Sunday, April 12, 2009

Emailing the Council

I've sent my Councillors, Jim Wintour (the head of Neighbourhood Services) and Chris Roberts (the Council Leader) a letter and I also emailed them all a copy taking advantage of the medium to attach some photos too.

The first surprise, well to be honest perhaps not that much of one, is that Jim Wintour's details page on the Council web site has the wrong email address on it. It lists his email address as (his PA). If you try and contact him via that address you get a bounced back message saying that Brenda no longer works for the Council and, rather helpfully, Brenda Howlett has now left the building.

Nice to see the Council making sure it's contact details are up to date and that it's easy for us residents to contact them.

The second surprise is that within an hour Chris Roberts himself replied to my email, that did somewhat set me back. In all honesty I've not held a very high opinion of Mr Roberts ever since he stood on stage at the O2 and lied to me and thousands of other residents. However in all honesty he does deserve some praise for this. On what I presume was a day off he received an email from a resident from a different ward to his own and very rapidly he responded.

However unfortunately he couldn't read the letter attachment as he was on a mobile gadget that didn't support the format, though I presume that he could see the photos. He did provide me with Jim Wintour's proper email address which, for the record, is

Later in the day he emailed me again saying that he had walked along Floyd Road and that the rubbish in the street had been cleared away, which had happened at some point in the morning.

I replied saying:
The actual problem isn't the rubbish it's that the rubbish keeps happening and the wheeley bins along my side of the street were all taken away with no contact from the Council before or since (in fact I'm still waiting a call back from a supervisor at the Council call centre over two weeks since I called them asking where the bins had gone).

I'll wait for you to be able to read the letter which details the problem and some of the history behind it.

So so far I'm actually impressed with his response. It's not just what I believe we should get from a Councillor but is, in my opinion, above and beyond the call of duty, and I can't believe I'm saying that about a Greenwich Councillor but I've got to be honest and pat him on the back over this.

However what will happen when the letter is actually read?

Will the call centre actually call me?

Will we get an apology for the way our bins were just taken away?

Might we be offered a small bin if we keep it off the pavement (which is actually fine with me)?

Might the Council finally do something about those people who throw rubbish out in the street on any day and block the pavement?

Or will the Council think that cleaning up when prodded is a genuine and satisfactory solution and replace it's head in the sand?

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