People's Republic of Lambeth
We've been busy; very busy so sorry for the lapse in content. Anyway, I would really, really like to know what's wrong with Lambeth council? We phoned in a complaint about building works being carried out by the arrogant git next door and heard nothing. Eventually a letter arrived 10 days later stating they had called to follow up but our number was out of service. It appears the woman wrote it down incorrectly. I phoned and left a message correcting the information and waited for a reply. Bad move. The incompetence of front-line staff sometimes knows no bounds.
Several unanswered phone calls later sent me back to the general help number. The person I spoke to proceeded to get my name wrong, the postcode wrong and then (once corrected) informed me there was nothing on the system regarding that area.
Reading off the reference number from the letter we received (three times before she seemed to draw the faculties together to get it right), she, much to surprise all round, found that there is, in fact, an outstanding action that no one has done a thing about since the 19th of June.
Now we had a lot of family over this past weekend and it was a bit of a strain to accommodate everyone. It didn't help to have hammer-drills growling into the adjoining wall all weekend. But it didn't have to happen.
You see it wasn't necessary to employ someone who doesn't understand a wide range of spoken English accents on a front-line service. But it's cheap and politically correct. It wasn't necessary to inform us that the person who was attending to our case was off sick unless Lambeth actually believed its mission statement spiel. And perhaps it's asking too much for someone else to take on the cases for people who are off ill; that is unless public services actually means service to the public. The Environment Dep't could deliver so much to the area but first it would mean people who work there actually taking pride in what they do and losing the jobsworth mentality. The clock is ticking....
Edit: 16 July 2006
So we were called on Friday informing us that someone would be coming round on the 25th to serve notice after which the council would be monitoring the issue. The work will probably be finished by then but we do look on with interest...
Edit: 29 July 2006
Got a call yesterday (28th July) from the Environmental Health - Noice Enforcement office stating that a legal notice had been served on the owner next door. Today at 2:30PM we heard a fierce grinding sound next door. Sure enough, they were out working trying to plane off some old paint from the front doorway making a huge racket in doing sdo. However it states very clearly here that work is to end at 1PM. Hmmm, we'll be having a chat with Noice Enforcement and seeing how much enforcing gets done. We still look on with interest....