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Complaints about Worcester City Council show year-on-year rise
THE number of complaints made to Worcester City Council has increased 36 per cent year-on-year, it has emerged.
But politicians insist the rise is because a new online system has been created making it easier than ever for people’s gripes to be heard.
Data for the first six months of the 2013/14 financial year shows 147 complaints were made, compared with 108 during the same period last year.
Of those, 81 were about the cleaner and greener department, which deals with bin collections, car parking enforcement, parks and the environment.
A new report on the data says “a number” of the complaints were about non-city council issues, such as highways and public transport, that were logged by mistake.
During the same period, 24 compliments were paid to the council, of which 22 were praising the services on offer. These included flower beds looking nice, the varied plantation around the city and refuse crews coming back swiftly to collect forgotten bins. Staff at the Hive also came in for praise.
The report was debated during a meeting of the performance, management budget scrutiny committee, at which some politicians voiced concerns about the rise in complaints.
Councillor Roger Knight said he was concerned the city could have a “serious problem” unless the total came down.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, the opposition Tory group leader, said: “It’s good to have this data, the rise might be because we are communicating (the complaints system) better, or because people’s tolerance levels are lower, or maybe services are declining, we don’t know.”
After the meeting Councillor Lynn Denham, the cabinet member for community engagement, said the complaints system had been revamped.
“We’ve got an online system which allows us to have one centralised database of complaints, rather than relying on the individual departments, because it wasn’t always adequately collated together,” he said.
“Since it came into place two of those are mine, because it’s so easy to do. We want to get this information and feedback so if something goes wrong, we can use that to help improve a service.”