Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Blowing Your Own Trumpet

Nice work if you're a contortionist or have had a rib surgically removed, but that's not really what I'm talking about. No, it's more to do with an email I've received from a council insider with a document entitled 'Press highlights for Thanet District Council - April 2008' attached.

The document has evidently been produced by the PR department to demonstrate their sterling work in pulling the wool over the eyes of Her Majesty's Press, and lists some of April's successes as:
  • Council's action following the Scenic Railway were (sic) covered in the Guardian and Daily Mail
  • Front page coverage of the Margate Rocks festival in the Adscene
  • Front page coverage of benefit fraud cases brought by TDC in the Thanet Times
  • Etc etc etc
Apparently in the first four months of 2008 only 5% of the 440 articles about the council in the local press showed it in a bad light. So hurrah for TDC, eh? Er, well, not quite because their own customer stats tell a different story. For the three months from February 2008 to April 2008 they received a whopping 168 complaints, compared to a paltry 39 compliments. And that has to be seen in light of the fact that many complaints get treated as 'requests for service' and hence don't even make it onto the list.

Still, they're at least recoginsing that people do have complaints. Over at our lovely airport, the online complaints form on their new, super-duper website isn't even working!

Click here to see TDC complaints stats
Click here to try and complain to the airport


Anonymous said...

I had cause for complaint over our household refuse wheelie bin not being emptied. It took me three phone calls on one day and each time I got a different
story from whoever answered the phone from 'The route's been changed' -no, it hasn't. 'They're on their way' -no, they weren't. 'It's not a missed collection uless it's after 1p.m.' It was finally emptied at 12.30p.m. and it was a missed collection. Three calls on my phone bill to sort out a missed bin emptying.

Disgusted of Westgate said...

I complained about those pesky waves making lapping sounds on the beach all night and received no reply whatsoever!

Ian J said...

I think most people don't even bother complaining, they just feel it would be a waste of time and effort, and their encounter with a Thanet District Council job's worth would leave them worse of emotionally and service wise than just sorting out the problem themselves.

Anonymous said...

A fair point, Ian, but there was no way I could leave two weeks' worth of household waste to fester in the bin for two more weeks as even bagged up (and being a non-meat eater so no meat leftovers) , it's surprising how it can all smell after two weeks.

Peter Checksfield said...

I think they've fobbed off us naturists with promises of a "public consultation" on the Botany Bay &/or Pegwell Bay nudie beaches. I wonder if it's worth complaining?

Anonymous said...

The Council complain about all the rubbish on Viking Bay, yet their employees sit around doing nothing, no wonder the rubbish accumulates. Our Council and our local press do not reflect the concerns of local residents, and both are very out of touch with reality and the local opinion.

Anonymous said...

I have a parking permit in Broadstairs which has increased by 25%, yet I am not allowed to park in the Thanet's empty carpark outside my front door and have to find carparking spaces on the surrounding roads. When talking to the Manger at Thanet Council, No we will not change this, you will just have to keep driving round to you find a space on the roads. Says alot about this Council's enviromental policies.Thanet's Permit holders should be allowed to park in TDC'S empty carparks such the upper level of College Sq Margate, there is never more than 40 cars there. Mill Hill is obviuosly out of bounds as it full of Council worker's cars, but other carparks are under utilised and it would bring poeple back to our town centres and would help regeneration.

Ian J said...

As one could assume all TDC office employees start work at the same time, and all the bus routes in Thanet stop at Cecil square, how about the council employees get on a bus and free up Mill Lane for paying customers.

Further, I bet Thanet don't pay the £300 council tax on each space that is reserved for their employees, and I bet none of them declare the benefit on their tax returns, I wonder what the tax man would say about that?

Lets say £6 per day for say 250 days per year, I make that £1500 of untaxed benefit, say 100 employees, that £150,000 of untaxed benefit....and I bet my figures are low.

Linda Spitfire said...

Any mention in that report of the local housing stock being 300 homes and the waiting list topping 4000?

Who in their right mind would bother complaining? Small town politics means you'll just be marked as a troublemaker and all types of problems would be mysteriously generated.

Ian J, good point. Did you know all council parking permits have a prefix which parking inspectors have been instructed to note so they can keep a special eye out for council worker's vehicles, while ignoring everyone elses'?