Friday, May 19, 2006

Frustration setting in....

Warning, severe rant follows!!

It is two weeks since I was elected and I am getting increasingly more frustrated with the failure of the bureaucracy to get its act together for me.

Two weeks and no official computer connecting me to the internal council intranet.

That would not have been a problem if they had sent me a disc so that I could have at least set up a dialler on my laptop here at home.

It would not have been a problem either if they had not insisted on putting my new Liverpool council email on to their website, despite my insisting that they did not, without ensuring I could actually access it, which I still cannot.

So I cannot read my emails which are bouncing back to residents who consequently think I am rubbish without realising that it is the system at fault.

Equally importantly I cannot email officers with casework, even though there is loads of it, because although I asked for it ten days ago, I still do not have a list of council officers who look after my area, neither phone numbers or email addresses.

I can call the central switchboard to report things and they are very helpful, thank the Lord someone is, but they cannot bring people to the phone outside of normal working hours any more than I can. And when you are contacted by Mrs Hargreaves at 6pm on a Friday you dont want to have to wait until Monday, when you are in work to be able to call in her problem.

We had a short meeting with the support services manager over a week ago and I know he wants to help, but he has not sent me any contact lists either and he did say that he knew everything to know about Councillors work within the town hall (which is great) but nothing about their work at an individual constituent level.

I think my job once this is resolved will be to spend several hours with him, helping him to understand the demands of residents, the times of day they mostly call (and on which days) and our needs as new councillors to have immediate access to casework support, long before we have to worry about how select committees work etc. It is nearly a month before most new Councillors have to go to a select committee, most of us have been gainfully tackling case work for at least six months before election day and want a special "in" to make it easier once elected.

Is that too much to ask?

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