HANG ON IN THERE. BUT YOU COULD WAIT FOREVER FOR THE COUNCIL TO ANSWER THE PHONE BEFORE THEY HANG UP ON YOU

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NOTEBOOK by BILL HEANEY

Our SNP council have got to be kidding. Imagine having the cheek to post this notice (above) on social media when they haven’t answered about 20,000 calls from the public.

Even when they do answer the phone, they’re not very helpful and sometimes they’re not helpful at all.

Clare Sweeney go in touch with them about overgrown bushes blocking the pavement in the West End. That’s the kind of thing that is a pain for partially sighted people – and for parents with prams to push along the footpath.

Here is a transcript of the conversation between Clare, who is partially sighted, and a council official who answered her very civil message to complain:

Clare Sweeney

Still very overgrown bushes restricting the pavement after the Joint Hospital on Cardross Road and continuing up Westcliff Brae.
Author

West Dunbartonshire Council

Hi Clare Sweeney, thanks for your post, you can report this by emailing wdc.greenspace@west-dunbarton.gov.uk, thanks Stephen.
Clare Sweeney
West Dunbartonshire Council I don’t have great internet access.  Is there another way of reporting?
Author

West Dunbartonshire Council

Hi Clare Sweeney , you can call our contact centre at 01389 737000, thanks Stephen.
Clare Sweeney
West Dunbartonshire Council who should I ask to speak to that’s the main switchboard number isn’t it?
I know waiting times can be long.  And don’t want to take up too much of my time
Is there no direct dial option?
The chummy but hopelessly uniformative council officer disappears from the communication never again to be heard of.
There are reports that over the period of the pandemic that no less than 20,000 local people have found themselves in a similar situation to Clare Sweeney.  Hanging on to phone lines to which there will never be an answer from anyone. Same with e mails.
We’re all sick, sore and tired of people in public offices and private businesses giving us the run around on the telephone.
Who cares?  Not SNP-run West Dunbartonshire Council which is one of the few organisations not yet to have opened for business post the relaxation of restrictions.
And which has highly paid employees sitting at home taking the occasional phone call.
Come off it. The words of that catchy song come to mind.
I’m busy, busy, busy doing nothing
Doing nothing. That’s the life for me
The Council does have some good advice on its website though and that’s about where to get help with your mental health.
And, boy, you’ll need it after you try to get through to them.
This is so kind of them, especially for those people driven round the bend waiting for someone there to answer the telephone.
One small question from me then. How many people have “passed away” while waiting on the phone for the Council to answer them?  Please don’t scoff. It’s not preposterous.
People in SNP-run Scotland are dying waiting for ambulances to get them to hospital even though First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told us all at the very beginning of this crisis (well a few weeks after the beginning, which was when they finally got round to it) that we hadn’t a thing in the world to worry about.
The SNP government were prepared for anything Covid 19 could throw at them and this included PPE, hospital accommodation, intensive care units, adequate staffing, care homes  …. I could go on … and on.

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2 comments

  1. Don’t know what the angst is all about. The council van that goes to work at 8.30 am but is back at the house for 11.30 am for the two and a half hour lunch break is well known. Ditto the queue of vans from 3.00 pm waiting outside the depot to clock off.

    These practices are well know,

    And now the council employee out for a stroll at all times of the working day as they shield at home supposedly working is the next big thing. Well no chance of these boys and girls returning to work as the rest of society resumes working, shopping, socialising and so on. Personally, I doubt whether Church Street will operate again any time soon, if ever.

    And for those waiting over twelve weeks for council support grants that have never arrived please be recognise that you go short because the council re underfunded and don’t have enough staff to process payments, and or that according to the CEO they don’t have the money.

    And maybe the 20,000 left hanging on the phone, maybe they all just phoned at the wrong time.

  2. Well I have not had many problems throughout the time of Lock Down. What I do have to say is a very big thanks to Craig Docherty who work in the Education Dept dealing with EMA grants. He has taken the time to call and support me with the new procedures.

    There are many workers who really care but circumstances make it difficult.

    So all I want to say to the Director of Education is that this young Man has gone and above for me and actually it is not the first time, he advised me last year for my Daughter.

    You need to employ more people who are interested and care for those they are dealing with.

    If I were you I would create a position for Craig to deal directly with pupils. Shouldn’t be parents submitting these grants it should be the pupils and if the could deal directly with Craig and he could explain the logic I’d bet there would be many more kids staying in Education. They would get him, get him out into 3rd year students explaining the benefits of continued Education. He is not a Teacher or one they would see in authority. Worth a try I would say. Thanks so much Craig. D

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