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Environmental Health and Customer Services to go?


bobby47
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Alcohol is a wonderful thing isn't it? Especially when you don't consume it as often as I do. Folk who limit their consumption to a few pints a week tend to lose all self control and start gibbering on about what they've heard at the Council.

T'other day, I was sat in the Commercial holding Court and addressing a number of the Yazor Brook Toad Sexer's who were describing their confrontation with a particularly aggressive Natterjack Toad that did not want to open its back legs and display its sex. Whilst engrossed in this bucket of tripe of a conversation, there was a tap, tap, tap on my shoulder. Turning in the belief that my wife had tracked me down and was about to hit me in the face with her frying pan, I was met by a young suit who'd decided to pour his heart out about what he'd learned whilst at work with the Council.

I said, 'don't tell me the Council are going to knock down the Cathedral because I won't believe you'.

And then it started. He pulled up his chair, he was clearly out of his mind after consuming to much ale and he began to tell me things that made me nibble fast on my packet of Pork Scratchings.

Basically the Department of Environmental Health is going to be released from the Council. Because they need to make two million in savings there is a discussion now ongoing that'll see it taken away from the Council, another Arms Length Company like Hereford Futures or Hoople may be created and it'll take with it, Licensing, Trading Standards, Noise and Pest Control, Fly Tipping and a whole raft of other things.

Course, these were the ramblings of a drunken idiot and this information may be wrong but when he told me that Customer Services at Franklin House are to go as well, and be replaced by an online service that would require everyone, old and young to become Computer literate in order to be able to communicate with the Council, my immediate thought was, 'Hi up. This is so ridiculous it's probably true.'

You have to ask yourselves this one single question. Given the limited areas of business the Council now are involved in, why on earth do we sit back and pay the Council Tax?

Course, my source could be a complete idiot and as mad as me but somehow or other, I think he told me these things because he was frightened about his future and being required to step into the 'Pen' that collects all the good people who are next in line for redundancy.

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You have to ask yourselves this one single question. Given the limited areas of business the Council now are involved in, why on earth do we sit back and pay the Council Tax?

 

Surely it must be time to ask why on earth do we need Herefordshire Council? With service levels plummeting or being removed altogether, yet the year on year charge increasing, we are rapidly reaching the point where we have to say enough is enough! Either we need a different business model ie merge with South Shropshire or Worcestershire, or Hereford City becomes a District Council as it was before or something else. Obviously, all the suits would love this - this is after all their sole reason for being - to reorganise, but something must be done. Nobody, as far as I am aware, asked for a Unitary authority - it was foisted on us in 1998 by a labour government, although it was originated under the tories. Something's gotta change!

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You have to ask yourselves this one single question. Given the limited areas of business the Council now are involved in, why on earth do we sit back and pay the Council Tax?

 

Surely it must be time to ask why on earth do we need Herefordshire Council? With service levels plummeting or being removed altogether, yet the year on year charge increasing, we are rapidly reaching the point where we have to say enough is enough! Either we need a different business model ie merge with South Shropshire or Worcestershire, or Hereford City becomes a District Council as it was before or something else. Obviously, all the suits would love this - this is after all their sole reason for being - to reorganise, but something must be done. Nobody, as far as I am aware, asked for a Unitary authority - it was foisted on us in 1998 by a labour government, although it was originated under the tories. Something's gotta change!

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Spot on Two Wheels - something has got to change.

 

God forbid they create another arms length company, do they never learn from their mistakes??

 

The amount of money that has been squandered and frittered away, whilst Our City falls further and further into decline borders on the obscene.

 

To all those front line folks, who may now have serious concern about their continuing employment with this council, you have my sympathy. Having been through three restructuring exercises in as many years, I know first hand how stressful this situation is.

 

Now, more than ever, we need to stand together.

 

We need to say, loud and clear.....Enough Is Enough.

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The whole 'beast' is out of control. The suits behind Customer Service for example. They ain't going anywhere anytime soon. They sit together, collate their views on who should get the axe and who shouldn't get the axe and they then get given other job titles. They slide to some other area of business that's highly interesting. They may get lucky, be given another area of responsibility and off they go. Upwards onto another and higher pay grade.

Nothing except our money goes in and nothing comes out and round and round we go chasing shadows and a trail of debris that'd confuse the finest inquisitive minds. The FB blogger Harry Williams has been relentlessly pursuing the Council regarding the paperwork for Hereford Futures. Time and time again he asks and over and over again they say, 'of course we can't comment because its a private limited company. We respectfully suggest you contact them'. My good friend Harry, says, over and over again, 'How can I contact them they have ceased to be'.

