As a Councillor and a representative of my community I expect that Borough service providers will effectively channel my Environmental or Highway concerns to the contractors who will then deliver a solution. However over the last year this is becoming an increasingly time consuming and expensive luxury especially as this is being carried out in my work time (my wife is getting less and less tolerant with me disappearing for hours on end to get bins emptied or gullies jet-washed) which in itself, would be impossible if it weren’t for the fact that I’m self employed. 90% of my calls to these two departments take over the maximum wait time of 5 minutes to be answered, recently two have gone over 20 minutes. I know of one resident who was desperate to get her drains cleared of silt to prevent an imminent flooding. Highways initially sent a road sweeper which swept over the drain cover! She gave up ringing that department after spending over 20 minutes waiting on the phone and, believing that somehow I would be treated differently, came to me for help. Only through dogged persistence did I finally get the drains jet-washed. I have asked for a complaints form be sent me three times now. One month later I am still waiting.
It is simply not good enough to explain this degree waiting time as “due to the high number of calls” when one wouldn’t countenance this in other walks of life. A plumber trying to excuse an unfinished job with ‘ ‘I was too busy working to deal with your job ‘ would get a deserved earful. Unfortunately this authority is going around with their fingers wedged firmly in their ears mumbling about striving for excellence. These services are plainly not fit-for-purpose given that such barriers are placed in front of residents and their representatives when they try to report malfunctions with their services and maintenance we demand an explanation of how, in the short term they are going to decrease the wait times for these calls, and their long term solutions. Telford and Wrekin are presently engaged in a publicity campaign called ‘Pride in Your Community’ when the community can’t communicate their environmental concerns what chance is their to generate pride?