitally with their local community.

With all of that in mind, the new version of eCasework is being designed from the ground up. Paying particular attention to mobile devices, scenarios like the mislaid note will become a thing of the past. Next time a neighbour raises a concern, you’ll be primed and ready to help. They can track the case too. You’ll be able to see if it’s part of a larger issue. Your casework can even start to inform local policy.

We want to help you

  • be a local champion
  • stay on the ball with community developments
  • engage personally with residents and business, and
  • get things done.

Join us!

Keep an eye on this blog or join us on Twitter to hear about all the latest developments. Current eCasework members can claim a discount on the new version now.

Thanks for reading!

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