It's all madness and its happening now and being done in the name of public service. God help us!

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Won't be long before we see members and officers abandoning the Council and swimming towards the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership. They are already taking over the policy and decision making for the future. Oh and you will still pay the local council tax plus a new regional surcharge to fund the next round of the same old names feathering their nest.

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Wasn't Cllr Morgan responsibly for Adult Social Services and now she's moved over to Customer Services? I hear she made mistakes there hence why her responsibility was removed and here she goes again! 

 

That's the trouble with this Council you can move from place to place causing chaos! They need to start again from the top and rid us of the incompetent Managers before starting on our front line staff! 

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Evening Flam!

 

Pat Morgan presided over Children's' Services. Following an OFSTED in 2012,it was found to be inadequate in every area.

 

Needless to say, Patricia did not feel the need to resign.

 

She did however, successfully oversee the construction of a sturdy new bus shelter, so perhaps I am being unfairly critical of her.

 

OFSTED are back again now. Their latest report should be out quite soon.

 

Birmingham's Children's Services are also found to be inadequate in every area. This has made both local and national television news today.

 

Let's hope that when this latest report comes out, for the sake of vulnerable and at risk children in our county, significant improvements have been made.

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Good evening Dip 

 

Thanks for the clarification, I knew Cllr Morgan was something to do with social services. I saw her speak once and to my shame if I'd had a basket of rotten eggs I would  have thrown them at her. Better keep that to yourself though I don't want to get lynched! Lol 

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Customer Services at Franklin House are to go as well

 

They must have spent a fortune on those blinds as that building has a lot of glass at the ground floor level ... staff must have got a bit moany about being stared at? Plus how much did that anti tramp shutter cost? As everyone used to ablute/doss in that doorway ... 

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I find it very strange why a topic such as this doesn't attract more comments. Is it because people really don't care? Or is there something I'm missing? Don't people get tired of sitting on the fence? 

 

The opening post was long and a ramble ... Attention does not normally extend to that length of post! ;-)

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This is from the Council Cabinet Meeting in Jan.14

 

(b) consideration be given to closing the customer services centre at Franklin House and offering a combined customer and library service at the Broad Street site;

 

I have learnt that apparently this is not an option because the. Library is a Listed Building and the Council are prevented from carrying out the required work .

 

So , it appears that they have take , / or will be taking the decision to close the Customer Services at Franklin House because they appear to have " promised" it to the NUH .

 

Again if this is true and the only contact the Public can have with the Council is via a telephone or computer is , in my opinion ill thought out and very wrong. A good number of the people that use the Customer Services on a face to face basis are the less fortunate in Society who , in the main can only explain their circumstances properly by sitting down at a desk talking to a nice person .

.

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Morning Flam!

 

So......no face to face, no phone contact, just via the internet???

 

Well that's just great for technophobic fools like myself. And what about those who don't have access to the internet? It's not a given that folks have this, or are comfortable using this technology??

 

Hi Roger.

 

I would imagine that with all the pressures front line staff have....demanding blinds by "getting a bit moany" would not be top of their list of concerns! When you work face to face with people, being stared at is one of the least things to be concerned about!

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Are you whispering this Flam????!!!!!

 

Or checking my eyesight???!!!

 

Well....I am neither elderly nor disabled, but I struggle!!

 

I know plenty of folks who would much prefer to at least speak to someone via a phone. To remove this option is putting an awful lot of people at a distinct disadvantage.

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Just this minute listening to dear old Jack Osborne on sky news talking with the same old school boy twadle.Labour have not taken the councils they wanted to because they have not changed,well look who's bloody talking Jack.
Spinning the same old tripe that the Conservatives always do with quotes like."This is how we are going to respond to the vote.We're going to do what  I believe the public wants us to do,listen,respond and deliver".  Yeah right Jack,we believe you.

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I have learnt that apparently this is not an option because the. Library is a Listed Building and the Council are prevented from carrying out the required work

It's a grade 2 listed building which means the interior can be changed but not the exterior.The phone box next to Orange tree is also grade 2 listed  :Happy_32:
 

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I have learnt that apparently this is not an option because the. Library is a Listed Building and the Council are prevented from carrying out the required work

 

It's a grade 2 listed building which means the interior can be changed but not the exterior.The phone box next to Orange tree is also grade 2 listed  :Happy_32: 

No, the interior is protected as well. However, that does no preclude it being altered.

