Monday, 25 July 2011

'Stop emailing us' begs Cornwall Council Leader - UPDATED

Cornwall Council's Leader tonight begged residents and community groups to stop emailing the authority saying that they could not cope with all the electronic communications they receive.

At a 'Cornwall Conversations' event held in Penzance, the organiser of a community transport group asked Transport Cabinet Member Cllr Graeme Hicks why he had not replied to an email sent to him some time ago. Cllr Hicks reply was that there were a lot of emails that had not been responded to and he had tasked an officer to go through all communications and root out those which needed a response.

To the amazement of those present, Council Leader Alec Robertson added that the Council could not cope with all the emails being sent and advised residents and organisations at the meeting to phone rather than email.

The question arises of what else is not being responded to. As important as transport issues are, some of the council's services are life and death matters. We need reassurance that nothing in adult care or child welfare is slipping through the net as well.

And for an organisation which recently won an award for its crisis communications, its communications now seem to be precipitating a crisis.

UPDATE - Cllr Hicks has asked me to make a correction and I'm happy to do so. He tells me that he apologised to the complainant and has asked an officer to search for the missing email. He has been told this will take up to two weeks.


Mark Pack said...

What's particularly weird is that in all the cases I've come across, emails are cheaper for a company or public sector body to deal with than emails. So surely he should be encouraging emails rather than phone calls in general?

Niles said...

Mark - that kinda depends, doesn't it, on whether you are scaling your phone service to cope with demand or whether you are using the existing constraints to limit the amount of people who can get through.