ANGRY politicians are calling for action after the phone lines at Worcester City Council collapsed for the fourth time in three months.

Lines serving the main headquarters Orchard House and the Guildhall went down on Wednesday, and were only back in operation on Friday afternoon.

The collapse caused chaos for people ringing the Worcestershire HUB help centre, with a temporary number in operation for the public.

Your Worcester News can reveal how since January the lines have now been out of action four times.

Back on Thursday, January 2 the lines collapsed for two days due to problems with providers BT.

A second collapse two weeks later led to e-mails going down, as well as internet connections for 24 hours, and on Wednesday, February 26 phone lines again went down for two days. This week's problems were due to a BT exchange failing.

Councillor Alan Amos said: "In all honesty this is a pretty serious problem, four times in the last three months we've had these problems.

"This is public money we are wasting, it's appalling.

"On Wednesday I went to the Guildhall nice and early only to find all the lines were down, which immediately means you can't contact constituents for a conversation.

"Every time it collapses we seem to be waiting two days for something to be done.

"I've been a councillor a long time and never experienced anything like it in my life."

The council says this week's collapse was limited to three of the authority's main four offices, including a base in Copenhagen Street.

That means the leisure centres and crematorium escaped unscathed.

The emails were also working as normal, so staff at the Worcestershire HUB were sending on queries electronically until phone lines were back to normal.

Fresh talks are now taking place with BT in a bid to avoid any repeats.

A spokesman said: "We apologies to any residents who have been affected by this problem.

"We are taking the matter up urgently with our service provider and are seeking a permanent solution to stop similar problems happening again."