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Southwark seems to direct everyone online - why?


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Hello All,

I telephoned LB Southwark last week, and waited ages for their pest control line to be answered, finally got through to someone, to be advised there is now no option to report pests on the telephone no more, and this has to be reported online. I explained, the tenant was registered disabled and a wheelchair user, but the response was to still go online. I explained the person does not own a computer and has no access to go online, and the advice - find an internet cafe in the borough. The staff member ended up disconnecting the call. I thought Southwark looked after the old and vulnerable members of society, but this shows they don't. I completely understand, the council is strapped for cash, especially with covid, but i really don't agree with policies such as this, and Southwark don't seem to care.

Had another bad experience again. The tenant wanted a replacement fob because it had stopped working. Once again, called their number, ages again to answer, and told had to complete a form online. The council seems to keep its tenants at arms length these days, just not a happy bunny regarding the council righrt now :(.

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Hi Trinidad,

Is the tenant you're supporting in Goose Green ward? If so, please message or email me details and I will look into it. Or if the tenant wants to contact me themselves they are welcome to call me. Details here: http://moderngov.southwark.gov.uk/mgUserInfo.aspx?UID=50001002

If they're not a Goose Green resident then you can find their councillor's contact details here (http://moderngov.southwark.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx). I am sure whoever is their councillor would be happy to help.

Best wishes


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spider69 Wrote:


> You have more chance of winning the lottery than

> getting a response from a Cllrs. Personal

> experience.

That is very unfair. I've always found our councillors (and Helen Hayes, our MP) really helpful.

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Unfortunately, the presumption of connectivity is something all organisations do now - the more they shift online the fewer people they need to employ to answer the phones.

On the whole I have also found councillors responsive and supportive when needed - they can just be, ahem, a little selective about some of the things they chose not to respond to.

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Southwark is in the process of updating its strategy for communicating with ?customers? - it?s on the agenda for today?s cabinet meeting. The overall strategy is to move towards more digital channels but there is a clear commitment not to leave people behind: eg

 ?Commit to maintaining traditional service access (telephone and face to face) for those in our community unable to access digital services.?

The best person to contact with a general concern about unavailability of telephone services might be the cabinet member for Communities and Equalities, which is Alice Macdonald, [email protected].

Report here http://moderngov.southwark.gov.uk/documents/b50012437/Supplemental%20Agenda%20No.%201%20Tuesday%2008-Dec-2020%2011.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=9. That report includes an equality analysis and specifically states this

?The council will ensure traditional customer access services will remain available, so that everyone has access to high quality services. The contact centre will continue to handle emergency requests, such as housing repairs emergencies and pest control.?

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