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To think that 20 working days is a ridiculous time...

(20 Posts)
Anne58 Wed 04-Mar-15 17:08:41

To wait for a response to an email sent to the Council? That's what it says they "aim" for, according to their website! I've known small boys being toilet trained that aim better than that!

Chances are by the time I get a reply, I'll have probably forgotten what the question was confused

For heavens sake, it wasn't even a difficult or complicated enquiry. It's not as if I've asked them to explain the offside rule (couldn't care less) or to tell me the answer to life, the universe and everything (which everybody knows is 42)


FlicketyB Wed 04-Mar-15 17:43:17

Commercial companies usually promise a reply within three days. A month, which is what 20 working days is effectively, is unacceptable.

Why not contact your local newspaper and tell them your story, or better still the Daily Mail!! They would love it!

JessM Wed 04-Mar-15 18:03:53

Councils have had their budgets cut significantly. There are many competing priorities - education, care, social work, holes in the road so employing staff to answer enquiries rapidly is probably not very high on the list.
So yes phoenix I think YABU smile

GrannyTwice Wed 04-Mar-15 18:11:21

Isn't it possible to telephone or is email the only communication?

GrannyTwice Wed 04-Mar-15 18:13:14

Flick - you might get a response but does it deal with the question?

Anne58 Wed 04-Mar-15 18:37:04

JessM I am well aware of the budget cuts, especially with regard to maintaining highways, driving around some of the local roads is almost akin to those in a third world country. This is not helped by the approach taken, in that pot holes are filled, and within a few weeks they open up again because they have not been done properly! (Surely more cost effective to do it once and do it right, than keeping sending teams out to keep doing it wrong!)

However, I still think that 20 working days (which as FlicketyB rightly says is a month) IS unreasonable! 1 week, maybe 2, but 4?????

Coolgran65 Wed 04-Mar-15 19:37:24

Let's hope it is a proper reply and not just a 'holding' letter to keep you happy while your query sits in a pile.

Anne58 Wed 04-Mar-15 19:43:57

I've received the automated response, which I suppose at least confirms that that my question has landed in some poor unfortunate persons inbox!

durhamjen Wed 04-Mar-15 19:48:17

If the enquiry is about potholes, fly-tipping, loose paving, dog poo, vandalism or broken street lighting, report them via

I reported a pothole last week in my son's street and it was fixed this week.

Anne58 Wed 04-Mar-15 20:00:52

Not about potholes durham that is a completely different subject! See my comments in the post of 18.37 about potholes. The actions that some councils take with regard to potholes are neither effective in maintaining the condition of the road, nor cost effective in even the medium term!

durhamjen Wed 04-Mar-15 20:43:16

But I didn't just say potholes, phoenix.

It obviously depends on your council. When we lived in Hampshire, a company in our village had manufactured a compound which set harder the more cars drove over it. Some counties use it, some do not.
Anyway, if it's to do with anything else in the county, it's worth going on to see if you can complain that way.

Deedaa Wed 04-Mar-15 23:12:35

A friend of mine is attempting to contact her local council because she needs a ramp for her wheelchair bound husband. So far she hasn't been able to tell them what she wants because she is lost in a maze of unanswered emails and unreturned phone calls.

Tresco Thu 05-Mar-15 00:15:21

DeedaaTell her to get a councillor to contact them, It's amazing how it can speed things up.

annsixty Thu 05-Mar-15 07:05:30

pheonix do you have a website called Streetlife in your area? When complaints such as yours are aired our local councillors and would be councillors are quick to respond and contact the relevant department,

Anne58 Thu 05-Mar-15 07:36:58

Actually ann it's not a complaint, it's a question! smile

If I started to contact the council or used any other format to complain about potholes then it would be practically a full time job!

Anya Thu 05-Mar-15 08:18:14

You, as a Council Tax payer, pay the wages of council workers. Of course you are entitled to a response and 20 working days is unreasonable. Most councils stipulate 10 working days.

Furthermore often emails do not land in the appropriate 'desk'. Last year I sent one to our District Council about racist graffiti. They forwarded it to the County Council who didn't reply. After two months I phoned but got passed round in circles.

I then emailed the three local councillors for our area and one responded immediately. The graffiti was removed within days.

Phoenix I have just re-emailed all three again (in the same email) as they are all standing for re-election in May and explained to them why I'll be voting for the pro-active one, but not the other two.

AlieOxon Thu 05-Mar-15 08:35:27

Interesting site!
Can I report a dangerous corner in here - dangerous because the junction doesn't have a 'GIVE WAY' sign and it should?
Or who deals with this?

AlieOxon Thu 05-Mar-15 08:36:23

I mean the fixmystreet site.

GrannyTwice Thu 05-Mar-15 08:42:41

Actually council tax revenue only accounts for about a quarter of local authority revenue. Most comes in the form of central government grants which have been systematically reduced over the lifetime of this government. If you cut taxes and reduce public expenditure to try to balance the books, then councils have to make decisions about what to cut back on . I always ring my local council if I have a query or check with their FAQs. When there isn't enough money to fund, for example ,proper home care for vulnerable people, I can't get exercised about waiting 20 days for an email response .

Anya Thu 05-Mar-15 09:31:46

25% Council Tax and a similar amount in Business Rates usually.

Of course councils have had to cut back drastically. And I agree if it's an answer to a query, rather than a complaint, then ringing is usually better. Though more and more it's only an answer phone you get through to.

Like everything else in life, your chance of getting something dealt with comes down to the efficiently of that individual or department.