Monday, July 30, 2007

Red Bull Air Race - Where the free tickets went

If anyone's been reading this for a while they'll know that I've been very curious as to what Greenwich Council was doing with the free tickets that it was given by Red Bull.

Well another local local blog, the last bus home, has got the answers, click here to see them.

On the positive side the tickets did appear to end up with the public, the majority to individuals rather than community groups.

However what I find annoying is this response:
"The Council was concerned that not many residents would be aware of the Red Bull website and so would miss an opportunity to get tickets. For this reason, the Council proactively wrote to groups offering tickets and then advertised them on the Greenwich Council website and in the Greenwich Time newspaper"

I don't believe that anyone can really call the Council Proactive. I first became aware of the free tickets at the end of May when I looked at Red Bulls web site. Sure Greenwich Time had mentioned about a week or so before that that the race was coming but it didn't say a word about the free tickets.

A month later they do mention them in the "newspaper", they say they're going to community groups. The only way that you'd know that the public can register for what would be left over would be to have gone to Red Bull web site or to have done a search on the Council's web site.

Now remember that they'd already made the decision about a draw for the remaning tickets a month before, why didn't they say something? Why give the impression that only community groups would get them?

Finally a few days before the race they send out an email saying that members of the public can get those free tickets independently of any community group. That is, I believe, the first time that they proactively told anyone about it.

The only way you seemed to be able to find out that you could register for tickets was on various web sites, by email or through word of mouth. Given how much room the Council can find in Greenwich Time to spin and stretch the truth about what they're up to they didn't seem able to find a few lines to give the details to their residents.

To see the Council even admitting that finding out about the tickets on the web might be hard for some people and then blatantly failing to try and communicate properly to non-residents groups just makes me really angry. I've had quite a few people who are obviously IT literate tell me that they only got tickets because I posted about them. How many people unfairly missed out on their chances because they don't use the web or email?

Shame on you Greenwich Council!

I'm so happy that word got out to enough people to make sure that all the tickets were taken.


Inspector Sands said...

The whole thing is very odd indeed.

At best, it illustrates how big the gap is between the council and the people it's supposed to serve, and how cack-handed its communications are.

At worst, you're deep in Greenwich Watch territory. The truth's probably in between.

Charlton Average said...

If it's a choice between them being corrupt or inept then I go for the latter.

Combine that with an equally inept opposition and being a secure labour borough and then there's no drive to improve how rubbish they are.

Nick Day said...

The Plumstead Common Environment Group was established in 1993. It has won several awards, notably Greenwich's only Green Pennant in 2006 and one of only two in 2007. It has well over 200 members. The group is well known to the council and was recently cited in Greenwich Time as "supporting" the council's work. It has twice in the last two months been invited to Town Hall receptions to thank community groups. It therefore has a high profile with the council one might think. The group would surely qualify for an offer such as you describe but we heard nothing of it - so who got this invitation I wonder??