 

As for Internet customer 'services' - if anyone has seen how badly they run their facebook page, it will be worse than useless. Perhaps that is the idea. As we've mooted, we're on the tipping point of asking why do need/pay for a council when they do so little.

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Twowheelgood -can only agree with you about their internet........for the last few years I have payed my monthly Council Tax via the Council Website , for whatever reason I have been unable to do it for the last two months and had to revert to Allpay telephone system which ,I must say was very easy - my thought is that Allpay must be taking a % of the Council Tax for their trouble !

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As we've mooted, we're on the tipping point of asking why do need/pay for a council when they do so little.

 

I agree, but there is a point of local democracy being removed form the area and decisions made elsewhere. Someone on here said that all the city decisions are made by councillors who live elsewhere in the county. So imagine what it will be like when the LEP, Westminter or the EU are telling what we should be doing. They can't even tell the difference between Hereford and Hertford.

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ALL the city council councillors live in the city wards, someone is mistaking them with the councillors on Herefordshire council all the administration with exception of three, live in the country!

In regards to the subject of this post which along the way has strayed into other things, I will check what is being said here on Tuesday and report back

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Wot gets me is that the likes of Cameron Osborne & co go on about people sponging off the state i.e the unemployed, disabled etc yet they don't look @ those who run the local authorities & council who are in it for themselves & treat it as there very own personal cash cow to milk dry when ever it suits them, then turn round & say there's no money left to give to frontline services which is where it's need most! so until central government takes a whole new look @ how budgets & those who spend it are run & then take a radical new approach to changing the present system I'm afraid nothing will change & money will continue to be shovelled down a bottomless pit & wasted by those who run & manage our services?!

So plz someone shoot the cash cow!!!

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Well said Cambo.

 

Can Councillors reading this page also request an audit on how many Managers and other senior staff have received a wage rise since the beginning of the job cuts. I guarantee 100% you will be amazed! Instead of putting a freeze on wage increases managers were able to thin out front line staff and award themselves a pay rise!  Many senior staff happily waved good bye to front line staff with one hand while counting their wage increase with the other! Please explain to the public why any wage increase was justified to ANY member of staff when the Council had to dismiss staff to pay those increases. Trust me these were not slight increases in some departments it was enough money to employ someone full time to round up stray dogs!!! Start by checking who benefited financially from restructuring in the two departments being discussed here! 

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I wouldn't hold your breath, Flam.

 

If blogging has taught me anything, it's that you rarely get a straight answer to a straight question!

 

We have many brilliant, hardworking councillors, who do a great deal of good. However, these tricky questions that keep popping up on here, again and again, do not get answered.

 

There are forces at play, that make it as difficult as possible, and put so many obstacles in the way, that even when councillors attempt to unpick these messy situations, they are thwarted.

 

I would love to be proved wrong on this!

So, councillors, it's over to you!

 

How many staff have received significant pay rises during the restructuring of Environmental Services and Customer Services??

 

First one to reply gets a gold star!

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DIPPY I truly value your comments and in the main they are spot on however I have to disagree with the statement 'there are many good Councillors that do many good things' 

 

How do we measure something good? 

Am I being good if I donate £20 to the homeless or children in need? You may answer with a resounding yes, but what were my motives in doing do? If I make a point of telling everyone I meet I made that donation was I motivated to help the needed or to improve my standing? 

 

I'm sure their are good Councillors who are motivated purely by the interests of their constituents but I'm sorry no one has proven themselves to me. 

 

I am an angry soul, I admit it, I see my faults but I can't and won't deny them and I won't justify any off my actions and I make no apologies for having a conscious. I and anyone else reading this forum have seen time and time again Councillors responding to posts only when there is something to gain. Don't get me wrong I like some of our Councillors they are better people than me but they and their parties aren't fighting hard enough in my opinion on my behalf.

 

For example over on Hereford Times I had a dialogue going with Cllr Harvey, however as soon as my questions became contentious the dialogue stopped! Check it out for yourself. 

 


 

The admission of one of our Councillors states they were told about the grass cutting several weeks ago yet they did nothing and they will do nothing now!  They also know about the direction of Environmental Health and Customer Services and have known for some time, yet they said nothing to the people they represent, why was that? If they deny knowing they aren't doing their job, if they knew and did and said nothing they aren't doing their job! 

 

Yes Dippy I'm sure there are good men and women, but are they strong enough and motivated enough to stand up to the administration? If not they should step down...

 

I await the barrage of attacks my post will invariably attract

 

DIPPY I'm holding my breath and praying for change

 

My kindest regards to all ...

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