A new mobile app has been released this month which tells residents in Hertfordshire about changes in their local area.
The ‘Notice Herts’ app provides convenient access to information about local planning, transport and licensing applications, along with events and places to visit in the local area, and recommended traders.
The free app is the work of a new partnership of Hertfordshire councils, a local newspaper group, technology companies, and charities who were selected to run an innovative central government pilot using technology to make public notices clearer, simpler, and in a place the public will access them.
In a recent focus group with Hertfordshire residents, less than a fifth of the group said they currently access public notices, yet over four out of five people admitted to being interested in these developments happening in their local area.
Robert Smyth, Assistant Director at Dacorum Borough Council, the organisation leading the project explains, “How people consume information has radically changed with new technology and this app is a great example of mobile apps can be used to help us engage with communities about the issues that affect them. We will learn a lot from this pilot project which will help us with our plans to deliver more online services in the future.”
Notice Herts aims to bridge the gap between notices in local papers and information on council websites. Covering Hertfordshire County Council and the districts of Dacorum, Three Rivers, East Herts and Watford, the app features:
- Notices of planning applications, road changes and licensing applications (sex and alcohol establishments) based on geographical location
- Local events and places of interest locally
- Approved local tradespeople
‘Notice Herts’ is available on Android and iOS, from Google Play or the Apple Store.
Alongside developing the app to make public notices available on mobile devices the partnership is looking at how to improve the difficult - and sometimes full of jargon - language used in public notices, and improving the notices so that people with sight loss can access the information.
An online survey is open until 4 September open to everyone across the country, the results of which will inform plain language guidance for statutory notices. THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED