Council: Effectiveness should start at the top

Reading the view of Sam Cross, the councillor who stated: “When the public perception of the council is so low throughout the borough...over the past four years” (Scarborough News, January 15) prompted me to relay my current dealings with Scarborough Borough Council at a time when the public are encouraged to communicate constructive concerns and suggestions to councils.

My experience was as follows:

Firstly, I wrote to the director of service delivery, no acknowledgment or reply from him. I then wrote to the chief executive, same outcome from him. I then wrote to the director of democratic and legal services, same outcome.

Due to the aforementioned actions I eventually received an unsigned letter from Customer First centre advising me that I would receive a response within 20 days to my complaint. Never materialised. I wrote to them advising them to add same to my complaint and forward to an independent complaints officer to await with interest another 20 days.

Also in the interim period I received a letter from Paul Thompson – he is operations, transport and countryside manager. I promptly replied to this, and attempted to follow up in the new year both sets of correspondence by telephoning him to be told he was in a meeting, no surprise.

I requested he telephoned me next day, morning if possible. I was telephoned not by him but someone else to inform me that he assumed what I wanted – I told her to inform him he wrongly assumed so! No reply, so I confirmed so in writing requesting him to phone me – no call to date. It would appear there is more than Mr Cameron running “frit”.

It is a well-known business fact that managerial effectiveness starts at the top and permeates down through an organisation. I leave you to draw your own conclusions. So I am one of the many members of the public to be “cross Sam”.

One thing is certain, the scope for improvement within councils is enormous and clearly visible. A challenge to management for sure.

Let’s see what the May elections have for the public.

W Wilson-Haig

South Cliff